The Fableists – Now Accepting Paypal Online

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The Fableists can now accept PayPal payments on our website, making it so much easier for you to shop with us. Getting up to get your credit/debit card is so 2014.

Right now is a great chance to use this new feature, as we also have 50% off our entire collection until January 31st. Come and check us out at www.TheFableists.com.

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Mangle and Wringer – Natural Cleaning Remedies that Make Sense

M&W product 004So, you’ve purchased your organic cotton clothes from The Fableists and are keen to make them last as long as possible. You’re ready to wash in cold water, hang dry, shake and fold. But what can you use to wash them? The last thing you want to do is put toxins in to your chemical-free kids clothes!

Most commercial cleaning products today are laden with chemicals and in order to cover up the toxic odours these produce, further chemicals are added to provide the ‘clean’ and ‘fresh’ scents we’ve become addicted to. Shouldn’t something that is clean just have no smell? Clean jeans certainly shouldn’t smell like fresh pine, or waterfalls – whatever they smell like! It’s no wonder that we’ve seen a huge increase in children with asthma and eczema.

We were delighted to discover Mangle and Wringer http://www.mangleandwringer.co.uk/, a British brand that uses traditional methods to create their products and recipes passed down from a time before the advent of multi-national chemical conglomerates. Not only are the products fabulous to use, the branding and packaging is also so beautiful that you will be proud to display them on your counter tops. You can’t say that about many cleaning products!

M&W stacking soap 011

Products available:

Spray and Go – an all-purpose, multi-surface spray cleaner

Kitchen Cleanser – a cream cleaner safe for use on most surfaces

Bathroom Balm – a cream cleaner specific to bathroom use

Good for Glass – a spray cleaner for glass

Pure Laundry – for colours and whites, an all-purpose laundry powder

Natural Bleach – for removing stains in your washing and brightening whites

All of the ingredients used are safe, non-toxic, effective and completely biodegradable. They also come from renewable and sustainable sources. A full list of ingredients and directions for use are available on the Mangle and Wringer web site http://www.mangleandwringer.co.uk/shop.php.

We used the products around the house, in the garden and on the ultimate greasy testing ground: bank holiday weekend camping. With eight kids in tow, ranging from 8 months to 17 years, there was ample opportunity to put the Spray and Go to the test, cleaning greasy cooking appliances, filthy surfaces and – because of the non-toxic ingredients – even dirty hands.

Upon our return, we did all of the washing using Pure Laundry and Natural Bleach. The Fableists clothes remain toxin-free and have come out clean and pure, with colours still in-tact while sleeping bags and other camping essentials are packed up clean, and ready for the next outing. In short, we are delighted to have discovered a new and chemical free range of products. (favourite product? The Natural Beach. It’s amazing on all our washing!)

M&W Vanessa

Owner of Mangle and Wringer, Vanessa Willes took the time to answer some of our questions about her company and products.

You didn’t begin your working life making traditional cleaning products! What led you down this path?

I spent 20 years working as an architect and interior designer, but in 2004 I was diagnosed with ME or chronic fatigue syndrome and I was forced to stop.

At the same time I met an amazing lady called Bette who, at the age of 84, had come to help at a local mother and toddler group. She offered to help me around the house and she was also keen to aid my recovery. Instead of recommending bed rest, she suggested gentle physical therapy and taught me how to make traditional soap, as her mother had shown her more than 70 years earlier. As we got to know one another she told me of her extraordinary life ‘below stairs’:

She went into service at the age of 14 where she recreated her family soap recipe and, with it, made cleaning products that were safe and effective. When she married and moved back to the country, Bette set up a local laundry and used her own soap based washing powder and stain removers to great effect.

Can you tell us where the name Mangle and Wringer came from?

Our name Mangle & Wringer comes from those days when Bette ran the laundry. She was known locally as ‘Mrs Mangle’ – long before the character in Australian soap Neighbours! – and her eldest daughter, Margaret, became known as ‘Little Miss Wringer’. We were keen to honour Bette in our brand and Mangle & Wringer seemed to fit.

Your branding is lovely, who did it for you?

I created the branding myself, with the help of a friend who is a graphic designer. I was keen to convey the traditional nature of the products, but also create packaging that would look good enough to be left out.

Is your packaging recyclable?

All packaging is recyclable although we hope customers might find a second use for the tins and the Pure Laundry Powder and Natural Bleach bags are completely compostable.

Are your products tested on animals?

None of our products, or the ingredients we use, have ever been tested on animals.

Do you have any new products in the pipeline?

We’ve had a lot of requests for the pure liquid soap we use in the products so we will launch that next. It can be used for washing dishes, floors, as an all purpose cleaner and is very safe and gentle on skin – containing just organic coconut and sunflower oils and nothing else! We are also add ‘Bette’s Bar’, the original bar of traditional soap. Again, it’s a fantastic multi purpose soap that’s great for cleaning anything, but is particularly gentle on skin being made using 100% organic coconut oil.

Other products in the pipeline include a beeswax furniture polish and a soap based spray especially for marble and granite. Bette’s books contain hundreds of wonderful recipes so you can expect lots of wonderful products in the future too.

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You can purchase your Mangle and Wringer products online via their own web site http://www.mangleandwringer.co.uk/index.php. Items are dispatched immediately for next day delivery in the UK. If you are interested in overseas delivery, please contact Mangle and Wringer directly in order to make arrangements. 

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Hand Me Downs are Totally Awesome!

Seriously? These outfits were never bought new. They were just passed on and on and on...

Seriously? These outfits were never bought new. They were just passed on and on and on… They may even be antiques. After all, they look like they date from 18th century Bavaria and American Pioneer times. But, man – I loved that dress!

