• Feature: Illustrate Mini

    Posted by Lily Brunsdon

    This week we're all about our Illustrate Mini range- with sizes for kids age 2-13, great designs and super soft cotton, our mini clothes make great gifts, or just a solid addition to the wardrobe. 

    In our last blog we featured the company who manufactures our Illustrate Mini clothes for us- Mantis World. Like all our products, the Mini range is sustainbly sourced and ethically produced and you can feel comfortable with your child wearing them, knowing exactly where they came from, and how they were made. 

     

    Along with that, the Mini tshirts and sweaters are made from 100% organic cotton, making them super soft and comfortable, and meaning they wash well.

    One of the best things about the Mini range is that it's entirely unisex, meaning any child will love it. It's the same with the majority of our products- we aim for gender neutrality, because art is for everyone. 

    The entire range features eye-catching designs on a natural theme that are locally screen printed in Bristol. The designs are hand-drawn and get better every time you look at them; new details within the designs are revealed all the time. The Mini range is especially engaging, and adorable at that. 

     

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  • Fashion Revolution

    Posted by Agata Vend

    Fashion Revolution is a not-for-profit global organisation dedicated to making a change in the fashion industry. Working across 90 countries with designers, retailers, workers, fashion lovers and many more creators, Fashion Revolution calls for more ethical and sustainable practices and greater transparency in the fashion supply chain. They believe in a fashion industry of the future that not only values people but the environment as well, and believes that both of these are as important as making profit.
    Here at Illustrate, we feel that Fashion Revolution neatly encompasses everything we stand for as a brand; it’s no secret that every single one of our products is ethically and sustainably sourced. Fashion Revolution Day happens during April; it falls on the anniversary of the Rana Plaza Building Collapse, which killed 1129 people in Bangladesh in 2013, the majority of whom were garment factory workers. It is noted that the shops on the ground floor of the Rana Plaza were closed when cracks were discovered in the walls, but the building owners refused to close the factories, forcing their workers to return to work and the morning after the building collapsed.
    Although many companies have been working to towards more ethical practices for a long time now, the Rana Plaza collapse was a big wake up call for many people in the fashion industry, and it was the day that Fashion Revolution was born. Developing on this, every April since its creation Fashion Revolution also holds a week long campaign where they encourage people to ask “Who Made My Clothes?” and companies to demonstrate the transparency of their own supply chain. The “Who Made My Clothes?” hashtag was the number 1 global trend on Twitter in 2015.
    At Illustrate, when we were asked by customers “Who Made My Clothes?” we were able to provide them with this picture from Mantis World, who create our Illustrate Mini range.
    Mantis World as a company is a great example of how large scale manufacturing can be performed ethically. You can check out their website by clicking on the image. 
    Unfortunately, we don’t have a similar picture from Continental, the company who make our adult range, but they are just as committed to providing safe working environments, living wage and freedom of association, meaning their workers are free to leave their jobs whenever they please. Continental has been a member of the Fair Wear Foundation since 2006, another not-for-profit organisation that works for better rights for workers in garment factories. You can check out Continental’s website and Fair Wear Foundation’s website by clicking on the images. 
    For some more information about how we became a more sustainable brand, check out our previous blog post “Here’s How We Became an Eco-Friendly Brand”.
    Fashion Revolution is growing all the time, and so is Illustrate. We hope that during the next Fashion Revolution week, many more of our customers will want to know about the origins of not only the clothes they buy from us, but from other brands as well. 

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  • Artist Profile - Lloyd Stratton

    Posted by Agata Vend

    Introduced to you by Illustrate
    Lloyd Stratton
    Lloyd Stratton is a Brighton based illustrator who specialises in  traditional black archival ink on paper. Illustrate features Lloyd's series of forest animals blended with cosmic elements.
     We asked Lloyd a few questions about his experiences and passion for art:
    How did you start drawing and painting? 

    'I have always loved drawing from a pretty early age. It was probably helped by the fact my Dad is an art teacher. I then studied illustration at Westminster University'

    Were you inspired by any artists or illustrators?

    'I was influenced by a lot of children's book illustrators like Quentin Blake and Maurice Sendak in particular. 'Where the Wild Things Are' was probably the book that made me want to become an illustrator.''
    What is the process you go through to create your final piece?
    'My illustrations are hand drawn in black ink primarily and have a strong emphasis on detail and shading. It’s relatively straightforward in terms of the process; once I’m happy with the initial composition sketch then I just ink in all the detail and scan in the final drawing to touch up digitally. I try and keep the digital side of things to a minimum though as I like most of my work to retain a hand drawn aesthetic.'
    Is there a particular reason why you enjoy drawing animals?
    'I always enjoy illustrating animals, they’re a lot more fun to draw than people. I like the challenge of trying to capture the texture of fur, feathers and scales through different pen marks and shading techniques.'
    You can follow Lloyd Stratton and his artwork on his Instagram @lloydstratton. You can also keep up to date on all of our artists and find new artists by following our Instagram @instaillustrate.
    Thanks for reading our latest Artist Profile.
    We are always looking for new talent to join our collective. If you are interested in collaborating with Illustrate then please get in touch via the 'Contact Us' page.
     

