Monthly Parenting Magazine

Interview: Paulina Atkinson, founder of Organic Zo...

Interview: Paulina Atkinson, founder of Organic Zoo

Img Kopia

Absolutely Mama meets Paulina Atkinson, the Brighton-based founder of much-loved childrenswear brand Organic Zoo. We chatted about everything from the latest trends in the childrenswear industry (hint – all-beige is out!), to her new collection ‘Meet the Maker’.

Hello Paulina, we love your beautiful new collection! What was the inspiration behind ‘Meet the Maker’? 

“Meet The Maker” is inspired by the happiness that comes from the joy of making. I feel like in the world focused on delivering results it is important ( and feels great!) to simply immerse yourself with the creative process itself. Without fixation on outcome. Without pressure. Without comparison. One step at the time, focusing on what is in front of us, we let our imagination explore and wander. This is the spirit of our summer collection! 

We love all of your prints! How are they designed? 

Thank you, so glad you love them! Our prints are the extension and interpretation of my passions, interests and experiences. They are very personal. This season’s “ceramic print” was born out of love for small batch pottery. After my latest visit to Japan I started collecting lots of unique ceramics, which not only look pretty, but turn every cup of tea into a little ritual.

How are the pieces made and how important is sustainability? 

All our organic cotton pieces are designed in Brighton, England and manufactured in Ukraine. We took time to find the right place, a factory that could make our clothing the way we wanted, with care and kindness. Somewhere that focuses on people, not machines.

The main factory is based in the city of Lviv, west Ukraine and employs around 250 people, mainly women, who are highly skilled. Many of the workers have been with the factory for years; there are sisters, a mother and daughter, and a husband and wife working there. Their skill and care for the garments they make are woven into every piece of Organic Zoo. 

From the environmental perspective – we recognise that making and selling clothing has an impact on our planet. With this in mind, we are committed to work in smart and sustainable way. We choose to use only organic, natural materials and focus on creating timeless, high-quality styles that last longer and are great hand me downs. Recently we introduced a few unique styles such as our reversible cardigan and reversable smock that are super versatile and trans-seasonal, as well as a clever way of maximising usage of our left over fabrics and cut offs.

Img Kopia
Img Kopia

Are there any exciting things coming up for Organic Zoo that we should watch out for? 

We are launching a handful of women’s styles later this summer. Beautifully simple and timeless capsule.

Also, I am very proud of Organic Zoo Knits Collection and can’t wait to show you what’s on its way for AW24.

Organic Zoo has been around for over a decade now. What has been your proudest moment running the brand? 

It always feels great seeing children and families growing together with us (although it is bitter sweet seeing them growing out of our age ranges!).

Our customers and community are what drives us forward and seeing people enjoying our products is the greatest reward for all the effort and love we put into our work. 

Have things changed in the childrenswear industry since you started? And have you noticed any big shifts in the way parents are dressing their little ones? 

I feel like things are constantly changing and evolving, which makes our work so interesting. The biggest shift that I noticed in the recent years is how popular second-hand shopping has become. For a brand like us (that focuses on quality and timeless design) this is great news! It’s wonderful to see Organic Zoo pieces circulating form home to home. As a brand we also offer a buy back scheme, which you can read about on our website.

The other shift is the growing love for colour and prints! Parents dress their kids more colourfully and the ‘all beige” look seem no longer the favourite.

And finally, being a Brighton-based brand, can you describe a perfect family-friendly day in the seaside town? 

We like to keep things simple and close to nature. My perfect day in Brighton would be an undercliff walk, rock pool crab spotting and getting your feet wet in the sea!