“A baby is born with a need to be loved – and never outgrows it”- Frank A. Clark
Eco-friendly clothing and accessories shouldn’t just be for us big kids! Babies deserve to be clothed in kindness too. Carolyn Chambers, CEO and designer of Fourzero, has made it possible for you to do just that!
Q. What inspired you to create an ethical designer brand for newborns?
After a decade long career as a Paediatric intensive care nurse in Europe, I have nursed and supported newborn babies from 24 weeks gestation to full term who have all required the same needs of love, support and comfort.
My passion is newborn babies and their families. I feel that Fourzero is an extension of the existing skills I acquired in nursing and although I am no longer a practicing neonatal nurse, my skills, experience, and nurturing nature is embedded into each and every stitch of the garments within my Fourzero brand.
Developing an ethically-made brand was an easy choice and staying within Australia to manufacture also seemed the best solution. Because newborn babies have such delicate skin that has not come into contact with chemicals or harsh materials after growing in the protective womb environment, I feel that it is important to provide clothing that is natural and pure.
Fourzero products are being very well received by families throughout the world. The feedback after a gift has been given has been very supportive and encouraging to hear for our brand. Fourzero does not bleach or further colour the fabric chosen in our collections, nor do we stabilize the fabric with chemicals during manufacture.
Q. How would you decribe Fourzero in 10 words or less?
Organic, luxurious, ethical, boutique, soft, comfortable.
Q. How does Fourzero ensure that it treads lightly on the planet?
Fourzero is manufactured in Brisbane where our head office is situated. The Fourzero supply chain for materials have been sourced in Australia wherever possible. If this is not possible then I source from Australian companies. At times this becomes a long and arduous process but I believe that our local economy needs to be supported wherever possible.
I have been known to carry bolts of fabric on the Brisbane City Cat Ferries to our manufacturing team in Fortitude Valley! Fourzero has made the conscious effort to also source organic fabric and sustainable materials in every design aspect of the brand
Q. Has your previous life as a nurse helped to inform your choice of materials?
I believe that our brand is about educating consumers about why a baby needs to feel warm and secure after birth and because of my nursing background parents will rest assured that their babies have been dressed well in ethically manufactured clothing and accessories.
The materials I’ve chosen for the Fourzero collection have been influenced by my nursing background. I have sourced organic fabrics and the press studs in the collection are all nickel-free.
I have dressed and cared for hundreds of babies in my nursing career and understand how clothing needs to fit after birth and what a huge impact clothing has on both a newborn baby and a new mother. Babies need to wear clothing that fits them well. A baby has been cocooned in the warm womb and has had boundaries within. It is only natural that babies need to feel boundaries and comfort after birth.
Q. Which ethical designers are inspiring you right now?
Cue and Veronika Maine are two Australian brands that I admire for continuing to also manufacture onshore in large volumes. Manufacturing in Australia has many road blocks but with the effort and support from consumers it is a viable option long term because we demand that the quality of production is the highest standard for the retail market because our construction costs are so very high compared to manufacturing overseas.
Q. Do you think well designed eco-friendly baby and children’s clothing is becoming more mainstream?
No, I wouldn’t say it is becoming more mainstream, but I do believe consumers are taking more of an interest about where garments are manufactured and how. If the consumer is involved in the story of how garments for babies and children’s wear is manufactured they are more inclined to buy quality goods.
Q. Do you have a favourite item in store right now?
The star on the blanket has purposefully been made on a large scale so that the newborn baby can settle after bath time on the velour whilst the care-giver soothingly massages the baby’s skin.