Dress Your Little Princess So that She Can Rule!

Breton Top and Jeans. For all images: Photos by Sam Robinson retouching by The Laundry Room

Breton Top and Jeans. For all images: Photos by Sam Robinson retouching by The Laundry Room

We have nothing against little girls choosing to dress up as princesses. We like to dress up like princesses and be made to feel like them, too! Maybe we gals are programmed for it and we’ll never be able to curb  our daughters’ enthusiasm for those flammable dresses!

But for every day adventures, girls need to be able to move freely (and safely) just as much as boys do. If you want your little girl to grow up to be the powerful and free force of nature she was born to be, then let her dress so that she’s able to fly! Don’t teach her to dress in clothing that will hold her back in her quest to be Queen of the Castle (just think of the future repercussions).

Chore Coat and Classic Cut Jeans

Chore Coat and Classic Cut Jeans

The Fableists make most of our clothing to fit both boys and girls for two reasons:

– So that they can be passed on more easily which will keep them out of the bin;
– Because we want to raise our girls and boys on equal footing – especially when it comes to play (we make clothes for kids aged 4-10, so we’re all about play!).

Baseball Tee and Classic Cut Jeans

Baseball Tee and Classic Cut Jeans

Our first collection features a dress and a skirt (which might not suit all boys), which are stylish, feminine and hard wearing.

Western Shirt, Denim Skirt and Smock Dress

Western Shirt, Denim Skirt and Smock Dress

Smock Top and Denim Skirt, Western Shirt and Classic Cut Jeans

Smock Top and Denim Skirt, Western Shirt and Classic Cut Jeans


Announcing the Winners from our First Competition

Over the past couple of weeks, we have held a competition on our Facebook page. Today, all of the people and businesses who have liked our page were entered in to a draw to choose FIVE winners.

Each of the winners will receive a pack of the first 13 t-shirts we have made, in their choice of size.

warehouseAs our tees are limited edition prints of the artists’ work, each t-shirt will be numbered. Our winners from this competition will receive the first five prints in each t-shirt design.

The winners are:

1 – The Cool Heads, Amsterdam. A blog about all things that are cool and contemporary for boys

2 – Danny Dryden, London, UK

3 – Kelsey Blackwell, Toronto, Canada

4 – Ema J. Lowe, Nottinghamshire, UK

5 – Joshua Griffiths, New York, USA

Thanks for liking our page and all the great comments about our t-shirts. It’s been so fun for us having you all visit us on Facebook.

We will be giving away more t-shirts for #FableistsFortnight beginning on our launch day of October 29th. For 2 weeks from that day, we will post a message each day on FB and twitter. If you share or re-tweet, then you will be entered in to another draw for more fab The Fableists merch!

And please – if you win or buy any of our gear – send us pictures for our Wall of Fableists album. We might even use your pictures in our newsletter!

Competition to Win a FULL Collection of Tees Ends Tonight!

Hello Fableists!

We have five full sets of our first ‘Lucky 13’ t-shirt collection to give away and this competition ends at midnight London time!

stack of Tees

Each of the five winners will get one of each of the t-shirts in our first collection in the size of their choice (sizes available are 3-4, 5-6, 7-8 or 9-10).

To be in for a chance at winning, all you need to do is have ‘liked’ The Fableists’ Facebook page by midnight tonight (GMT). We will randomly select five winners from among all the people who have ‘Liked’ the page and will announce the winners tomorrow, October 15th.

– Be sure to ‘like’ the page, and not just the post about the competition!

Bag yourself some free tees and be the first to get your hands on The Fableists’ first collection of t-shirts! Enter now my ‘liking’ The Fableists’ FB page.

Thanks for your support!

The Fableists

The 13 t-shirts in question are below:

The Fableists' T-Shirts Designed by Anthony Peters

The Fableists’ T-Shirts Designed by Anthony Peters

The Fableists' T-Shirts Designed by Sami Viljanto

The Fableists’ T-Shirts Designed by Sami Viljanto

The Fableists' T-Shirts Designed by Gregori Saavedra

The Fableists’ T-Shirts Designed by Gregori Saavedra

The Fableists' T-Shirts Designed by Crispin Finn

The Fableists’ T-Shirts Designed by Crispin Finn

Booktrust’s 100 Best Children’s Books – Is Your Favourite On the List?

Booktrust unveiled their choices for the top 100 books for kids from pre-school age to 14 for Children’s Book Week (October 7-11). They’d like you to have your say about their list. You can download the poster with the whole list here (sample shown below).

Part of Bookstart Poster for the Ultimate 100

Part of Bookstart Poster for the Ultimate 100

Booktrust is an independent reading and writing charity based in the United Kingdom. Many of you will know their Bookstart programme which gives free packs of books for babies and toddlers. They are supported by government, book publishers and the public and donate millions of books every year. They work to inspire a love of reading and writing in everyone.

