SPOTLIGHT ON: Wolf & Rita

Portuguese brand  Wolf & Rita , fuse luxe natural fabrics with cool muted tones for one of our favourite collections of the season, 'Folk N' Roll'. Inspired by traditional Portuguese folklore, including the enigmatic quirkiness of Caretos de Podence (masked clown-like characters that appear in carnivals in the north of the country) and the fishing communities of Nazaré, it's full of quirky charm. The idea is that kids are encouraged to relive, revive and become part of the story. We're in.     www.wolfandrita.com

Portuguese brand Wolf & Rita, fuse luxe natural fabrics with cool muted tones for one of our favourite collections of the season, 'Folk N' Roll'. Inspired by traditional Portuguese folklore, including the enigmatic quirkiness of Caretos de Podence (masked clown-like characters that appear in carnivals in the north of the country) and the fishing communities of Nazaré, it's full of quirky charm. The idea is that kids are encouraged to relive, revive and become part of the story. We're in. 

www.wolfandrita.com

MOST WANTED: the chic + ethical Moses basket

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The face behind the brand...

Jess Luby was an English Language teacher and a teacher trainer for an adult education school in central London before setting up her ethical basket label, The Wanderer. She lives in west London with her husband and baby daughter, Olive.

 

It was a bold move to pack your job in when your baby, Olive, was just a few months old. What inspired you to launch ethical baskets made by crafts people in Africa?

I was searching for a Moses basket for her and saw nothing I liked on the U.K. market. I knew and loved the traditional baskets from Ghana so started researching how I could work with some weavers in the region. I had a meeting with AfriKids who work do valuable work there and we decided to co-brand. They sourced the weavers and I sent a photographer out there to document the process. 

Briefly, describe how each one is designed and made? 

The designs are based on the traditional Bolga baskets, native to that region. I have tweaked a few of the designs and colours to suit the identity of the brand. The grass grows abundantly in the area and also in neighbouring Burkina Faso. 

Do you think it's easy to shop with ethical, fair-trade and environment in mind these days?

I don’t think it’s easy, necessarily. But I strongly believe we have a responsibility to. We have a long way to go, but we can all be more mindful of the decisions we make when spending our money. If something is cheap, it’s probably going to have compromised someone, somewhere. The time is now for ending oppression in fashion. 

Since having Olive, I’ve been much more aware and try to buy organic, plastic-free and fair-trade wherever possible. Natural materials are guilt-free and second-hand is even better. Landfill scares the hell out of me, so I try to reuse and recycle as much as possible. 

What have been your best-sellers so far?

The classic styles have done really well. The Atia and Abena and more recently the Patience Moses baskets have been very popular. The brighter baskets are brave choices, I guess. 

Have you been surprised by the incredible reaction to the moses baskets?

To be honest, I’m not massively surprised by the huge response. I knew they would be popular as soon as I saw them. They really are masterpieces. When you see them in the flesh you appreciate the work and skill that have gone into weaving them. They are scattered around my home and make such beautiful homeware pieces. They’re just so impressive.  

Finally, what's your favourite travel destination and why?

Wow that’s so hard to answer! I love travelling and seldom go back to the same place twice as there are so many places to discover. My next big trip is to visit the weavers in Ghana. I haven’t been able to make the trip yet as the region is malarial and I breastfeed Olive. We are going in October this year as by then she’ll be old enough to take the anti-malarial medication. Cant wait to get over there and also see the current projects AfriKids are working on. 

 

Moses baskets from £145 thewandererlondon.com

SWEET BABY: chic feeding cushions

Nanami polar bear feeding cushion

My first baby was days from being born. The hospital bag was packed, those miniscule first outfits were lovingly laundered and the buggy was ready and waiting. For me, it was at this point I panic-invested in a C-shaped feeding cushion from there NCT shop on the last minute recommendation from a friend. It was bland by design but functional by nature and once my first babe had arrived, it became one of my most crucial items of baby kit. So, I was thrilled to see these charming designs at Playtime Paris recently. Nanami, is a Dutch brand that has cleverly filled the gap in the market for stylish feeding cushions. This tactile polar bear design (above) and whale (below) grows with your baby and becomes a cushion to prop them up before they can sit independently and then a cuddly toy throughout childhood and beyond. I wouldn't even mind it on the sofa. If you are looking for the ultimate baby shower/newborn gift, here it is.

£65 at kidly.com; nanami.nl

Whale Nanami feeding cushion

HOME STYLE: divine decals

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Who said the trend for wall decals was over? Not if these jumbo circular designs by Mini Wallers are anything to go by. Graphic designer and illustrator Katie Williams was inspired to create these striking wall stickers while feeding her baby in the early hours one morning when she found herself staring at a blank wall. Arriving in three diameters (65cm, 90cm and 1m) and easy to attach, each one is a big statement in its own right. There you go, a quick and effective way to transform your child's bedroom or nursery. 

£55 at www.miniwallers.com

 

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