Piccalilly Blog

Lovely little clothes for lovely little people

  • Save the Rainforest

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    Part of the Piccalilly Way of doing things is to think about the detail of how we make our organic baby and kidswear and this includes the designs too. This includes the prints we design and opening up debate and discussions about subjects that are really close to our hearts such as the RAINFOREST.

    Why are we so passionate about rainforests?

    • 20 percent of the planet’s oxygen is produced by the Amazon Rainforest alone.
    • Rainforests are our best defence against climate change regulating global temperatures and weather patterns.
    • Rainforests are home to more than half the worlds animal species. Sadly, many of these species are fighting extinction, and their continued existence is crucial to maintaining the balance of the rainforests' efficient—but delicate—ecosystems.
    • Rainforests are critical to maintaining the Earth’s limited supply of drinking water, so they are critical for sustainability on earth.
    • Rainforests are the world’s pharmacy with 25% of all modern medicines derived from their flora.
    • Every minute the equivalent of thirty-six football fields is destroyed. Nearly half of the world’s original forest cover has now gone.
    • 90% of people living in extreme poverty worldwide depend on forests for their livelihoods.

    There are so many reasons to be passionate and fight for the rainforests. When it comes down to it, it’s really important to care and preserve them. If you think about how much of an impact the rainforests actually have on our life, even if we don’t live anywhere near a rainforest, you will really see the importance of keeping them around.

    Here are just a few things we can all do to help protect our rainforests;

    • Avoid palm oil, it’s a key contributor to rainforest deforestation.
    • Buy more responsibly. Choose bananas a coffee grown in a sustainable way that is safe for the environment, for wildlife, and for the communities where it is grown.
    • Create a habitat in your own garden for migrating birds
    • Use less paper and always recycle it. Choose products with the highest percentage of recycled content.
  • Organic Cotton - better for baby, the planet and the people who grow it

    Chemical free organic baby clothes by Piccalilly Chemical free organic baby clothes by Piccalilly

    It seems obvious why parents might choose to feed their baby organic food, but less obvious why parents should extend this buying choice to include organic baby clothes and organic baby skincare too. If we take into consideration the fact that a baby’s skin is 5 times thinner than an adult’s and it’s the largest organ on our body, then it’s clear that what we choose to put on it is as important as what we choose to put inside it. It’s a fact that organic baby clothes and skincare will limit a baby’s chance of absorbing harmful chemicals and toxins, because these harmful chemicals are not used to create the product in the first place. The process is also kinder to the farmers too, limiting their exposure to harmful toxins. But to understand why you need to understand the difference between conventional cotton farming and organic cotton farming.

    Whilst cotton to many is considered a natural and healthy choice for a baby to wear not all cotton is created equal. Conventional cotton is one of the most polluted and sprayed crops in the world. In fact, while cotton farming only makes up 3% of the total farmed land area, it accounts for 25% of the insecticides and 10% of the pesticides used worldwide, making it one of the most chemically treated crops on the planet. Many of these chemicals are graded ‘hazardous’ by the World Health Organisation. Not only do these chemicals pose risks for the farmers’ health but they’re also expensive and often end up within the water sources of surrounding communities. Chemicals entering local waterways have been associated with allergies, skin rashes, respiratory problems, cancer, birth defects, and hormonal & reproductive effects. It is estimated that over 3 million people are poisoned by pesticides from cotton every year. Conventional cotton farmers have also become locked in a cycle of debt buying genetically modified seeds, pesticides and fertilizers. The result is one of the highest rates of recorded farmers suicides in India, one farmer every 30 seconds for the last 16 years due to high levels of debt.

    But there is another way, The Piccalilly Way. By farming the cotton Piccalilly use to make our baby and kids clothes organically we return to an altogether more natural material that is kinder to the farmer who grows it, kinder to the planet and kinder to wear on delicate skin because there are no chemical residues. This organic method of growing cotton uses significantly less water than conventional methods and mainly relies on rainfall. It also produces less carbon emissions by locking carbon into the soil. And because all the organic cotton is handpicked we create a super-soft finish on our clothes because the fibres are left intact and not broken down by harsh chemicals and mass processing. The result is softer, longer lasting clothing and most importantly kinder for our skin, our planet and the farmers who grow it too.

