Plain Tiger Spotlight: The Simple Folk

For the language of play

By Renee Fortune

‘Those were simpler times,’ is what so many of us might think or say in a moment of reflection about childhood. And indeed they were. 

In many ways, children are the purest form of human existence. And as many parents will attest, some of the greatest lessons adults can learn on aspects like humility, forgiveness and open-mindedness can be learnt from children. These principles; which we grow up to believe are complex and difficult to attain, seem to come so naturally to young minds who have the unique ability to help us appreciate the value of the simple things. 

Nurture and nature

For mothers and best friends, Jamie Morea and Abigail Brown, the experience of motherhood was inspiration enough to start a brand that represented their mutual “awakening to the beauty of gentle parenting, free play and conscious living.” And, if you browse The Simple Folk collection, you’ll notice that this is the philosophy that encompasses how each garment is designed and produced. 

For Abigail, The Simple Folk is “a minimalist line of nature-inspired, ethical, organic and high-comfort play clothes that are easy to wear, easy to wash, and easy on the senses so they can support you and your children for years to come.” 

Like many of today’s most ubiquitous brands, The Simple Folk began as a need. Both Jamie and Abigail went in search of versatile, timeless children’s clothing that was luxurious, practical, pattern-free and manufactured with non-toxic fabrics and dyes in an environmentally and socially conscious way. When their search turned up fruitless, they decided to supplement their already manic lives as entrepreneurs and mothers, with yet another endeavour that they believed would cater to a growing, global community of conscious parents.

Many late-night texts and a Pinterest vision board later, the clothing line they had been looking for, began to come to life. Today, The Simple Folk is “the culmination of years of friendship and our shared devotion to raising our families in environments that are good for their spirits, good for their health, and good for the Earth.” 

In every way possible, their collection of children’s essentials keeps it simple and – quite literally, down to earth. Colours are muted and earthy, contours are free-flowing and optimised for freedom of movement, and textures are soft and plush. When you buy a piece by The Simple Folk, you can also be assured that it’s a garment that can be worn and reworn, mixed and matched and that quality is a non-negotiable. 

Eco-friendly and ethical

To create these garments, Abigail and Jaime collaborate with the most ethical factories around the world. Their woven factory, based in Portugal runs on green energy, uses well water that is recycled, and power that is generated by solar panels. The artisans in these factories enjoy comfortable, safe working conditions and are well compensated for their experience and craftsmanship. Their joy, energy and love is what makes each piece a true gift of time-honoured workmanship, and Abigail and Jamie wouldn’t have it any other way. 

As Abigail explains: “Small batch, artisan items made in an ethical and sustainable way come at a higher cost than traditional fast fashion, and it’s not just because you are investing in quality clothes that will last longer, but because your money is going toward paying a living wage and elevating ethical suppliers so they can thrive and grow. It’s important to us that you know what you are paying for, and why, so transparency in all that we do is vital.”

The textiles used are GOTS certified and therefore from harmful chemicals. There are pieces made from rare, organic linen grown in the mountains of France to pieces made from Econyl® Regenerated Nylon, crafted from recycled fishing nets extracted from our ocean’s waters. This manufacturing process greatly reduces the brand’s carbon footprint, and also ensures that the garments are friendly and safe for children’s delicate skin. 

Your garments by The Simple Folk get softer with every wash and are designed to last for the long haul. Not only does that make for a more economical alternative to fast fashion, but it supports movement, adventure and comfortable play; which is what Abigail believes to be the language of childhood. 

“We are fierce protectors of our childrens' personal environment and the planet’s environment as a whole. That’s why we create timeless heirloom pieces that can be worn for years, minimizing waste and prioritizing health,” she adds. 

As members of the Change for Women Collective, Abigail and Jaime are not only able to cater to the needs of the expanding community of conscious parents, they are also able to give back by supporting several important initiatives. These include Pencils of Promise, a movement that has helped over one hundred thousands students in Ghana, Guatemala, Lagos and Nicaragua to gain access to good quality education and support. The brand also supports the Malala Fund, an initiative that is actively working towards and advocating for the right of every girl to have access to safe, quality education. By contributing to charitable work in these areas, The Simple Folk enables grassroots transformation, achieving both the founders’ own goals as agents of change as well as the aims of the conscious consumers who support them. 

From mothers with love

Abigail and Jaime are businesswomen, activists, leaders, pioneers and so much more. But above all, they are mothers united by their common belief in a better world. 

“We believe that when it comes to childhood (and really most things in life), less truly is more. This is the main inspiration for many of our designs, as well as drawing on the colours and patterns found in nature itself. 

Furthermore, we believe that each child has innate wisdom and magic within them, and that imagination soars on a blank canvas. Our lightweight and versatile clothing reflects this and allows our children the freedom to explore and pursue the things that light them up, as it is our greatest power as parents to create and foster an environment that allows a child to become his or her truest self.”