Thursday, 7 October 2010

What's been happening at Eureco?

Lots has been happening at Eureco! We have been busy following up our awesome expo success, and then preparing for the next big event - Christmas!

If only Christmas was the sole big event on the calendar, but alas, we like doing 20 things at once at Eureco.

Welcome to our new stockist Think Naturally at Walcha (roughly halfway between Armidale and Tamworth). If you are in the vicinity the actual pinpointed address is 3W Fitzroy St, Walcha NSW. Go and check out our awesome towels in real life! Keep posted as we'll be revealing lots of other new stockists in our next blog.

A heads up that Australia Post have increased their shipping and postage charges. Okay, well they actually did this way back in June, but we are finally increasing our shipping and postage costs to reflect the Australia Post increase: This means Regular Post has increased from $11 to $12 and Express Post has increased from $15 to $18. These are the only changes but if you want to have sticky beak at our full shipping policy click here: Shipping Policy

We have been busy updating the website making it simpler and easier to use, so these changes should start to become live very soon.

We have an exciting photo shoot scheduled for next week to improve our representation of the Organic Cotton Collection and our Gift Bundles in time for Christmas! We will post more news about the shoot in the coming weeks, complete with the pics.

We have always had totally gorgeous gift wrapping, but this has taken a step to the next level with fancy Eureco ribbon and eco friendly gift boxes! Then when you thought it couldn't get any better, we have extra special Eureco Christmas ribbon for your Christmas orders.

Sneak peek: Eureco Christmas gift wrapping!

Speaking of Christmas, we have more stock arriving to top up our supplies so we don't run out. If it was up to us, everyone would get towels and robes for Christmas. Ho ho ho!

A few weeks ago, Frances went back to her old school - Wenona - to talk about all things eco and textiles. She told the Eureco story to a bunch of senior Textiles and Design students who were studying sustainable textiles and business in relation to the textile industry. Frances promised a photo of her with the girls, but in the excitement of the day forgot all about it... Will just have to go back next year eh?!

Monday, 13 September 2010

Eureco kits out Richard Branson's award winning Superyacht

Did you see Richard Branson on the X Factor last night? The female under 25 contestants went to Richard's private Necker Island, and he helped Natalie Imbruglia narrow the playing field.

So why is Eureco talking about this? What's the link between Eureco and Richard Branson?

Sir Richard is just another happy Eureco customer...

When Branson is cruising around the Caribbean, he uses his $30 million superyacht the Necker Belle for transport.

The Necker Belle is kitted out with Eureco's plush bamboo towels. When the boat was undergoing a refit last year, Eureco was approached to supply the towels, because they fit the criteria for being both eco and luxurious.

“Sustainable materials where used everywhere possible during the refit of the Necker Belle. It was difficult to find an eco-friendly collection of towels that also met our requirements for 6 star total luxury. We were absolutely thrilled when we found Eureco’s collection of luxury bamboo bath towels. 6 months on, they get so much use, they are still lovely and soft and they still look absolutely beautiful.” ~Suzanne Tobin – Chief Stewardess – Necker Belle.

The Necker Belle is used by Branson all over the world, and is chartered by guests at Virgin Limited Edition, Sir Richard Branson’s collection of award-winning retreats in the Caribbean.

To top it all off, the Necker Belle won the Best Refitted Yacht at the World Superyacht Awards 2010

We've found this video of the yacht in action, as seen on Oprah.

Could that be a Eureco bamboo towel laid out in the cabin? Or maybe just a throw...

Thursday, 9 September 2010

It's our birthday and you get the presents!

Yes, that's right, Eureco's online store is turning one and we are slashing prices across the entire range as a birthday gift for all our customers!

We believe birthDAYS are too short so we are celebrating for the whole month of September. That means 20% off everything for the whole month. We reckon if the queen can pick and choose when her birthday is celebrated, so can we.

We have made it very easy for you, and already marked products down by 20% on the collections page. So you won't have any surprises at the check out and don't have to multiply the price by 0.2... Which is handy if maths isn't your thing. Here are some calculations I prepared earlier:

Bamboo bath towels
now only $55.20
Organic cotton bath towels now only $38.40 from
Bamboo bath robes now only $176 marked down from $220
Bamboo kids towels now only $27.20

That's not all, there are also savings on:
  • Bamboo facewashers, bamboo hand towels, bamboo bath sheets, bamboo bath mats
  • Organic cotton wash mitts, organic cotton hand towels, organic cotton bath sheets, organic cotton bath mats
  • Kids bamboo hooded towels, kids bamboo bath robes

What are you waiting for? Start celebrating!

Friday, 27 August 2010

Happy Father's Day!

Better than a bunnings voucher, buy dad a bamboo bath robe for Father's Day! Especially as Eureco is offering 25% off bamboo robes, just for your gift buying needs.

