Beb & Ooo Awarded!

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We are delighted to award entrepreneur twins, Beth and Lucy, with our badge recognising their unisex brand as a leading light in childrenswear designed and manufactured here in the UK.

Beb & Ooo is a unisex clothing brand with a love of colour. All of our collections are designed, printed and made in the UK. Our prints feature quirky animal characters which bring a sense of playfulness and fun to our garments!

We believe that all children should be given the freedom to experiment, explore and express their creativity. We hope tat out clothes help to offer parents and children more choice.”

 

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Tell us about Beb & Ooo!

We are twin sisters, Beth and Lucy and we have just (finally!) launched our own brand of UK made baby and toddler clothing.

We design all of our range: the prints, garment fit and fabric combinations to ensure we end up with fun, colourful, practical clothes that we want to dress  our own children in.

We are heavily influenced by Scandinavian brands and hope to provide a similar look whilst manufacturing it all here in the UK.

What did you do before?

Lucy: I trained in illustration and jewellery design. After a rather winding  path of employment, I have spent the last ten years designing children’s craft kits for  high street retailers.

Beth: I trained in textile design and later in education, teaching art, design  and textiles. Before having my son I had spent six years managing a scrap-store for an environmental charity, which I loved.

We are both full time mums which has made progressing Beb & Ooo somewhat slower! It has, however, meant that we are more informed about the practicalities of dressing small wriggly people.

Why did you feel unisex was so important?

We didn’t set out to develop a unisex brand! Once we had decided to design our own clothing range it became clear to us that we had actually designed a unisex range without really thinking about it in those terms!

This might imply that we don’t see it as important, but in reality is proves our Mum totally succeeded in making clothes just be clothes for us. It was only once we had out boys we realised how hard she must have worked to provide us with such a free, creative and individual childhood.

We didn’t realise this world of pink, blue (and beige) existed as we were taught how to make our own clothes and would spend out pocket money on fabrics, patterns, jumble sale finds and comics!

We are very passionate that all children have freedom to experiment, explore and  express their creativity. We hope that our clothes help to offer parents  and children more choice.

What clothes did you love wearing as a child?

Clothes were important to us growing up as it was the only way some people could tell us apart. Our favourite  clothes were Cloth-kits and our rabbit dresses made by our granny (they featured a pocket  containing a rabbit who was wearing the same dress as us).

Do you sell dresses and skirts for boys too?

We are currently working on a couple of dress designs to introduce to our  collection soon. These will be available to buy for anyone who wants them,  whether they’re a girl or a boy.

To find our more about Beb & Ooo, or to purchase from their range please check out their website, or for offers and events please check out the Beb & Ooo Facebook page!

To nominate a unisex business, or apply for our Let Clothes be Clothes approved badge, please click here.

Gecko Clothing Awarded!

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We’ve had our eye on Colwyn Bay based Gecko Clothing for some time, with fun designs and a great eco-outlook, we are delighted to present Emma, and her family run business, with our award badge!

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Tell us about Gecko Clothing!

I am Emma, The Gecko, Co-founder of Gecko Clothing and Mum of 3 beautiful, amazing and tiring children.

Gecko Clothing is a family run, young clothing brand forging a  reputation for creating bright and fun, unique, unisex designs. I work alongside my husband and it’s very much a family business with our 3 kids taking a large interest and getting involved in all areas. We literally discuss all aspects with them from theme and colour  choices right through to marketing ideas!

Outside of being a Mum and The Gecko I like to run and climb, living in North Wales this gives me the perfect back drop for both! I am happiest outdoors.

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Emma Davidson, Co-Founder of Gecko Clothing

What did you do before?

Before setting up Gecko Clothing I was a freelance event and project Manager specialising in social inclusion and community projects. Although I really enjoyed my time freelance and the work and projects it became quite stressful with a young family. Being Freelance meant I had no cover if I was  needed at home.

What are your biggest sellers?

Although we have been around since 2012 it was only last year that we were  in a position to manufacture our own clothes from pattern to final stitch in  our own print designs. It was amazing to watch them come together and see everyone’s excitement when they were  released.

Our most popular item were definitely our colourful dungarees.

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Nutty for Nature Dungaree’s

Why did you feel unisex was so important?

The very idea of Gecko Clothing started because my husband would rant at the men’s offering in terms of designs and colours in comparison to women’s choice and was completely uninspired  by the dull, predictable offerings on  the High Street. When I had my son this only compounded the frustration.

