As most of you will know, our debut collection launched a few weeks ago on Kickstarter but sadly, had to be cancelled due to lack of pledges.
It was very clear, even from day one, that we were unlikely to reach the target, which would not have looked to good to any future prospective investors. So, I felt it would be less damaging to the brand to cancel it, than let it run it's course. The campaign was a test of the market and should have been proof of a good concept, but it showed that something was clearly not right. The vast majority of pledges were from friends and family, which of course we are very appreciative of, but don't go to show there is a wider market for our products. Most pledges were also for low amounts suggesting people weren't prepared to spend too much.
The launch was a culmination of a dream, and of course years of research, hard work and significant financial investment, so it was extremely disappointing. However, I have learnt a lot from it and hope to still be able to move on somehow. The brand and collection themselves have been really well received and since promoting it our mailing list subscribers have increased by 25% and our Instagram followers by 16%. So, I still firmly believe that they are strong products and that there is a demand for them.
Having done further research and sought advice from industry experts, as well as feedback from our followers on social media, it is clear that the prices were the main problem. If the costs I was paying to have the garments made had been lower giving me a higher mark-up, I would have been able to have offered special early bird discounts, bundled gift packs, and other incentives to backers that I couldn't do with the costs I had. I naively hoped that being able to pre-order the garments before they were available through the retail site would have been tempting enough.
Ethical and sustainable products, such as ours, will always command higher prices as workers are paid fairly and the highest quality materials used. Despite difficult times in the retail industry the ethical market is rapidly increasing, so I felt confident that we would find customers. But perhaps I was pitching the product too high in aiming for designer level? I must add here that this was not the reason for the high prices, rather that my costs dictated the prices and therefore the high market level.
Having gained over 34,000 unique readers on this blogsite (thanks everyone!) which currently equates to over 2,500 visitors a month, I was expecting much more of a turn-out with the campaign as this is my main audience. However, having looked at the analytics, I can see that I didn't advertise the campaign well enough and sadly it didn't get as much press attention as I had would have liked. As I am being to realise all too well, PR, marketing and social media management are jobs in themselves, which as a I am running this show single-handedly is maybe just too much. I was also unsure of how much of the product to reveal before launch which may not have helped, so it is much easier now to market the product in all it's glory, rather than a concept that people have to imagine.
Some people have suggested that I wasn't running the campaign for long enough, though actually this wouldn't have made any difference in reaching the target anyway for the reasons stated above. According to Kickstarter statistics, successful campaigns get a lot of pledges in the first couple of days as the buzz drives visitors to the site, then the pledges will dip right down in the middle of the campaign and pick up again at the end as people rush to pledge before it finishes. Their statistics also show that a "shorter duration better positions a project for success", so with that in mind I also had to consider being able to deliver the duffle coats within the best selling period of 'back to school' in September which within the long production schedule didn't give me any longer than two weeks to run the campaign.
So, what's next? I am determined not to give up and to relaunch again soon, with an aim to be delivering in time for Christmas. I am currently negotiating with new manufacturers and working to bring my costs down further in the hope of being able to provide lower price points. The campaign did show which products people were most interested in, namely the t-shirts, which is what I will focus on for relaunch. (I am even considering adding in a new Christmas print) I am also looking into involving outside agencies to help me with PR and marketing too as I know now that I cannot do it all!
So please stick with us and sign up to our mailing list so you can be the first to know when pre-orders will be available again. And thanks again for all your support and feedback x
You might have noticed that we have named the styles in our launch collection after some amazing people. We really wanted to honour them for all they have done in service to the planet and animals big and small.
They can all be pre-ordered on our crowdfund page here.
Caroline Lucas is a member of parliament for the Green Party, who has campaigned and worked tirelessly to help protect the environment and highlight climate change. She also writes about green economics, localism and animal welfare amongst other subjects. In 2008 she was listed in The Guardian as 'one of 50 people who could save the planet'. She has previously worked for the RSPCA, CND and Oxfam.
Greta Thunberg is the 16 year old Swedish schoolgirl who has brought the shocking truth about climate change and the lack of response to it to the world. Her solitary school strikes inspired million of other children around the globe and shamed politicians and decision makers alike. Her powerful speeches and non nonsense approach galvanized us to start marching and taking action for the climate.
