Star Joggers through the ages…

 – June 24th –

Star Joggers through the ages

Three years ago we launched our super Star Joggers and have included this colourful, comfy style in each collection since then.

We’ve really enjoyed seeing photos of your girls and boys exploring the world in their Star Joggers over the years and wanted to share a few of our favourite pics with you!

Thank you to @cherishedchaos, @ruthjoyphotography, @mummyadventure,
@nina_hasanoglu, @lizzy18james for the beautiful images.

International Women’s Day

 – March 8rd, 2019 –

International Women’s Day


This International Women’s Day come and see some of the brilliant work our partners in India are doing to support women and girls in their communities…

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Cotton Farmers: Chetna Organic Peace by Peace project 
Vocational training for women and girls

Chetna organic were the first group of smallholder cotton farmers in India to receive the Fairtrade Certificate in 2004. Since then, they have focussed on the development of women with projects like Peace by Peace which provides education funding and vocational training to help girls develop their skills, in addition to helping farmers transition to organic.

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Cotton Farmers: Suminter India Organics Project Disha 
Getting girls into higher education

The cotton farmers from Suminter use their Fairtrade Premium for projects including Project Disha, a mentor program which supports over 500 girls to go into higher education as well as providing financial assistance in the form of scholarships. They have also introduced a water-harnessing initiative to help combat severe water shortages, which dramatically affects the village women who otherwise have to carry water long distances for their families.

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Little Green Radicals Producers: Deeps Textiles 
Empowering women

Deeps, a long time supplier of Little Green Radicals, enable their female employees to become self reliant and independent by providing them with steady pay, skills training to allow job progression and healthcare with the aim of giving a better life today, and tomorrow.

(Beautiful images provided by Suminter India Organic & Deeps Textiles)

Fairtrade Fortnight 2019

 – March 3rd, 2019. Nick: LGR Founder –

Fairtrade Fortnight

Fairtrade.  A way of being.

Little Green Radicals started life in 2005 and along with People Tree and a couple of other great brands we were the first to get Fairtrade certification in the UK. This means our cotton farmers get a guaranteed price for their cotton and a premium which they decide what to do with. And it’s a privilege to work with fantastic cotton growers like Chetna who now have nearly 36,000 cotton farmers. Of course, it also means decent working conditions throughout our supply chain and everything is organic too. This is particularly important for cotton farmers because intensive pesticide use is harmful to growers and their families.

When most people set up a business like ours they choose something they like making. Of course, I love the creative process, though I am only a minor contributor to it these days, which is just as well! For me, though, I wanted to set up a Fairtrade company and what we made was less important than how we made it. After reading about the reality of being a cotton farmer when, for example, the market price drops to a level that means you can’t even cover your costs, I chose cotton. But really I chose Fairtrade.

Today we are halfway through Fairtrade Fortnight and the Fairtrade movement has come a long way since we started. But it is still in the foothills. Almost every week we still read about fashion companies that let themselves, and the people who grow their cotton and make their clothes, down. If they chose Fairtrade it wouldn’t be like that. If only they understood it isn’t just about what you make, it’s about how you make it. About a way of being.

 

Nick –  LGR Founder

Find out more about Fairtrade Fortnight 2019 -> 

Babywearing Week

Wednesday October 3rd, 2018

Babywearing Week

It’s International Babywearing Week, a week-long celebration of the all the wonderful
benefits of baby wearing and we spoke to Hannah Wallace, Owner of Wear My Baby,
London’s specialist baby carrier store and advice service, to get the lowdown.

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What made you decide to open a Baby Wearing Boutique?

The absolute need for one! Until we opened there were no specialist baby carrier
stores in London. Or the whole of the south of England. I’ve worked as a babywearing
educator and consultant for 4 years, so I knew it was something parents needed. You see,
buying a baby carrier is different to shopping for other pieces of baby kit. It’s more like
buying a bra. Different ones suit different people, so it’s best to get a proper fitting and then
try out a few styles to see what feels right. You can’t do that if you’re buying from Amazon.

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What do you love about Baby Wearing?

