The time has come to put The Sleep Shirt to rest. After 13 years of running an independent business, making beautiful clothing, rising to challenges and building a community of people who love and appreciate well-made, comfortable clothing, I have decided to wind down the brand.

The Sleep Shirt will be closing down this summer.

There won’t be any more deliveries of new stock, so if you’ve ever wanted to try a Sleep Shirt, or you want to stock up for the future, now is the time. Enjoy generous discounts on our final collection, while stocks last.

Why we're putting The Sleep Shirt to bed

the short version

I made the decision to wind down the company when I realised running it was no longer bringing me joy. This decision was not taken lightly, and we have carefully planned how best to do this. We aren’t shutting down for financial reasons (in fact, 2023 was our best year ever) and we chose not to sell the company (more on that below). There’s no playbook for a wind-down like this since most people sell or quickly close shop, but we’ve ensured all of our staff, contractors, and suppliers are looked after, and we are making the most of the last collection, which is definitely one of my favourites. Will we be coming back? Most likely not. If you’ve always wanted a Sleep Shirt, or want to stock up for the future, now is the time.

I close this chapter with a strong sense of satisfaction having created something unique and very special. We’re incredibly proud to have been featured in Vogue, Elle, The Globe and Mail, The New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal, and stocked in some of the most prestigious department stores in the world — Le Bon Marche in Paris, NET-A-PORTER online, Selfridges in London, Globus in Switzerland, and Kadewe in Berlin. We’ve brought comfort to so many customers, who have rewarded us by staying loyal to the brand over the years. Not everyone gets the chance to build a thriving business and then wind it down, all on their own terms. I am lucky to have been able to make this decision from a position of strength.

Thank you to all the customers, media, suppliers, family, friends, and most importantly, my staff and business partner who have supported me along the way. Now, it’s time to get some rest.

Have more questions? I’ve gone into detail about this decision below, and it’s followed by an FAQ with most of the questions people may have.

the long version

Over the years, there were a couple of distinct moments that signalled it was time to move on. While watching a crime drama with a single mom detective, I questioned how she couldn't know about her kids' troublesome activities. Then it hit me – if I keep running my own company with long hours and zero-to-little downtime, I might face the same challenge of being out of touch with my kids' lives.

Another striking moment confirmed to me it was right to step back. I was doing some freelance work at a local company, hot desking with another staff member – let's call her M. One Monday morning I went into the office and saw that there was a laptop on our shared desk. I was shocked to see it there. Then it dawned on me: M had gone home on Friday and left her laptop in the office for the weekend.

This might seem normal for some of you, but I have never had the luxury of leaving my laptop anywhere. I have brought my laptop with me on every weekend, every trip away, and every vacation for over a decade. It has never been an option to completely switch off, even for a whole day. I was back at work, part-time, just days after both my kids were born. I wanted a life where I could turn off my computer on Friday and not turn it on again until Monday.

Since I made the decision to wind down, there have been some moments of sadness, but never of regret. In fact, developments in my life and the world at large helped to reinforce my decision. Jacinda Ardern stepped down as Prime Minister of New Zealand to focus on her well-being; seeing women like her step back from their professional lives was both inspiring and motivating. Not everyone has the luxury of doing this, and I am privileged that I can take these steps without making huge sacrifices. How could I sit there and complain about working too much and the stress of running my own business when I had the option of walking away? It was time to make new choices.

The team and I have been planning the wind down for a while, and during this time, we've been working towards a strategic, organised closure. All of the big pieces of leftover fabric were put into production, spaces were cleared out, contracts ended, and I have been supporting my team while they look for new work.

I’d like to take a moment to acknowledge the challenges I faced as the founder of an independently owned, ethical business. While I consider myself privileged, I didn’t have family money to fund the business nor did I have well-connected parents opening doors for me. We were eligible for some grants from the Canadian government, but the business was otherwise entirely self-funded, which made it incredibly challenging to grow and expand. Most media outlets still give preference for coverage to companies who can afford to advertise; working with influencers doesn’t always result in a positive return on investment; and the big retailers (which are necessary for brand positioning and expansion) impose crippling terms on small brands. I was able to overcome many of these challenges, but it required a lot of luck and hard work. If there are small businesses whose products you love, support them now — because they may not be around for a long time.

It’s the end of an era! I am so grateful to all of the customers, media, and suppliers who have supported us on this journey, and to my amazing staff, who have stuck with me to the end. I hope that your Sleep Shirts will continue to bring you comfort and joy for years to come.

— Alexandra


No. We were profitable and cash flow was ok. In fact, 2023 was our best year ever! But I didn’t want to be forced into a decision like this in the future, and I only think I could have lasted a few more years before burning out.

Everything is now on sale. We're offering discounts on our existing inventory, you can explore the latest offers on our Sale Information page.

We looked into selling it and had quite a few meetings. In short, we weren’t interested in selling to the people who wanted to buy us, and the people we were keen to sell it to weren’t interested in buying. Selling a company isn’t as simple as handing over passwords and inventory and getting a big cheque. The deals that we discussed involved me staying on in a long-term role (minimum two years) with the company and its new owners, and often the payout was tied to performance. Coupled with the fact that most potential new owners wanted more rapid growth and lower costs (which meant lower quality and production outside of Canada), this didn’t sit well with me. I didn’t want to be tied to a job with new owners for several years.

No, we did not. Investors are great for some brands, but were not what we were looking for. An investor’s cash injection would have been welcomed, but it would have been coupled with expectations of aggressive growth, which I was not ready to deal with. It is a lot of work to grow a brand and spend an investment wisely. Investors are generally looking for a quick return on their investment, which makes sense – but I was not ready to take on a challenge like this.

The Sleep Shirt wind-down will keep me busy for at least another six months. I will also be keeping myself busy with a part-time job for a local company, an exciting family building project, and spending more time with my kids and dogs.

I expect there won’t be many leftover: we will keep selling them until the stock is almost all gone.

We have always used our leftover fabric in upcycle collections or small production runs, so there are only a few boxes left. I may take them home to use on one of the many sewing projects I have wanted to do over the past few years and haven’t had time for.

Some were sold in a sample sale in 2023, and the rest are being kept as an archive.

The Sleep Shirt staff have had ample notice of this wind-down and have been supported during this transition and in their search for new jobs.

Most likely not, but I am not ruling anything out. That said, if you’ve always wanted a Sleep Shirt, or want to stock up for the future, now is the time. Don’t sleep on this.

Covid and the cost of living crisis have both had an impact on the business, but for the most part, we’ve been able to weather these storms without too much of a negative impact on the company. However, Covid made me want to stop travelling and running a business in another country. I have been living in Sweden for a decade, but the company is based in Canada. I was tired of having business meetings at 7pm and having emails come through all night. Covid also made me acutely aware of the fact that if I got seriously sick, then the business would struggle to move on without me. Sure, I had incredible, dedicated staff who helped me keep some of the day-to-day operations going, but I was responsible for paying invoices and managing the company – and this wasn’t a role someone could easily fill for me. Without those critical tasks being covered, the company would have been in trouble quite quickly.

I hope I have stockpiled enough to last me the rest of my life!

Not right now.