Meet Ali, our founder
Ali started Babu in 2002 after not being able to find the right type of baby bedding fabric she wanted for her baby Jack - nicknamed 'Babu'. Thousands of sheet sets, hooded baby towels, newborn blankets and mini merino wool hoodies later, Ali is still travelling the world, designing, sourcing, manufacturing and selling her coveted Babu products.
She is one busy lady, that Ali. In fact, we call her the tornado! You will see her face, her home and her family all through our emails, social media and communications. And you’ll feel her signature for simple design and superb quality organic cotton and merino wool baby clothing in every Babu product.
With a background in wound-care nursing, Ali is a stickler for what can and can’t touch a baby’s skin. If we’ve heard "your skin is your largest organ" in our office once, we’ve heard it 1,000 times. That’s why natural fibres like organic cotton and merino wool are so important to her for comfort and functionality.
Ali pays attention to the small stuff. She’s active in every part of our design and production process, making sure Babu’s organic cotton baby clothes stand the test of time. Longstanding quality is very important to her, so you can feel confident storing your Babu goodies away for your second, third or fourth baby. We also support a community of giving at Babu, and have seen hundreds of our products handed down from one mum to the next - that is, if they haven't been dragged around as cuddly favourites.
On any given day, Ali can be found whirling around the office collaborating or instructing (or as she calls it, mind dumping) in every department. She spends hours quietly working on production for Babu and still finds time to manage her kids’ sports teams, go on school camps and do her own house cleaning. Ali is a real family woman. And all this while acting the fool, dancing like a nutter and making sure her pantry is in order and her tupperware correctly labelled. She’s an inspiration for every mum!
Above all else, family comes first here at Babu. We’re a team of Mum's who have used and loved Babu’s baby clothing, organic cotton bedding, muslin wraps, baby sweaters, sleeping bags and newborn blankets for years. Having a community that understands and supports the trials and tribulations of starting a family means so much. We believe that Babu implements products to make our lives easier. Ali practices what she preaches, and she’s truly amazing. When Ali says family comes first, she means it - we are a family here at Babu!
Hers, ours and yours. That’s why you’ll love Babu for your baby.
- Why choose Babu™? (A message from Ali)
A World of Care
When your little ones wear Babu, they become a part of something so much bigger.
When our first son was born we had trouble finding thick, soft cotton sheets, so we knew others must be looking too. In 2002 we opened the doors at Babu to share the best quality baby basics for a fair price. We chose to use the natural fibres of merino and organic cotton, and to partner with environmentally and socially conscious suppliers.
Sharing quality experiences remains at the core of who we are.
More than 17 years later, we’re committed to sourcing the best raw materials, accredited farmers and partners to craft Babu’s signature garments with integrity.
Organic isn’t just a word or a label – to us it’s a whole way of doing things.
Ethical production, safe practices and using renewable resources are non-negotiable for us. We’re deeply involved in the communities of our behind-the-scenes workers. A percentage of our profits go to developing sustainable practices in the local region.
We make a little more effort to do things properly.
To us, connection is everything. We care about staff welfare. We care about the families and communities who make it possible for Babu to share such beautiful quality clothing and bedding.
We don’t keep any secrets.
You can find out more about the people who make our garments, along with who we partner with, by following the stories we share on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Share in the stories of the lives your money touches.
You’re part of the family now.
Babu brings years of softness, from the moment you swaddle your newborn baby, to passing on your favourite items to welcome the grandchildren. You’re as much a part of our family as your Babu garments are in yours. Share your moment with us- we would love to meet you.
We’re here for you.
We’re with you for the long haul. Our returns and repairs program was created to take the utmost care of you and your family. No matter how many homes our garments have passed through, we’ll make any repairs where possible.
Any returned or damaged items that don’t end up back in your home, we send out to less fortunate families who register with us, or who have been registered by others. We always make the effort to find samples and seconds a good home amongst the communities we care for.
Babu… made nicely.
Your Babu purchases are designed to go on the long journey with you, to share in all the special memories and moments, inside the homes of the families that are closest to you.
Thank you for being part of our Babu family,
- How we make Babu™ products.
We source all our material from the best quality suppliers, whether it be merino wool for our 100% merino wool baby blankets and clothing from New Zealand and Australia, or our 100% organic cotton from India. Every product is designed in New Zealand and made in Vietnam, India, China and here at home under very exact specifications. (Ali, the designer and founder of Babu, likes things to be perfect!).
