Zippers, buttons, and other add-ons are rendered unnecessary by Looolo’s pillowcase closure system, which uses a tried-and-true technique: overlapping flaps on the back.
“Zippers and buttons are not always biodegradable, and they’re sort of an extra,” Notkin says. “We keep it minimal.” Notkin’s commitment to simplicity means forgoing some of the high-tech tools that make sewing more efficient than it once was. A serger sewing machine, for example, makes cutting and hemming a breeze, and builds an automatic barrier against unraveling thread. But its mechanistic forces usually require the strength of synthetic thread. At Looolo they use only cotton thread, which means sewing on an ordinary machine. They dye their thread only for parts of the pillows where the thread is visible and color matching requires dyeing. “Organic cotton thread is hard to find,” Notkin acknowledges. “The organic industry is still a bit slow to the punch. When you see garments claiming to be organic, they usually are, but not sewn with a thread that’s organic.”