ABOUT EIGHT HOUR STUDIO
For some time my husband and I have wanted to start an enterprise that represented as best as we could everything we wanted an enterprise to be – local yet global, socially responsible, environmentally aware, using partners who share a similar set of values and with the longer-term goal of supporting community projects that matter to us. Every single decision we have made in starting our venture has been founded on this ethos.
While our backgrounds are in accounting and finance, we had been considering for some time how we could do something that was both British but also acknowledged our multi-cultural heritage (we were born in Zambia and India, but have grown up in Zambia, the UK and Australia.) After a lot of research and hard work this lead to a decision to launch Eight Hour Studio with a range of sleepwear that has come from the gorgeous fabrics and hand block prints we have come across in our travels to India but converted into stylish and elegant designs using high quality organic cotton.
We think about a balanced day as one broken up into eight hours each of WORK, PLAY and SLEEP - hence the "Eight Hour". A ”Studio" to us is where the creative magic happens and reflects the design and craftsmanship behind our brand. This is how the name Eight Hour Studio was born!
While we appreciate how hard it is to actually achieve such a balance - we ourselves struggle with it! – we want our clothes to be thought of as a luxurious complement to each part of your day.
Our launch collection focuses on SLEEP but we look forward to also introducing products around WORK and PLAY in the near future. Sign up to our newsletter to be kept up to date with our newest products and news. And please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us to provide us feedback. It can only help us get better!
- Sonia Padam, Founder
The art of hand block printing has been around for hundreds of years, but unfortunately, with fast paced technological improvements and mass production, this is a craft which is dying out. We want to do our bit to preserve this incredible and beautiful skill.
The first step in the process of creating our collections is to design our prints. Once these prints have been designed, they are then hand carved out of wood blocks by artisans. These blocks are then used by highly skilled printers to make hand-pressed repeat prints on long lengths of fabric. Each block print is matched up by eye. The printer knows the amount of pressure required to get the best print. If more than one colour is required per print a different block needs to be created per colour and these are layered one on top of the other. All of the dyes used are AZO free and many of them are vegetable based with no heavy-metal mordants.
The printing process is an incredible one to watch and requires great skill and precision. Once the fabric has been printed and dried out in the open, the fabric is taken to the production unit where it is stitched by a fantastic team who take great pride in their work. The production unit operates using fair labour standards to provide you with the highest quality product whilst ensuring everyone in our supply chain is paid and treated fairly and has a work environment that is safe, sustainable and respectful. The production unit is about so much more than just commerce – it is about building and supporting local communities.
We use only 100% GOTS certified organic cotton. Our fabrics are hand wood block printed, supporting a craft which is otherwise dying out as printers cannot compete with factories. To colour our fabrics we use AZO free dyes. Our designs are stylish and comfortable with a fashion edge – our underlying philosophy is to have our collections look so good you need not worry about being embarrassed to open the front door to deliveries and unexpected visitors! We also pride ourselves on the attention to details and trims on our garments.
We use a fair trade supplier, Mehera Shaw, who adheres to the Fair Trade Federation Principles and has also set up the Mehera Shaw Foundation Trust "working specifically with artisans to develop upcycled textile products, and to create co-operative, micro-social enterprise and mentor-based education and training centres for artisan communities".
There has also been a very healthy infusion of youth into the creation of Eight Hour Studio. Many of our partners are young and in fairly early stages of their careers, but are incredibly talented in their chosen fields.
As a start-up business we would love to hear from you on what you like and what you think we can improve on with regards to our product, website, customer service or anything else you would like to share with us. We have a lot to learn and will only improve with any feedback you may wish to give.
You may even have thoughts on what you would like to see us do with our product range going forward (we have a pipeline of ideas we are excited about launching in the next 12 – 18 months but are more than happy to hear yours as well!) so please don’t hesitate to GET IN TOUCH with whatever your query might relate to.