Meet the Maker: Jacinta Taylor, Founder of The Laminated Cotton Shop
Team Buy Aussie Now
This story was written by several Buy Aussie Now team members.
There is always a better, more eco-friendly way to do things says Jacinta Taylor, Founder of The Laminated Cotton Shop.
Made in Melbourne, with a view to offer all Aussies eco-friendly homewares that replace disposable plastics, The Laminated Cotton Shop make shower caps, reusable snack bags and aprons, just to name a few things. Aside from creating durable, long-lasting products, they reuse all materials as part of their production cycle, making this business and all-round eco-warrior! We chatted with Founder Jacinta Taylor to learn more.
How did you start your homegrown business?
I bought some fabric in the US eight years ago to make a highchair mat I could wash. I was really mad we couldn’t source laminated cotton in Australia easily and all the highchair mats in shops were just PVC or disposable plastics. I started researching and found I could source the fabric myself and it kinda snowballed from there.
Now I source laminates and food grade fabric and make everyday products like shower caps and snack bags that you can wash and reuse for a long time instead of using PVC or other disposable plastics.
What inspires you?
Just wanting to do better. There is always a better, more eco-friendly way to do things. I want to make it easy for people to find products that are reusable and washable instead of buying disposable plastics. Being mad at plastic waste and ocean plastic problems probably inspires me the most! We have so many innovative fabrics why can’t we use them to replace disposable stuff?
What are the benefits of manufacturing locally?
You create local jobs. Also, it means we can better quality control what we make and reduce waste in production. We make small runs and get them right, then we can incorporate offcuts into other product parts or reuse them, for example, our swing tags are tied to our products with fabrics of offcut pieces. Plus, we are better able to serve our Australian customers by being faster to adapt to customer feedback and requests. Local means you can take customer feedback on board and incorporate that into product designs very quickly.
What makes the Australian consumer unique?
Australians are very friendly and understanding customers and probably don’t realise how much they get taken for granted by international retailers. Often our big box stores stock excess products or unwanted items from larger US and European countries; so often, big manufacturers don’t design items specifically for Australian customers. I wanted to make things here that Australian customers want and are practical for everyday use.
What is the best business advice you have ever received?
Test everything. Better to try stuff and get it wrong than to not give things a go.
What are some of the biggest challenges you have had to overcome in business?
A shoestring budget. This was only meant to be a hobby so when I started selling more and more, I had to balance cash flow with needing to buy equipment and materials.
Also getting larger fabric manufacturers to take me seriously so I could source the fabrics that I do.
What has been your positive takeaway from the COVID-19 pandemic?
You can still stay in touch with customers and serve them well even if you can’t offer sales in person. We are all in the same boat and its taught me I can personalise service for customers even if I’m talking to them online or over the phone. I miss seeing customers, but I’ve had some lovely chats and email conversations that really make me feel like I can reach people in the same way as if I was talking with them in person.
Favourite Australian film quote?
“How’s the serenity?” – The Castle
Which classic Aussie song would you perform at karaoke?
Shook Me All Night Long - Acca Dacca!
Checkout The Laminated Cotton Shop for laminated cotton homewares to replace disposable plastics.