Partner Profile: Shannon Dixon, Simply Merino

Posted by Blyth Gill on

At Tradle we partner with local baby clothing brands that share our commitment to sustainability, zero-waste and vibrant local economies. Simply Merino meets all of these criteria (and so many more) and we’re super proud to partner with them.

Simply Merino is a family-run company, led by Shannon Dixon, whose mission is to produce well made, beautiful, and functional garments made from 100% pure Merino wool. Shannon bought the company from a friend five years ago because she was in love with the products and wanted a business she could operate from home. Shannon says, “I love the simplicity of it, highlighting the wool, making simple designs and making them well.”

Seems like Shannon is on to something because the company has doubled its sales every year since Shannon took over. If you’ve ever bought their clothes you won’t be surprised. Everything she produces is very well made and will last for a long time (probably through multi-generations of kids).

As the name implies everything Simply Merino manufactures is cut from the same cloth - Merino Wool which is the wonder child of textiles.

First off it’s renewable and sustainable. The wool Simply Merino sources for their clothing is certified by the Responsible Wool Standard (RWS) - a voluntary global standard-setting institution that addresses the welfare of sheep and of the land they graze on. As Shannon says, “as long as the sheep have water and grass they’ll produce wool.” 

Being good for the planet is just one of many reasons Merino Wool is da bomb. It also naturally wicks away moisture (perfect here on the wet west coast) and regulates body temperature. This is especially good for babies as they cannot regulate their own body temperature until they are a year old. 

Merino Wool is also a natural fire retardant. Did you know that most children’s pyjamas are treated with unregulated chemical fire retardants? Yikes!  That can’t be good for sensitive baby skin. Merino wool is also is breathable, hypoallergenic and really soft. In short, it’s a miracle fibre for babies and kids (and grown-ups)  and a big win for Mother Earth. 

However, when it comes to the health of our planet, Shannon digs much deeper than just sourcing natural fabric. She designs her clothing in her garage and manufactures in Vancouver, so her business is as local as it gets. She also does everything she can think of to reduce waste including keeping the scraps and offcuts produced in the manufacturing of her clothes. She’s always brainstorming designs to use the small pieces (check out her nursing pads for breastfeeding mamas). The wool comes from Australia (no Merino sheep here in Canada) but Shannon intentionally orders only once a year to mitigate her carbon footprint.

Shannon is proud to be part of an ever-growing community of local businesses committed to being more transparent and sustainable. She says, “The fashion industry is incredibly wasteful. If we did not pick up our scraps, we would have contributed at least sixty garbage bags of textiles to local landfills since we started, and we are a small company. That’s crazy and it makes me sad.” 

Her mission is to encourage families to buy less which might feel counterintuitive to many business owners. However, she and many others (like Tradle) are innovating new more sustainable business models that promote consuming less. Shannon advocates having small capsule wardrobes for kids, buying a few items of good quality long-lasting clothing and passing them along.

Her best-sellers are PJs and thermal sets tops and bottoms which are designed to go under clothes but Shannon’s kids wear them out and about. Even her PJ tops are so cute they are street worthy. 

At Tradle it is important to us that every item we distribute is high quality, durable, and stylish and made with natural and organic fibers. We love to support local businesses, like Simply Merino, who like us are innovating business models that are good for the planet. Big kudos to Shannon and her team at Simply Merino.

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