Brisbane couple, Steven and Debra Clifford-Ames have created a unique range of ethically-produced, 100 percent certified organic cotton bed linen.
With a passion for design and the environment, combined with their extensive background in retail, married couple, Steven and Debra Clifford-Ames, created Sheets On The Line – a luxurious range of bed linen using 100 percent certified organic cotton.
Unlike other organic products in the market, Sheets On The Line does not sacrifice style, quality or affordability in order to be environmentally-friendly.
“While there were plenty of other companies making sheets, there was no focus on making them organic. I thought that would be a unique selling point, especially because the growing and conventional treatment of cotton in really really bad for the environment,” said Mr. Clifford-Ames.
“But we always wanted to produce sheets that we felt are not only good-quality but are also affordable because we believe that you shouldn’t have to sacrifice quality for price and price for quality.”
Sheets On The Line intentionally choose to use 100 percent organic cotton certified by the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) to help sustain environmental and social benefits at every stage of the cotton cycle, beginning with the way in which it is grown and harvested, through to manufacturing processes which utilise natural products and dyes.
Like many other start-ups, Mr. and Mrs. Clifford-Ames had trouble getting consistent traffic flow and noticed that social media had not been as useful in gaining customers, than retaining them – leaving them to find other cost-effective marketing strategies such as Public Relations (PR).
“We’ve been using all forms of social media, which hasn’t necessarily been a challenge, but is one of those things that is taking a little while to get momentum, as far as the social side of things. But we found that customers that we do have now have been very receptive to buy again through us, or at least keep in touch with us through social media. So the biggest way we’re putting our business out there is through PR. We’re trying to get our point-of-difference without having a huge budget to do so,” said Mr. Clifford-Ames.
A key message Mr. and Mrs. Clifford-Ames is trying to get across to the Australian market is that just because their products are organic, does not mean they lack the ‘luxury’ appeal that conventional cotton bed linen may have.
“We don’t want people to categorise the sheets as something that’s not as nice and luxurious as non-organic sheets; and it’s not like one of those products that are more expensive purely because they’re organic. There is a little bit of re-education with everything out there and I think this is only going to get stronger as people realise how unsustainable conventional bed sheets are,” said Mr. Clifford-Ames.
Recently commissioning their second and third production runs, Mr. and Mrs. Clifford-Ames have high hopes for the future. If the business continues growing, they would like to develop other products and even take the business overseas.
“For us, the initial question was whether there was a market for it (organic bed linen), and although we’re only young, we discovered there is a good market for it, and our plans eventually would be to roll out the framework for this in either other products or into other markets,” said Mr. Clifford-Ames.
“In the mean time, we will be injecting a couple of new styles for all our products every three to four months. We just want to stay on trend and still make sure it’s affordable for us and our customers.”
For more information or to buy bed linen online, visit www.sheetsontheline.com.au.