This week we had a chat with Kathryn Tyrrell, the founder of The Goodnight Society about their range of ethically sourced, quirky pyjamas.
The Goodnight Society began as Kathryn’s escape plan from her job in corporate marketing. After working in corporate marketing for the past 15 years, she wanted to find a creative outlet. Kathryn says, “While I enjoyed many parts of my job, for the past few years I started to feel that big business lacks a lot of soul, and knew I needed to do something that personally felt more meaningful… and was more fun”.
“I knew I wanted to have my own business, so I just thought ‘what do I want it to enable me to do?’ I knew I wanted a creative outlet, to be able to contribute directly and in a significant way to community development, to do and create something fun, and to be able to use my marketing skills.”
Kathryn was lucky enough to find a gap in the market that allowed her to create her own dream job. But like any job it doesn’t come without its challenges. Kathryn says one major challenge is the manufacturing process. She says while it can be difficult at times, it is easier now than it once was.
“Making sure they are ethically sourced is a lot easier these days than it probably was 10 or even 5 years ago as there are a number of organisations who run certification and accreditation programs for factories, so you’re able to check their certifications (which get renewed annually) and make sure they’re complying.
“When I was manufacturing in India I was using a Fairtrade certified factory, in China I’m using a WRAP certified factory. I also use a production partner here in Australia, and they visit the factory on my behalf, which I think is important for peace of mind.”
For Kathryn, making sure The Goodnight Society products are ethically sourced is more than getting a certification. Kathryn explains, “For me ethically sourced is all about doing everything you can to make sure that no one in your supply chain is adversely impacted as a result of your production, and the impact to the environment is minimised. Put simply – it’s just about doing the right thing”.
Kathryn hopes ethical, low impact manufacturing will become the norm for all brands but that isn’t the case currently. She says that “Unfortunately, it’s still a point of difference, although we’re joining a heap of other great fashion brands that are already on this journey.”
Something else that differentiates The Goodnight Society from others in the industry is their colourful, bold, and unique designs. Kathryn says designing products is a collaborative process between her and her textile designer, Fran, “I draw inspiration from the people around me and the things they love, and also from our quirky Australian culture. That’s how I come up with such an eclectic range of prints in the one range.
“I’ll usually do up some rough sketches of what I want, and then I have a wonderful textile designer, Fran, and we’ll brainstorm it some more before she who turns it into the fantastic final print.”
Kathryn has big plans for the future of The Goodnight Society as she aims to combine ethicality with exceptionally distinct design.
“My most immediate plans are to expand the social enterprise element of the brand. I’m really inspired by brands like Toms Shoes and Warby Parker who are founded on a one-for-one giving philosophy, so I’m currently looking into opportunities around that, with an initial focus on South Africa which is a country close to my heart.
“I also want to start tapping into the amazing design talent we’ve got here in Australia by crowdsourcing some designs, and we’ve got big plans for lots of great collaborations with some other great Aussie brands.”