Meet Dafydd Upsdell – One of The Fableists

Dafydd Upsdell, One of The Fableists

Dafydd Upsdell, One of The Fableists

My name is Daf and it’s my turn to say hello and tell you a little bit about myself.

I began my career in the media industry way back in 2000 when I started working as a runner at The Mill post production house in London. Since then, I’ve worked for numerous companies and, over time, have made amazing contacts and lifelong friendships and to this day still can’t believe some of the things I have been lucky enough to be a part of and somehow still call work.

My involvement with The Fableists began down the pub whilst enjoying a pint – on this occasion with the one and only Matt Cooper. I can honestly say the job I had at the time was not very fulfilling and I was just going through the motions of getting up and going to work and not really thinking about what I really wanted to to do with my life going forward. I had always dived in and out of setting up small companies in an effort to make some money on the side but nothing really had ever taken off and (once again) I found myself sitting in the sunshine with Matt introducing him to yet another one of my “Derrick Trotter” business-type ideas. When I had finished (and after the signature Matt Cooper laugh), he took a deep breath, bought me another pint and said he wanted to tell me about something he had been putting together with Sarah, his wife – something they both thought was really going to make a difference.

Over the course of the next 30 minutes, Matt explained to me his ideas, the concept of The Fableists, the clothes they had designed and, more importantly, what he wanted the company to represent. As I listened to Matt (and got two more pints) I was blown away by how much work and time he had put into the idea and I couldn’t help but get caught up in his excitement and it was there and then I pretty much said that I wanted to be a part of The Fableists and get involved in the story.

So, as the months passed and as the Fableists grew, the more I personally got to understand the importance of what it meant to be an ethical and sustainable business and how important it was for us to position ourselves in this way. On a personal leveI I learnt about what it was to try and live within the sustainable boundaries of buying items such as clothes and food and as time has gone on I’ve realised it’s a very simple and fulfilling process to go through. Yes, I was fortunate to have Matt and Sarah point me in the right direction of where to buy clothes, for example, and why some companies were better than others but now I feel that if someone were to ask me how they would go about being sustainable, I think I am in a pretty good position to help them out through what I have learnt.

You see, that’s why I became a Fableist! If I can help someone understand and embrace sustainability in their life and they, in turn, pass this information onto others, then think of the potential as the story grows from person to person.

The simple truth of the matter is that we, The Fableists, are a company who strive to make amazing kids clothes that are bought because people think our clothes are cool, look amazing and built to last. The fact that we are embracing sustainability at the same time is our way of showing that all of this can be done whilst maintaing the highest possible environmental, social and ethical standards.

I love being a Fableist and I think you will too.

Daf

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Secret 50% off Sale at The Fableists

Hello Fableists

We have a secret sale code for all our wonderful social media followers. The sale ends Monday May 26th and everything online is currently available for 50% off.

Just enter the code

fableistsfifty

in the discount or coupon box in your shopping cart and you’ll get a whopping 50% off all your purchases.

Don’t delay! Happy shopping. Visit www.TheFableists.com

~The Fableists

Meet Anthony Peters ~ Designer and Illustrator of Some of The Fableists’ Tees

Illustrator and Designer Anthony Peters

Illustrator and Designer Anthony Peters

Anthony Peters is a UK-based illustrator and designer. He has illustrated three t-shirts for The Fableists’ launch. They will be available in limited edition soon. Anthony is represented by RARE BIRD in London.

TheFableists: Tell us a bit about your background. Where did you start? Where do you come from?

AP: I’m a council estate kid from a single parent family who got a free University Education in Fine Art and now runs a successful design and illustration business. Thanks to the way the system used to work…

My earliest creative memory is of visiting the Natural History Museum when I was 5. I got bought a fold out poster of all the dinosaurs and went home and drew them all. My mother told me I should be an artist and I guess it sank in… Though I wanted to be an archeologist before an artist!

TheFableists: What, or who, inspires your day-to-day work?

AP: I’m a Culture junkie, so inspiration comes from everywhere, old Ladybird books, Graphis annuals, record covers, music, films… But a big percentage of my inspiration comes from my family. My kids are bursting with ideas and it’s hard to compete! And many of my ideas come to me when I’m walking my dog along the East Sussex cliffs!

