Mom Talk: Q&A With Manon Salvi of Kalo Collection
Inspired by her own journey with motherhood, this French-born, Hawai‘i-based mama designs stylish breastfeeding-friendly clothing using natural materials.
After visiting her twin sister who moved Hawai‘i to learn English and surf, Manon Salvi ended up falling in love with the island, the waves and her future husband. Though her sister eventually moved back to France, where they’re from, Manon had baby Natalia (now three), and in July 2021, started Kalo Collection, a timeless collection of breastfeeding-friendly clothing. The brand is a dream for nursing moms, featuring natural materials—organic cotton and natural ink—in simple colors, patterns and cuts.
Though Hawai‘i’s climate is convenient for breastfeeding (no need to wear layers!), when Manon visited France, in a colder and more restrictive environment, she had to find ways to breastfeed discreetly and easily. She thought, “If only I could make some simple openings with zips on all of my favorite pieces of clothing…” She decided to do it herself, and took it a step further, creating the right designs so the clothes could last during pregnancy, throughout nursing and after.
What’s more, Kalo Collection does not have any plastic in the fabric. The fabrics will never include polyester, rayon, nylon, etc. “The goal is to take care of the ‘āina, and we don’t want to produce more microplastics that would end up in the ocean or on land,” says Manon. Therefore, all the clothes are OEKO-TEX® certified, made with organic cotton and dyes. All of Kalo Collection’s pieces—sweaters, t-shirts, dresses—are limited edition and made in small batches in a family-run factory in Manon’s mother’s home country, Portugal.
We checked in with her to get some advice, the scoop on what’s to come with the brand and to ask about a few of her favorite local shops, spots and more.
What makes Kalo Collection so unique?
I create durable nursing clothes. The clothes have two hidden openings on the sides to be able to nurse anytime, anywhere. The goal is really to keep the clothes for years after nursing and pumping. What’s also special is that we do not use any plastic in our fabric.
Any advice for new moms, for those starting a business or both?
You can do it! If you have an idea just start it. Nobody is going to do it for you and if you don’t you will always regret it.
What are your favorite activities to do with your little one?
We love to go shell hunting together, volunteer in farms in Waimānalo and go for walks. We also love to cook. .
What are some of your favorite local businesses?
We love going to the Kailua Farmers Market every Sunday, to go buy our meat at the Forage Hawai‘i. It’s amazing quality and the meat is local. We also love the smoothie from ‘Ōma‘o Man and the unique waffles from ‘Aiwī Waffles.