We chat to MORI founder, Cam Miller to find out the inspiration behind the innovative baby brand and what’s to come for the luxury essentials brand.
You founded MORI last year, what was the inspiration behind launching the brand?
Akin and I first started MORI when searching for gifts for our nieces and nephews. We were really surprised to discover that baby clothing essentials such as onesies, which babies spend 80% of their time in, lacked innovation and were made in poor quality despite being the first layer against a baby’s sensitive skin (and therefore dictating their comfort). Imagine that you are sunburnt (that’s how delicate a new-born’s skin is) and your mother is trying to dress you in sandpaper – ouch!
We also discovered that although three quarters of baby wear spend is on gifting, the needed essentials are rarely gifted, creating a mismatch between what parents need the most and what they receive.
What is the ethos behind MORI?
We are creating the best quality products that parents and babies love, that simplify parenting along the way. They are made from the softest and safest fabric which is kind to baby and the environment. If we did adult sizes, even you wouldn’t want to sleep in anything else!
Combining this with beautiful and sustainable packaging – we also create the perfect and the most practical gifts for baby, mother and the home.
How do you go about sourcing the materials and fabrics for your clothing?
Our CEO, Akin, comes from a region of Turkey that is well known for its high quality textiles. His close family and friends are among our trusted manufacturers. Our product team has combined experience of over 30 years in developing baby and kids wear. We are makers at heart and have the passion to bring the best quality products to our customers.
However, nothing came easy. The materials and fabrics we use is the result of months and months of extensive research. We travelled far and wide to sample the very best baby clothing and learn from parents and maternity experts about what they really needed. It quickly became clear that most baby clothing is typically made from low quality, synthetic fabrics, without keeping baby’s comfort and sensitive skin in mind.
We expertly crafted our signature fabric from bamboo and organic cotton knowing this is truly the best layer next to baby’s skin – it is ultra soft, naturally breathable and thermoregulating, and extremely durable.
You offer a subscription service; can you tell our readers a little bit about this process?
Our ethos is to simplify parenting, so convenience is always a key aspect to our shopping experience. This is why we launched our subscription service. Once registered, all we need to know is little one’s age for sizing, preferences for quantity, styles & colours, and then we’ll personally curate your parcel filled with key essential items which are adjusted by size and season. The first parcel is delivered straight away, and then every month afterwards to make sure baby never goes without an outfit. It’s completely flexible and adaptable, and can easily be paused or cancelled at anytime.
You are the co-founder of MORI, can you tell our readers a little bit about your background?
People always say that you should start the business that you wish existed, and that’s exactly why Akin and I left our safe city jobs to go on this adventure. We’ve both always been entrepreneurially driven from a young age; Akin always wanted to start a clothing brand built on his family’s history within the textile industry and I always knew that running my own business would be where I would eventually end up. Previously I started an events business while at University, and after an early career in Engineering and Finance, I knew I was ready to pursue that entrepreneurial path with a bold and innovative idea.
What inspired you to call the brand MORI?
MORI stands for forest in Japanese and is a subtle nod to the purity of nature, something we reflect in our sustainable clothing and packaging. Protecting little ones has always been our priority, but we believe this goes hand-in-hand with caring for nature, something that is also at the heart of MORI.
How important is it to use natural fibres in baby clothing?
We believe it’s the most important element. We use ultra-soft bamboo fibre and organic cotton in our collection as it is not only super soft and kind to baby’s sensitive skin, but also kind to the environment. Bamboo trees require no pesticides to grow, or much water and sunlight to stand tall. Organic cotton seeds are non-genetically engineered and are grown with natural fertilisers. We use these fabrics as we believe that anything that comes close to baby’s sensitive skin should undergo the absolute minimum treatment during processing to ensure they remain natural from beginning all the way to baby’s skin.
Can you tell our readers a little bit about the design process behind designing a collection?
All of our designs start with our customers. We constantly run focus groups and surveys to find out what our customers really need. It is the result of this research which inspires our collection, combined with Scandinavian and Japanese style. Our in-house product team have over thirty years of experience designing and sourcing high quality textile products from around the world. However, before we go into production, our concepts or product samples are sent out to our customers for further feedback, then we run it by several manufacturers on how we can innovate further on the fabric and design. It is important to us that each product you buy from MORI is designed to ease parents’ lives.
Does working with a baby brand make you broody?
Yes, it certainly does, but I think for the time being I’m content with treating MORI like the newest addition to the family.
What exciting projects are MORI working on at the moment?
From October onwards we will be launching a wide range of new products and collections, which will double our current product portfolio and provide our customers with more everyday products. We want to solve problems for parents and that’s why we’ve crafted products such as an innovative swaddle bag and Peruvian Pima cotton bedding. Besides new category additions, we are also giving parents more choice with new colours and really bringing our MORI mascot to life across our brand to ignite little one’s imagination.
When you’re not busy working, what do you like to do to unwind?
Living a healthy lifestyle is part of the brand ethos at MORI, and one we all like to abide by, including myself. We’ve provided the team with a membership to the local yoga studio, but that’s also where you’ll find me relaxing after a long day in the office.
What are some of your other favourite baby brands on the market at the moment?
We love looking around to see what other baby brands are out there, and currently have a soft spot for natural wooden baby toys such as those by Sarah & Bendrix (which we sell online at babymori.com). We are in the process of producing our own natural wooden toys due to the success of this collaboration.
We did a lot of research on our competitors, as well. Unfortunately, most of the apparel brands in the market is subpar, however, we have to admit that Petit Bateau is one of the few that is closer to our quality. Luckily, we are 30-40% cheaper than most of their products; and often better quality.