All of our organic cotton baby clothes, organic cotton bedding and other products go through a water-based bleaching process, which helps to give them their incredible softness. You’ll find our cotton is thicker and more luxurious than you’re used to, like our baby bed sheets, which are suitable for baby cots, cribs and bassinets. Once you’ve put your child to bed on Babu’s™ natural cotton bedding it’s hard to ever go back to anything else. Watch a video of our 'Yarn Strings'.
You’ll find a great range of choice in our baby bed linen collection, including sheets and blankets made of different weights and levels of warmth, from moses basket to cots and toddler beds. We custom make our organic cotton bedding too – so you can pick and choose what you need to suit the winter or summer months. Our selection of hooded baby towels, bathrobes, wash cloths, bodywash and shampoo will ensure bath time is easy, fuss-free and smelling divine. And did we mention that our organic baby clothes are simple, soft and snuggly? That’s the way we like it for our babies. We think you will too.
Our merino wool baby clothing ranges in size and suitability from premature babies to toddlers up to 5 years old. Anything from base layers to outerwear, we have you covered.
In business-talk, the Babu™ range focuses on absolute quality, safety and attention to detail. We have a healthy commitment to environmental sustainability through our skincare line, too. We like natural products for our families!
In plain-talk, what we really mean is that we want to play our part in ensuring our children will grow up in a safer, cleaner and happier world. Watch a video here about our suppliers utalising 'Solar Power'. Wherever possible, Babu™’s packaging and advertising utilises recycled materials and our PVA packaging is water soluble and totally biodegradable.
Babu™ is proudly New Zealand owned and run, and we like to think we’re playing our part in contributing to the local economy (plus we love it here so much we could never imagine leaving!)
We guarantee full replacement of faulty or damaged goods. You can get in touch with us by clicking the Contact Us button at the bottom of the page.
- Why Organic Cotton
We use organic cotton because it’s better for all of us and for our planet. Watch a video on our 'Organic Cotton Farming'. We love that our organic cotton baby clothes are softer and smoother than most regular baby clothes, but that’s not the only reasons we choose organic fabrics from the GOTS standard. being a natural fibre, it is biodegradable and does not send microfibres out in to the ocean that can't be broken down.
Unlike conventional cotton, organic cotton is grown without the use of chemical insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, synthetic fertilizers or defoliates. Healthy soil is maintained through crop rotation which retains moisture and nutrients in the soil. Weeds are controlled by hand hoeing and pests are controlled by the use of natural predators, beneficial insects and trap crops. Seeds are natural, untreated and GMO free. All of this means that the soil and practices use to make Babu’s products are sustainable, so our kids can enjoy the planet when they grow up.
Our interlock cotton is certified to GOTS standards. This is the most comprehensive organic standard that not only covers the cotton, but the whole process from ginning, spinning and any colour treatments in the form of prints or dyes. Many other standards aren’t this extensive. We choose this standard because it also has employment, fair treatment and workplace standards, which we want for every family around the world. Watch a video on Ali speaking about 'Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS)'
We are very happy to work with a farmer’s cooperative in India to make all of Babu’s organic cotton baby products. Supporting a village and their families means a lot to us, as does the support we give to the local school. It’s an incredible privilege to be at the source of the cotton because it means we can reduce on transportation and lower our carbon footprint on a local and a global scale. Watch a video on 'The Little Things'.
All of this to say that the quality of our organic just plain feels good! Once you’ve used the thick interlock cotton of our organic cotton bedding and baby clothing, it’ll be hard to go back to anything less sustainable, ecological and oh, so comfortable!
Our organic cotton baby clothing staples and washcloths are fantastic for eczema and allergy-prone skin. They’re ideal for newborn babies and adults, and are so soft, thick and stretchy they won’t ever irritate skin.
At Babu, we keep your pocketbook and our mission in mind. We use organic cotton wherever we can, and are moving all our cottons to organic at affordable prices for your family.
- Why Merino?
Why do we choose merino wool? It’s simple really. Our merino wool comes not only from the sheep themselves, but from the clean air, fresh grass, water and sunshine that helps them make this high-quality wool. Merino wool is well known as one of the best quality natural fibres in the world, it is renewable, biodegradable with unique moisture wicking and temperature regulating properties. It has been clothing humanity for more than 10,000 years and is now more in demand in our modern society than ever before. Merino wool ticks all the boxes, making it the perfect choice for those seeking environmentally friendly clothing as well as those wanting soft, warm and luxurious garments.