Jane Goodall is a world expert on chimpanzees. She has worked on many animal welfare and conservation issues. She has been a board member of Nonanimal Human Rights Project since it started and is vocal about factory farming and animal transportation amongst many other issues. She is the founder of the Jane Goodall Institute who work to protect chimpanzees and their habitats.
Chris Packham is a broadcaster and naturalist whose TV show 'The Really Wild Show' is a strong memory from my childhood. He has campaigned for and works with many wildlife conservation groups and is a strong oppose of fox hunting, badger culling and hen harrier persecution.
Leonardo DiCaprio, as well as being a famous film star, is identified as one of the most active celebrities in the climate change movement. In 1998 he set up the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation to promote environmental awareness. He has also been an active supporter of many environmental organisations. He backed the documentary Cowspiracy which enabled it to get released on Netflix. He also executive -produced and starred in Before the Flood, which documented the various issues with climate change.
Al Gore, vice president to Bill Clinton is a long time environmentalist most famous for his 2006 documentary An Inconvenient Truth. He held the first congressional hearings on climate change back in 1976 and was one of the strongest advocates of the Kyoto Protocol back in the 90's. He founded The Alliance for Climate Protection and has even attempted to persuade Donald Trump that climate change is real!
Sir David Attenborough needs no introduction as Britain's best loved natural historian and broadcaster. He has brought the lives of many amazing animals into our living rooms and he is the president of various conservation charities. In recent years he has become a more vocal supporter of environmental causes and his climate change documentary and speeches are taken seriously by people across the political spectrum.
Here is a snapshot of the Boy Wonder launch collection that is now available on Kickstarter.
This crowdfund campaign will run for 2 weeks only. Further orders will not be taken until the retail website is up and running in September/October. The set up of this is of course dependant on gaining enough pre-orders to make production and website investment viable. So don't miss out!
(sorry, I hate this salesy talk too but I've come this far so I have to try and sell it now!)
Click HERE to see the whole collection and pre-order now.
So it's finally here after years of work! I really hope everyone likes it as I have put so much into it. I am pretty pleased with it and am eager to get designing again now. There have been so many problems along the way and sometimes it felt impossible to achieve but I have also really enjoyed creating it all. I do feel a real sense of achievement because I have also done it on my own without a business or life partner. So although I've had advice from friends, family and business associates, all the decisions had to be made by me alone. I am hoping I made the right decisions and will have lots of lovely backers giving me good reason to crack open the bubbly next Sunday and celebrate my baby 'Boy Wonder' going out into the world.
We will be launching the Boy Wonder collection on Kickstarter for pre-orders before the retail site is launched in September. Please save the date!
SUNDAY 30TH JUNE
at 11AM BST
This will be the first chance to see the collection in full and see the video of the Boy Wonder story.
The cross-seasonal collection for 5-10 year olds comprises of duffle coats; a British design classic, hard wearing raw denim, practical cotton drill trousers and comfy jersey-wear to cover all the needs of a busy child's wardrobe. The garments feature bright, hand-drawn prints with a quirky British twist and follow circular design principles with in-built room for growth and care and repair products & guides.
If you want to be kept up to date with launch details and exclusive content including livesteam video of the collection please sign up to our VIP mailing list. This is early bird access to see the garments in detail and hear all about them before anyone else does. You can sign up on the contact page, on site pop up box or link above. Then follow us on Instagram and direct message me so I can add you to the VIP list. More details on this will follow very soon.
I will also be available on Twitter for a live Q&A on the collection from 8pm BST. Please join me to tell me what you think.
Click on the links above to follow us on social media and keep up to date with all the latest news.
As I have been preparing for our launch collection photoshoot I have been sourcing ethical and sustainable kids accessories to style the outfits with. Here are some of the best I have found in summer brights and hot styles. Hope you like them! x
#kidsethicalfashion #kidsaccessories #kidsstyling
There seem to be more and more ethical kids fashion brands appearing all the time. Even high street stores are getting in on the act with organic or sustainable cotton ranges. While this it is good to see, how do you know if they are as good as they say? If you are unsure you can always do a little research on their website to see how they back up their claims. If they have recognisable certifications such as GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard), Oekotex or Fairtrade then there will have been rigorous checks & testing done on environmental and social aspects.
