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Tuesday Chats: Sorella & Me + a Chocolate Chia Cake RECIPE

  • Tell us a bit about yourself and your business. How did it all start? 

We are an organic sleep & loungewear label called sorella & me  
– the word ‘sorella’ is Italian for ‘sister’

Alisha & I are sisters and we started developing our designs in 2010.
It all came about when Alisha found there was limited maternity sleepwear available when she herself was pregnant – and instead she found herself resorting to ugly Nana nighties!  So that’s how the idea came about and we thought that maybe other women also felt like there were limited options.

We started with the maternity line but very quickly had so many women say they wanted to be able to wear the pieces too.  So we evolved, and the designs changed a little to be also suitable for everyday women too.  

And we are so excited to be adding a men’s line in a matter of weeks for all those fellas out there, and just in time all the Dad’s for Father’s Day!
  • What does organic clothing mean?

Our fabric is certified as organic by GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) and Oeko-Tex Standard 100 – both international bodies only provide certification after extensive testing on the yarn and dyed fabric to confirm organic status is maintained from the farm to the mill where it’s spun, knitted and dyed.

Without these certifications, you cannot be sure the cotton is organic.
  • Why organic?

It’s much more to us than organic cotton just being better for your skin – free from the toxic chemicals used in conventional cotton. 

For us, the importance of organic cotton also goes back to the stage of growing the crop. Why should a cotton farmer, the pickers, and the community living in close proximity to the farm suffer with exposure to unnecessary chemicals being sprayed which end up in their air and water? It doesn’t make sense when it’s simply not necessary to produce beautiful fabric.

(We encourage people to read the review by Choice which confirmed dangerous levels of chemicals are used in a lot of Australia’s imported clothing, and as such is not able to be returned to the origin country (like China for example) due to these high levels of chemicals. It’s very scary that the country that made the garment won’t accept it back! – http://www.choice.com.au/reviews-and-tests/food-and-health/general-health/safety/chemicals-in-clothing.aspx).  
  • Do you have any advice or inspiration to send out to any of our readers that are thinking about starting an organic way of living?

It can be hard to be completely organic but I always just try to look for an organic option, and if it’s not available, I don’t stress about it.

And the very least, check out the Dirty Dozen – a list of the 12 fruits and vegetables with the highest levels of pesticides. So this is a good place to start if you are going to try and eat more organic produce, definitely make sure it’s these ones as a priority:  
1. Apples
2. Strawberries
3. Grapes
4. Celery
5. Peaches
6. Spinach
7. Sweet Bell Peppers
8. Nectarines
9. Cucumbers
10. Potatoes
11. Cherry tomatoes
12. Hot peppers
  • Food; If you had half an hour to cook dinner and realised you didn’t have anything planned, what would you cook?

Nothing can beat a piece of fresh fish (sustainably farmed of course) with a sweet potato & coconut oil mash, and green beans. 

Growing up on the Sunshine Coast has resulted in a love of seafood but it always seems to be my go-to option when time (or brain power to be creative) is limited! 
  • What’s your favourite juice or smoothie?

I love to make a green based smoothie when I feel like I need a big vitamin and protein hit – I blend up heap of kale or spinach, 1/3 of an avocado, handful of frozen blueberries and raspberries, ½ a frozen banana, splash of coconut water, macca powder, and some protein powder. 
What is your favourite live by affirmation, mantra or quote?

“We create what we fear”

It’s a good reminder to live fearlessly…. It’s much easier said than done though!
  • Do you have a recipe you would like to share with us today?

I try to live a sugar free life – which is certainly hard when you have a sweet tooth!  I got this great recipe via the Nutrition Guru & the Chef’s blog (http://thenutritionguruandthechef.wordpress.com/) and adapted it to be sugar and gluten free….  

Chocolate Chia Cake

• 4 tablespoons chia seeds, soaked in 1 cup of water for 15 minutes.
• ½ cup raw cocoa
• 125g softened butter*
• 5 medium to large eggs
• 1 cup (175g) almond meal
• 1 cup coconut palm sugar, or your choice of sugar **
• Pinch salt
• 1 teaspoon bicarb soda
* I used ½ cup organic coconut oil – melted. The Nutrition Guru used ½ cup olive oil
**I used 3/4 cup Rice Malt Syrup – The Nutrition Guru used ¾ cup raw sugar. (Please note that Rice Malt Syrup is a grain based product and whilst it is gluten free, it is manufactured in many facilities that also use other gluten based grains in production, so please be careful with this one!)


• Preheat oven to 180C.
• Line a spring-form cake tin with non-stick baking paper.
• Soak chia seeds in 1 cup of water for 15 minutes, stirring regularly. The seeds will absorb all the water and swell to form a gel. 
• Place all the ingredients in a bowl.
• Whisk to combine well & break up any lumps (at least 1 minute).
• Pour into lined cake tin.
• Bake in oven for 30-35 minutes or until it bounces back when pressed in middle.
• Let the cake cool for 5-10 minutes in the tin.

• Finish cooling on a wire cooling rack. 

  • Where can we find you?

Instagram: sorellaandme
  • Lastly, anything else you want to add? 

We are very excited to be announcing our organic Men’s collection. It seems a lot of our current customer’s partners were feeling jealous and wanted soft and comfy Pj’s too! So be watching our facebook page for the launch announcement… But here is a sneak peek for LIDI readers! …

August 22, 2013