TheFableists: Would you say you draw everyday?

AP: I definitely make things everyday, not necessarily always with a pencil, sometimes ink, sometimes Gocco prints, screen prints but mostly stuff on the computer, sadly.

TheFableists: Where are we most likely to find your work? Is it mostly in the medium of advertising, magazine, print work or online?

AP: I’m a kind of jack-of-all-master-of-none kind of character so I have done editorial for people like GQ and New Scientist, tees for companies like 2K by Gingham, stacks of screen prints with people like Print Club London and Unlimited Editions, done some apps with School Of Happy and kids illustrations with Okido Magazine. It suits me fine to work in many different mediums as it would drive me insane to do the same thing again and again just because it was successful. I would rather try new things and fail than repeat myself and succeed.

TheFableists: What were your inspirations behind the designs you created for us?

AP: The inspirations for the designs I made come from long held beliefs I have that fit right alongside those of the Fableists.

The Factory piece is a piece of Paris 68 Student Riot style graphics given a new context. It suggests that factories shouldn’t pollute and degrade our world and that they could, in fact, be used as decent and fair working places which care about environmental concerns.

The ‘Wear Me Out’ piece is a simple statement on the fact that we seem to throw things out for the most arbitrary reasons, nothing I like more than seeing someone in a well loved and well worn item of clothing that is still going strong!

Lastly, the soldiers piece is a simple and fairly cliché statement on the fact that its better to create and share than to destroy and conquer!

TheFableists: What are your thoughts on The Fableists? Do you think there should be more people doing what we are?

AP: I feel as though so many clothing manufacturers lack transparency, and this is because their manufacturing methods are probably exploitive or environmentally damaging. It’s refreshing to see a company that has a strong moral code and ethos and puts its money where its mouth is. And so transparent from the outset!

I would love to see more companies doing this kind of thing but I fear that greed and the pursuit of ever growing profits get in the way of ethics and quality. Maybe The Fableists will have a positive influence on the children’s clothing market!

TheFableists: If you could work for anyone, who would it be? Do you have a dream client?

AP: Always a hard question for me! And it changes all the time!

In a dream it would be a collaboration with Charles and Ray Eames and Geoff Mcfetridge, Creative Direction by Paul Arden and adapted into a movie by Wes Anderson.

In the real world I would like to get into working with animators for commercials and music videos, and would like to indulge my love of music by working on sleeve art and design. Though I am teaching myself after effects so who knows, maybe I will branch out into animation myself!

TheFableists: Do you have a particular client that keeps coming back?

AP: Okido Magazine have come back time after time, and I love working with Sophie Dauvois and Maggie Li. Plus as it’s a kids magazine I get to be a hero to my kids! I also work with Print Club London a lot and Unlimited Collective, and was recently at Pick Me Up with both organisations.

TheFableists: Are there any places in the world that make you feel creative?

AP: London fills my mind with ideas and colours and energy. I worked and lived there for many years and I felt I just fed off the energy, but it can be tiresome. Now I live on the East Sussex Coast where the Downs meet the sea and this has become my geographic muse!

TheFableists: If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?

AP: The continual pursuit of greed and power. We have been sidetracked into caring about profits, returns and low overheads. Parents are being berated for choosing to be with their children instead of working 100 hour weeks to help fight in the worldwide economic warfare; governments are calling the poor scroungers…It’s a construct, a way of squeezing down labour costs and milking even more profit out of people. People need to switch off their phones, step outside, sit on a hill in the sunshine and remember that they are here to enjoy their 80 odd years as a conscious being, not as a worker drone!

Sami Viljanto Tells us About His Designs for The Fableists’ Tees

sami

 

Helsinki, Finland native Sami Viljanto is one of the artists behind the limited edition t-shirt designs for The Fableists (see Sami’s collection here). We asked him a few questions about how these images came to be. We think that you’ll agree that Mr Viljanto is not only very talented but very, very silly.

Sami is represented for illustration work by Rare Bird London.

The Fableists > Tell us a bit about your background. Where did you start, where do you come from?