In compiling their list of 100 books, they have drawn on over 90 years’ experience in choosing books for children, as well as sales figures and recommendations from previous years. The list comprises both traditional classics and modern greats and Booktrust feels all the choices will fire children’s imaginations and inspire a life-long love of reading.

They hope that their choices will encourage everyone to join in the debate. Claire Shanahan, Head of Arts at Booktrust, said: “We know there will be some debate around the list, and we welcome it! Has your favorite childhood read been left out? Would your child whole-heartedly agree with us, or be dismayed by an oversight? We’ve tried to include stories for everyone – whether it’s an old picture book, a classic adventure story, or a modern tale tackling contemporary issues – the emphasis for us is on wonderful, wacky, and world-changing narratives.”

So get involved by voting online for your favourite at: www.booktrust.org.uk/cbw before Friday November 15, 2013. The results from the poll will be announced on the 25th of November.

Herewith, Booktrust’s 100 Books to Read Before You’re 14 List in its entirety:

Title Author Age range
The Cat in the Hat Dr Seuss 0 – 5 years
Where the Wild Things Are Maurice Sendak 0 – 5 years
The Tiger Who Came to Tea Judith Kerr 0 – 5 years
The Very Hungry Caterpillar Eric Carle 0 – 5 years
The Elephant and the Bad Baby Elfrida Vipont 0 – 5 years
Meg and Mog Helen Nicholl 0 – 5 years
Dogger Shirley Hughes 0 – 5 years
Each Peach Pear Plum Allan Ahlberg 0 – 5 years
Would You Rather? John Burningham 0 – 5 years
The Snowman Raymond Briggs 0 – 5 years
Not Now, Bernard David McKee 0 – 5 years
Where’s Spot? Eric Hill 0 – 5 years
Dear Zoo Rod Campbell 0 – 5 years
Gorilla Anthony Browne 0 – 5 years
Hairy Maclary From Donaldson’s Dairy Lynley Dodd 0 – 5 years
The Jolly Postman Allan Ahlberg 0 – 5 years
Princess Smartypants Babette Cole 0 – 5 years
I Want My Potty Tony Ross 0 – 5 years
We’re Going on a Bear Hunt Michael Rosen 0 – 5 years
I Will Not Ever Never Eat a Tomato Lauren Child 0 – 5 years
Room on a Broom Julia Donaldson 0 – 5 years
Lost and Found Oliver Jeffers 0 – 5 years
Little Mouse’s Big Book of Fears Emily Gravett 0 – 5 years
Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes Mem Fox 0 – 5 years
I Want My Hat Back Jon Klassen 0 – 5 years
Pippi Longstocking Astrid Lindgren 5 – 7 years
Winnie-the-Pooh A. A. Milne 6 – 8 years
The Story of Babar Jean de Brunhoff 6 – 8 years
Little House in the Big Woods Laura Ingalls Wilder 6 – 8 years
The Enchanted Wood Enid Blyton 6 – 8 years
Five on a Treasure Island Enid Blyton 6 – 8 years
Finn Family Moomintroll Tove Jansson 6 – 8 years
My Naughty Little Sister Dorothy Edwards 6 – 8 years
Charlotte’s Web EB White 6 – 8 years
A Bear Called Paddington Michael Bond 6 – 8 years
Asterix the Gaul Rene Goscinny and Albert Uderzo 6 – 8 years
Flat Stanley Jeff Brown 6 – 8 years
The Worst Witch Jill Murphy 6 – 8 years
Mister Magnolia Quentin Blake 6 – 8 years
The Queen’s Nose Dick King-Smith 6 – 8 years
The True Story of the Three Little Pigs Jon Scieszka 6 – 8 years
Amazing Grace Mary Hoffman 6 – 8 years
The Adventures of Milly Molly Mandy Joyce Lankester Brisley 6 – 8 years
Horrid Henry Francesca Simon 6 – 8 years
The Sheep-Pig Dick King Smith 6 – 8 years
Clarice Bean, That’s Me Lauren Child 6 – 8 years
That Rabbit Belongs to Emily Brown Cressida Cowell 6 – 8 years
Diary of a Wimpy Kid Jeff Kinney 6 – 8 years
The BFG Roald Dahl 6- 8 years
The Arrival Shaun Tan 6- 8 years
The Adventures of Tin Tin Herge 9 – 12 years
Swallows and Amazons Arthur Ransome 9 – 12 years
Ballet Shoes Noel Streatfield 9 – 12 years
The Hobbit J R R Tolkien 9 – 12 years
The Little Prince Antoine de Saint-Exupéry 9 – 12 years
The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe C. S. Lewis 9 – 12 years
The Borrowers Mary Norton 9 – 12 years
The Wolves of Willoughby Chase Joan Aitken 9 – 12 years
Stig of the Dump Clive King 9 – 12 years
Carrie’s War Nina Bawden 9 – 12 years
Goodnight Mr Tom Michelle Magorian 9 – 12 years
The Witches Roald Dahl 9 – 12 years
Matilda Roald Dahl 9 – 12 years
Truckers: The First Book of the Nomes Terry Pratchett 9 – 12 years
The Story of Tracy Beaker Jacqueline Wilson 9 – 12 years
Flour Babies Anne Fine 9 – 12 years
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone J. K. Rowling 9 – 12 years
Skellig David Almond 9 – 12 years
Holes Louis Sachar 9 – 12 years
Artemis Fowl Eoin Colfer 9 – 12 years
Journey to River Sea Eva Ibbotson 9 – 12 years
Private Peaceful Michael Morpurgo 9 – 12 years
Millions Frank Cottrell Boyce 9 – 12 years
Once Morris Gleitzman 9 – 12 years
A Monster Calls Patrick Ness 9 – 12 years
I Capture the Castle Dodie Smith 12 – 14 years
The Fellowship of the Ring J R R Tolkien 12 – 14 years
The Owl Service Alan Garner 12 – 14 years
Watership Down Richard Adams 12 – 14 years
Forever Judy Blume 12 – 14 years
The Ruby in the Smoke Philip Pullman 12 – 14 years
Northern Lights Philip Pullman 12 – 14 years
Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging Louise Rennison 12 – 14 years
Witch Child Celia Rees 12 – 14 years
Coram Boy Jamila Gavin 12 – 14 years
Kite Rider Geraldine McCaughrean 12 – 14 years
Mortal Engines Philip Reeve 12 – 14 years
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time Mark Haddon 12 – 14 years
Looking for JJ Anne Cassidy 12 – 14 years
Stormbreaker Anthony Horowitz 12 – 14 years
The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas John Boyne 12 – 14 years
Noughts and Crosses Malorie Blackman 12 – 14 years
The Graveyard Book Neil Gaiman 12 – 14 years
The Knife of Never Letting Go Patrick Ness 12 – 14 years
Revolver Marcus Segdwick 12 – 14 years
Life: An Exploded Diagram Mal Peet 12 – 14 years
Maggot Moon Sally Gardner 12 – 14 years
Junk Melvin Burgess 12 – 14 years. At top end of age band
How I Live Now Meg Rosoff 12 – 14 years. At top end of age band
The Hunger Games Suzanne Collins 12 – 14 years. At top end of age band

