Aleeza Khan Bradner always knew she would work for herself one day. Born in London, England, she moved to Vancouver in the fall of 2011, working in publishing and tech, first at Facebook and then at Hootsuite. But it was the birth of her son in 2016 that led to her launching her own business—Droplet Home Goods.
With a newborn at home, Khan Bradner began paying more attention to what was in her home—especially anything that came into contact with her baby’s precious skin. Lacking the energy and desire to browse department store aisles, she went online but quickly realized how hard it is to find 100 per cent organic household products.
“There are different levels of certification,” she explains over tea at Ubuntu Canteen on Fraser. Cotton can be labelled organic if grown without pesticides or genetic modification, she says, “but that doesn’t mean the way it’s processed and treated afterward is organic.”
From her research, she knew she wanted towels with the certifications Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) or Oeko-Tex (trademark guarantee from the International Association for Research and Testing in the Field of Textile and Leather Ecology). What she found didn’t meet the quality or value she was looking for, and the idea of creating her own brand was born.
Wanting an entirely ethical production process, she began her groundwork: looking at manufacturing options, where cotton is grown and processed the most sustainably, and the greenest method of moving products around (by freight train, not air).
She settled on the Aegean region of Turkey, a place renowned for producing high-quality cotton. “It was the best material,” she says, “with more affordable costs for us starting as a brand and for our future customer. While there are Oeko-Tex/GOTS certified manufacturers in Canada, it was close to impossible to find any that specialized in the kind of thing I was trying to do.”
Khan Bradner visited several dye houses, yarn suppliers, and manufacturers in Turkey. “I cannot tell you how many Pantone swatches I went through to get this colour.” She laughs, pointing to a towel with terracotta stripes.
“It was important to go to the source,” she notes. “I didn’t want to just click a button online—or even order through email or phone. The language barrier can be a challenge, so I wanted to make sure I could build a relationship with the producers and see the process of how their textiles are made for myself.”
She launched Droplet Home Goods in May 2019. “Right now, I’m happy to be doing something I believe in, that I created, with products that I’m proud of. It’s an unreal feeling, actually.”
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