Glasgow might be the second-largest shopping hub in the UK, but a few years ago, when couple Jolene Crawford and Mil Stricevic found themselves on the hunt for sustainably made, playful sleepwear and bedding, they hit a brick wall. Discovering this gap in the market was the catalyst for them founding their company, Irregular Sleep Pattern, which produces a collection of durable, gender-neutral sleepwear including pyjamas, nightshirts and duvet covers in a range of exuberant, artist-designed prints.
"We love fashion," says Crawford, a former TV producer, "but we're not fans of the fashion business, nor of the waste generated by its cyclical nature. We don't release new lines seasonally, only in small batches, when we feel like it, rather than at the whim of the traditional fashion calendar."
The collection is designed by Stricevic, who graduated from and now teaches at Glasgow School of Art, and manufactured in India in SMETA-regulated factories, in 100 per cent organic cotton. "A key part of our ethos is slow shopping," he says. "By asking customers to refer to our Irregular Body Library and check measurements, and by offering mix-and-match sizing, rather than the standard S, M, L, we've been able to cut down on unnecessary returns, and therefore carbon emissions."
We sat down with the creative duo to ask them for their top tips on the Glasgow places worth getting out of bed for.
The cat's pyjamas: a design-driven tour of Glasgow with Irregular Sleep Pattern
What's Glasgow's vibe?
Creative, gritty, arty, friendly.
What's the weather like now?
It's raining - get used to it. Bring appropriate clothing!
When you have visitors, where do you take them first?
The East End: if it's a weekend, nothing beats a stroll round the historic Barras Market, where old Glasgow meets new (check out Ripe Mags and Submarine Shop). The nearby Necropolis, modelled on Paris' Père-Lachaise, has great views over the city, and at its foot is brewery Drygate, where you can get good pub food and locally made beer.
Where should we stay?
We're budget hotel kind of people and Citizen M offers excellent value and amazing design classic furniture in the communal areas. Otherwise, Kimpton Blytheswood Square Hotel in the city centre has a spa, and Hotel Du Vin is on a beautiful tree-lined terrace in the West End.
How should we get around?
The city is small and most things can be accessed on foot. We also have a pretty good cycle network, and bikes available to hire. Public transport in Glasgow is great - we have the world's third-oldest underground, known affectionately as "The Clockwork Orange", which operates on a single loop, and a network of overground trains.
Any under-the-radar neighbourhood we should check out?
Shawlands, on the south side, has a lot of good things happening, and a beautiful park with panoramic views of the city.
Where should we go for breakfast?
Outlier. It's always packed, but worth the wait for a table. Check out design details like the Ingo Maurer light over the barista station, and the gallery space showcasing the work of recent Glasgow School of Art graduates. We also love Kelvin Pocket, in the West End.
Café Gandolfi in the Merchant City - a Glasgow institution serving modern Scottish food, with furniture made by the late British sculptor Tim Stead.
Sylvan, in Charing Cross, just on the edge of the city centre, is an amazing vegetarian restaurant with a great selection of natural wines.
What's the classic drink to order, and where would you go to get one?
Head to The Ben Nevis in Finnieston, which has a huge selection of malt whiskies and live traditional music sessions a couple of times a week. When in Scotland…
Is there a defining figure in the city's history we should know about?
One of Glasgow's unsung heroes is the artist and writer Alasdair Gray, "the father figure of the renaissance in Scottish literature and art". Alight on Byres Road at Hillhead Underground to find the last mural he made. Take a detour down Ashton Lane to the Ubiquitous Chip, where Gray painted a mural on the staircase in exchange for food and drink. At the top of Byres Road is the former church turned venue Oran Mor, where he spent several years completing the largest public artwork in Scotland, the ceiling of the grand auditorium. A wonderful archive to preserve his legacy was established in 2020 a year after his death, and can be visited by appointment.
What's your favourite green space in the city?
The Gaelic translation of Glasgow is "Our Dear Green Place" and we like different parks for different reasons. The history of Glasgow Green is great - you can still see the public drying greens where women would take their washing together. These are overlooked by the majestic Templeton on the Green building, a former carpet factory inspired by the Doge's Palace in Venice, which, at its peak, supplied carpets for Westminster Abbey, the White House and the Titanic.
Must-visit independent shop?
Draw Art Store, an indie retailer of stationery and graphic arts supplies from Japan, Europe and the US.
Where would you recommend for a day trip?
In the days of factories and shipyards, it was tradition for Glaswegians to go "doon the watter" for day trips and holidays, and we definitely recommend it. Going to the Isle of Bute for the day is magical - you hop on a train to Wemyss Bay, which has a beautifully restored Victorian station that is also the ferry terminal. After you've enjoyed your short windswept crossing, you can explore the main town of Rothesay - a Victorian seaside resort. We love Bute Fabrics, which was founded in 1947 by the 5th Marquess of Bute with the sole purpose of providing employment for service people returning home from the Second World War. You should also catch a bus along the coast to Mount Stuart -- a stately home with extravagant interiors and a beautiful garden dating back to 1719 (Stella McCartney got married here), which also has a visual arts programme.
Where should we go on a rainy day?
Armed with an umbrella for dashing from place to place, head to Mono vegan café - home to Monorail record store - for a browse and something to eat and drink. Next door is Glasgow's original vintage store, Mr Ben. Nearby are two contemporary galleries run by The Modern Institute, as well as Street Level Photoworks and Glasgow Print Studio. Round the corner is Good Press bookstore and The Passenger Press letterpress studio.
What would be a good souvenir to take home?
Other than some sleepwear from us, textiles by the Glaswegian designer Robert Stewart, who was a contemporary of Lucienne Day, available from CAT at Glasgow School of Art, which reprints classic textiles.
A book to read while we're in town?
Alasdair Gray's Lanark is a great Glasgow novel, or, for architecture fans, Exploring Glasgow by Robin Ward.
What comes next for Irregular Sleep Pattern?
We're working on our second full collection of bedding and sleepwear, to be released in the autumn.