Two mums from Bathampton are calling on local people to help crowdfund ArtyWren, their new eco-friendly range of children clothes.
ArtyWren founders, Katie Cutting and Karen Miller, developed their Thoughtful Threads range of children’s clothing after growing tired of the constant gender stereotypes that have become the norm in the children’s clothing industry.
“We both have daughters that love science, pirates and dinosaurs as much as they do flowers and unicorns,” explained Katie. “It’s just as important that our sons can appreciate flowers or dream of fairy tales without judgement.
“The problem was we couldn’t find an ethical brand that was free from the usual connotations associated with girls and boys, so we decided to develop ArtyWren, our own children’s clothing range that celebrates children’s diversity and allows them to express themselves with confidence.
“Our desire to nurture children’s unique personalities and empower them to embrace who they are is the driving force behind ArtyWren.”
ArtyWren is launching this September through Kickstarter.com, the world’s largest crowdfunding platform for creative projects. Katie and Karen are calling on the public to go online during the 30-day campaign to back their project and help them reach their target.
All donations will be rewarded through a tiered series of rewards, including ArtyWren clothes, original ArtyWren artwork prints and organic cotton bags.
ArtyWren is about giving children equal choices, so all their fabric designs are available on a shirt and a dress. Katie and Karen wanted their clothes to be relatable to the child themselves rather than their gender, so, with the help of their children, they came up with the ArtyWren themes.
As Karen explains, “At ArtyWren, you shop by theme. We carefully selected fabric designs from independent artists around the world and each one was inspired by one of our themes. There are currently 12 themes in the pipeline and the first four to launch are Outer Space, Imagination. Science and Prehistoric. We’re now asking for local families to vote on their favourite themes.”
Being environmentally conscious, the pair were shocked to learn that fashion is the world’s second largest cause of pollution. 50% of all clothing is made from Polyester, which is made from plastic and is not biodegradable – it takes 200 years for it to break down!
“Our dream was to create a product that not only has minimum impact on the planet but also teaches children the importance of conserving it for future generations,” said Katie.
ArtyWren garments will be manufactured from organic cotton in a GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certified factory in India, one of the world’s largest producers of organic cotton. All packaging will be recyclable or biodegradable.
Karen added, “We wanted to engage children in doing something positive for the environment, so the clothing tags will be made from seed paper containing wildflower seeds, encouraging children to plant them and attract butterflies and bees to their gardens.”
In addition, all the buttons in the ArtyWren range are made from organic fibres of the Corozo palm seed, making them fully biodegradable.
Each time a garment is purchased, ArtyWren will donate a themed organic cotton T shirt to a child in need. Katie and Karen are proud to be working with the charity Goa Outreach to distribute donated T shirts to street and slum children in India.
How you can help
There are an estimated 18 million children living on the streets in India. Karen says, “ArtyWren is for children everywhere and we especially wanted to reach those less fortunate. Having made the decision to have our clothes manufactured in India and subsequently learning it has more street children than any other country, it made complete sense for us to try and make a difference to at least some of those children.”
ArtyWren is the first eco-friendly childrenswear brand to operate a one for one cause.
“The 30-day Kickstarter.com campaign target will be the amount needed to fund the first production order and associated start-up costs,” explained Katie. “Anybody can back our campaign by making pledges in return for a series of rewards – these will include the garments themselves, organic cotton T shirts, original ArtyWren artwork prints and organic cotton bags. Rewards will be fulfilled once the funding target is reached but no one will be charged for a pledge towards a project unless it reaches its funding goal.”
Funding on Kickstarter is all-or-nothing, so if ArtyWren don’t reach their target, they won’t be able to launch or fulfil any rewards.
To be part of launching this innovative new brand, visit artywren.com to register your interest and you’ll be notified when the campaign goes live.
You can also follow ArtyWren on Facebook and Instagram.