Babywearing can change your whole experience of parenting. My team and I – we have
8 Wear My Baby Consultants working across London and south east England – have parents
telling us every day that a comfy sling has changed their lives. Babywearing means you can keep
your baby close, soothe and comfort them, and still get on with everyday life. You get to zip around
on trains and buses and get around the supermarket. You can make lunch for your toddler and do
the school run with ease.

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Do you have any favourite carriers for newborns, babies and toddlers?

That’s a tough one. We only sell carriers that we have tried and tested robustly, so we have a lot of
favourites. I actually have a top 15, but here are just 3 of them.

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It’s hard to beat a good quality stretchy wrap for newborns.
They might look a bit like full-body origami, but once you’ve got the hang of them they’re blissfully
comfy and support, for you and your baby. They are one of the few truly universal types of sling, so
they’ll suit just about every parent and baby from day one. The Izmi Baby Wrap is brilliant quality,
made from soft-but-strong and breathable bamboo fabric.
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If you want to carry your baby facing outwards
(not before 4months+) and like the idea of a more structured and padded carrier, then the
Ergobaby Omni 360 is definitely one to try out. It’s one the very few carriers that can hold your baby
in a supportive, ergonomic position, even when facing outwards. Which makes it kinder to your back
than many of its competitors.
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For a great in-between carrier we love the Mamaruga Zensling.
It’s handmade by made by a small British brand so you won’t see it gracing the shelves of John Lewis.
At least not just yet. It’s easy to use, adjustable and suits tiny newborns up until they’re toddling.
Made from stretchy jersey fabric, it’s marshmallowy soft. I call it the Tracksuit Bottoms of the sling
world. And who doesn’t love slipping into tracky bottoms after a long day
– or, in the case of new parents, night?

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What tips would you give to newbies looking to try out Babywearing?

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1. There is no one ‘best’ sling or baby carrier.
Like bras or jeans, the best one for you depends on a number of factors: your shape, your posture, your baby’s age, what you’re using it for –and what feels good on your body.  So don’t be surprised if your friend lends you the Best Sling Ever and you don’t like it!
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2. Get some expert advice and try before you buy.
Come for a Consultation or workshop at our London Boutique, or with a Wear My Baby Consultant near you. Between us we have over 50 years experience of carrying our own kids and have worked with many thousands of families, so you’ll be in safe and very knowledgeable hands.
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3. High and tight is key.
When parents tell us their newborn baby doesn’t like their sling, or that it doesn’t feel safe or comfy, it’s often due to the sling being too loose and worn too low. You should feel totally hands free. Slings need to be tight to be safe, with your baby’s airways fully protected, snuggled high enough on your chest that you can easily kiss their heads.See www.wearmybaby.co.uk/babywearing-safety for more safety info.
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4. Practice.
Some of the most comfy, supportive carriers, like stretchy or woven wraps, can take a bit of practice. Once you’ve got the hang of them they will rock your world, so keep trying. We have some handy videos on our new YouTube channel.
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5. Persist – and get moving.
Your baby may protest when going into a sling. It’s new, and it’s a transition, which babies often don’t like. Their cries will seem louder when settling them into a sling than when settling them into a buggy, as they’re a lot close to your ears! But chances are they will settle quickly once they feel safe secure and snuggly held. And get moving. Babies love movement. It’s incredible soothing. So get your shoes on, get your sling on, then go or a walk around the block.
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6. Enjoy the cuddles while they last.
You cannot spoil a baby by cuddling or carrying them too much. There will come a day, maybe very soon, when they only want sleep in their bed and not on you. Of course buggies are great too, and I’m not saying anyone needs to carry their baby around all day, every day. But it’s hard work, this parenting malarkey. Babywearing can make it all a bit easier.

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About Hannah Wallace
Mum of two Hannah founded Wear My Baby in 2014. She is a highly experienced Babywearing Consultant and has trained with Slingababy, the School of Babywearing and L’ecole A Porter. In July 2018, she and her team opened Wear My Baby Boutique in Tooting, SW London, London’s specialist baby carrier store. They offer a sling hire service, in-store consultations with an expert team and after-hours workshops for expectant parents and health/birth professionals.  Wear My Baby has a team of Consultants offering one-to-one help and pop up events in London, Surrey, Kent, Hertfordshire and Reading. Find out more at www.WearMyBaby.co.uk

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This week get 10% off our Snug As A Bug Suit, a new style a reversible double layer outerwear style that’s designed with baby wearing in mind. Click here to find our more about baby wearing week > 

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Little Green Radicals In India

Tuesday September 18th, 2018 | By Josie, LGR Designer

LGR In India 

Behind every Little Green Radicals product is a story. Each piece is lovingly made by a group of skilled & dedicated individuals at one of our wonderful producers in India. As our Northern Lights collection is here, I wanted to tell you a little bit more about some of the amazing people who make our clothes . . .