A quick search for ‘hand me down’ turns up all sorts of negative connotations: ‘cheap’, ‘shabby’, ‘used’, ‘no good’.

What?

Do you remember when all kids’ clothes were passed around? Raise your hand if you wore the same outfits as your brothers, sisters, cousins, neighbours…? Second hand clothes were not something to be sneered at – you eagerly awaited your turn! As a child, my favourite clothes were the ones that had belonged to my older (and therefore terrifically cool) cousins. I loved getting their clothes and I wore them with pride and when I was done, they went to my brother and my younger cousins. We didn’t call them ‘vintage’ and yet no one turned down their noses at them. It was just what you did and it was the way it had worked since human beings had first covered themselves. We didn’t waste things. Everyone did it – regardless of their background or bank account.

Exactly how, when and why this changed is the topic of endless research and essays. Suffice it to say that somewhere along the way, we started spending our money less wisely, on lesser quality goods. Suddenly everything we bought was made on distant shores so that it could be produced on the cheap (a topic for another day) and we were clamouring for more and more. Our wardrobes and drawers started to overflow and most of the stuff didn’t even get worn. Our consuming is now out of control and most of us have the debt load to prove it. We’re teaching our kids to be bad consumers. And they are missing out on an essential childhood experience. Hand me downs are part of being a kid.

One of the most important things to us at The Fableists, is to make clothes that can be passed on from one child to another. To that end, we’ve designed the majority of our clothes to be worn by both girls and boys. They are made of 100% organic cotton using natural dyes that aren’t polluting the planet (and no chemicals will seep in through your child’s skin, either). They are made of thick materials so that they’ll last. If you wash them in cold water and hang them up, they’ll last longer (and you won’t have to iron them – result!). We want you to buy less of our clothes and wear them more and wear them longer.

So think of buying from The Fableists as an investment in ‘future vintage’. Think of how excited future kids will be when our clothes are handed down to them!

Q&A with Laura Gregory, Founder and Executive Producer of Great Guns

Laura Gregory of Great Guns

Laura Gregory of Great Guns

Great Guns is a global production company, with its headquarters in London. They have a solid reputation for reliability, creative solutions and great production values. Founder, Laura Gregory talks to The Fableists about their involvement in the launch of our brand.

The Fableists > Great Guns has been called the only truly global production company. Where do you have offices?
Laura > We are based in London, Los Angeles, Singapore, Hamburg, Prague, Shanghai, Bangkok and Mumbai.

The Fableists > How did you get your start in the production industry?
Laura > I was a receptionist in a small production company. I was such a crap typist – they promoted me to sales.

The Fableists > Do you mostly win work through an advertising agency? Or via the client directly?
Laura > 80% is with agency partners and 20% with companies who have in-house marketing departments.

The Fableists > How do you select the directors that Great Guns represents?
Laura > Talent. The hardest job for a production house is to support new talent. We’ve always been known to find amazing new talent. There are a few other companies of note who I respect for their incredible eye to spot talent: James Studholme at Blink and Jonathon Ker at Paydirt USA, for example. It’s a tough, and sometimes thankless task to put a young director on the map. Take Ilya Naishuller, whose NEFT Vodka piece got him into the Saatchi New Directors Showcase. Now it will take an agency and client with some balls to use him. It’s not a surprise that some of the hottest agencies and brands in the world who have balls are approaching us to use him. That’s how the chain works. Production companies find talent, the brave creative shops use the new talent.. a new star is born…

The Fableists > How did you get involved with The Fableists?
Laura > Matt Cooper told me about his dream over a year ago and I said, “How can I help”? It is an amazing concept.

The Fableists > Your director, Olivier Venturini will be heading up direction of The Fableists’ first film campaign. What do you think he can bring to the project?
Laura > Olivier is known for his work with talent, coupled with his cinematic delivery of every piece of content he tackles. His passion for great film and ability to make the children feel 100% safe will deliver a wonderful study of a young ‘Fableist’.

The Fableists > Tell us a bit about your involvement with McCann Health and the seminars and events you’ve been producing in partnership with them?
Laura > We have produced over four major events in partnership with McCann Health’s global team. We collaborate with the global CD and work to brief to deliver inspirational speakers to talk and workshop. We have produced events in Berlin, LA, Tokyo and orchestrated the Women’s Health Cannes Lions series of talks and lunches this year. Speakers included Her Excellency, Mrs Toyin Saraki, a leading advocate for the UN’s Every Woman, Every Child effort, Founder-President of The Wellbeing Foundation Africa, Stephen Sobhani representing Every Woman Every Child,  Mark Koska, Inventor of LIFESAVER, the auto-disposable syringe and Jean-Paul Jeanrenaud, Director, One Planet Leaders, WWF International.

The Fableists > What do you think about The Fableists’ mandate – ‘Play hard, live forever’?
Laura > This could be my motto for life.

The Fableists > How do you think The Fableists will appeal to children and their parents?
Laura > The brand will deliver style and responsible choice through the voice of inspiring children who choose to wear their clothes. Each child and their family will feel good about buying and wearing such a cool brand and being part of the Fableists’ movement: ‘I am a Fableist’.

The Fableists > Do you think that our collaboration can help change the way that people buy clothes?
Laura > 100%. Being around The Fableists has changed the way I view the garments I consider buying and how I wash them.

The Fableists > What is your personal style like?
Laura > Vintage Chanel meets biker. Old bikers die hard… I guess I’m a rocker at heart.

Watch out for The Fableists’ first series of films about amazing kids. Coming soon…