Sunday Bedding co-founders Alex Fan and and Clara Teo aim to make well-made bedsheets more accessible and eco-conscious
By Chelsia Tan
Co-founders Alex Fan and Clara Teo of homegrown bedding specialist Sunday Bedding
Words like ‘thread count’, ‘weave’ and ‘microfibre’ are common bedding terminology—but more often than not, it confuses those who are shopping for bed sheets.
This is a problem co-founders Alex Fan and Clara Teo of homegrown bedding specialist Sunday Bedding hope to address. “When Clara and I were shopping for (bed linen) together, we realised how easy it is to be misinformed by the jargon but not understand how these things actually affect how we sleep,” share the couple.
Bamboo bedsheets in Vanilla mist from Sunday Bedding
The two-year-old brand, which the couple say is “30 years in the making”—Fan’s family runs a textile company in Hong Kong—aims to dispel the misconceptions caused by these terms, such as how one might use thread count as an indicator of quality.
Fan, who grew up helping out with the family business, is well-versed in the business. “I’ve been surrounded by quality sheets since I was young. While overseeing the business’s local operations, I realised that even the experts often get lost in the textile jargon. Sunday Bedding is our solution to bridging the disconnect between individual sleeping habits and the wealth of bedding options available,” he says.
Bamboo bedsheets in the warm sand hue from Sunday Bedding
The brand retails bedding products as well as towels that are made with GOTS-certified (Global Organic Textile Standard) Turkish cotton; this certification ensures that no toxic chemicals have been used throughout the production process. Besides offering more eco-conscious products, the firm also offers customers an option to participate in a carbon offset scheme, whereby a small donation will help reduce the ecological impact of their purchase.
“We focus on offering sustainable alternatives to our customers; we also work with emerging artists or like-minded local brands to create limited runs featuring their artwork or designs.”
Bamboo bedsheets in Sage green from Sunday Bedding
Accessibility is another key factor for Sunday Bedding and their products are available for purchase online, where one will find a comprehensive description on each type of fabric, the differences between each material and product care tips.
Customers can also take the Sleep Quiz to determine their ideal type of bed sheet based on their sleep preferences, lifestyle and skin sensitivity. Those who prefer a one-on-one consultation can make an appointment to visit Sunday Bedding’s showroom at Amoy Street.
Says Teo: “We put great effort in detailing our story, production process, supply chain certifications and information about our materials on the website for all our customers. Customers can find out the key benefits of each sheet, whether they’re made from bamboo sateen, organic cotton, French linen, and so on.”
The Sunday Towels from Sunday Bedding
Here, the couple share more about their collections and plans ahead for the brand.
How did you both meet?
Clara Teo (CT): I met Alex while we were both studying at Columbia Business School in New York. Before Sunday Bedding, I was a data analytics senior manager at Zuellig Pharma and in consumer finance at Amazon in Seattle. I have always been passionate about e-commerce. Through Alex, I was able to learn about the various factors that contribute to good sheets, and I’ve become a huge advocate for knowing what products can help ensure quality.
What are some misconceptions about purchasing bedsheets?
Alex Fan (AF): Most people use thread count as the only indicator of quality. Different brands measure their thread count differently, which can be confusing for consumers. While a higher thread count usually implies softer sheets, it may sometimes be achieved by thinning the thread which affects durability. The fact is, as the thread count increases, most cotton sheets become more prone to pilling and become more fragile.
Instead of just focusing on thread count, consider other factors that go into making sheets, like material and weave, which can achieve the same effect as a higher thread count without compromising the fabric’s durability.
The Sunday Towels are available in four colours: white, silver, grey and greige
CT: Temperature plays a big role in quality sleep. The right bed linen should cater to your sleep and lifestyle preferences. For example, bamboo is incredibly soft, silky and drapes beautifully. It is also moisture-wicking and great for those that sweat easily at night.
Cotton, on the other hand, is highly breathable and durable. For those that wash frequently or have pets or kids, cotton will withstand multiple washes. Those with sensitive skin should choose materials that are either 100 per cent cotton or linen, and avoid synthetic blends.
What you wear can also play a part in helping your body regulate heat at night. We are launching our first loungewear collection with womenswear label Esse, where each piece is made with fabric offcuts from our sheet manufacturing process and designed to provide maximum comfort from day to night. Stay tuned for more details!
One of your key fabrics is French linen. Why is it a fabric worth investing in?
AF: French linen is your fabric of choice if you have sensitive skin, due to its all natural qualities. Linen comes from a plant commonly known as flax. The natural fibres are then collected from the stem of the flax plant and spun into threads before being processed into linen fabric.
Our sheets are made from 100 per cent pure linen without any synthetic or polyester blends, and the flax fibres are sourced from France. It also does not trap dust easily, which is typically the source of most allergies.
CT: French linen is an underrated but increasingly popular choice of bedlinen in Singapore. It is the most durable out of all fabrics and can last at least five years. Its textural hand feel will soften with each wash to become soft and cocooning. If you prefer a cosy, rumpled look for your bedroom, the textured look and feel of French linen is perfect. Our linen is also air-washed, which ensures a consistent and softer hand feel while consuming less water than the traditional stone washing process.
While cotton remains the most popular choice of material due to its durability and breathability, recent innovations have brought in new materials to consider like Tencel, Modal and bamboo which are considered more environmentally friendly fabrics as they require less water and chemicals to produce.
Sunday Bedding’s Bamboo Sateen bed sheets are derived from Bamboo which grows really quickly and thus generates a net carbon negative footprint during the growing process. On the other hand, French Linen is an incredibly durable fabric that can last 5-10 years and gets softer with each wash.
The Sunday Towels in Sunny white from Sunday Bedding
How do you foresee the brand developing in Singapore?
CT: It’s been quite a year! Despite the pandemic, we have managed to launch sheets for babies and towels, and we now have the upcoming release of our loungewear capsule in collaboration with Esse.
November also marks our second anniversary. In celebration, we’ve specially curated a limited-edition coffee table book, Sunday Stories, which features stories from like-minded contributors such as local fashion brand OliveAnkara on winding down and finding happiness.
In the longer term, we want to further elevate our customers’ personal journey of rest by expanding into other product categories, like throw blankets, pillow shams, bath robes and bath rugs. We are also planning to launch new bed sheet designs.
AF: Customer demand has shown us we’re moving in the right direction too. We are expected to triple revenue by the end of the year, a testament to the growing interest in quality products that focus on wellbeing and rest. We believe the journey of living well is different for everyone. That is why for us, it’s important to collaborate with local artists and brands to develop and curate products that are suitable for the varied tastes and needs. You’ll see more of these types of collaborations coming up in the pipeline.