Boys were so limited in terms of colours and designs, we had to spend hours shopping for things that weren’t blue and I hate shopping! Then we saw that it got even worse when they reached 3, that somehow the colours and patterns became even more muted! That’s when  Gecko was born. We very quickly  saw that beyond the frustration at how these outdated stereotypes limited the options for genders, that it went deeper. We felt uncomfortable dictating to  parents what their child liked based on their gender, the whole idea seemed absurd.

Gender stereotypes: harmful, or can you just ignore?

1tEbgSAISu3F2KPy-2WDBnd61EF_iJvMOfqBfWYeyeAIt’s definitely harmful! I genuinely believe that until we teach our children  that they are all equal we will never truly have equality. Right now this is the message that society is teaching based on gender segregation and marketing alone: “Of course you can be a Palaeontologist when you grow up, you can be anything you put your mind to… You can’t have  dinosaurs they’re for boys!  What about this pretty doll?

Not really dripping in equality is it?!

5 changes you’d like to see in society around children and clothes:

  1. Stop the boy/girl division – design to kids and let them choose based on their own beautiful personality and preferences
  2. Stop designing for boys and girls like they are 2 separate species and shapes – design to kids and let them choose based on their own beautiful personality and preferences
  3. More inclusion and diversity and beauty of all children including those  with physical disabilities, sensory impairments and the massive spectrum therein
  4. It’s nice that kids can get ‘Sunday best’ type outfits, but I would love to see more emphasis on what a child needs from their clothes in designs – freedom of movement and comfort mainly
  5. Tighter scrutiny on items of sexualisation and general inappropriateness  like high heels and bikinis to name but 2!

To find our more about Gecko Clothing, or to purchase from their range please check out their website, or for offers and events please check our the Gecko Facebook page!

To nominate a unisex business, or apply for our Let Clothes be Clothes approved badge, please click here.

Mimi & Will Awarded!

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Indie T-Shirt Business, Mimi & Will, awarded the Let Clothes Be Clothes Approved Badge!

Mimi & Will love ethically sourced T-Shirts, great design, beautiful illustration, colourful prints – and so do we!

“We wanted to provide childrenswear which would override gender segregation” says Katy Penman, one half of Mimi & Will.

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On a personal level, as well as business partners, we are mums of a boy and a girl, and have extended families and friendship groups with boy/girl siblings,  where we often pass on and share outgrown clothing – it seems so wasteful to have to buy or be gifted twice as much of everything.   We know money is tight for a lot of people and we are firm believers in the ‘buy once, buy well’ mantra, which is why we focus on quality and the potential for re-use when developing our products.”

Tell us about what you do!
We are Katy and Jo, and we work together on Mimi & Will, bringing great design from emerging and established artists, on long-lasting, well-fitting, ethically-made t-shirts for children.
What are your biggest sellers? 347635-10e93c3e68e544c587ad3f0b2b65a9f8
Our biggest sellers are the Supersaurus t-shirt, designed for us by Neil Slorance.  Neil really helped inspire what we do (we wanted to buy his robot t-shirt for our kids but none were available in their sizes) and is a bit of a local hero in his own right – he draws for the excellent Dr Who comic, as well as for us!  We also do really well with our Read More Books t-shirt, designed for us by Louise Verity, of Bookishly UK.  You can’t go wrong with reading.
Why did you feel unisex was so important? 
A t-shirt is a t-shirt is a t-shirt.  None of your cap sleeve, frilly nonsense here.  And it’s important to us that kids can follow their own interests, from reading to dinosaurs to camping to sailing and beyond.  None of the above activities or interests are gendered, so why should our products be?
Gender stereotypes: harmful, or can you just ignore? 
As parents, we can’t ignore something that puts a limit on our children’s imagination, creativity or ability to express themselves.    Telling someone that a personal characteristic over which they have no control is the reason why they can’t have, do or be something?  It’s inaccurate and irresponsible.
What clothes did you love wearing as a child?
(Katy) All in one pyjamas for night-time, and jumpsuits for daywear.  It’s the trend that will never end.
4 changes you’d like to see in society around children and clothes:
1) end of child labour in clothing and footwear manufacture
2) no more swathes of pink and blue with a tiny beige no man’s land in the baby department
3) the return of the capsule wardrobe for children – a few well-chosen, high-quality pieces that will wash and wear
4) more awareness of #whomadeyourclothes and why this is important e) a focus on the use of natural fibres and clothes which are mindful of environmental considerations – how much resource do they take to produce, how well do they last, how long do they take to biodegrade (if at all)
Why do you support Let Clothes Be Clothes?
By its very nature, Let Clothes Be Clothes forces all of us to remember that there’s no such thing as ‘just clothes’ when there’s a potential for harm to those developing young minds (and feet, and bodies), and we are delighted to stand alongside and help share that message.
Find out more about Mimi & Will, including offers and events, by clicking here

To apply or recommend a business for our Best Practice Award, please use our contact form!