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During my trip to India this summer I met with Punitha and her team (seen centre below) in the vibrant, colourful city of Kolkata. Punitha is one of our Head Merchandisers and has worked with us for over five years. Her eye for detail and in depth knowledge of every aspect of a Little Green Radicals helps to make our clothing so special.

 

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 Head Tailer Mohan (pictured below) is another invaluable member of our team. Mohan’s father was a Tailor before him, so he brings a huge amount of experience and knowledge to his craft. We’re forever thankful for the expertise of our Tailors and the high standard they achieve. Making long lasting clothing that not only looks beautiful but also stands the test of time involves many process. We want our clothes to be passed down again and again, so they need to survive new borns, excitable toddlers and adventuring kids. It’s not just the premium organic cotton we use but also the high quality accessories we source that means every piece we make reaches the standard we, and hopefully you, have come to expect from a Little Green Radicals product.

 

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During my trip I took a long and bumpy ride into the Indian countryside to visit one of the mills that make our organic cotton fabrics. We drunk a lot of Chai tea and had a hugely enjoyable day working on a new printing technique ensuring our colourful inks sit inside the dyed fabric, rather than on top, giving a much softer hand feel. We also took the extra step of pre-washing our collection to give an even softer finish. Many of our styles are still screen printed, which means each colour you see has been hand painted onto the fabric by a skilled printer, making each piece unique.

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It is always a privilege to meet the people who make our clothing and I hope you love wearing our Northern Lights collection as much as we enjoyed designing and making it.

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Real Nappy Week

Tuesday April 24th, 2018

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Real Nappy Week

Babies = nappies and at LGR we are big fans of reusable ones!

All our Baby and Toddler bottoms are sized to fit cloth nappies, which means these styles are cut slightly wider and lower to give enough room for wriggling little ones to enjoy their play.R

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3 reasons we love cloth nappies:

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Our planet – on average a child uses a whopping 5000 nappies! (just think of all that poo…)
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RYour pocket – after the initial outlay, you can save around £750 by making the switch to cloth
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Your baby – soft fabrics, especially organic, are kind and gentle to delicate skin                  
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We asked some of our lovely Radical Mums why they choose cloth over disposable
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and here’s what they had to say…
 
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I am using cloth nappies on Jessie now. My older two I didn’t put them on. I really recommended them as they are not much more work as I would have thought. The cloth nappies are really fun and lots of prints and colours to choose from. There is a liner where you can dispose the poo straight into the toilet, so it is not very messy and no smelly nappies lying around the house. Also, the number of nappies that accumulates per week is probably the same amount of waste our whole family accumulate, minus the recycled items. That is a lot of smelly nappies! Lastly, knowing it takes 450 years for a nappy to decompose makes me want to do my bit for the planet!

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– Bonnie, Promotion Manager at LGR
 

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We planned to use real nappies from almost the moment I found out I was pregnant. My partner, Tim, and I were already on a bit of a waste reduction mission, so it just made sense. Tim was a little hesitant at first- he had this image fixed in his head of bulky terry towelling held together in complicated folds with enormous safety pins; he soon got over it when I started buying some preloved nappies so that we could look at the different types. We use mostly pocket nappies, but I’ve just ordered a couple of two-part nappies to try something different. It’s saved huge amounts of money, as we’ve bought a lot of preloved nappies and equipment; I don’t think we’ve spent more than £200 altogether and what we have should last us until Pandora is out of nappies. If we don’t have another, they can be sold/gifted on to others, so they will get tons of use! I think that people can be overwhelmed with the prospect of cloth nappies because of the increase in laundry, but it genuinely hasn’t had that much of an impact- we even hand wash from time to time and quite enjoy it! I really hope that more people will be open to giving cloth a chance and making it more mainstream in the near future.