Are you sick of getting the same old thing for dad every year? Has he got an overflowing sock drawer, far too many ties and can't get him chocolate because his cardiologist has forbidden it?

You could always get him a bottle of red... but that will be gone before you can say ''happy father's day dad" and no lasting memories of a great gift. Quite the opposite actually.

Eureco has the solution. Bamboo bath robes are eco-friendly, and dad can use it EVERY DAY. He can be reminded of how good a son or daughter you are every time he puts it on. He could even drink the aforementioned bottle of red on the couch all snug in his... bamboo robe. (Don't even think about getting dad a snuggy, those things are NOT cool.)

So to save time this Father's Day go straight here and order dad a robe. Order one for yourself too if you like. 25% off means that robes are now $165 instead of $220. That's a bargain!

Don't forget to order before 3pm Wednesday the 1st of September to ensure on time delivery to you or dad by Father's Day. If you are running late with your Father's Day gift our offer ends on midnight on Sunday the 5th of September - so don't miss out.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Organic Expo Post Mortem

I was going to say Eureco merely survived the Organic Expo and Green show held last weekend at the Sydney Convention Centre. But the truth is that Eureco were an outstanding success!

Thursday saw us haul the stand mock up from the Bolton living room into the Convention Centre, only to discover upon arrival that they had not fully laid the floor in our stand. By the time we had picked up printing, afternoon tea and another van load the floor was done, thank goodness!

Fixing our floor!

Worth mentioning for Thursday was how great we all looked in our high visibility orange fluro vests! We also met neighbouring stand holders Will, with his business Every Man Jack as well as Erik and his deliciously masochistic Swedish Healing Mats.

The bump-in team

Friday was the first day of the show, and we arrived early to put the finishing touches on our stand. (The stand looked amazing, by the way). Being trade and media day, we were pleased to chat to lots of prospective Eureco stockists and other interested people.

Our fantastic stand set up

On Saturday the expo was open to the public... and the public came. I arrived 5 minutes before the doors opened and had to fight my way through to the entrance -the public were keen!

Megan and Hen

Saturday also saw the launch of "Robe Girl" or Hen, if we reveal her actual name. Swathed in a purple (nocturne) coloured bamboo robe, Hen wandered around the expo handing out Eureco leaflets and generally attracting all kinds of attention. She overheard this conversation between two expo visitors:

Girl 1: "Oh my god, have you touched her robe yet?"

Girl2: "No."

Girl 1: "I touched it earlier and it feels amazing."

It sounded funnier when Hen recounted the dialogue, maybe I'm missing something. Anyway, Hen did a fantastic job, as many people approached the stand after meeting Robe Girl and being informed about how great bamboo robes and towels were!

Frances and "The Girls"

Just as the expo was about to close on Saturday evening, the organisers told us that the Channel 7 program Weekend Sunrise would be broadcasting live from the expo the next morning. From 7am.

So at 8am on Sunday I, (that is, MEGAN) was at the expo, taking one for the Eureco team. I thought the Swedish Healing Mat people would attract attention of the TV crew, so I put on Hen's robe and took on the role of Robe Girl for the morning, waiting for the action to come to me. However, despite their charms the Swedes didn't get the crew over to their stand and we had to settle for 3 seconds of fame along with all the other stand holders. Yes, I was on Sunrise, telling the nation about Eureco. I thought I was safe, no one I knew would be up at that hour on a Sunday... I was wrong.

My personal camera shyness and early morning issues aside, having Sunrise at the Expo achieved an overwhelmingly popular response, as Sunday's crowds were a force to be reckoned with. We changed our promo and offered 20% off across the board for the last day of the expo, which proved very popular with the punters.

Frances with her pink towels

Hen aka Robe Girl had a run in with security, as a result of certain inter-stand rivalry fuelled by ugly jealousy (theirs, not ours). So she was relegated back to the ranch for the afternoon, which was great as she stepped up and processed sales along with the rest of us!

Every day of the Expo we ran a competition from our stand, where people signing up to our newsletter could go into the draw to win a bamboo towel bundle. Here are the three lucky winners:
Day 1 ~ M. Knowles, Russellvale NSW
Day 2 ~ N. Hargrave, Maroubra NSW
Day 3 ~ S. Rees, Point Piper, NSW
Look out for your prize in the mail!

And the winner is...?

So that was the end of a successful Organic Expo, and our hot trade show debut! On behalf of Frances, many, many thanks go out to the Eureco family, whose generous help and support made Eureco's expo debut the success that it was. Thanks not only for the help getting Eureco physically in and out of the expo, but for the 6 weeks of mania preceding it.
Thanks to Graham, Amy, Sophie, Mum Bolton, Kathy and Hen.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Organic Expo Madness!

