The original concept for Eight Hour Studio was born out of a love for traditional Indian woodblock printing methods and the desire to create an enterprise that was local yet global, socially responsible and environmentally aware. My husband and I also wanted to create something that reflects our multi-cultural heritage - we were born in India and Zambia respectively, and grew up in Zambia, the UK and Australia.
After a lot of research and hard work, we were delighted to launch Eight Hour Studio in early 2015. Our range of organic cotton luxury chill wear is beautiful and elegant enough to be worn as loungewear, holiday wear, beachwear and sleepwear. Our very talented designer, Louise Korner, has done a superb job of bringing our vision to life and working with us on our collections to date.
Inspired by the gorgeous fabrics and hand block prints we discovered on our travels to India, we create stylish, unique designs using high quality, silky soft organic cotton, fair trade labour practices and slow fashion ethics. We work together with like-minded partners towards a longer-term goal of supporting community projects that matter to us.
The inspiration behind the name of Eight Hour Studio came from our thoughts 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. While we appreciate how hard it is to achieve the eight-hour balance, we want our clothes to be thought of as a luxurious, indulgent complement to each part of your day, every day.
You can shop the collections here.
- Sonia Padam, Eight Hour Studio Founder
Our products fuse a thousand-year-old printing technique with a contemporary, slow fashion edge. The art of hand block printing is slowly dying out as printers cannot compete with factories and modern manufacturing techiques and we wanted to do our bit to preserve this incredible craft. We have made many visits to our production partners in Jaipur on the Eight Hour Studio journey to see for ourselves the process and craftsmanship involved at every step.
We use 100% GOTS certified organic cotton with a satin finish to create products that are soft, comfortable and luxurious, yet light enough to feel like a second skin. When it comes to the construction of our garments, numerous revisions of the cuts occurred before we felt we had achieved what we wanted. The result is relaxed, stylish and effortless pieces with unique prints and design features, immaculate finishes and exquisite attention to detail.
We have also put a lot of thought and effort into our packaging to create every piece as a thoughtful gift for you and for the stylish women in your life. All products arrive in beautiful custom packaging with signature prints to make you feel special when giving, receiving and wearing your pieces.
The first step in creating our collections is to design our prints. Artisans then hand carve these designs out of wood blocks, often teak, and the printers make hand-pressed repeat prints on long lengths of fabric. Each block print is matched up by eye; the printers knows the amount of pressure required to get the best result. If more than one colour is required per print, a different block needs to be created per colour and these are layered on top of one another. We use AZO-free dyes, many of which are vegetable-based with no heavy-metal mordants.
The printing process requires great skill and precision. Once the fabric has been printed and dried in the open air, it is taken to the production unit to be cut and stitched by our fantastic, hard-working team. The unit operates using fair labour standards to provide the highest quality products whilst ensuring everyone in the Eight Hour Studio supply chain is paid and treated fairly with a safe, sustainable and respectful work environment. The production unit is not only about commerce – it is about building and supporting local communities.
We use a fair trade supplier, Mehera Shaw, whose eponymous Foundation Trust is "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".
As a small independent business, we would love to hear your thoughts on what you like about our brand and products and, more importantly, what you think we can improve on with regards to our products, website, customer service and future collections. Please do let us know if there is a particular type of product you would like to see us making. We will only improve with feedback! Please don’t hesitate to GET IN TOUCH.
Welcome to the Eight Hour Studio family! X x
Photography is courtesy of our supply partner, MEHERA SHAW, a fair trade artisan lifestyle manufacturer based in Jaipur, India.
The illustrations were done by our Designer, Louise Korner.