Despite what you might see on my Instagram feed, I spend an inordinate amount of time in sleepwear and lounge wear. I am a homebody through and through, and if I’m not planning to go anywhere (which is most of the time), you can bet that I’m not getting dressed. Additionally, one of my recent closet goals has been to up my pajama and lounge wear game, because I’ve been wearing a lot of faded sweatpants and random free t-shirts to bed since, well, forever.
When Bare Slumber reached out to me to try their beautiful and sustainable pajamas just in time for Valentine’s Day, I was thrilled! Bare Slumber pajamas are made of Eucalyptus Silk (a Lenzing Tencel product), cruelty-free and designed to help regulate your temperature while you sleep (never forget this post). Not to mention…they’re pink! You might recall from Instagram that pink is my absolute favorite color, despite the excess of black clothing in my wardrobe.
I’ve had the pleasure of sleeping in Bare Slumber pajamas for the past few nights, and they are so comfortable (more on that later). I also recently had the opportunity to speak with founder Michelle about her inspiration for the line and how the product came to fruition.
Michelle dreamt up Bare Slumber while working in the diplomatic corps for a foreign country in the Middle East. She explains,”I come from a background that’s not related to fashion at all. During one of my visits [to the Middle East] I was seriously struggling with the heat at night. The cotton pajamas that I had were not helping, and I really didn’t have the time to get silk pajamas dry cleaned. Plus, I personally care about the environment and animals and I wouldn’t want to create a product that would be harmful. It’s just something I wouldn’t fully believe in or take pride in.” If you aren’t familiar with vegan and cruelty-free fashion, most silk is made from boiling silkworm cocoons with the silkworm still inside.
When Michelle got back to Los Angeles, she searched for a solution to her sleepwear struggles, but couldn’t find it. So, she decided to make it herself. “It was imperative that the PJs would not only be comfortable to wear, but also would be something that would offer peace of mind. Peace of mind in the sense of, ‘Oh I can throw this in the wash and not have to worry about dry cleaning,’ but also peace of mind knowing I’m wearing a product that doesn’t harm the environment, doesn’t harm animals and overall helps replace some of the bad with some good.”
As it turns out, a lot of other people agreed. Bare Slumber was able to get funded on Kickstarter, bringing the brand and products to life.
Well, okay. It wasn’t that easy. Michelle conducted hundreds of surveys to understand what women look for in their pajamas as she developed Bare Slumber – with some fascinating results.
“People have some serious issues with their PJs, and very little thought actually goes into most pajamas. It really motivated me to solve these problems and create a superior product,” Michelle says.
Developing the World’s Most Comfortable Pajamas
The Bare Slumber development process started out under the guidance of the Blackstone Launchpad at the University of Southern California. Michelle distributed an initial survey to 350 different people who fit her customer profile, seeking their feedback on ten different pajama styles. “After about 16 surveys it became clear which styles were more popular, and after around 30 results it became obvious which ones were the winners. That’s when the basic style was chosen. The most surprising part of the process was the consensus. My mentor at the Launchpad told me that I’d need at least 16 survey results – apparently it’s enough to make conclusions with high confidence. I didn’t believe it, but sure enough, as the results of the surveys started coming in, the winning designs became obvious very early on – there wasn’t much difference from the 16th result to the 30th,” Michelle says.
From there, Michelle began researching fabric options and considered silk, organic cotton and Tencel. Ultimately, she decided that she didn’t want to profit off of silk because of the silkworms that are used. “The organic cotton was O.K., but the benefits of Tencel and the production process are far superior (albeit more expensive),” she continues.
During this time, Michelle attended several fabric shows, where she met with the representatives of the Lenzing company, the producers of Tencel. About a week later, their fabric mill sent around 50 different fabric swatches – different weaves, weights, thread counts, etc. For this phase of product development, Michelle conducted in-person surveys of around 75 women to gauge their opinions on the various options. They were told to touch the fabrics and choose the one they could most see themselves wearing for pajamas. This was followed up with a blindfolded survey of the final contenders in order to select the winner!
But, developing Bare Slumber pajamas certainly didn’t end there. There were countless details that still needed to be considered: Drawstring or elastic shorts? One-inch hems or baby hems? Adjustable straps on the tank top? How low should the tee’s arm holes be? Again, Michelle conducted extensive consumer research in order to finalize what we might think are the most minute attributes.
The first iteration of Bare Slumber pajamas were then sleep-tested four times to create the final product, which is fairly-made in Los Angeles.
It was amazing to learn from Michelle just how much care, thought and time went into developing Bare Slumber, and when I put them on, the difference was apparent.
A Good Night’s Slumber
I have gotten some incredible sleep in these pajamas. Not only do I feel more put together in the evenings as a result of having matching pajamas (!) but the eucalyptus-based Tencel that is used in Bare Slumber really does keep you cool and dry throughout the night. Tencel wicks moisture about 50% more effectively than cotton, and once the moisture is trapped within the nanofibers, it is released to the drier microclimate away from your body – keeping you cool, ventilated, dry and clean.
I tend to wake up around 2 or 3 a.m., having kicked off all my blankets and feeling overheated (yes – even in these Northeastern winters!). With Bare Slumber, I have been sleeping comfortably through the night.
I love the pretty, pale pink shade of these pajamas, and the fact that the fabric, while silky, doesn’t seem to result in the static that silk does. They do wrinkle a bit (I steamed them for this blog post! I love my steamer. But you can also hang them in the bathroom while you shower to easily release any wrinkles. #behindthescenes) but the slight wrinkling is definitely worth it for the level of comfort that this fabric provides. I also love that these pajamas are cruelty-free, since as you all know I’m always looking to incorporate vegan fashion into my wardrobe.
With price being such a hot topic in the ethical fashion community, I think it is worth noting that Bare Slumber pajamas are affordably priced for a fair fashion brand, with the sleep tee and shorts retailing for $49.99 each. The sleep tee definitely could double as a shirt for daytime wear, too!
The cat’s pajamas. 😉 I envisioned this coming out a lot cuter, rather than Luna desperately clawing to escape my arms, but it was too funny not to share with you.
Bare Slumber hopes to be synonymous for a product that is good for us and good for the planet, and to one day grow to be the gold standard for vegan silk-alternative PJs. If you ask me – they’re well on their way.
Want to treat yourself, your valentine, or your galentine to a great night’s slumber this Valentine’s Day? Use code WHOLEHEART15 to save 15% on your Bare Slumber purchase. Sweet dreams!