A Sea of Cardboard Boxes as Far as the Eye Can See

At first glance, this might not look like a particularly exciting building:

The Warehouse

The Warehouse

But step inside and it’s a cavernous treasure trove of products waiting to be shipped to online shoppers all over the world. This, people, is The Fableists’ warehouse. Trust me, it was a very exciting visit this morning, because I was going to see these:

Boxes and more boxes

Boxes and more boxes

Still not convinced? Well, my fashion-forward high-vis vest and I (along with the help of Gary and his utility knife) opened these babies up to reveal:

The Fableists' First Box of T-Shirts

The Fableists’ First Box of T-Shirts

Ta dah! They’re here: Our entire first collection of artist-designed t-shirts – the first ‘Lucky 13’ as they’ve come to be known at HQ. Here are but a few of them, ready to be sent to new owners. Don’t you just want to take one home? The six tees pictured below will be heading to Mali tomorrow with Andy and Lu of Brothers and Sisters – they will tell us all about their trip when they get back.warehouse We’ll tell you more about the warehouse and how these t-shirts make it from these cardboard boxes to you.

What do Rhino Poo, Passports and The Fableists Have in Common?

We might have to start at the beginning with this one…

The passports

The passports

Each item of clothing from The Fableists comes with its own ‘passport’. It’s not government issued, doesn’t scan at customs and doesn’t need to be renewed every few years but we think it’s still pretty important.

In the case of our t-shirts, the passport will be numbered as each print is only used on 500 t-shirts. So, like all great art, your tee from The Fableists will have it’s own print number out of 500. For all of our clothes, there is a space to record the names of its owners. So, as you pass the clothes on to family and friends, or sell them, this ‘passport’ will be a record of where the clothes have been – like stamps in a passport.


Stacks of rhino dung paper for printing

Our passports are being printed by Seacourt, the ‘first closed loop, Zero Waste printing company in the world’. They have won an absolute stack of awards over their years for their commitment to green printing and have been recognised as ‘one of the top three leading environmental printers in the world’ by a worldwide printing association. They also have won two Queen’s Award for Sustainable Development. Very impressive stuff and also what all businesses should now be striving towards, right?