We are crazily busy preparing for the Organic Expo where we will make our stunning expo debut this Friday 20th August at the Sydney Convention Centre. The expo is open to the public over the weekend (Sat 21-Sun 22) and we want to see you there!!!

Despite the stress and craziness, the Eureco stand is set to be a haven of peace, pampering and tranquility... (yep, I have seen the stand in dress rehearsal glory and it's awesome).

At the expo the Eureco team will be featuring a special guest robe rover ready to wow the expo by wearing a gorgeous bamboo robe. She's eco, she's sexy, and she is ready to meet YOU!

You wouldn't want to miss the Organic Expo because there you can sign up to our soon to be launched email newsletter, and AT THE SAME TIME you will automatically be entered into our Expo competition to win a fantastic Eureco gift bundle worth over $200! We have three gift bundles to give away, and the winner will be drawn each day of the expo at 5pm.

Plus, if you spend $150 at the Eureco stand at the Organic Expo you will receive a free land towel worth $34! What's even better, is that if you spend $300, you will receive a free bath towel worth $69!

See you there!

Monday, 9 August 2010

Last chance to win Organic Expo Tickets!


The Organic Expo is being held in Sydney at the Convention Centre from August 20-22 and Eureco will be there! To celebrate Eureco's expo debut, we are holding a competition where you can win one of 10 passes to the expo! All you have to do is email and tell us why you love Eureco. Be creative! Winning entries will be blogged for the world to see! See further details below...

Win Organic Expo Ticket Competition:
Email: your entry, please include EXPO in the subject line.
Entries close 5pm 11 August 2010. Winners will be announced 12 August 2010. Passes valid for 21-22 August only.

Thursday, 5 August 2010

The Organic Expo will be an eco extravaganza!

So we think you should all come to the Organic Expo to visit the Eureco stand, of course. However, to be fair, the Organic Expo is much more than just Eureco, in fact there will be over 180 other exciting exhibitors there!

(In case you have been hiding under a rock, the Organic Expo will be held at the Sydney Convention Centre from 20-22 August.)

The theme for this year's expo is 'Paddock to Plate' which means visitors can see the pros demonstrate their cooking skills, and learn how to cook a wholesome fresh meal at home for the family. Who are these pros? Kylie Kwong and Tobie Puttock, no less.

Other cool stuff includes the Organic Kids Fun Zone where kids can pat farm animals, plant veggies and learn about bugs in the garden. (I will be one of the big kids there, I'm sure).

Also looking forward to sampling the tasty offerings from the Organic Vineyard - yep, even wine is going organic these days...

There will also be gardening and beauty experts at the expo to give you the greenest advice, as well as lots of sustainable homewares and building exhibitors to provide ideas for your home makeover.

For green thumbs: Gardening gurus Jerry Coleby-Williams and Costa Georgiadis will be on hand to ensure your garden is greener and tastier than ever

For beauty buffs: Sample luxurious pampering treatments and shop up an organic storm while beauty expert Carla Oates reveals how to custom-blend your own skincare products from ingredients in your fridge

The most important stand to visit is number 161, because Eureco will be there! Check out our other blog post to see what cool stuff we will be doing at the expo and to WIN tickets!

Hope to see you there!

Save money and buy your expo tickets online.

Monday, 2 August 2010

Eureco at the Organic Expo

The Organic Expo is being held in Sydney at the Convention Centre from August 20-22 and Eureco will be there!

To celebrate Eureco's expo debut, we are holding a competition where you can win one of 10 passes to the expo! All you have to do is email and tell us why you love Eureco. Be creative! Winning entries will be blogged for the world to see! See further details below...

Not sure about bamboo? Don't know what the difference between cotton and organic cotton is? Come to the stand and feel the difference for yourself!

Our stand will be in the "green" section, near the back, number 161. We would love to meet you! Come to the expo and buy Eureco products at special discount expo prices. Yep, that's bamboo towels, bamboo bath mats, bamboo robes, kids mini bamboo and the new Bio Organic Cotton collection for discounted expo prices.

Engage with our activities at the expo and claim a discount voucher to use at the Eureco online store!
  • Sign up to our mailing list
  • Become our friend on Facebook
  • Follow us on Twitter
  • Enter our competition to win a special Eureco product pack.
Look out for our Robe Rovers wandering around the Expo - Eureco delegates wearing plush bamboo robes will be busy attracting people to our stand!

If you miss out on winning one of our passes to the expo make sure you buy your ticket online, as it's cheaper. The expo is a great opportunity to buy a present for dad, with Father's Day coming up just around the corner.

What else can you do at the Expo? Stay tuned for the next blog post!

See you at the Organic Expo!

Win Organic Expo Ticket Competition:
Email: your entry, please include EXPO in the subject line.
Entries close 5pm 11 August 2010. Winners will be announced 12 August 2010. Passes valid for 21-22 August only.

