Calling All Fashion Press & Bloggers: Meet the Fableists!

THIS EVENT HAS BEEN MOVED FROM 6th FEBRUARY TO 27th FEBRUARY DUE TO TUBE STRIKES ON THE LONDON UNDERGROUND:

The Fableists are hosting an informal event and inviting all press and bloggers to come and meet the team and see our first collection.

Meet_the_fableists V2

We would love the chance to tell you our story and to introduce our beautiful kids clothes to you. Our full collection is sweatshop free and made with certified organic cotton. The designs are inspired by vintage work wear and are made to last. We keep in mind a parent’s needs and, as such, the clothes are easy to care for and built for both boys and girls, so that they can be passed on to younger siblings. They play hard and live forever.

Please come along Thursday 27th February, London EC1R. All of the details are in the image above, or you can find us on Event Brite or Facebook.

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Totally Over Receiving an Avalanche of Gifts? Disclaimer: First World Problem

pplogogreyThis is going to sound like I’m the most spoiled and ungrateful person in the history of blogging – but bear with me, okay?

I love hosting birthday parties for my kids and coming up with different ways to cover all the traditional basics while also making it unique and fun for everyone – including me! One thing that I always forget about is that the birthday kid will receive presents. Don’t get me wrong – this is wonderful and certainly the part that every kid looks forward to – but what to do with the additional ‘bits’?

Let’s get down to brass tacks here: I am interested in reducing the amount of ‘stuff’ that comes in to our house that will only have short-term appeal but that will have long-term landfill repercussions. I would like to teach my kids to ‘want’ less.

And most gifts that kids receive at their birthday party goes totally against this philosophy.

I have not banned all plastic and all pink for my girls but I do feel that if it’s going to be pink and plastic, then it needs to be something that will be well loved, played with – and taken care of – for years (not weeks!).

Use Patchwork Present to fund a birthday party for your child

Use Patchwork Present to fund a birthday party for your child

There is a solution. Patchwork Present is website designed for any gift giving occasion that lets friends come together to fund one thing that’s really wanted — piece by piece. This can be anything from a big ticket gift item to an experience, to the fridge magnet you buy after completing said experience.

Founder Olivia Knight came up with the idea when she was planning her own wedding. She created a patchwork image representing the honeymoon they were planning. Friends and family could click on an individual element of the patchwork and buy it as their gift. n their case, these consisted of simple things like a night in a hotel, a couple of beers in a bar or an unromantic dinner for four. As Knight’s nan pointed out to her, “It’s not a new idea. It’s a whip-round, love” — and she’s right but it is much more organised and also individual to the gift giver and receiver.

Use Patchwork Present to fund a new wardrobe from The Fableists!

Use Patchwork Present to fund a new wardrobe from The Fableists!

Can it sort out my child birthday present quandary? Absolutely. It will just take some forward thinking, planning and a slightly awkward request to the parents of my child’s friends. I’m sure some people will find my request to club together to fund something a little rude at first. Once they’ve thought about it, they’ll realise that they are going to spend less money, avoid a rush to the shops for a gift and the quest for some sort of wrapping/presentation method. It’s better all around.

You could also introduce a charity element to your child. It might be difficult for them to understand giving a percentage of their birthday present to a charity but there might a fundraising project that means something to them, personally. A four year old might not be ready for this concept but you never know and it’s something to build on.

Use Patchwork Present to fund tickets to see your child's favourite sports team, or a West End Show, or the Cinema

Use Patchwork Present to fund tickets to see your child’s favourite sports team, or a West End Show, or the Cinema

How does it work? You can build a present using your social media accounts, so that the site can access your contacts. You can use a database of ready-made patchworks as a basis for ideas and then customise for your own individual present. Or, you can create an entirely new patchwork. Once you have built your patchwork and are ready to fund it, you simply link it to your PayPal account and publicise it.

You will give your friends a URL to access the present. They can choose which aspect of the present they would like to fund, add it to their shopping cart as proceed as with any other online shopping experience. This is free to set up and Patchwork Present will take a 3% commission from each of your friends’ contributions as payment for the use of their service.

Patchwork Present is a collective and resourceful way to raise money for a much-wanted gift. But it also offers a truly personal, creative and rewarding experience for both those giving and receiving — not only more efficient but more fun than throwing some cash in a hat.

Sign up now!

Patchwork Present can be used to fund anything. Maybe a bedroom redecorating project, piano or swimming lessons, or a night away somewhere

Patchwork Present can be used to fund anything. Maybe a bedroom redecorating project, piano or swimming lessons, or a night away somewhere.

Travel: Off-Grid Glamping in Andalusia

cloud house 4Looking for a completely off-grid family holiday? Cloud House Farm offers you total privacy in an off-the-beaten-track location – ideal for completely un-winding and being with your family for some great adventures.

