two sisters: lauren & rachael
rickshaw selfie: jaipur, india
our creative director lauren has family photos that look a little different than everyone else’s. her favorite snap of her oldest daughter? well, it comes from an issue of harper’s bazaar singapore, where lauren was the editor … and her then one-year-old baby is wearing dolce & gabbana in the shot.
but designer fashion for toddlers obviously wasn’t practical in her real life.
when lauren started buying clothes for her daughter - and the little sister that followed - she found she wasn’t satisfied with the childrenswear options from more affordable brands. nearly all of them were made from fabrics she didn’t want next to her childrens’ skin – and they simply were not chic. which was non-negotiable.
and they definitely weren’t made sustainably or ethically – two things that were very important to her as the mother of two young children. she knew exactly what she wanted - easy, breezy silhouettes in the softest natural fabrics, inspired by vintage childrenswear from the 60s and 70s.
so she put her 18 years’ experience in high fashion to work and teamed up with her sister rachael to design a childrenswear line herself. she always wanted her own line, and the circle collective is the realization of years of daydreaming!
when rachael’s first niece was born, she rushed out to do what aunties do – spoil her newest family member. but the shopping experience was frustrating for someone buying a baby gift – an overwhelming number of options, but none of them right. too often, the kids’ clothes she saw – even in high-end stores – were covered in slogans, overly gendered, almost definitely mass-produced in a factory in china.
why wasn’t there an easy way to buy a baby gift that was stylish and reflected her values and world view? she decided to solve the problem herself – she’d sell a perfect set of beautiful childrenswear that was super simple to buy, in bold, bright colors and prints, made responsibly and ethically, in the softest fabrics.
she immediately knew where she would have them made: india. but definitely not for the pretty awful reasons many western brands manufacture their clothes in south asia.
she had fallen in love with india’s gorgeous textiles during several trips over the last decade, and had learned that the traditional artisanal methods, passed down through families over generations, were slowly dying out. this was her chance to do some good.
so she began to build a brand that used artisanal and fair-trade suppliers wherever possible. she built the business at night, and on the weekends, and during her commute to her day job as a lawyer (she spent the last 8+ years with the federal government investigating insider trading and has stories you would not believe!) – until the first collection was born.