Monday, 26 July 2010

Choosing a top quality towel: Tips for discerning the duds from the darlings.

There are many factors to consider when looking for new towels for your home. Some common considerations can include things like: price, colour, pattern, fibre content, absorbency, softness and even brand name.

But what about quality? How do you determine a great quality towel? Below are our top tips for discerning the duds from the darlings.


Towel weight is measured by grams per square metre or GSM. Towels and bath robes typically vary from between 300 to 800gsm. A high quality towel is usually 600gsm and above.
Two key factors will influence the weight of a towel:

i) LOOPS: The deeper the pile or the longer the terry loops, the more plush (full bodied) and soft to the touch your towel will feel. It will also mean a greater overall surface area which will improve the towels absorbency and have you feeling dry much faster.

ii) WEAVE: The tightness of the weave structure in combination with the length of the terry loops will influence the weight of your towel. A tighter weave structure will mean smaller gaps and more loops per square inch. More loops means a fuller handle and greater absorbency. See expert tip 2 for help determining the density of a towel’s weave.

Expert Tip 1: If you are looking at towels online, make sure the seller clearly specifies their weight.

Bamboo: 450gsm is poor. 550gsm is good. 650gsm is excellent.
Cotton: 400gsm is poor. 600gsm is good. 800gsm is excellent.

Why the difference between Bamboo & Cotton?
Bamboo fibre is denser than cotton fibre. A bamboo towel may feel a little finer than a cotton towel with the same GSM. However, since bamboo fibre is more absorbent than cotton fibre, a lighter bamboo towel will absorb more than the same weight cotton towel, making it equal to a higher weight cotton towel.

Expert Tip 2: LOOK TO THE LIGHT: It may sound strange, but it’s genius, I promise. Open up your towel and hold it up to the light – in natural daylight is best, but up to any strong light will do.

Poor Quality Cotton Towel

Our Bamboo Towel

A poor quality towel will have a looser weave and the light will stream right through. If the towel maintains its opacity, you’ll know you’ve found a great quality towel.


When looking for a top quality towel, fibre content is another important consideration.
Cotton: Most people are familiar with cotton towels and cotton is by far the most common fibre used to manufacture towels. There are significant adverse environmental impacts associated with the manufacture of cotton towels making their ongoing and continued use increasingly unsustainable. Their more eco-friendly organic cotton counterparts are a smarter and more sustainable choice.

When looking to buy new towels for your home, why not consider the benefits of these alternative fibres:

Bamboo: More and more people are becoming familiar with the benefits of bamboo towels. They are extremely soft, highly absorbent and a sustainable alternative to conventional cotton towels.

Flax: Fewer people still are familiar with flax (linen) towels. Flax towels are generally considered more eco friendly than cotton towels. They are strong, absorbent and have a uniquely rougher texture which exfoliates and invigorates the skin as they’re being used.

Other: Seacell (derived from seaweed) and Legna (derived from wood pulp) are new fibres that are emerging in towels. Both these new fibres are soft, absorbent and considered a more eco-friendly alternative to cotton. Keep an eye out for towels made from these fibres into the future!

We know that truly great quality towels can come at a premium price, but we think top quality towels are always worth the investment. The better the quality of towel you buy today, the longer they’ll last, which means buying fewer over your life time. So even though you might spend more initially, you won’t be spending the same amount as often, and the more money you will save overall. Not to mention the less waste you will be creating! We recommend always buying the very best quality towels you can afford.

Monday, 19 July 2010

Organic Cotton - Farming

The differences between organic cotton and conventional can be seen when the farming process is broken down into stages, such as seed preparation, soil preparation, water, weed control, pest control, and harvesting. The basic premise of organic cotton at the farming level is facilitating what the earth does naturally –thrive.

Conventional cotton growing creates a dependent cycle of chemical use which hinders nature from doing its job, and therefore creates the need for more chemicals to compensate. For example, with conventional cotton, the pesticides and herbicides used to keep pests and weeds at bay takes all the good nutrients out of the soil in which the cotton is growing. The soil therefore needs more chemicals in the form of synthetic fertiliser in order to boost its nutrients again, for the cotton to grow.

The methods used with organic farming including crop rotation and hand hoeing mean that weeds and pests are kept at bay naturally, and the soil is nutrient rich with organic matter. A staggering statistic is that conventional cotton growing accounts for approximately 25% of the world’s insecticide use – that takes a fair chunk of responsibility for spraying all those chemicals into the air.



Seed preparation

Toxic fungicide or insecticide treatment, potential Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) seeds.

Natural, untreated seeds free from GMO!

Soil Preparation

Synthetic fertilisers, soil erosion due to mono-crop culture.

Natural balance of soil helped by crop rotation means synthetic fertilisers not needed.