Cloud House Farm is located deep in the hills of the Andalusian Rio Genal Valley, Spain, set against the spectacular backdrop of the Sierra Bermeja Mountain range. It is one hour from the city of Ronda and near to the typical Andalusian village of Genalguacil. This pretty white-washed village plays host to an art festival in August and, as such, attracts a strong community of artistic talent.

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Justine Armstrong and Dan Cooper moved from the UK to start their family at Cloud House, taking over the abandoned and overgrown farm with a dream of living the good life without sacrificing on comforts. The entire property is powered by solar panels while wood from the forest provides fuel for the stoves and ranges for cooking and heating. Fresh drinking water is gravity fed from the farm’s natural spring while storage tanks and rainwater harvesters help sustain the gardens throughout the summer. Wastewater is processed through a twin chamber septic tank and filtered through a gravel soak away.

Accommodation is provided in Mongolian yurts nestled in a mountain forest of cork oak, olive and chestnut trees, as well as orange and lemon groves. Each yurt is stocked with games and books for the whole family to enjoy and features its own private loo, just a short walk outside. There is also a shower with hot water that is then recycled for use in the gardens. You will cook on a wood stove (although a solar-powered oven is also available) and eat al fresco on your own secluded terrace with stunning views of the mountains and forest around you. Cloud House also provides an iPod dock and broadband Wi-Fi is available near the farmhouse. Each yurt is ideal for a family of four.

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This is an ideal place for kids to run free, climb trees, swing on the rope swings and take a dip in one of several natural river pools, which are a short walk from the yurts. There are also public swimming pools and restaurants, bars and shops in the local villages. There is a wealth of plant and animal life to discover as well as local hikes and day excursions to see nearby sites. The nearest beach is just over an hour’s drive away.

An ideal summer holiday for the whole family, with lots of activities, lots to see and do and learn.

Cloud House Farm accepts guests from May to October with a 4 night minimum booking. Prices range from £65-75 per night for a double yurt. Children 2 and under are welcomed free of charge while children through 12 are charged at an additional £10 per night and teenagers are £20 per night.

www.cloudhouse.es

The Fableists in The Telegraph Magazine’s ‘Children’s Notebook’

On January 11 2014, The Fableists featured in The Telegraph Magazine. And, frankly, I don’t think we did enough bragging about it!

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We were included in Daisy Bridgewater’s “Children’s Notebook”.

The image includes Mimi in the unisex Smock Top and Denim Skirt (foreground) and Missy (background) in our Classic Dark Denim Jeans, ‘Tough But Fair’ t-shirt, designed by Sami Viljanto and the Western Shirt jauntily tossed over her shoulder.

The copy reads:

“Modern Classics: The Fableists is a new company determined to make parents reassess their approach to disposable children’s fashion with a collection of utilitarian, utterly sustainable clothes for children aged 4-10. ‘I did some research into the fashion industry in India,’ the founder Matt Cooper tells me, ‘and it stuck in my throat that kids were making clothes for my kids. I wanted to raise awareness, and break the cycle.’ designed for girls and boys, the clothes are not seasonal and are made to last, and to be passed down through family and friends (sizes are also rather generous). Shown here is the versatile Smock shirt, £30 in hard-wearing, 100 per cent organic cotton chambray (thefableists.com).”

Daisy Bridgewater followed up with this tweet:tweet

Photo above by Sam Robinson and shot in Victoria Park, London.

Burberry: Detoxing is not just a fashion fad | Greenpeace International

detox burberryLast week we reported on Greenpeace’s study that discovered toxic chemicals in kids clothes from a number of major retailers. This is not only alarming but surely the final push consumers need to stop buying clothes from fast fashion retailers – if not for themselves then at least for their kids.

The skin is porous and absorbs everything it comes in contact with. If the clothes that you put on your child contain chemicals, these will be absorbed by the skin and could make it in to the blood stream. Your child will also breathe in the chemicals, which could result in respiratory issues. Ever wonder why so many more kids suffer from eczema and asthma nowadays?

It is time to start seriously thinking about the clothes that we are buying and making changes. Our children are so precious to us. We watch what they eat, we put them in hats and sunscreen, we hold their hands when we cross the road – we do everything we can to protect them. Now protect them from the clothes that could be causing them harm.

Greenpeace have launched a campaign against the fashion house Burberry for using materials in their kids’ clothing that contain toxic chemicals. You can read more about what you can do to help let Burberry know that we will not buy their clothes until they can commit to detoxing their brand below.

Change has got to come to the fashion industry. The time is now.

Burberry: Detoxing is not just a fashion fad | Greenpeace International.

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New Items Now in Stock!

Jhango in the Smock Dress in Red

Jhango in the Smock Dress in Red

Our full collection is now in stock!

We’d like to thank you for your patience with us but good things come to those who wait – and these items are very, very good! I have been over the warehouse to inspect the items myself and have personally put the passports in to each package. Let me tell you a bit about each one.

