Illustrate is an organisation built on two pillars; creativity and sustainability.
We do our best to act as a platform for creatives of all kinds, especially visual artists, giving them the opportunity to showcase their talents as well as the chance to transform their art into something new - whether that’s clothing or accessories.
We also try to be as green as we can through sustainable practises and by using responsibly sourced, recyclable materials in all of our products.
Illustrate is a creation formed from Tobias Illustrations Ltd, co-founded by James Katz and Toby Brunsdon. The company we know today emerged when Toby began illustrating and selling art prints back in 2014. Whilst at university his friend James quickly spotted the potential and the two began working together to develop a sustainable clothing and accessories range. In early 2015 they took their new products to markets such as Bristol Harbourside and Camden Lock and this became a routine; they studied in the week and worked the markets at weekends. As demand grew Toby and James realised that what they had on their hands was more then just a two man art setup.
Our vision is to create a platform for artists to showcase and display their work on unique, high-quality, sustainable products at affordable prices.
The duo quickly wanted to start helping other independent creatives by offering them a platform in which to showcase their talents - what had started out as two friends soon grew and Illustrate was born. Armed with fresh designs from Illustrate’s growing collective they were able to open up their first store, in Bristol, with a second in Cardiff following just half a year later. From there we’ve continued to improve our products, learn and develop more sustainable practises and grow to where we are today.
Now an artist collective more than 14 strong, Illustrate is committed to creating high quality art and products that are both environmentally and socially sustainable. From the start we tried to provide the best quality possible whilst leaving the smallest impact on the planet. For example our organic cotton t-shirts are accredited by the Fair Wear Foundation and are carbon neutral certified, or that we plant a tree for every 10 wooden cases sold, it's also the reason why we are now committed to eliminating all single use plastics from our supply chain by 2020.
Illustrate believes in keeping things local, which is why all of our clothing is hand printed here in Bristol, the reason our art prints are made next door in Wales, and that our eco section in stores feature creatives from the local areas. Even the coffee in our cafe is from our local Clifton roastery and our cakes are from Bath. By staying local we ensure you get the best quality for the lowest price and cut down on needless emissions.
What we want to achieve
At its core Illustrate is about art, more specifically it’s about offering artists the platform to exhibit their talents to a worldwide audience. This doesn't have to mean traditional artists or even those in the visual arts, Illustrate aims to be a platform for creatives of every type.
By advocating and implementing sustainable practises in the ways we work, we hope to encourage other companies to alter the way in which they operate and to become more sustainable.
Our future goals
• Become a Charity Incorporated Organisation (CIO) to best use our profits to aid environmental, social and economic sustainable causes.
• Operate a completely plastic free supply chain by 2020.
• Become a 50 strong member collective with stores in America, Australia, Canada and wider Europe.