An Interview with Baloo Living
In today’s interview we talk to Elizabeth Grojean the founder of Baloo Living. Baloo Living is the only brand out there that makes eco-friendly weighted blankets, they are perfect for anyone who struggles with sleep or feeling anxious.
Thank you for wanting to be part our exclusive network. What were your reasons for joining us and investing in the Ethical Brand Directory / Academy and community?
The collective power of coming together to focus on improving our culture’s patterns of production and consumption is how we will make a difference in the world. We are excited to connect with other brands and entrepreneurs who are making a difference through business. We’re looking forward to the chance to connect online, and in real life one of these days in the not too distant future. It’s an honor to be included!
Can you give me a brief overview of your brand and the type of products you sell?
Our mission is to inspire and support self-healing for all people. We do this with our signature product, a weighted blanket, which provides relief for those suffering with anxiety or insomnia. It works through Deep Pressure Touch (DPT) which signals to the nervous system that it’s safe. The experience of the mind-body connection this provides is profound, and in this state, one can access greater feelings of peace and well-being.
- Our brand is thoughtful – we care about the materials used, the impact production has on our planet, and our communities. We express this through sourcing chemical-free cotton certified by the Oek-Tex 100 standard, offsetting our carbon footprint from import shipping, and by contributing to a grassroots non-profit to support children who are vulnerable with pajamas and books for a reassuring bedtime.
- Woman owned
What was your WHY? What inspired you to set up your business?
I was motivated to start my own business because I was frustrated by working with dysfunctional organizations – no matter how lofty their ideals –the reality time and again was petty office politics and dehumanizing environments. I knew there was a better way. When I discovered weighted blankets, I fell in love with their simplicity and accessibility, and their potential to help people in an increasingly anxious time.
What challenges do independent brands like yourself face?
Access to capital for inventory and expansion is the biggest challenge. As well as limitations in human capital – how to tell our story in all channels when the business is so small and time is limited.
Why is it important to be ethical in business?
My business is a reflection of who I am, so I would never be comfortable creating something that didn’t align with my values. I believe in the law of Karma, and when we do good we receive good. It may not always be in the form of the greatest economic reward, but I believe that economics is only one of many rewards I get from running my own business. And, money is energy and I am witnessing that there are many people who connect with Baloo’s values and choose us over competitors for that reason.
What is the link to your page on ethics on your website?
What steps are you taking to ensure your brand operates as ethically as possible?
Choosing clean materials, reducing plastic in packaging, upgrading to organic cotton potentially.
How important is sustainability for businesses? What are you doing in your business to reduce your environmental impact?
It is vital to be sustainable in business, because that’s the only way anything will ever change on our planet. Customers can have an impact at the individual level, but businesses have an opportunity to make change at a much more meaningful scale. We source chemical-free cotton certified by the Oeko-Tex 100 standard, and will be pursuing organic cotton in the future; specify that our glass microbeads are certified lead-free; and contribute to the Carbonfund.org Foundation to offset our carbon
What are you not doing in your business but want to improve on?
I want to get rid of the plastic bag our blanket comes shipped in. We’re exploring an option to use a linen tote bag instead.
I would like to start using organic cotton. We are asking for pricing for this form our suppliers.
We have an application pending to certify our products as Vegan. Of course they are, but through this certification we will also be supporting the Vegan movement.
What is your supplier and sourcing policy?
We only work with professionally run factories who can certify the source and quality of their natural materials. We visit our factories in person – not all yet – but this year will visit the newer ones. We hire a third party inspection service to ensure that the conditions are clean and favorable.
In 10 years from now where would you like to see the fashion/beauty/travel world? From a business and a consumer perspective
I think a movement toward renting clothing is a good one – I hope to see a big shift away from fast fashion toward investment wardrobes. The travel world is going to have to change. As more and more people travel globally we see increases environmental damage to landscapes, and increases in plastic waste. I truly hope that tourist destinations can limit the impact of travel, encourage reusable glasses over plastic water bottles, educate tourists on sustainability and impact of travel, etc. Travel is one of the best ways to learn about and appreciate our world and it’s interconnectedness.
Do you have any favourite ethical and sustainable quotes, or any key influencers that inspire you?
Rumi, expresses how beautifully we are One. “You are not a drop in the ocean. You are the entire ocean in a drop.”
Why should the general public care about supporting ethical and environmentally responsible brands?
There is no general public 🙂 Only individuals, who make choices reflecting their values. I think ethical brands have an important role in initiating and holding conversations in the public realm to educate consumers about the benefits of sustainable choices. Of course I hope consumers respond by valuing those companies and voting with their pocketbooks, but as individuals in our society we improve our own lives as we raise our consciousness levels and act according to those values.