Last week, The Fableists participated in The Ethical Fashion Forum’s second annual #BrandPreview. The event ran Tuesday 4th February and Wednesday 5th February. This event is a completely online webinar where ethical fashion brands in all categories get to present their latest collections and talk about the ethos and inspiration behind them.
This is a great chance for buyers and fashion press to see ethical brands that are available and ask questions and get in touch with them individually. Attendance is open to anyone but you had to register in advance.
For The Fableists, this was a great opportunity to meet other brands who are creating ethical childrens wear. It is great to hear the stories of other people and to talk to others who are passionate about the reasons for starting their companies and the lengths that they have gone to in order to ensure their clothes are ethically produced.
The other companies who were involved in our Preview, which took place at 5:30 on Wednesday, were Animal Tails, Babaa, Dhana EcoKids, Eco Divine, edamame, Eternal Creation, Fourzero, Macarons, Pink & Grey, and Plum of London.
One thing that is so important to us is that we view other people that are working in ethical and sustainable kidswear not as competitors but on the same team. We are all small and to go up against the big guns, we need to work together. If there is room for a Brand X on every high street in the world (and then some), there is room for all of us small, ethical producers. This is a bandwagon we want everyone to jump on. Our brands all vary in terms of design, aesthetics, ethics and inspiration but they are all on the same track and it is a track that we want everyone to climb on.
For many of us, our brands and message include an aspect of education because it is crucial that our message gets out to consumers. At the end of the day, most of started our brands in order to produce clothing that did not harm the Earth or her people.
Our panel was chaired by Tamsin Lejune, Managing Director of the Ethical Fashion Forum. She highlighted some trends in ethically made kids wear including:
- Collaborations with artists and designers
- Adult trends being replicated for children
- Bright and cheerful colours
- Personal expressions and diversity with clothes representative of lifestyle and interests rather than generic clothes for kids
- How the brands are creating ambassadors for the ethical movement out of children
She then introduced each of the brands with a slideshow and spoke about each one. One of our favourites was Babaa, which is a Spanish knitwear company. Each item is hand made in Spain with 100% natural materials. They are made to last and each item is unique. They are creating products mainly for younger children but also have some toys and women’s items. Their knitwear is absolutely gorgeous and truly original. They feature bright colours but are also classic and so kid-friendly.
Matt Cooper, Founder of The Fableists spoke about how The Fableists began, highlighting that we had wanted to do something different from what we has seen before. He discussed how our look is based on a vintage, grown up look and that it is meant for every day wear. He spoke about how our clothes are built to last and made to be passed on to other children when you are done with them.
He went on to say that while sustainability is a key factor for us, design has equal importance. We want the kids to love the comfort and movement of our clothes but we want parents to love them too for their beautiful and cool designs but also for their ease of care. Our clothes are never meant to be out of style and most are unisex.
The topic that got the most response on our Twitter feed was the announcement that we will soon be launching a 2.5 minute animated film called The Epic Thread. This follows the story of a girl who pulls a thread on her t-shirt and follows it to find out how and where her shirt was made. This has been written by creative agency Brothers and Sisters and animated by The Mill. A teaser for this film will be available soon. So watch this space!
We are also launching a series of documentaries about ‘The Fableists’ all over the world. We are talking to amazing kids who might have a great talent, a passion for something, or have overcome obstacles. Our brand is not just about the clothes but about the story of the clothes from all angles – which is where we took our name, The Fableists. We are also promoting a lifestyle that is sustainable but fun, stylish, healthy, family oriented and all about getting out and doing and living well.
Another thing that Matt touched on is that we launched The Fableists as a creative collaboration with friends and colleagues who work in the advertising and film production world. Our clothes very much fit the aesthetic of how this industry dresses. We were inspired by the story of OshKosh, who made work wear for labourers but really became popular when they made a range for kids that imitated the uniforms of their fathers. As kids leave the toddler stage, they want to be differentiated from babies and wear proper, grown up clothes. At the same time, we think kids should still look like kids and not be following the latest fashion trends. Kids clothes need to be age-appropriate.
The full audio of the #BrandPreview is now available and can be accessed at this link.