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– Gemma, LGR Fan
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We wanted to be as environmentally friendly as possible with our second baby. Among the long list of baby necessities was reusable nappies. We were lucky enough to be able to rent from our local cloth nappy library to try all the different kinds before we decided what type we liked. Although between a 7-year-old with chicken pox and that overwhelming newborn feeling we didn’t get to use it as much as we would have liked. We finally settled on an all in one nappy and ordered a starter kit. We still use eco-friendly disposables until we can build up our kit with a few more nappies to go full time. Even though cloth nappies feel daunting, especially the initial cost and the extra laundry but it saves so much money in the long term and it’s actually really easy once you get a routine. Plus cloth bums are just too cute!

– Belle, LGR Fan

 

 

Helping British Bees

 – Beekeepers Emily and Emma –


Wednesday May 17th, 2017 – Emily: Beekeeper

Plant flowers and save the bees!

At Little Green Radicals we love bees. Enough to feature them throughout our SS17 Wander to the sea collection. Look out for them on our Cornish copper print,  flying beneath Cornish hedgerows & flowers & we use beautiful bees wax in our organic skincare too. So we care that they’re quite often badly affected by changes to the environment. Emily Scott is a Beekeeper who lives just around the corner from LGR towers and very familiar with how different types of bees are being affected, and what people can do to help.

Here is what Emily has to say…

You may have heard that bees are not doing so well lately. But which bees? When you imagine a bee, you might think of a busy honey bee hard at work in a hive. Or perhaps of a fuzzy, furry bumble bee, gently buzzing its way through a wildflower meadow.

In reality though, the European honey bee Apis mellifera, which I and thousands of other British beekeepers keep, is not endangered.  Neither is the craft of beekeeping – members of the British Beekeeping Association (BBKA) have soared from 8,463 members in 2003 to just under 25,000 members in 2016.  We are a lively community, passionate about our bees and the environment they live in.

So honey bees are not in danger of dying out. Some bees certainly are under threat though, including many species of bumble and solitary bees. You may be surprised to hear that there around 240 species of solitary bees in the UK, many of which are tiny and go unnoticed by us as we go about our daily lives. Many of these bees can be highly effective pollinators. They have very poetic names too, such as the Hairy footed flower bee and the Wool carder bee.   

There are also 25 species of bumblebee in the UK, although only eight are commonly found in most places. Sadly two bumblebee species have become nationally extinct in the past 80 years, while other species have declined dramatically. The reason: there are fewer flowers than there used to be. It takes a lot of nectar-rich flower energy to power a bumblebee.

The good news is, you can help all species of bees by planting suitable flowers for them.  You don’t need a big garden or even any garden at all: a window box can help too. There are lots of resources available on gardening for British bees, here are a few to get you started:

  • Flowers for bees – a great London Beekeepers Association web section on pollinator-friendly plants, including how to plant a pollinator-friendly window box.
  • The best garden flowers for beesBumblebee expert Professor Dave Goulson has a pretty A-Z page full of photos and explanations of the best garden flowers for bees, from Agastache to Wisteria.
  • Top ten plants for bees a simple list of bee-friendly, good looking, easy to grow and low-maintenance flowers by London beekeeper Dale Gibson.

Or if gardening really isn’t for you, there’s other ways to help bees too. Why not join the Bumblebee Conservation Trust , which aims to halt the decline of British bumblebees, or support beekeeping charities such as Bees for Development, which promotes sustainable beekeeping by local people in developing countries.

Happy bee helping!

Emily Scott

Read more from Emily’s blog here >


The Hairy footed flower bee? That definitely has to go in our next collection!

Comb through our Bees Knees products for your little one >

Bags of progress…

 – Our new sustainable recycled bags your lovely orders will be packaging in – 


Wednesday May 9th, 2017 – Nick: LGR Founder

Bags of progress

The guilt is huge.

For a very long time now you’ve been saying we must do something

about that nasty plastic packaging we send our stuff to you in, and I’ve been saying,

“Yes, we’re an eco company so we absolutely must do

something about that nasty plastic packaging.”

But then there’s the Fairtrade certification, the organic certification, the

quality improvements, sorting out the timing of our production, making sure the warehouse

systems work properly and all that other stuff that has to be done. And it always seemed

as if there wasn’t enough time to do the things that you really know must be done so you

can hold your head up high.

