Bruno Van Steenberghe was working for Stanley & Stella as a sustainability manager for over 5 years until 2015. Last year he started ‘Kalani Home’, a company that produces high quality bed linen for great prices. We tested the bed sheets and are convinced of the very good quality. Now we wanted to know more from Bruno about his brand.
Why did you start Kalani Home?
I realized that most people are sleeping in «low quality» and «non-sustainable» bed sheets because they are cheap and looking quite all right in the shop. One reason for this is that high quality and sustainable brands are extremely expensive, they often cost five or six times more, compared to the low quality products. The cheap low quality bed sheets are mainly from big, fast «fashion/home textile» brands and supermarkets. Good brands are so expensive mainly because they have many intermediaries in their long distribution channels.
Kalani is a brand-to-consumer model that provides affordable/fair prices to everyone – fair for the farmers, for the workers, for the factories, for the brand, and also fair for the users/consumers. It can offer best prices by avoiding intermediaries. Therefore the bed sheets can be made from high quality fabrics with the best cotton, grown organically and with a Fairtrade premiums – and people don’t have to pay crazy prices.
Where do you produce the bedsheets?
Kalani products are produced exclusively in India in the West Bengal province and the Delhi area. Kalani is part of the Chetna coalition, a group of small brands collaborating to purchase 100% of their cotton supply to one of the few best practice organic cotton farming cooperative in the center of India. Therefore, we can claim to be one of the few textile brands in the world that knows precisely were its organic cotton comes from and in which conditions it’s grown.
Picture courtesy of Chetco.
We are developing a long-term partnership with the organic cotton cooperatives. When the time of choosing a bed linen manufacturer came, it was logical to choose a manufacturing factory that could understand and could be involve in the global partnership with the organic cotton farmers, rather that producing in a regular factory trading cotton such as a commodity. This model is obviously more expensive than using conventional cotton, but it has the benefit of high quality, details commitments and full partnership. As we sell directly to users with a limited distribution channel we can afford this qualitative, transparent, traceable and committed supply chain.
Picture courtesy of Chetco.
What is sustainable about Kalani bedware?
All of our products are made from 100% Fairtrade certified organic cotton. The final products are 100% certified GOTS, therefore the entire manufacturing process is controlled and certified organic, GMO free, without using toxic chemicals. They are environmentally friendly and following the social standards of the International Labor Organisation (ILO). The manufacturers are SA8000 certified, the workers are well treated and paid with fair wages. The manufacturer only produces for organic and ethical brands from Europe, USA, Japan and Australia, nothing conventional, no big retailers.
How do you manage to produce high quality bedsheets?
Various factors are responsible for this:
- I have 19 years of textile production and quality experience, therefore we know exactly what we need to produce high quality bed sheets.
- We are involved in the cotton purchase at farm level, therefore we can ensure to get high quality long staple organic cotton fibers that are needed to produce premium quality fabrics.
- We request our manufacturers to produce thin and strong yarns to weave them tight and with soft and strong constructions. Moreover, we work with small-medium size manufacturers who are treating each piece of sheet as a crafted piece of cloth, such as a piece of art, with special care, strong accessories, nice details, good finishing and several steps of quality control.
- We ask third party quality inspection and we do quality inspection by ourselves, too.
- We develop long term relationships with the manufacturers based on trust and partnership, which is crucial for quality as well.
- We have developed a direct to market business model without intermediaries with manufacturers neither with the users, therefore we can be competitive, while producing high quality products without compromising on quality, details and services.
The bedcovers start at below 60 Euros. How do you manage to produce for these rather cheap prices?
The prices start from just over 51 Euros for Jersey fabric for single beds. But they go up to 125€ for super king size double beds in sateen or percale fabrics. Kalani products are on average 2-2,5 cheaper than conventional brands on similar quality level from traditional distribution channel, but still more expensive than basic cheap products from big retailers or supermarkets.
We developed a direct to market business model selling exclusively through our own e-store, no intermediaries with manufacturers, no intermediaries with uses (no agents, no wholesalers, no shops), we work with a limited size structure, we seed word of mouth even if we need always more customers and customers’ friends trust :-). We explain how the price is put together here (see picture).
Transparent & fair pricing: more details.
We took the challenge to demonstrate that it’s possible to develop a project in textile, with premium quality, ethical, organic Fairtrade, being affordable and with a holistic approach. We hope now that the markets will understand it and trust us all around Europe.
Then we also have an ambassador scheme that works as follows: Someone who is motivated to get a Kalani product, even if he can’t afford it or can’t afford it at full price, can become an ambassador; ambassadors invite people they know to visit the e-store and every-time one of their friends make a purchase the ambassador gets a 5€ purchase coupon (which are cumulative); so a good ambassador selling 20times (min 75€) gets 100€ purchase coupons.
In addition, because there will always be homeless people and migrants who will probably never get the chance to be able to sleep in good sheets, we will give a percentage of the benefits to social associations in the selling countries to support those people who need just somewhere to sleep.
Profil auf Get Changed (with 15% Discount Code): Kalani Home
Website: Kalani Home