Weed Control

Toxic herbicides

Physical removal of weeds, no chemicals

Pest control

Toxic pesticides, insecticides, fungicides

Healthy soil maintains balance between pests and predators, trap crop planting


Toxic chemical defoliation

Natural defoliation methods such as seasonal freezing, water management


Poor quality soil from chemical use leads to polluted water run off

Healthy soil has water retention properties – and any run off is unpolluted

Seed preparation

With conventional cotton, seeds are treated with toxic fungicides or insecticides. Sometimes potentially Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) seeds are used. Organic cotton seeds are natural, free from treatment and definitely not GMO!

Soil Preparation

Synthetic fertilisers are applied to the soil as its nutrients have been depleted due to pesticide use. Soil is also eroded from continuous cropping or mono-crop culture – always planting the same kind of crop, i.e. cotton, in the same place. This is designed to generate as high income as possible for the owner, with little regard for the soil, and is in contrast to organic cotton which is grown using crop rotation methods. This is the practice of alternating different crops on the same field to break weed, pest and disease cycles and to maintain or improve soil fertility, retention and organic matter content. Before pesticides were invented, this was the traditional method used by farmers to protect their crops.

Weed Control

Toxic herbicides are used to control weeds with conventional cotton crops. It is also applied to the soil to inhibit weed germination, and sprayed through the air. Organic cotton, on the other hand requires physical removal of the weeds rather than chemical, and weed control is exercised by hand hoeing and keeping the soil healthy.

Pest Control

Conventional cotton cultivation depends heavily on the use of pesticides to protect the plant against pests and disease, accounting for approximately 25% of world pesticide consumption. Pesticides and insecticides used are highly toxic, and the method of aerial spraying causes potential harm to workers, as well as neighbouring farms, animals and communities. Organic cotton on the other hand maintains a balance between pests and their natural predators through healthy soil, as well as using beneficial insects, biological and cultural practices to control pests. Sometimes a trap crop may be used to lure pests away from the cotton!


The cotton plant undergoes a process of defoliation, where the leaves are cleared, before it is mechanically harvested. Conventional cotton is defoliated using toxic chemicals, the effects on the environment similar in impact to pesticides. Organic cotton uses a natural method of defoliant such as seasonal freezing temperatures, as well as water management.

What about water?

Cotton growing both conventionally and organically uses a lot of water. The benefit of organic is the elimination of toxic chemicals, rather than the sustainability of low water use, as is seen with the bamboo crop. When it comes to irrigation, organic cotton crops are more water retentive than conventional cotton crops, as the soil is rich and healthy. So less water runs off the fields and what does in not polluted.


Kooistra, K.J., Pyburn, R., Termorshuizen, A.J. 2006. The sustainability of cotton. Consequences for man and environment, Science Shop Wageningen University & Research Centre. Report 223. ISBN: 90-6754-90-8585-000-2.

Monday, 12 July 2010

News Update: Organic Cotton Collection Arrives

We are super excited to announce that the organic cotton collection has finally arrived, after the shipment was lost at sea! Ok, well we thought it was lost at sea because it was so late, but when it finally got delivered the paperwork stated the port of arrival, Sydney Australia, and the date of arrival, 1st of June! Needless to say Frances was very cranky, and of course there was no explanation as to what the towels have been doing for six weeks...

Anyway, a big day of unpacking has resulted in a full warehouse with six new bright colours on the shelves to cheer us up. We are already experiencing strong sales of the collection in the first week which is really encouraging. The collection is live on the site, check it out here.

The organic expo is just around the corner and we are getting excited (and stressed) about all the preparations. Frances had an uncharacteristically pleasant phone call with the bank to organise a portable merchant facility so we can sell towels from the expo. She also met with the graphic designer, which means there will be a whole bunch of printed collateral on the way, like signs and banners and info packs. Next on the list is putting together another product video for the stand – do you remember the last one...?

Megan has been busy keeping all the wheels turning in social media world. And is now the resident expert . She has also signed Eureco up to lots of different networks, the latest exciting one being where we planted a tree! There are heaps of great articles on all things eco as well as a central petition signing section where you can sign a petition about almost anything. The more you contribute to the site, the more ‘butterfly points’ you earn which you can donate to cool causes like planting a tree or feeding a child. Check out our page and if you are already part of the care2 network please be our friend!

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

About Organic Cotton

So most of us have been using cotton all our lives – cotton sheets, towels, clothes... It’s supposed to be a natural product, isn’t it? So what’s the difference with organic cotton? I thought organic was just related to those tomatoes?

Food and clothing are two major product groups which have direct contact with our bodies. So shouldn’t we care what kind of processes and ingredients go into making these products? An easy example is organic fruit and vegetables, and the general knowledge that they are grown without the use of pesticides. Who wants to eat pesticides?

