For 2020 the WomenAmbition team made a promise to live a greener, more sustainable lifestyle. This includes buying products, which we know are 100% good for ourselves and 100% good for the Earth. Everything from food, to fashion to self-care can be sustainable if you make the right choices! People are becoming more conscious of the impact their purchases make with 63% of consumers preferring to purchase from purpose-driven brands.
That’s why we were thrilled to sit down and talk with Phoebe Yu and Kat Dey, Co-Founders of Ettitude. Their 100% organic bamboo sheets have launched them to the forefront of the entrepreneurial world, allowing them to make waves of positive impact. We spoke about their mission, what they believe their “key” to success is, and how they maintain wellness within all the chaos! Keep reading to find out more about Ettitude and the impressive women behind it.
Q: Share with our readers Ettitude’s mission and solution.
Ettitude is about living with an eco-attitude. We make home essentials that are soft on your skin and gentle on our planet. Using our proprietary CleanBamboo™ fabrics, our bedding, sleepwear, and bath essentials are as soft as silk, as sustainable as hemp, as breathable as linen, but at the price of cotton. Our mission is to use innovation to drive positive change, to co-create a world where all of us – customers, communities, the planet, and people who work in the business – can flourish.
Q: What was the path you took, which led you to come up with this idea?
Phoebe Yu: While shopping for my own home in Melbourne, I saw an opportunity in the bedding industry to create sustainable luxury for less. As a Chinese-Australian, I was drawn to the versatility, elegance, and efficiency of bamboo. With more than a decade of experience working in textile supply chain management and merchandising, and after years of testing materials, weaving and dyeing techniques, I finally perfected and launched our bamboo lyocell fabric in Australia in 2016. I later teamed up with US-based Kat, a serial entrepreneur passionate about wellness, to take the brand global. By 2018, we opened a Los Angeles office and in 2019 we were named “International Conqueror” by Online Retail Industry Awards in Sydney.
Kat Dey: Today we are excited to have a team across 2 hemispheres, working to revolutionize the bedding and home goods industry. In 2019, we helped 30,000 people sleep better, saved 100 million gallons of water, and opened a store on Abbot Kinney in Venice, CA.
Q: What has been the most challenging part of creating Ettitude?
PY: The actual R&D process took about 5 years. It took dozens of iterations to get the perfect balance of softness and durability in our signature CleanBamboo™ bamboo lyocell fabric. We then iterated on our beautiful color palette, using non-toxic dyes. It’s not easy to dye such fine and smooth fabric darker colors and to keep them vibrant wash after wash. It took us about a year to get that right. In the end, we were excited to achieve even the darkest colors; our “pepper” black color looks very luxe.
KD: We are constantly improving and “creating” Ettitude as we go along, with our customers providing important feedback which is key to our innovations. The challenge we set for ourselves is to create products that perform better than the conventional, significantly reduce waste and pollution, and cost the same or less than conventional alternatives. For example, we heard from customers that because our fabric was so soft, they would lounge around wearing sheets in their living rooms! So we launched our sleepwear line using the same fabric. We also heard that customers who love our sheets wished we made crib sheets for babies, so in 2019 we launched Ettitude’s baby line. There are more new products using our innovative fabrics in the pipe for 2020!
“We are constantly improving and “creating” Ettitude as we go along, with our customers providing important feedback which is key to our innovations.”
Q: How have you maintained wellness while building the company?
PY: I wear my Oura ring every day to track my physical activity and quality of sleep. I also try to fit in a CrossFit workout in the mornings before I start my day.
KD: Being in nature and gratitude are my top wellness tips. I make sure to spend quality time with my toddler outdoors, by playing together in our backyard, taking her to the park, or going hiking as a family. I list 3 things I’m grateful for before I go to sleep and when I wake up in the morning. This mindset keeps me positive despite any challenges that might come my way during the day.
Q: Why was it important for your brand to be sustainable?
PY: Sustainability is the raison-d’être of the brand and the meaning behind our brand name. We are careful about our choices and who we get into bed with. We make sure all our suppliers are committed to working to the highest ethical standard, guaranteeing fair wages and a comfortable working environment for employees.
KD: Life is short! It is rewarding to know that we spend every day making a positive impact. We weave sustainability into our entire operations, not just from the perspective of our supply chain and our own product, but also our internal team and culture. For example, we ensured that we use sustainable products in our office and we offer our team a paid day off to volunteer towards environmental efforts. We also joined 1% For The Planet, meaning we donate 1 percent of our CleanBamboo™ bedding sales towards environmental causes.
“Life is short! It is rewarding to know that we spend every day making a positive impact. “
Q: What advice would you give to our audience who is trying to live more sustainably?
Once I became a mom, I started consciously integrating many lifestyle habits to
reduce my and my family’s footprint. Some simple habits anyone could adopt are
eating more plant-based, not consuming one-time-use plastics by bringing your
own water bottle, silverware and shopping bags, reducing flights and using more
public transportation, bikes or carpooling.
PY: Do your research, stay educated and share your knowledge with your community. Lower your overall consumption but if you need something, vote with your dollar and support sustainable technologies.
Q: How does your daily routine look? What can’t you live without?
KD: Tea! I don’t drink coffee, but I’m a huge fan of herbal teas. You’ll find me sipping throughout the day, it keeps me hydrated!
PY: A cold shower. Did you know ending your shower with cold water helps to reduce stress and improve your immune system?
Q: What would you say has been absolutely key to Ettitude’s success thus far?
PY: Close attention to detail in
our products was the first part. Now it’s about getting the word out there.
Because we’re so confident that people will love our sheets once they have a
chance to sleep on it, we introduced a 30-night free trial. This has helped
many more customers who are on the fence to go for it and experience it for
KD: Our customers being our absolute best ambassadors. In the days of e-commerce, reviews are everything.
Q: Would you do anything differently looking back to the start of your journey as an entrepreneur?
PY: Finding Kat sooner!
Q: What are your 2020 goals and beyond?
PY: We plan to launch a new category of products with another innovative fabric in 2020. But we’re keeping it hush, for now. Do check back with us!
KD: We plan to eliminate all virgin plastic in our production by 2020. For example, we are replacing all plastic buttons with a plant-based version.