Merino has properties that sports companies worldwide are trying to emulate with synthetic fabrics: temperature regulation, breathability, and easy care. But why compromise on a synthetic fabric when you can have all-natural merino wool that looks and feels the best?
Latest Reseach shows that in fact super fine merino is good for eczema sufferers, soft, non irritating and moisture wicking. This challenges long held beliefs about wool as an irritant creating allergies and wool itch. Super fine merino is in fact so fine that you can't feel these fibres pricking in to you skin.
That is why it is highly recomended for babies clothing. Keeping them warm, helping them stay warm or cool and dry.
New studies show merino wool helps you get to sleep faster and stay asleep longer, every new parent needs this in their lives.
Temperature control is incredibly important for infants, since their little bodies are less able to regulate their own body temperature. Merino protects your baby from temperature extremes due to its superb ability to insulate and breathe at the same time. With merino you can stay warm or cool, no matter what season.
The insulation merino wool provides has made wool synonymous with warmth for hundreds of years. Having a natural crimp in the fibre gives merino its insulation and breathability super-powers. Stay warm in winter and cool in summer. Who could ask for more?
Synthetic fibres trap the moisture and humidity of sweat, first causing overheating, then causing a cool chill to come over your body. But thanks to merino wool’s crimped fibre, the moisture is wicked away and the heat trapped so you stay the right temperature all the time. It’s like magic!
Breathability means you stay comfortable in your clothes, whether you’re sweating, standing still or chilly. Scientists call breathability “moisture buffering” and this term refers to how well a fabric absorbs the moisture vapour from the micro environment above the skin. Fabrics with good breathability remove this sweat from direct contact with your skin so you don’t feel clammy or uncomfortable. Synthetic fibres aren’t as breathable as merino wool, so if your child is wearing a synthetic fibre, the moisture gets trapped and your wee one could overheat. Choose natural merino wool instead!
With the amount of washing a baby creates, along with our busy lifestyles as parents, we’re all interested in having garments that are easy to care for. Merino fibres have a natural protective layer that helps to repel stains and odors from being absorbed. It’s every parent’s dream fabric!
Merino wool is less prone to static, and it attracts fewer dust mites than synthetic fabrics, so it’s perfect for any family member suffering from allergies. Plus, the silky component of merino wool is ideal for those with skin irritations who’ve had to say no to wool in the past.
Machine washable, means you spend less time in the laundry and more with your family. However, soaking wool is not advised because it will deteriorate the fibre. Please don’t do it to your precious Babu merino baby clothes!
Merino is naturally elastic which lets it stretch with the wearer and return to its natural shape. This makes it perfect for growing babies, too!
So why wouldn’t you wear merino? It’s truly one of the world’s wonder fibres. At Babu™, we love merino, we swear by merino no matter what season, and we know you will love our merino baby clothes too!
- Merino Washing Tips.
Merino is a biodegradable fabric. The wonderful thing about this is that there are no nasty microfibres making their way in to the ocean. however, it does mean that care needs to be taken in the laundering of these items, it is not tricky, it just needs love.
Merino is odour resistant, stain resistant and springs back in to shape after washing. This means it can be washed less. however, we all are familiar with the nature of babies which can mean these rules just do not apply.
To wash Babu merino wool items, first turn it inside out and only use cool water. Any contact with hot water will cause your garment to shrink, so test the water first before dunking your item (some washing machines put the hot water in first in a lukewarm wash cycle).
We recommend not putting your merino wool item the tumble dryer. This can damage the fibres and cause your garment to shrink if the dryer is too hot. For best results, dry your merino on a rack away from the sun, as sunlight can discolour the wet merino too.
Only use approved wool wash. Do not soak or wash your merino item in non-chlorine or chlorine bleaches, and do not use normal laundry powders. These chemical solvents wreak havoc on your beautiful fabric and you can end up with holes, bleaching or worse - it could look like it’s been eaten by moths. Our merino is super fine, so that menas exactly what it says, the fibres are super fine. Washing powder can settle on your garment undissolved and cause literal shredding of your prized and expensive wool item.
Pilling is minimal, but it’s a normal process from regular wear. To maximize the longevity of your merino garment, carefully pick the pills off and be careful not to wash your delicates with heavy cottons or static-y items such as fleece or polyester.
Storing your merino well is an important part of keeping it in great condition. Wash and dry well before putting items away for the season. Use cedar balls or other natural moth remedies to keep pesky moths at bay. Al little extra care at this stage will keep your garments perfect for the next baby that will wear them.