    Making organic cotton farming profitable and sustainable. Making organic cotton farming profitable and sustainable.
  • Countdown to an ethical Christmas by creating a reverse advent calendar

    This year the Piccalilly team decided to do away with cheap chocolate advent calendar’s and create something a little more meaningful. We all know that the ritual of opening and receiving a daily advent gift is exciting, but let’s be honest giving back is so much more special and makes us feel all warm and fuzzy inside. So, we’ve started a new tradition here at Piccalilly HQ by creating a reverse advent calendar that can be completed in time for distribution before Christmas to our local food bank.

    What is a reverse advent calendar?

    The idea is simple; instead of opening the door to a little chocolate or picture, we do the giving. To symbolise each day of advent a member of the Piccalilly team puts aside a donation in our advent box. As we've chosen this year to send the gifts to our local food bank the donations mainly comprised of food items, but we included toiletries and of course some of our organic babywear too. We made sure to include not just staple food items but also luxury Christmas products like chocolates and Christmas puddings.

    We decided to start our reverse advent calendar box early to enable us to take it to our local food bank in time for distribution before Christmas.

    Here’s a simple step by step guide of how you can create your own Reverse Advent Calendar this Christmas;

    1. Pick a charity, organisation or food bank you would like to donate to.
    2. Contact the organisation to find out what items they are most in need of and when you should drop them off.
    3. Create your box and if you’re collecting in the workplace create a list for everyone to cross check what items would be useful to contribute into the box.
    4. Get collecting and let the countdown begin!
    5. Finally, make sure to deliver your box in good time ahead of Christmas. We started our box in the middle of November for gifting the middle of December. This way someone can receive a nice parcel in time for Christmas day.
    RAOK Reverse Advent Calendar 1
  • Who's hands made your stuff? Shop smarter, shop well this Christmas

    Piccalilly Photographic Exhibition at Malabar Restaurant Piccalilly Faitrade in the Frame photographic exchibition - Chetna Organic supply chain

    Season’s greetings from all of us here at Piccalilly! It’s the first day of advent and a time to actively engage in a more ethical Christmas. It’s also a good time for all of us to consider the true impact our buying choices have on the world around us and how we can start making small changes to improve the working lives and conditions of those less fortunate than ourselves. It’s really encouraging to hear that more and more of us are thinking about the consequences our actions have on the environment and the people who make the products we purchase. But it’s also hard to believe that in our lifetime there are a still a staggering 1 in every 10 children still working as child labourers. Worldwide there are 152 million children involved in child labour and 48% are aged between 5-11 years!! This is not acceptable.

    As consumers the thirst for cheaper and cheaper goods is still growing. The result is that more and more children are being exploited and forced into child labour. So, what is the true cost of a cheap Christmas present? It’s a child’s freedom, a child’s education and a child’s future. When a child is forced to work, they are not free to attend school or be free to be a child. They are also not safe. We wouldn’t accept this for our own children, so why do we accept this as a reality for children less fortunate than our own?

    As we count down the days until Christmas it’s now time for us all to stand up and do our bit to end child labour. We need to shop smarter and THINK before we shop!

    I started Piccalilly, an organic baby and childrenswear brand in 2006, after the birth of my second child. The starting point and DNA for Piccalilly was always that the Piccalilly Way of doing things was always to be environmentally sustainable and work from the ground upwards with a transparent and ethical supply chain that cared for everyone along the way. Top of this agenda has always been that we must know who makes our clothes and care for the most vulnerable people at the bottom of our supply chain. Children working in this supply chain is not acceptable and to limit the risk we’ve worked with the same factory since we launched and ensured it is socially compliant through third party audits including Flo Cert and GOTS. There is a strict no under 18 years of age working policy and it’s comforting to know that our factory has an open door policy for buyers to its entire supply chain, from field through to factory. We make the most of this and love visiting several times a year. Our transparent and ethical supply chain should be the norm, but sadly it’s not. Why? Because as consumers our thirst for cheaper and cheaper goods is growing and western companies keep looking for more affordable (which translates to cheap) manufacturing. Much of this saving comes from labour.

