Lockdown or no lockdown, 2020 changed the way we dress and shop forever. Now lounge-wear is considered a staple, whether you’re on a Zoom-call, lounging on the sofa watching Netflix or running errands.
Just as quickly as staying in became the new going out, dressing down became the new dressing up, and so, our obsession with lounge-wear began. And with a spike in COVID-19 cases, a second lockdown and the onset of winter, the mood lifting qualities of a perfect pair of pyjamas are undeniable. While it has always been a popular choice among homebodies, lounge-wear saw a widespread resurgence in 2020 with many retailers reporting an increase in sales. And for Alice Meynell, this resurgence turned a project to make stylish Zoom-wear for her children, family and friends during lockdown into a successful business.
With her four children, all at home, lounging around in their holey PJs or worse, their awful trackie bottoms, Alice was inspired to create comfortable, roomy, yet incredibly stylish pyjamas. Alice explained; “I made a few pairs of pyjama pants which were snapped up by family and in turn by their friends when they saw pictures on Instagram. The overwhelming response confirmed to me that it was a business worth setting up.”
Alice and her team – many of whom are hobby sewers who had to look for alternative sources of income after being hit hard financially by the pandemic – cut, make and sew each item for her East Lothian-based business Pajama Pantry. Made from natural cotton, which is hand block-printed by artisans in India using vegetable dyes, the pyjama bottoms come as shorts or full length trousers, with full sets due to launch soon. Change arrives in the prints. Many of us will wear a whimsical, extravagant print at home that we never would outside, and with new fabrics arriving each week and only small runs made of each design, you can be assured of pyjamas which are not only gorgeous but also unique.
Every pair of pyjamas comes with a free lavender bag to tuck into your pillowcase. And the packaging is fully recyclable, with the only plastic being the waistband elastic. Alice adds; “I mind very much that we keep the carbon footprint as light as possible. All the packaging is both recycled, and recyclable. No plastic sticky tape!” Nothing goes to waste – offcuts are used to make hot water bottle covers, brush rolls, artist rolls, hair bands, jewellery rolls and even dog collars. What’s more, all material scraps go to local charities who get paid by weight for them to be recycled.
Pyjamas may be trending but they are rarely trendy, which is part of their allure. At a time when our desire for cosy, comfy clothing continues, pyjamas will continue to be part of our lockdown, lounge-wear and Zoom-friendly ensembles.
pyjama shorts £30 | pyjama pants £35