Farm to Fashion

Responsibly crafted in Portugal, The Sunday Collective aims to leave behind—the smallest possible carbon footprint.

The eco-conscious duo: Chloe and Jae Kim

The eco-conscious duo: Chloe and Jae Kim

The husband-and-wife team of Jae and Chloe Kim believe in slow fashion, gender-neutral looks, high-quality materials that can be handed down, and overall, serving as their own microcosm of a recycling eco-system. It’s not unusual for parents to want to make the world a better place for their children and the next generation, but Jae and Chloe Kim are truly doing it with their completely sustainable manufacturing processes.

The Sunday Collective (TSC) Naturals collection uses an organic dying process to create soft, muted, and environmentally friendly essentials with 100% natural resources that can safely be returned to the earth. Raw materials are collected from local businesses and farmers in Portugal, and the natural materials are transformed into stable dye elements—until they find their way to their small customers who might just want to wear them from Sunday to Sunday.

Earnshaw’s spoke to the owners about the progression of their relatively new business over the last two years, their passion for quality control and how they walk the walk of sustainable fashion.

Earnshaw’s: What’s the history of your company?

Jae and Chloe Kim (The Kims): We wanted to carry on our family business of manufacturing in a new way. With all of the knowledge and perspective of how the clothes are made, we fell in love with the idea of making children’s clothing that we were proud to put our own kids in, clothes that were high quality and sustainably minded.

We have an in-house market research team to search for newly sustainable materials and fabrics and seasonal trends. We try to be creative and curious about new processes and ways of doing things. For example, our TSC Naturals Collection, which launched this spring, uses locally sourced scraps, like onions, indigo and beechwood to make 100% natural dyed garments for everyday wear. Since we did not see other children’s brands doing programs like this, we wanted to pave the way and tell the story along the way.

In Spring of 2021 we launched The Sunday Collective’s first season with a small team of five people. Leading up to that launch, our son and daughter were fit models and sometimes we would meet with our team at our home to work on designs. Now as of Spring 2023, our team grown, and we have 20 wholesale accounts in USA, Canada, Taiwan, Barbados, and Kuwait.

Earnshaw’s: What was process for finding the right team of people for your company?

The Kims: Our small, but mighty team of 12 consists of design, production, marketing, and wholesale positions. Our marketing team works closely with our wholesale director to successfully present the brand identity to clients who appreciate The Sunday Collective’s unique aesthetics and sustainable vision.

When we recruit our team, we take time to talk with each candidate about the philosophy of working in children’s fashion to ensure they share our same vision and values. We respect children and think that they are better versions of ourselves.

Earnshaw’s: Where are your factories and how do you ensure quality control?

The Kims: So, 90% of our product is made in Portugal, 5-10% in Peru and Spain. We have a strict process before approving to work with any new supplier to make sure they can deliver our high standards. Once we begin working with a factory, our production team regularly visits to check the facility and the production process along with the work environment for the employees. To bring the best quality to our customers, we partner with a globally renowned testing lab to run full garment tests, including shrinkage, no harmful chemicals, and button and seam strength.

The Sunday Collective Naturals Collection

The Sunday Collective Naturals Collection

Earnshaw’s: Explain your quest for producing sustainable clothing and what types of challenges or successes have you encountered along the way.

The Kims: We believe that high-quality products are a big part of sustainability in the fashion industry. As a slow fashion brand, The Sunday Collective’s mission is to produce garments that can be passed down from one child to the next.

Finding the right suppliers who aligned with this mission was one of the biggest challenges for us so far. We have a very strict quality control process and require all of our suppliers to meet our high standards. By testing all samples at one of the globally leading testing centers, we are able to confirm the quality of the goods and find factories who we can trust to proudly partner with.

Earnshaw’s: How do you execute your sustainable process from start to the finished garment?

The Kims: Sustainability to us is promoting the natural beauty of earth without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. With our thoughtful design, careful eco- friendly material selection, working with local suppliers to minimize carbon footprint, and using less packaging materials, we hope we are doing our part to save the earth. We strive to make timeless design using the best materials so that our products are not only practical but also bring joy in owning TSC products.

Earnshaw’s: How have you been problem-solving supply chain disruptions?

The Kims: We closely watch the raw material market from market reports updated by our team on a regular basis. To avoid impact from the raw material price instability, we try to reserve materials in advance. By doing so, the product price does not have to be changed so drastically during times of uncertainty.  

Earnshaw’s: Why do you think retailers should consider carrying sustainable clothing?

The Kims: We realized the importance of creating products that can offer emotional value and attachment through timeless design that people want to keep and pass down. This timeless design along with the selection of higher quality materials that can withstand wash after wash is an important part of practicing sustainability within our community.

Colored by nature: onion scraps get turned into the dye for this darling dress.

Colored by nature: onion scraps get turned into the dye for this darling dress.

Earnshaw’s: What’s selling well for the current season and what’s coming for FW’23?

The Kims: We have quite a few pieces that have been exceeding our expectations this season, especially the Organic Cotton pieces that are easy for children to play and explore in going into the summer. Our Natural Dye Graphic Tee, All Over Print Sweatshirt, and Summer Dresses are some of our best sellers.

Our FW23 Collection, Build Your World, is inspired by the endless imagination of children and the art of play. As we did with all our previous collections, we created this collection from our own childhood nostalgia. From rock towers to pillow fortresses, we all once built our own world as children. Now as adults, we desire to create for our children with nature in mind. This season’s fabrics and colors reflect the smooth surface and lines of man-made structures harmonized with the rough, organic textures of the nature.

Earnshaw’s: What’s the best piece of professional or personal advice you’ve received?

The Kims: “To cultivate kindness is a valuable part of the business of life.”—Samuel Johnson

Earnshaw’s: What do you love about the childrenswear industry? What’s the most challenging?

The Kims: We love this industry because there is a tremendous amount of freedom in creating clothes for children. Being able to design clothes that we would want to wear but adding a child’s eye for imagination makes the entire process fun. The most challenging part is fighting against cost effectiveness while being sustainability minded. Environmentally friendly practices do not tend to be the most affordable way to do things.

Earnshaw’s:  What defines professional success for you?

The Kims: It’s simply, when you find joy in what you love to do with whom you love to work.


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