MINIMAL Organic Basics: Quality, Comfort and Ethics

Really good quality basics for kids that are also ethically made, are hard to come by. So it was a great pleasure to come across the brand MINIMAL. We were even more pleasantly surprised when we found out the founder and the brand have just moved to Hong Kong. We sat down with them to learn more about the brand and the inspiration behind the designs. 

Tell us a little bit about yourself. You just moved from Singapore to Hong Kong.

I'm a woman with an awesome sense of adventure, passion and commitment for my work, family and friends. Originally from the U.S., I had spent summers in France growing up.

I've wanted to live abroad since then, so spent as much time traveling internationally as possible. My spring breaks were in London, Cuba and Indonesia, rather atypical for an American. My grandmother used to say that I was bitten by her travel bug, yet she was old-school. She also urged me to wait to travel abroad until I had a husband (instead of wandering the world alone as a gypsy in her 20's).

With regards to my fashion background, I was literally born into fashion, my mom went into labor in a department store - and the rest they say is history. I've spent my entire career working in retail working for brands like Celine, Saks Fifth Avenue and Instyle.

My husband and I met while working for Estee Lauder in New York City. I was Marketing Director and he was in Creative. We fell in love at first sight and have been inseparable since our first date. Living abroad was something we both wanted. It just happened much sooner in our lives than we had anticipated. 

Are you excited about being in Hong Kong? Where were you and what were you doing before coming here? 

Yea, I'm totally thrilled to be in Hong Kong. As I said, it's been in our cards for quite some time. My husband and I toured around Asia together years ago and agreed that Hong Kong would be somewhere we've like to live at some point. Singapore came first, but we're happy we've made it here.

We spent 3.5 years in Singapore, before Hong Kong. I love the blue skies, greenery and welcoming expat community. We moved to Singapore when I was six months pregnant and I had my son a couple months later. It was an unbelievably positive experience though definitely changing at first. 

I really found my footing again once I got back to work. MINIMAL debuted in Singapore in November 2016 at the Boutiques Fair at the Pit Building. After spending so much time building the brand and working on product development. It was thrilling to finally put it out there and test the market. I love meeting new customers and introducing them to the world of MINIMAL. Getting positive feedback on both the clothes and the brand sealed the deal for us to move forwards. 50% of our customers bought at least two items and 20% immediately became repeat customers returning the next day to buy more. It was an amazing start! 

That same week we found out that my husband's work would soon take us to Hong Kong. So we quickly packed up our lives in Singapore and made our way to Hong Kong - but not before squeezing in another production trip to Bali. 

MINIMAL has been a very hands-on business. We've sourced all across Asia and found our first manufacturing fit in Bali. My husband, son and I spent four months cumulatively in Bali last year making MINIMAL. In Bali alone, we sampled with at least 10 vendors to find the perfect partner who could make the best quality children's knitwear. We're the couple that literally carried fabric around Bali on our laps on a motorbike. We even spent three days doing the quality control ourselves because we simply care that much. We want to make sure MINIMAL meets our high standards and exceeds our customer's expectations. 

What is MINIMAL all about?

MINIMAL is about epic simplicity. We simplify design to shift the focus from the clothes to the kids so children feel confident being who they are, wherever they are. We're made for socially and style conscious families looking for an alternative to fast fashion, one that imprints values - not just fashion - on their kids. 

We believe in buying fewer, higher quality pieces that last longer and surrounding yourself with whom and what you love. We believe in the basics: quality, comfort and values. 

Sometimes the best things in life are the simplest. Sometimes the basics are all you need. 

Where does your inspiration come from? 

MINIMAL was inspired by a pair of black and grey shorts from Bangkok that we bought for my son that had a crazy fun pattern on them. He never wore those shorts, because I couldn't find a simple, well-fitting, basic black tee to pair with them. So my husband challenged me to create one myself - and oh, do I love a challenge.

Our son is also an obvious inspiration and motivator. He has a vibrant and rebellious personality and challenges us constantly. We strive to raise a human being who is daring, bold and adventurous. I think he's most beautiful in simple, basic clothes that allows his own individual style to shine.

My husband is another inspiration. He has amazing style and creative sensibility to match. Jason surfs and skates. He's always true to what he feels most comfortable in. He loves soft thoughtfully-designed t-shirts in muted tones - so that has influenced the look and feel of the tees.

Why is it important to you to use organic materials and practice sustainability?

 As a mom, coming from the fashion industry passionate about the consumer experience I feel new businesses have an opportunity to create a difference in our communities (both the professional and global community). One way we can do this is by consciously creating our business and building them right from the start.

Since we've started, quality, comfort and ethics have been our priorities for the line. We currently apply sustainable practices to our fabrics, product design and lifecycle and we're committed to improving as we go. 

Our first batch of tees are made from organic cotton and brushed bamboo - a blend which is luxuriously soft yet durable. The quality of our fabrics and manufacturing techniques outlast fast fashion brands. When you buy higher quality, highly versatile items, that wear well and wash well, your family will enjoy them longer.

We have a wear more, share more philosophy. Each piece of clothing is designed to be shared across the friends and family, boy sand girls and across ages. We advocate for hand-washing in cold water and only washing when needed.

Our collection is season-less and produced in minimal production runs. We create for the demand so there is no overstock. We plan to use our leftover stock for accessories. At the moment, we are a direct-to-consumer business, so products don't sit lonely on shelves for extended periods of time.

Our business is built with integrity. It's a family business, mindfully made to help create a more beautiful, simple world for our children. 

What's next in store for MINIMAL?

As we've just arrived in Hong Kong, we have a lot to do! We're excited to join BaoBae + Sassy Mama Pop-up on Sunday, May 21.

From a collection standpoint, we're introducing shorts and pants to the line. We're gaining a reputation as the highest quality, most stylish tees a modern mama can buy. Our plan is to go deep into basics, introduce new colours and eventually new styles to bring families super soft, chic basics, available all year long made for your children with quality, comfort and ethics.

As seen in NIKA KAI

← Older Post Newer Post →