A tub of 'green' ink

A tub of ‘green’ ink

Seacourt can provide printing on recycled cards, bamboo, PVC-free banners for outdoor and materials are recyclable or even biodegradable. One of the paper options available to us was rhino poo and they pretty much had us at hello on that one. What child won’t treasure a clothing passport that contains poo of any sort? What adult for that matter? It was too good to pass up. The paper is made from post-consumer waste (i.e. the paper you put in your recycling bins) and mixed with rhino dung. We love it and will be bringing you more about the printing process (and where the poo comes in) in a future post.





Forget the Latest Toy the Best Gift is a Love of Reading



The subject line might sound a tad earnest but The Fableists do love kids’ books! We will be featuring book related stories like reviews and interviews on our blog in the coming months.

Like The Fableists’ clothes, treasured books are kept or passed on. I have most of the books from my own childhood. They have moved around the world by now and holding on to them has probably cost a fortune but they’re family heirlooms. Some of them are out of print, some are representative of a time and place, some show that the pages were read over and over by two children (and now four more) and some are signed.

I think every parent worries at some point about their child’s reading and with school systems eager to get kids reading earlier and earlier, the pressure is on, for parents and for the kids. Getting children to love reading is a long term project and can take a lot of effort and patience.books 2

So, how can we get our kids to love (or at least like) to read?

Start young: there is nothing so lovely as having your little one perched on your lap, snuggling and sharing a story. But it is never too late. Y

Younger children are drawn to colourful pages with bits they can touch and feel. Each book is an exciting adventure and you can build on that as they get bigger. For an older child who isn’t so keen, try to find books that suit their interests. I remember one Christmas my brother got Murder at the Superbowl (or something like that) – not exactly a great work of literature but he read it.

Don’t push your readers before they’re ready and always let them take backwards steps. Even a competent reader likes to relax and disappear in to big, colourful pictures. Reading has to be fun. Try graphic novels, comics or funny poems – it’s still reading. Encourage and applaud any reading.


More Books

We make buying books something really special in our family. Same with visiting the library, reading stories and anything around books. Buying books is a treat for our kids. The first place we visit in a town or village is the local book shop. Finding a good children’s book shop is worth its weight in gold. The kids all spread out and find books and sit down and flip through them.

My kids also love going to the library. We try to make it a weekly trip. Let them choose the books they want to read – mine never read the ones I ‘suggest’. If you are trying to build up your own collection of books, libraries are always selling off their old stock to make room for new books. Local boot sales, yard sales, bric-a-brac and antique markets usually have books for sale too. Getting books should be made as special and exciting as getting a toy.

Give your kids as much motivation as possible to be keen on books. Let them see you reading. Make the buying/borrowing of books a special occasion and when you are reading to or with your child, eliminate distractions, sit close to them, talk to your child about the book, let them tell you what they think and give them your undivided attention. If reading is a special family activity, they will learn to share your passion.


Welcome to the Dawn of The Fableists’ New Blog

Apache in 'You Are What You Wear' Tee by Gregori Saavedra and the Western Shirt

Apache in ‘You Are What You Wear’ Tee by Gregori Saavedra and the Western Shirt

With the news that we have a launch date established, we will be making some exciting changes to our blog site. The grand opening of our web site on Tuesday October 29th, will mean that the blog will be located within the site as well as at its current location.

Up until now, we have been telling the story of The Fableists. We’ve been sharing photos of the first collection, information about how and where the clothes are made and interviews with many of the people involved in making the clothes and getting our brand out there.

Kunal from Chetna Organic

Kunal Balar from Herbal Fab

We will still bring you stories about The Fableists and give you special sneak peeks at our new collections but will also take a step back and look at what is important to The Fableists. We will share information on sustainability and design but will also bring you great recipes and activities for families. We’ll look at other brands who are making changes in the fashion industry and do interviews with people who are making those changes. Our blog will reflect what our brand is about: design, sustainability, kids and their families and doing great stuff and having adventures!

le touquet

You are The Fableists, so we’d love to hear from you. We welcome comments and suggestions.

The Fableists’ Launch Date Announced!



Thank you so much to all of you who have been following along with The Fableists as we prepare for our launch. We are thrilled to announce that we have a launch date:

Tuesday October 29th 2013

On this date, The Fableists’ web store will open and you will be able to buy our beautiful, sustainable clothing for kids online. Our ‘Lucky 13’ first t-shirts will be available as well as our first collection of clothing, including the Western Shirt, Parisienne Smock Dress, Classic Cut Jeans and Skirt and the others you have seen in our first ‘Look Book’ photos.

Be sure to ‘Like’ our Facebook page in order to be in with a chance to win a full collection of the t-shirts in your specified size (3-4, 5-6, 7-8, or 9-10).

Remember that all of the t-shirts are limited edition printings, with only 500 available of each design, so you’ll have to be quick! We will ship worldwide, so you can get your The Fableists gear in time for Christmas.

We look forward to seeing you at the grand opening!

~The Fableists