The Smock Dress in Red

Sophia in the Smock Dress

Sophia in the Smock Dress

Oh my goodness it is so gorgeous! This has been the most popular item on our web site so far – even though it’s only been available to pre-order. The actual item will not disappoint. It is made of very soft and fine certified organic cotton chambray. It is tough but delicate. The fabric is thick enough to be worn with tights (or over jeans as a tunic) for winter but thin enough to wear year round. If my kids’ school colour was red, they would have a wardrobe full of these for their school summer dress. In fact, we might just have to sample this in green and blue as well.dress_141_a_

The sleeves can be rolled up and secured with a button to make them elbow length. It is smart and neat and the tie sash will draw the dress in for a more fitted look. I wish it came in my size – it’s that nice, people! And oooh la la, it’s even been featured in the Mail Online.

 

Mimi is in the Smock Top and Classic Denim Skirt

Mimi is in the Smock Top and Classic Denim Skirt

The Smock Top in Blue (unisex)
This was the very first item that we designed. It is made of the same fabric as the dress (above), only blue (obvs). It looks great on boys and girls would make a terrific school shirt if your child’s school colour is blue and if they aren’t overly fussy about white shirts. Again, I might have to sample this in green so that it can be worn to school.smock_059_1

The fabric is fine but tough enough to take a beating. It also hangs beautifully and is thick enough to not require ironing if you give it a good shake and hang to dry.

Chore Coat in Blue

Chore Coat in Blue

The Chore Coat in Blue or Taupe (unisex)
We kind of think of this as our signature item and it does not disappoint. This is the item that Matt Cooper (The Founder of The Fableists) was most desperate to make as he wears a vintage version almost every day of the year. He wears his under a coat in winter in place of a cardigan and he wears it the rest of the year as a lightweight jacket. It is just as smart as it is casual and perfect for boys and girls, who can throw it on over anything.

Henry is wearing the Classic Jeans and French Chore Coat in Taupe with the 'Wear Me Out' tee by Anthony Peters

Henry is wearing the Classic Jeans and French Chore Coat in Taupe with the ‘Wear Me Out’ tee by Anthony Peters

All of the new items are lovely and I have already placed my order for all of them! They are all made of certified organic cotton in factories that have also achieved certification for their legal and ethical practices. The exact certification achieved for each item can be found on each individual garment’s page as they do vary slightly as each producer, factory and manufacturer can use a different accreditation scheme.

Our full first collection is now available to order. Our clothes are not mass produced, they are made carefully. Therefore, they are not available in huge quantities and you’d better grab yours while they are still around!

Like Our Blog? Sign up for our Newsletter!

We try to post something on our blog every week day. From time to time, we also send out a newsletter. This keeps you up to date on new stock and special offers. We also share an interview with one of our suppliers and a couple of other news stories. You can see the last newsletter, to send happy holidays wishes before Christmas here.

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You can sign up to receive our newsletter on the front page of our web site. Just look for the big, green newsletter sign up box. Then you’ll get all the latest news from The Fableists.

A Little Story About the Monsters In Your Closet from Greenpeace

Greenpeace's 'Little Mosnters'

Greenpeace’s ‘Little Monsters’ Image © Greenpeace

Don’t believe us? Greenpeace has just released a report that shows shockingly hazardous levels of toxins in clothes made for kids. The clothes tested came from fast fashion brands, such as American Apparel, C&A, Disney, GAP, H&M, Primark, and Uniqlo; sportswear brands, such as adidas, LiNing, Nike, and Puma; and the luxury brand Burberry. They were also manufactured in twelve different countries. read it here

This is pretty alarming stuff. Not only are these chemicals in the clothes worn by our children, they are also being handled by the workers in the garment trade all over the world. What’s more, these chemicals could be let loose in the environment, harming the natural world and local communities.

Read more about how these chemicals can affect your child here.

Read the Daily Mail’s coverage of this report.

A Little Vintage Inspiration

At The Fableists, we design our clothes for kids. They are meant to take a beating; to play hard, to be washed again and again and to be passed on to another child when yours is done with them. All this plus they had to have that classic, lasting style.

We built our clothes to be ‘future vintage’ and as such, it made sense to look for a little vintage inspiration when we were coming up with the designs. We love vintage work wear because it is well made, durable, and classic – perfect for The Fableists kids!

Don’t just take it from us. Check out this tweet from Daisy Bridgewater, who writes the Children’s Notebook in the Telegraph Magazine:

tweet

We love looking online and in books for vintage style that we think will be perfect for kids. We could easily come up with hundreds of designs based on these hard-wearing threads.

Shouldn’t all kids be dressed ready for action? In our clothes, your kids will be ready for anything. And there is history in our clothes. Just look where they’ve been before.

Follow us on Pinterest to check out some of the things that inspire us.