The same principle applies for other organic products, in this case, organic cotton towels. Conventional cotton is grown using lots of toxic chemicals, like pesticides, herbicides and fungicides. Organic cotton is not.

The term organic describes a method of farming without the use of toxic and persistent pesticides or fertilisers, sewage sludge, irradiation or genetic engineering, and are certified by an accredited independent organization. It is a system of farming that strives for a balance with nature, using methods and materials that are of low impact to the environment. (Courtesy of Organic Exchange)

The differences between organic cotton and conventional can be seen through farming processes, such as seed preparation, soil preparation, water, weed control, pest control, and harvesting. The basic premise of organic cotton at the farming level is facilitating what the earth does naturally.

Conventional cotton growing creates a dependent cycle of chemical use which hinders nature from doing its job, and therefore creates the need for more chemicals to compensate. With conventional cotton, the pesticides and herbicides used to keep pests and weeds at bay takes all the good nutrients out of the soil in which the cotton is growing. Then in order for the cotton to grow, the soil needs more chemicals in the form of synthetic fertiliser in order to boost its nutrients. The methods used with organic farming including crop rotation and hand hoeing mean that weeds and pests are kept at bay naturally, and the soil is nutrient rich with organic matter. A staggering statistic is that conventional cotton growing accounts for approximately 25% of the world’s insecticide use – that takes a fair chunk of responsibility for spraying all those chemicals into the air.

The certifications OE 100 and OE blended which ensure our products are organic, extend beyond the farming level, right through to production and finishing of the organic cotton towel product. After farming, the production of the raw cotton into towels requires yarn production, whitening, finishing and dyeing. The Oeko-Tex Standard 100 ensures the final product is suitable for human use, and sets strict limits on the amount of harmful substances contained in textiles.

In particular it includes:

• legally banned substances such as carcinogenic dyes

• legally controlled substances such as formaldehyde, softeners, heavy metals or pentachlorophenol

• substances which can be harmful to health such as pesticides, allergenic dyes or organic tin compounds

• parameters such as colour-fastness and a skin-friendly pH value, intended to prevent health problems

Our Bio Organic Cotton range uses cotton sourced from Europe, India and Turkey. The products are certified organic by the Organic Exchange standard OE 100 and OE Blended. It is certified safe for human use by Oeko Tex. It has been manufactured in accordance with the environmental standard ISO14001.


Organic Exchange Farm and Fiber Report 2009

Kooistra, K.J., Pyburn, R., Termorshuizen, A.J. 2006. The sustainability of cotton. Consequences for man and environment, Science Shop Wageningen University & Research Centre. Report 223. ISBN: 90-6754-90-8585-000-2.

Oekotex Standard 100

Organic exchange standards OE100 and OE Blended

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Frances under the microscope

This is the chance you have all been waiting for... Frances reveals all in an exclusive interview! She goes behind the scenes at Eureco and answers all the questions we have been dying to ask. Like; what's with the bamboo?!

Why did you start Eureco?

Eureco is my second company and evolved out of my first, Moral Fibre Australia, which I began in 2006. The original seed was planted during a casual conversation with a friend. I was complaining about being bored and frustrated in my job and she simply suggested I start my own thing. I had always dreamed of running my own company ‘one day’ but had assumed I needed to be older and more experienced. But, the more I thought about it, the more I realised that being young meant I had nothing to lose and everything to gain. Why not start now? So I did.

Why bamboo towels?

I know. Bamboo towels seem like a strange place to start, but the decision to start with bamboo towels was not a ‘bolt from the blue’. It was the result of about six months spent researching all kinds of possibilities, options and opportunities.

I have always been passionate about textiles. Growing up, I was always involved in textile related activities. Everything from designing and sewing my own clothes, to felting, to cross stitching to just loitering in fabric and haberdashery stores. In fact, I can often still be found loitering in such stores.

At first, I figured I’d probably just start making things myself. Maybe bags or cushions or toys or something and sell them at the markets. But realising that market stalls mean lots of early mornings, it wasn’t long before I abandoned that idea!

Then off the back of another casual conversation, I started researching linen bath towels (friction towels). I had heard they were big in Europe but generally unavailable in Australia at that point. I had samples from manufacturers in Ireland, UK, Lithuania, Poland and Finland sent to me. I wondered whether there was a market for such towels in Australia?

While I was researching the flax towels I came across an article forecasting major European homewares trends. It mentioned that bamboo towels were just emerging into the market and were tipped as the next big thing! I had never heard of bamboo towels and I had certainly never seen any in Australia, so I wanted to know more. I found out that there were none being manufactured in Australia, so I contacted mills from all over the world including Turkey, Japan, China, UK and Belgium requesting samples of their products. I tested the towels and loved them!

