by Emily Blick
In March, we were 24 hours away from getting on our flight to Peru when the Peruvian government imposed a strict lockdown and a 14-day quarantine for all arrivals. Our plans – finalising the baby clothes collection at the garment factory, documenting how the clothes are made, interviewing the cotton farmers – would have been impossible.
That was a shame because we were planning to launch our first collection of baby clothes in May - designed in collaboration with artists and made from organic Peruvian pima cotton, known as the cashmere of cotton. A collection that is completely traceable back to the cotton farmer (a rare thing in the fashion industry), and ensuring farmers a decent and reliable income (again, rare).
We’re repeatedly shocked at how broken the fashion industry is. I think coming into the industry from the outside (I was in the charity sector, Oli was in advertising) meant we saw it with fresh eyes. It all seemed a bit mad.
But COVID happened, and our supply chain stopped with no new launch date in sight.
At the same time my brother-in-law and his wife were expecting their first child. We heard the challenges - how there was less support available, how partners could only be at the hospital a short while, how it was challenging to buy essentials like nappies. We were frustrated too that we couldn’t be there in person to support. And to celebrate and welcome our newest family member. Having a baby in the middle of a global pandemic and a lockdown was not what they had envisaged! 2,000 babies are born each day in the UK, so that’s a lot of other new parents and families in the same boat.
Art is such a lovely gift to receive, so personal and meaningful. We were working with artists for our clothes designs, knew a few others, and crossed our fingers to work with others some time in the future!
And so The Motherhood Prints was born. Limited-edition prints inspired by motherhood, to celebrate all the women we know and love.
We launched our first collection at the end of April, with 100% of the profits went to NHS Charities Together. In two months we raised over £7,000.
We’ve recently launched our second collection, with prints available from brilliant artists like Venetia Berry and Harlie Briggs. It is about motherhood but more than that it’s about celebrating women. We’re really loving reading all the stories and emotion behind the artworks and feel pretty lucky to get to interview some inspiring women!
Since NHS Charities Together reached their target, this time we decided to go back to our origins as a brand and donate 10% of profits to Awamaki, a charity that supports female artisans in the Peruvian Andes.