Sami > When I was six, I was captured by a two-eyed giant, who lived on top of a mountain, in a cottage made out of raccoon flavoured Digestive biscuits. The place had no television, so he made me draw imaginary Matlock stories over and over. Then one day I was able to eat myself out, but as a result I can’t stand the taste of Digestive biscuit, and haven’t eaten them ever again.

The Fableists > What or who inspires your day-to-day work?

Sami > I have a German pet fox called Heinrich, who’s been lately having a hard time finding a job – apparently because of the language barrier. So, I’ve promised to pay for his language school. It’s not entirely cheap and – between us – I must say he isn’t really showing much of progression, but what I really respect and what inspires me every day, is his courage and mental strength to keep on trying, no matter what the others say.

The Fableists > Would you say you draw every day?

Sami > I haven’t always been that wise, but I guess I’m slowly starting to learn the lesson. I try to start every morning with a cup of coffee and a page of mindless doodling. I keep on saying it’s because I want to be a better illustrator, but it’s probably just because the close-by coffee shop has such good coffees.

The Fableists > Where are we most likely to find your work? Is it mostly in the medium of advertising, magazine, print work, online or other?

Sami > I’d say 40% are editorials, 20% advertising, 20% print and 20% is so top secret even I don’t know what it consists of. Do those add up to 100%? I copy-pasted it straight from my excel sheet of statistics.

The Fableists > What were the inspirations behind the designs you created for us?

Sami > I’ve been really interested in tattoos for years, and been trying to bring something from that aesthetic to my illustrations. Since I might never be brave enough to actually start tattooing people, these Fableists designs might be the closest I’ll ever get to that. I guess the theme also represents the level of permanence that I wish our clothing and gadgets could have.

The Fableists > What’s your feeling about The Fableists? Do you think there should be more people doing what we are?

Sami > I think it’s exactly the right way to go. Actuall,y it makes me angry that it’s still a marginal choice to buy things that are made ethically and environmentally, whereas it should really be the only option available. Like those warning pictures in cigarette packs, there should be ones in your t-shirt, so you’d actually see the person who worked 16 hours a day for you to get that new jacket for 10 pounds, ‘cos you’re too lazy to wash the previous one.

The Fableists > If you could work for anyone, who would it be? Do you have a dream client?

Sami > Hmm. First one that comes to mind is Michel Gondry. I don’t really know what we would do, but he just feels like a person that would be really interesting to work with. Other than that, I like to work with whoever concentrates on the quality, not just getting it done and moving on. Oh and MacGyver! It’s so good to work with people who don’t complain about every obstacle that comes along the way, but rather just take it easy and solve the problem.

The Fableists > Do you have a particular client that keeps coming back?

Sami > I have a couple of local magazines that have been kind enough to keep commissioning me multiple times.

The Fableists > Are there any places in the world that make you feel creative?

Sami > I think what inspires me most is change. So it’s not really that much about the actual place, but the change in contrast to the previous one. Does this make any sense?

The Fableists > If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?

Sami > I have to admit, that I wasn’t entirely honest in the first question, and must say that I regret lying to you guys straight up in the beginning. So, to change one thing, I would correct that, and like to state now, that I do still eat Digestive biscuits. Sorry about that. [It’s okay, Sami. You’re forgiven, Love The Fableists]

Come and see The Fableists’ Kickstarter Campaign

We are ready to start production on our second collection. We have sampled the items and are so excited to share them with you. In order to fund the second collection, we are running a Kickstarter campaign.

Kickstarter screen grabUpon the successful completion of the campaign, we will be able to press go on our order. Our clothes take up to three months to produce, so that would mean that the next collection would be available at the end of the summer.

We have some beautiful new items, which we will be sharing with you over the coming weeks.

Please come and have a look at our Kickstarter page. We’d really love your support so that we can produce our next round of sustainable and ethically made clothes for kids. We’re on a mission to change the way that people buy clothes and we need your support.

If crowdfunding is new to you, then you should definitely check it out. It’s a really exciting way that creative businesses can fund their projects with the support of the public. Backers may come on board with a pledge for many reasons:

They may be friends or family offering a helping hand;
They could be colleagues who believe in the person looking for funding;
They can be people who share the interest in fashion and sustainability;
They could be looking for more great clothes for their kids;
They could simply like the look of what you’re doing and want to be able to say they backed you way back when;
Or, they could be backing you to get some of the rewards you are offering for different tiers of pledge.