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  • Artist Profile - David Art

    Posted by Agata Vend

    Introduced to you by Illustrate
    David Art aka David Ambarzumjam
    David Ambarzumjan, known to Illustrate as David Art is an Armenian artist and illustrator based in Germany. David's cosmic animal series features 4 pieces; the Cosmic Whale, Cosmic Fox, Cosmic Turtle and Cosmic Wolf. All four are composed using a blend of coloured pencils and watercolours.
     We asked David a few questions about his experiences and passion for art:
    How did you start drawing and painting? 
    'After my parents discovered my talent and interest in art, they sent me to various art classes to learn to use different art materials and to improve my skills. I have been drawing and painting anything that comes to my mind since I was a little kid, but two years ago I started to create artwork that was inspired by the nature of our world'
    Does your artwork contain any messages?
    'In the cosmic animal series, I mix up the cosmos with wild life animals to draw attention to the universe as their true origin. In a way, we are all made of stars. I often draw animals, to stress their importance in nature and the threat may face due to the ruthlessness of humans.'

    You can follow David through his Instagram page www.instagram.com/david_art
    To keep up to date with all of Illustrate's new artists and artwork follow us on Instagram and Facebook:
    Thanks for reading our latest Artist Profile.
    We are always looking for new talent to join our collective. If you are interested in collaborating with Illustrate then please get in touch via the 'Contact Us' page.

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  • Here's How We Became an Eco-Friendly Brand

    Posted by Toby Brunsdon

    At Illustrate, we pride ourselves in sustainability. When we created our brand, we wanted to create products that would leave the smallest carbon footprint and in turn, have the smallest effect on the planet.  

     Much of our clothing, including; sweats, hoodies, tees and Illustrate Kids clothing is all made from environmentally conscious fabrics and textiles.

    Our Tote Bags, Notebooks and Cards are also products sourced from environmentally friendly materials and using sustainable manufacturing. This means we are manufacturing products through processes that minimalise environmental impacts whilst conserving energy and natural resources.


     

    We want to reduce our carbon footprint wherever possible

    By doing this, we can reduce the amount of harmful COS, Methane, Nitrous Oxide and other emissions that are emitted into the atmosphere. We are extremely proud to collaborate with Continental Clothing as they share similar environmental ethics. They also became the first company in the world to calculate the carbon footprint and place the Carbon Reduction Label on the textile products. You will find this label on the inside of all of our wearable products.


     

    All of our clothing is sourced and made from raw materials. Our hoodies and sweats are made up of 90% certified Organic Cotton and 10% Recycled Polyester. Our tees, both Adult and Mini and tote bags are both 100% organic cotton.

    We source our clothing products through Continental as they also abide to fair wear and confidence in textile. For their products, they have carefully chosen textiles that leave the smallest effects on the environment.

     

    The use of organic cotton is fundamental to our brand.

    When Organic cotton is grown, it uses methods and materials that are less harmful for the environment. The organic movement also uses growing systems that replenish and maintain soil fertility and build biologically diverse agriculture. This means that the process, which creates Organic Cotton, also uses significantly less water.

     The main benefit of using Organic Cotton in our products is that crops are not treated with pesticides, insecticides, herbicides and Genetically Modified Organisms. Through this, harmful toxins are not used in the process of manufacturing the cotton that is used in our clothing.  Farmers, workers and the entire wildlife eco-systems are unharmed and benefit from the process.

     

    Our fashionable tote bags are made from 100% organic cotton and are part of Continentals ‘Earth Positive’ Range.

    The Earth Positive range has reduced Carbon footprint by 90% through a combination of innovative product design, low impact organic agriculture and efficiency in manufacturing. It has been calculated that a single earth positive product saves around 7 Kg of CO2 emissions.

     

     

     

     

    We believe that tote bags will become revolutionary in reducing waste. With an increasing number of countries banning the use of plastic bags, or charging money for the use of them, tote bags are becoming increasingly popular alternative.

     




     

     

     

    Our tote bags come in a range of designs such as the elephant, wolf, into the wilderness and the lonely whale- just to name a few.

      Although light, the cotton bags are portable and both durable and strong making them perfect as a plastic bag substitute. Check them out the full range here.

     

     

     

    Our Illustrate Mini t-shirts are also part of the Earth Positive Range and our children's baseball tees are 100% organic cotton. The colours used in the baseball tees, as with our other coloured clothing are dyed without the use of harmful chemicals. All chemicals used in the process of fabric dying our products are GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) approved and minimal water is used during the process. Best yet, all of the waste and discharge that is produced from dyeing our products is recycled in a closed loop system so absolutely nothing is wasted. 

     

     Our notebooks and cards are also made from 100% recycled materials.

     In both our A4 and A5 notepads, the front and back pages are made from recycled Kraft Paper. Kraft Paper is a 100% biodegradable natural product. The non-bleached and recycled paper is also the product of renewable and actively renewed resources. This means that the paper we use has no adverse impact on humans or nature and once finished, can be recycled and reused into a new item.


    The pads also include 50 sheets, 100 pages of recycled line paper. So owning one of our notebooks doesn’t mean a new tree is cut down. By purchasing one you are encouraging and supporting the movement of up cycling, which is the recycling of old, used goods into new products. See our wide range of notebooks here.



     Many of our artists have a passion for animals, wildlife and nature. Therefore, it seems only fitting that we are striving to do as much as we can to help maintain the environment and all of its inhabitants. By purchasing any of our products you are supporting sustainable manufacturing practices and encouraging change within a notoriously wasteful industry. Our aim is to continue creating products that promote sustainable and eco-friendly practices, so we can protect the fragile world we live in.

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