    This week I watched the documentary ‘The Price of Free’ featuring Nobel Peace Prize winner Kailash Satyarthi who has been battling against child labour for the last 3 decades. This documentary served as a massive reminder to me why I started Piccalilly in the first place. It also got me thinking that in the run up to Christmas we can all make a difference by becoming more aware of the labour practices of the companies that we buy from and asking them to fight against child labour too.

    It was in 2008 that I first got to hear about the great work of Kailash Satyarthi. I was travelling in India on one of our annual supply chain trips and I was introduced to a project called the Global March Against Child Labour. This led to an introduction to a grassroots movement called the BBA (Bachpan Bachao Andolan) in Delhi, founded by Kailash. We were in Delhi at the time and invited to visit the BBA’s Mukti Ashram in Delhi, to see the good work for ourselves. The ashram operates as a safe place where children rescued from child labour in the region are provided with immediate shelter, food, medical help and counselling until they can be reunited with their families. Astonishingly, the children were surprisingly resilient and fun to be around. Whilst we chose not to document our visit by taking photograph’s, we got the chance to meet and talk to the children and later we were able to donate organic cotton bedding and clothes.

    But why are children still prevalent in our clothing supply chains today, from the cotton fields, to mills and factories? There’s one main reason, they are cheap and very often they are FREE. It’s time that we stop knowingly allowing this practice to continue. We all need to think before we embark on our Christmas shopping and stop engaging with companies who allow the practice of child labour to fuel our desire for cheap clothes and toys. As a consumer you have the power to be a change maker and work towards ending child labour. Get angry about child labour, it’s not acceptable. Buy less but buy well. If a deal seems too good to be true it probably is. And don’t forget to ask more questions and only buy from the brands that you trust.

    Here are some opportunities for you to take action and work towards an end to child labour.

    • I strongly urge you all to take the time to watch ‘The Price of Free’ so you too can understand the issues relating to child labour. https://priceoffree.com/watch-the-film/
    • Spread the word: Share the film with your friends and family and join the movement to raise awareness around the issues and end the practice of child labour
    • As a consumer vote with your £ GB Pounds, $ Dollar, € Euros and choose to buy from the brands you know and trust are socially compliant and child labour free.
    • Ask your favourite brands “whose hands made my stuff”?
    • Shop smarter this Christmas - Buy less and buy well

    Make this Christmas count by exercising your spending power more wisely and making a difference to those that really do count! Help end child labour and ensure all our children are free, safe and educated.

    Hannah Evans - Founder Piccalilly www.piccalilly.co.uk

    #endchildlabour #endchildslavery #ethicalchristmas

    To find out more about the great work of the BBA and Kailash Satyarthi visit the following websites;

    https://priceoffree.com/

    http://bba.org.in/

    http:/globalmarch.org

    WHOMADEOURCLOTHES
  • New Fair Trade Knitwear for your Lovely Little People

    Winter is well and truly here; the days are darker, and the temperature has dropped considerably. This time of the year is busy with Bonfire Night celebrations, lantern parades and visits to Christmas markets so the cold shouldn’t stop you and your Lovely Little People from venturing outdoors and having fun. Our fabulous new range of fair trade kids knitwear is sure to keep them warm whilst out and about this season.

    This beautiful collection is fairly traded from Nepal and has been lovingly hand-crafted by home workers in local rural farming communities utilising traditional artisan skills. The knitwear is not factory made or mass-produced, each item has been made with a great deal of patience, love, and care. The knitwear production is village based with the knitters and artisans fitting knitwear production around their own family and work commitments. This additional work helps supplement their farming incomes, enabling them to stay within and support their local rural communities, rather than having to relocate to find jobs in the city. We are proud to support this work, by purchasing these products, we are helping keep families together by providing them with an additional income. The feltwork, hand finishing, and packing of the products are carried out by a small, family-run factory in Nepal who oversee all Piccalilly production.

    Our hat and mittens collection includes a gorgeous Bumble Bee, a very cute Sheep as well as our popular Ginger Fox and Pink Bunny designs. We are also super excited to introduce our range of slippers. Made from felted wool, these beautiful slippers will keep Lovely Little Feet warm and toasty this winter.

    Take a look at the full range on our site with all products available to buy individually or as part of a gift set!

    BEE SET
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