After evaluating all of the samples, I decided upon the Belgian collection for a whole range of reasons. The quality of their towels was absolutely outstanding - far superior to any of the other collections I looked at. Their sizing was generous and more appropriate for the Australian market (towels out of Asia are usually somewhat smaller and thinner). The colours were really contemporary, trend driven and I was confident I could put together a great colour story that would suit the unique sensibilities of Australian consumers. The Belgians were easy to deal with and their staff were well trained, working in safe, ethical conditions and paid fair wages. There was less of a language barrier, they were efficient answering my questions and I felt a good relationship could be developed. Finally, they agreed to offer me the exclusive rights to distribute their collections within the Australian and New Zealand markets. What more could I ask for?

So, after a total of almost six months research, I had found a collection and a supplier I was happy with. I brought out a small shipment of towels at first and the rest is history.

Who has helped and inspired you?

There have been so many people, starting with my own parents who ran their own businesses while I was a child. I have had some incredibly inspiring and encouraging bosses and colleagues that I’ve met at various workplaces. I’ve worked almost exclusively for small companies which has given me broad experiences, versatile skills and best of all, great access to other entrepreneurial types! I continue to meet inspiring people every day. Importantly, my retailers inspire me as they are all people running their own businesses too!

What qualifications or experience did you have which helped?

Probably the best experience I had was while working for a medium sized textile company who were distributors and wholesalers of European textile collections. They also designed and manufactured their own collections ‘in house’. I wasn’t always happy there, but it was fabulous experience. I was heavily involved in the ‘nerdy’ technical specifications of the products, so I developed a solid grounding in the nitty-gritty technical aspects of the fabrics.

Just by keeping my eyes and ears open I learned lots about how the textile industry works. From design and manufacture through to importing, warehousing, marketing and wholesaling.

I also studied business at uni and worked in finance which was useful, but honestly, my last four years learning ‘on the job’ has been absolutely invaluable. I’ve learned so much just by getting stuck in and working it out as I go along.

What stops you from throwing in the towel and giving up during those frustrating days of running your business?

Ha-Ha. Throwing in the towel. Nice one!

I remind myself of the alternative - working for someone else! If I’m feeling flat it usually means I need to have another good look at my goals. If I’m bored, I take myself off for a short course in something interesting and vaguely related to get re-motivated. I have done some really great short courses. Learning something new always seems to get me fired up again.

I did a fantastic and nerdy course at the CSIRO in Geelong on technical textile production, which I loved. I’ve studied importing and exporting, social media for business and even learned about manufacturing in China - which was very scary.

How do you keep a work/life balance?

I’m not sure I really do. This is an area I struggle with, and like any person running a small business it can be hard to break away from the job.

  • Creating a distinction in terms of physical space was important for me. So literally moving my office out of home and taking on company premises was a major breakthrough.
  • I try to leave my laptop at the office and not take it home with me. This doesn’t always work. I can still access most things on my mobile and I have been known to escape from social events and return to my office at ridiculous times of night. I’m trying to be better...
  • Working long hours (often alone) can be lonely so I make an effort to catch up with my friends even when things are busy.
  • Organised sport plays an important role in keeping me sane and healthy. I find there is more incentive for me to leave the office and turn up to soccer training if I’m worried about letting the team down. I find playing sport is also a great way to relieve stress.

What was a major obstacle you have faced and how did you deal with it?

Having traded as Moral Fibre for roughly two years, I became aware of another company operating in the same market segment, running a similar operation and also calling themselves Moral Fibre. We even had a number of clients in common! While they didn’t own the Moral Fibre company or business name, they had trademarked the term Moral Fibre, which I had neglected to do. I thought that owning the company and business names was enough to prevent another person trading under the name. Turns out that’s not quite true! There’s my inexperience showing!

I got legal representation and began proceedings to oppose the registration for their trademark. The whole process was extremely stressful (not to mention expensive) and took up huge amounts of my energy. My confidence, enthusiasm and motivation really took a knock and I found it hard to continue working to build a brand which I felt was compromised in the market.

About six months into the process I had a dream where I was staring at my company balance sheet. My expenses had been completely blown out by legal fees (crippling my little company) and I couldn’t stand the look of the figure on the report. The total expense of the opposition proceedings was enough money to launch another collection and I knew that I would rather see that figure sitting on the company balance sheet as an asset.

From there it was easy enough to decide not to continue to oppose the other ‘Moral Fibre’. I’d let them have the name. I’d change my company name and rebrand for a tiny fraction of the expense and I’d launch a brand new collection!

That’s where Eureco Began. Ultimately, it’s been such an opportunity and a blessing. I was forced to stop, re-assess, re-evaluate and really examine the strengths and weaknesses of my operation. I began Eureco applying all the knowledge and learning I’d gained by running Moral Fibre.