No Pink Please Awarded!

 

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Indie Business and Childrenswear Boutique awarded new Let Clothes Be Clothes Approved Badge!

We caught up with Victoria of Brighton based No Pink Please to find out more about her forward thinking, unisex business that champions clothes which lets kids be kids!

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No Pink Please is an online unisex childrenswear boutique, stocking independent British brands whose designs are also fun, age appropriate and responsibly produced. The initial idea began while pregnant with my son and I launched the business in the last few months of pregnancy. Preparing for his arrival made me much more aware of gendered marketing in kid’s clothing and toys and I felt strongly that my son should to have the opportunity to grow up without being immediately typecast. It’s not actually about banning pink, the name is meant to be tongue-in-cheek. I have nothing against the colour pink, or blue. It’s the commercial marketing of these colours that I find frustrating and unnecessary. Children should absolutely feel free to wear whatever colour they like and form their own preferences and personalities

What did you do before?

I began in textile design and then spent almost ten years as a fashion stylist, working in TV and music. Three years ago I became interested in the P.R. side of the industry and most recently I was press manager for an independent jewellery brand.

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Preparing for his arrival made me much more aware of gendered marketing in kid’s clothing and toys and I felt strongly that my son should to have the opportunity to grow up without being immediately typecast.”

What are your biggest sellers?

The Bright Company pyjamas are a firm favourite with my customers and everyone seems to love Boys&Girls quirky, bright designs!

Do you sell dresses and skirts for boys too?

I never assume the gender of the child receiving the clothes, so unless the customer chooses to share this info with me, I don’t know!  If the customer is happy with their purchase and it makes their child happy, then I’m happy!

Why did you feel unisex was so important?

By specialising in unisex I hope to offer a little more choice to those who are conscious of gendered marketing and looking for alternatives, or searching for a unique, non gender specific gift.

I love bright colours, bold design, quirky prints…clothes that allow children the freedom to move and play as well as looking great!  My website does not use gender based catergories or assume an item is for a particular gender and I try to use images of both sexes in the clothes wherever I can.

Gender stereotypes: harmful, or can you just ignore them?

Gender stereotypes are lazy, boring and limiting. I know some consider it a trivial cause, but I really believe this is one way we can help grow our children’s confidence. Labelling toys or clothes to specific genders limits play, sending restrictive messages before they have even discovered the opportunities out there.

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Braveling Tights on sale at No Pink Please

What clothes did you love wearing as a child?

I had a great collection of bright 80’s jumpers! My sister and I had a favourite tree in the garden, I remember it had quite low, sprawling branches that were perfect for climbing and swinging off. So jeans and trainers were preferred, but then again I never let a RaRa skirt stop me climbing!

Are things getting better, or worse?

I’m surprised that in this day and age the notion that a gender should be signified by one specific colour is still popular! Unfortunately ‘pink for girls and blue for boys’ does still dominate market – it’s a popular choice and regarded as the “norm” to many. Obviously the high street wants to please these consumers; they are a large portion of the market. However I think parents are becoming more and more vocal and demanding change, which is why campaign groups like Let Clothes Be Clothes and Let Toys Be Toys are so important. I know I am not alone in trying to teach my son that being biologically male or female does not assign him to a given ‘colour’

Do you support the Women’s Equality Party’s ideas about addressing playground sexism?

Absolutely. Children are so influenced by the peers, it is so important that these guidelines are supported and put into action, for all our children’s futures.

Five changes you’d like to see in society around children and clothes:

  • Much less emphasise on gendered clothing, particularly in newborn garments.
  • Acceptance that children are children, and to let them form their own preferences without judgement.
  • Children’s clothing to be age-appropriate.
  • An end to lazy slogans that imply young girls should think being pretty or attractive is the most important thing a woman can achieve.
  • And equally an end to limiting slogans that imply young boys are destined for trouble and can only be seen as tough or aggressive.

No Pink Please on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

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To nominate a business or apply for our award, please use our contact form here.

Up next – Little Bird at Mothercare!