It is widely known that Peru is one -
of the countries with the longest tradition of textile production, as seen in the fabulous handmade crafts produced by Peruvian people throughout pre-Columbian history. Sewing and knitting, as well as pattern making and fabric printing, are one of the culture’s main skills in terms of craftsmanship. Contemporary Peruvian people (especially Andean women) have inherited and adjusted these abilities to the needs of clients in today’s globalized world. Not to mention, Peru’s amazingly soft pima cotton has become one of the leading industries across the country, thanks to demand from up and coming—as well as established—labels worldwide. Committed to high standards of quality, The Sleepy Collection prefers to use this incredibly soft material from Peru to fabricate their ethically made and classic sleepwear.
Lorena is a 30-year-old Peruvian entrepreneur. Her firm whose aim is to receive foreign clothing companies’ orders and have them produced with the best quality and services available in Lima, Peru. This is the case for The Sleepy Collection, with whom she has worked since 2012. Lorena chooses a suitable knitting factory for each brand she manages, depending on their specific needs. For The Sleepy Collection she chose a medium sized workshop with about 30 operators. Inside this organized space one finds focused seamstresses and other men and women in charge of folding, ironing or cutting patterns for the clothing garments.
Lorena mentions that most of her foreign clients ask for organic pima cotton, Peru’s flagship organic fabric. “Their main concern is softness, something I need to provide even when the garment has been printed or dyed,” she points out. This is why Lorena carefully selects a team based on talent as well as professionalism and experience. Sánchez visits the workshop often to make sure the brand’s designs will be correctly reproduced under her supervision, and the garments handled with care.
One can certainly observe a respectful working environment when visiting the workshop. Employees have very decent conditions of employment. They work on a daily 8am-6pm schedule (five days a week) and are all on payroll; quite uncommon in Peru, considering informal jobs reign in these types of businesses. “This is one of the main reasons I chose this workshop for The Sleepy Collection,” comments Lorena, as we tour the well-lit and spacious factory. “I would never choose to work with workshops in Gamarra [Lima’s empire of informal clothing businesses] for example. In those places you never know what the conditions are and the results can vary too much.”
Luz is the charismatic owner of the workshop and by speaking to her, one can tell she has a lifetime experience with cotton knits. This self-made woman receives orders from all around the world but still appreciates the handmade quality and adequate amount of time invested on every garment. “I always ask my employees for quality and not for speed,” she proudly says. “We even take care of small details like preshrinking the elastic (if used) so the consumer won’t have a negative experience when washing that piece of clothing.”
The Sleepy Collection’s sleepwear pieces found at the workshop are truly taken care of by the seamstresses who work there, and their quality, contemporary design and softness really stand out among other garments.