“Color is a power which directly influences the soul” – Wassily Kandinsky
Sarah Bader is discovering new colors. “My favorite part of creating and designing for The Swaddle Company is the challenge of mixing colors in just the shade I imagine,” she shared. “Some of my favorite colors have nine or more pigments in them. When those powdered dyes hit the water, they explode like fireworks, pigment drifting slowly through my mixing-cup or lazily floating on the top, refusing to dissolve. It’s amazing what wild particles of color are contained in something we read as a solid ‘green.’”
Bader is the creative force behind Alber Road Children’s Wear and more recently, the Swaddle Company. “I started the Swaddle Company mid-summer 2018. I wanted to flex my creativity, be something different. Something I thought the children’s clothing market always struggled with was ‘color.’ I didn’t like the typical offerings for babies (pink, blue, yellow – the staples of commercial baby clothes) and I wanted to stay true to my roots: ethical, slow fashion.” The Swaddle Company’s products are responsibly made from start to finish, due to Bader’s fair trade practices and eco-friendly and organic fabrics. “I found a source for organic double-gauze fabric (also known as muslin) from a company that takes great pride in paying their overseas employees living wages and investing in the women of their community. I tried a low-water dyeing technique, crucial for our water-depleted area and I discovered that instead of struggling with color, the science of dye came to me almost naturally,” she recalled.
The Swaddle Company has become known for its exclusive color offerings, like “Dusty Sage” and “Fox Tale,” launching in the shop soon. “We offer complex colors you won’t see on most retail shelves and take great pride in our small-batch, water-conserving approach,” said Bader. “We want to offer those colors that appeal to the moms who don’t fit the mold and their precious little ones who are equally adventurous.” One of Bader’s current favorite designs is “Foxen,” created by Australian artist Esther Fallon-Lau. “Her art speaks to my soul and her foxes especially so. The first piece I ever released was designed by her and she continues to amaze me with her ever-growing popularity and talent.”
Using organic materials for littles is also crucial for Bader. “Babies are growing and developing and whether it be our organic clothing or our organic bedding, that’s a lot of skin-to-skin contact. We believe it is really important to avoid toxic chemicals that may harm their development,” she explained. In addition, “cotton, as a crop, is one of the worst offenders of chemical overuse. In a recent study I read, the amount of pesticides used on cotton far outweighed any other crop. It leaches right from the plants into our water systems and impacts everyone! We believe we are doing our best to support a healthier environment, one that we can be proud to hand down to future generations.”
Where does Bader find her love of color? “I’m an avid quilter and love batiks, so my color palette is nearly infinite. In the background, I am constantly experimenting with new colors, new techniques, working on designs we print in our own shop with water-based ink, connecting with incredible artists from around the world.”
Find a new favorite color on The Swaddle Company’s Facebook page and Etsy shop and don’t miss the shop’s spring releases. “We’re looking to the skies this year for cosmic inspiration as we plan our spring launch, coming this month. Recently, we teamed up with a darling lady from the UK whose collection we’ll be releasing in May, so stay tuned for more exciting prints!” Use the code “SMALLSHOPDROP” to save 15% theswaddlecompany.com and alberroad.com. Thanks Sarah!