If you have been reading my blog for a while you will know that I love Scandi kids brands, and Mini Rodini is my most favourite. Founded by illustrator Cassandra Rodini, their print designs are fun and often quirky. The garments although expensive are long lasting as the Boy Wonder can attest to. They have a living wage project and are a member of the Fair Wear Foundation. Most of their collections are made from GOTS Organic cloth and tested by Oekotex. They also use recycled polyester, ocean waste and upcycled cloth in some of their products too. Mini Rodini’s range is quite extensive and includes backpacks, denim and even bedding. Their age range is birth to 10 years.
This is another great scandi brand with amazing prints that have a retro feel. They use GOTS Organic jersey fabrics that are all bright and comfy. Their oeko-tex certification means there are no nasty chemicals in the clothes while also ensuring good working conditions for the people who produce them. As well as the usual jersey items they also do wellies, raincoats and swimwear. Their range starts at birth up to 12 years.
Boys & Girls
This British brand is unisex and also uses GOTS organic cotton. This means that aside from not being grown with nasty chemicals, the workers will have been paid a fair price for it too and have better working conditions. Their printing and dying is organic and water based too again avoiding chemicals. Their range of garments are in jersey fabrics and start at 6 months up to 6 years.
Tootsa is a British award winning unisex brand who make clothes for baby up to age 10. All their cotton knitwear is 100% GOTS certified. They work with SEDEX (Suppliers Ethical Data Exchange) factories. The garments are designed to last longer with longer legs and sleeves that can be rolled up or down. They also provide a repair service by sending out buttons, trims & patches and even zips if their worn garments need it. You can also recycle your old Tootsa clothes with them by sending them back in exchange for a discount and the proceeds go to a hospice charity. Their packaging is also made from 100% recycled materials.
Frugi use GOTS Organic cotton and are audited by Soil Association providing ethical and environmental credentials. Their designs are colourful, comfy and fun and loved by parents and kids alike. The designs are often reversible making them versatile and are designed to last. Their outerwear including pramsuits are all made from recycled bottles and their packaging is biodegradable. As well as the kids clothing (babies to age 10) they also have a maternity and homeware ranges. They are very charitable too, donating 1% of their turnover to charities, including; the Cornwall Wildlife trust and community and children’s charities.
And not to forget…
Little Green Radicals
Who are your favourite ethical kids brands? Let us know, we would love to hear from you x
#ethicalkidsbrands #ethicalkidsfashion #ethicalkidsclothes
Spring Ethical Fashion Edit
Spring is on it's way, bringing with it April showers and unpredictable British weather. So, here are our top picks of sustainable kids rainwear that will make you and your child smile and feel good on even the greyest of days.
I would have loved to have added some eco kids brollies here too but haven't been able to find any. Please let me know if come across any x
Winter is coming and if it's anything like last winter you'll need to wrap up warm! Here is our selection of the best kids knitwear to keep your little wonders toasty.
#knitwear #kidsknits #scandiknits
I love autumn. It's such a beautiful season with the leaves changing colour and a time to get cosy with warm jumpers and blazing fires. Here is my pick of the best tops for this season from eco-minded brands . Hope you like them x
Reversible Bambi hoody in eco-friendly 100% baby alpaca by Oeuf NYC
Sunny Season Sweatshirt in 100% GOTS organic cotton by Nadadelazos
Owl Sweatshirt in 100% GOTS organic cotton by Boys & Girls
Wild duck sweatshirt in 100% GOTS organic cotton by Mini Rodini
#autumnfashion #boysfashion #organiccotton
The summer holidays are nearly here so check out my pick of the sunniest stuff to dress your little wonders in. With bright prints of ice lollies, shades and seaside donkeys they'll be happy even if the sun isn't shining. Hover over the images to see where they are from and click through to their websites to buy. All in super soft organic cotton and so will be kind to their skin and the planet too.
#kidsfashion #fashionkids #trendykids
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