Eureco is a stronger, smarter and more profitable entity that I’m really proud I’ve built.

Can you tell me what lessons you’ve learned over the years?

The biggest lesson I learned came out of the trade mark debacle. I wanted to oppose the trade marking of Moral Fibre purely on principle - because I knew I would win. It was about ego and pride and coming out on top. But I learned that sometimes it is smarter to tuck your ego away and make tough decisions that are good for the balance sheet and ultimately, good for the business.

I also developed an understanding of the distinction between Frances the person and Eureco/Moral Fibre the business. Grasping that Frances and ‘company’ are not one and the same - that Frances will survive and prosper even if her business fails or has to close for some reason - enabled me to gain a more objective and secure perspective. This is a better position to be in when making tough business decisions.

Of course there have been so many other lessons too, like “be nice to people” and “make friends with the people at the post office” but those two are the biggies.

How important is the eco side of business?

Very important! I guess I’ve never really been your typical ‘greenie’, but I’ve grown up as part of a generation of people who first learnt about ‘climate change’ and ‘sustainability’ in primary school. I think as a group we are inherently more conscious of our environment and aware of the limited nature of many of our resources. From very early on, we have been educated to think about our choices and the impact they have on our environment. I also think that I’m part of a generation of young people who, (maybe more than any generation before) are really empowered as individuals and understand their ability to have an impact as a collective.

Working in other fields, I had become aware of just how environmentally unfriendly many textile production processes are. I’d also become aware of just how miserable some of the working conditions within the textile industry can be. I was also conscious of how much waste was created and all these things bothered me.

Sustainable design and ethical manufacture were of primary importance to me when I began sourcing my products. Quality and aesthetic appeal are also key considerations. I’m stubborn and I refuse to launch any product that doesn’t meet all of my requirements.

This firm adherence to my values can make things difficult. When looking for new collections, I often come across gorgeous collections with little or no genuine eco-credentials, or conversely, seriously green eco-collections that are not great quality or worst of all, ugly.

But, I just will not compromise. All Eureco collections are sustainably made, ethically manufactured, exceptional quality and gorgeous. Moving forward I hope to find more and more collections which meet all my requirements. Failing that, it is very possible that in future I will move to design and manufacture our own private label collections.

What’s coming up for Eureco?

A new organic cotton collection is on the way, which I’m really excited about. I’m in the process of reorganising the warehouse to make space for the new stock. Then the next thing on the calendar is the Organic Expo in August at the Sydney Convention Centre, where we will be exhibiting, and hopefully making many new friends! Further ahead, we are looking to expand into overseas markets in 2011. Eureco already has the rights to distribute in the New Zealand and American markets so it’s just a matter of capitalising on that opportunity.

What advice would you give another person starting their own business?

Just get out there and do it, start knocking on doors and make it happen. Don’t be afraid of approaching people, as the vast majority of people want to help you and want to see you succeed. Ask them lots of questions, be annoying! Surround yourself with people who are much smarter than you and in business. They can answer your questions and you can benefit from their experience. Find an unofficial mentor – they may not even realise they’re mentoring you! My mum has probably been my biggest mentor.

Typical day in the life

First thing is get a coffee, fortunately there is a great café next to my house. Then check the post box. When I arrive at the office I check emails and respond to anything urgent. As my Belgian suppliers obviously operate during the night, if there is any communication from them I need to respond promptly. The only other consistent part of my day is packing up and sending off orders.

After that is where the typical part ends, as there is no average day in the life - every day is completely different. Some days I will be packing orders, other days I will be formulating media plans with Megan, I can be working on the advertising and marketing one day, then sourcing and looking for new collections the next. What else? I could be pricing collections, talking to my retailers, searching for new retailers, updating the website, going on a business trip to research other regions, keeping on top of the accounts, checking inventory levels, writing blogs... One of the joys of running your own business is that every day is completely different, as you have to wear many different hats.

What are you...

Reading? I’m reading three books at once. In my handbag is Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell. It’s nerdy it’s all about statistics - I’m in heaven and I love it. The other two books are on my bedside table, they are the Wind-up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami, and The Passion of New Eve by Angela Carter.

Eating? Ice cream is my vice.

Buying? Morning coffees, sensible shoes (I very often buy very silly shoes), a winter coat.

Cooking? I’ve recently perfected my vegie stir-fry, its pretty good. Cooking is a great stress reliever.

Conversing about? The trials and tribulations of my soccer team, current affairs.

Watching? The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Weeds, Mad Men, True Blood.

Listening to? Triple J and the 702 Midnight Quiz.

Collecting? Lame dinner party jokes, vintage scrabble boards and a lot of scarves. I suppose one could call that a collection (or just a compulsion).

Passionate about? Nerdy stuff that’s too nerdy to mention.