Regardless of their reasons for coming on board, Kickstarter is an amazing and social way to raise money for your project. It’s worth coming to check it out and see how it works.

We would really appreciate your support and won’t let you down with our next collection! The designs are all really beautiful with the same attention to detail, durability, and style as the first collection. You won’t be disappointed.

Come and see us on Kickstarter.

Thanks for taking a look!

 

The Fableists Go Bananas! Get a Fairtrade Fortnight Discount

fairtradeFairtrade Fortnight is 24 February to 9 March.

This year, to celebrate the annual Fairtrade Fortnight, The Fairtrade Foundation has launched a new campaign, Make Bananas Fair, asking the UK public to help end the supermarket price wars, including a petition asking the government to urgently step in and investigate the impact of retailer pricing practices.

Bananas have always been one of the main symbols of the Fairtrade movement. They are one of the most popular foods in the world and absolutely indispensable for anyone with children. They often form the basis of a baby’s first tastes and textures. They are a quick, portable and simple meal for toddlers, an ideal after-school snack, terrific before sports and just plain delicious. They are worth every penny at the double the price we are currently paying in supermarkets. Tell me – would you stop buying bananas if they were twice as expensive? They would still be an absolute bargain.

Paying just a bit more for our bananas would make a huge difference in the lives of banana farmers and labourers. It would mean they were paid fairly.

You can sign the ‘Make Bananas Fair’ petition and find everything else relating to Fairtrade Fortnight over on the campaign microsite.

Fairtrade is about better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world. Doesn’t that make sense?

The Fableists clothing is made in Fairtrade certified factories. To celebrate Fairtrade Fortnight, The Fableists is offering 15% off all orders until March 9th.

Enter the code fairtradefortnight in the coupon box in your shopping basket before going to check out, to take advantage of this offer.coupon

The Fableists at The Ethical Fashion Forum’s #BrandPreview

source brand preview

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.

The Fableists in ELLE UK

Elle 4The March issue of ELLE UK is now on news stands. It features Lily Allen on the cover. Elle 2Inside, there is a feature called ‘The Pieces’ and it covers the 10 items you need to own this S/S 2014.Elle 3One of these 10 items is ‘The Denim Cover Up’. Another is ‘The Super Long Skirt’… HOLD ON A MINUTE! What’s that she’s wearing with said long skirt? Let’s take a closer look…Elle 1Oh my absolute goodness, it’s only a t-shirt from THE FABLEISTS!!! This ‘Brain’, designed by Gregori Saavedra in a size 9-10.

ELLE UK do not cover kids clothing, but they so loved our tees that they have found a crafty way of featuring them. And – funnily enough – we’ve had a huge surge in orders for size 9-10 tees over the past 18 hours! So, if our tees are de rigueur for the Louboutins set, you’d better get your orders in PDQ!

Hey – that jacket she’s wearing is pretty similar to our Chore Coat, too. Just sayin’!

The Fableists Pop Up Shop in Essex Countryside

Photo by Robin Pope

Photo by Robin Pope

Fancy a shopping trip in the countryside?
Come and check out The Fableists clothes at our special ‘pop up’ shop event:

Sunday 15 December 3-6:00
In Coggeshall, Essex CO6

Contact us for the exact address.

Save the shipping cost: We will have most of our collection available to view and buy and can accept cash or card.

We’d love to tell you about our clothes and what we are doing. Bring your kids along!

If the time and date above aren’t convenient for you, you can set up an alternate time before Sunday by contacting Sarah Cooper on 01376 562 846.

View our collection online at www.TheFableists.com.

Photo with logo

The Fableists Trunk Sale – TOMORROW – in Notting Hill

Trunk Sale

 

Come and check out our killer kids clothes Thursday 28th November 2013 16-18:00

We’ll have a great selection of our kid friendly and sustainably made clobber and artist designed t-shirts available for sale.

Please bring your kids!

The event takes place after school, so let them come and see and feel the clothes first hand. We’ll have activities to keep them busy and will make shopping fun for them!

Venue:

Apart Gallery
287-289 Westbourne Grove
London W11 2QA