But finally, finally, we have done something about that nasty plastic packaging. To be clear

we have two plastic bags, the outer one in which we put everything in and then the plastic

bags that protect each item. Well sorting out the outer plastic bag was the easy bit. We’ve

replaced it with a lovely big brown paper, the one you see above.

It makes me feel good just looking at it.

But then what about the plastic bag for every single item, thousands and thousands of

them, what are we doing about that? That was a slightly tougher one. We decided we have

to have a plastic bag because the goods have to be protected on their long boat ride from

India and in their slightly cold, mildly musky warehouse. We looked at all the options. The

one we really want to do was to use corn starch to make compostable bags but sadly

when it was pointed out that they might compost after 6 months in the air we thought, what

if LGR fans don’t love every item enough for us to sell out quickly?

So in the end we went for the biodegradable and recyclable option. Not the absolutely best

solution but certainly progress. No filling up landfill sites with bags that live there for

200 years and no bags that end up polluting our seas, and choking marine life. We have

already quietly been bringing in these biodegradable bags from one of the factories we use but

from this Autumn it will be from all of them!

Bags of progress.

Now what’s next?

Who Makes Our Clothes?

 – This is Rachna & her team & and they make our wonderful clothes in India #imadeyourclothes –


Monday April 24th, 2017 – Nick: LGR Founder

Who Makes Our Clothes?

 

Most of us are in too much of a hurry to ask who makes our clothes but #whomademyclothes is a campaign for transparency and enlightened working and environmental practices in the fashion industry. It is sorely needed because in many cases if you knew a bit more than you do now about who made your clothes you wouldn’t feel quite so comfortable in them. Here are Little Green Radicals we know who makes your clothes, we know how they make them, we know the conditions they work in and we know what their impact is on the environment. We feel good to know the people who make your clothes and we hope you do too. Here are some of the great workers who have made some beautiful things your children might be wearing today.


         




Fairtrade Fortnight

Punitha & Ankita, two of our wonderful colleagues at our Fairtrade factory in India

 – March 8th, 2017. Nick: LGR Founder –

Fairtrade Fortnight

I’m on my fifth cup of Fairtrade coffee today. I help a lot of coffee growers this way! We’re in the middle of Fairtrade fortnight and it reminds me of why we do this.

Farmers are the poorest of the poor. They do not know what they will earn that year, whether it will cover their costs and give them enough left over to feed their family, even maybe enough to support their children in education.

Back in 2005 Little Green Radicals was one of a select group of companies in the UK who got Fairtrade cotton certification when it launched. I’m pretty sure we are the only children’s fashion company from that time that still proudly carriers the Fairtrade mark.

So what does it mean? For the farmers it provides a guaranteed price plus a premium, whatever the market price, that goes to the community. So if the market price takes a dive, farmers have a much higher level of security than in the conventional market. And the premium is used to support the community. It might be building a school, or a well, but little by little Fairtrade farmers see an improvement in their livelihood.

The Fairtrade mark on cotton also guarantees Labour standards throughout the supply chain, including the factory.

I haven’t been out to visit Faitrade cotton farmers for a while but it’s a humbling experience. You can feel slightly embarrassed when they start making speeches in your honour and, of course, you have to make one too, which is always well received even if it is not understood. It seems a bit over the top and you try to explain that its no big deal. But it is a big deal to them, a very big deal.  

Nick –  LGR Founder

Back to our blog >

Pesticides. No thanks.

  March 1st, 2017 – Nick: LGR Founder

Pesticides. No thanks

There are lots of reasons for avoiding pesticides. Our own health and the health of our children is cited by many Little Green Radical fans. But for me there has always been another reason, that motivated me to say our brand would always only use only organic cotton: the health of the farmers.

Cotton is one of the most intensely sprayed crops grown.The fact that it’s not a food seems to change perceptions of what’s permissible. I’ve seen cotton farmers with containers of pesticides on their back walking the fields spraying crops for hours. I’ve seen the little shacks that sell lead arsenic and other chemicals that Agatha Christie might have used in a Miss Marple plot. I’ve seen the fields devoid of birds and their song.

In the 1960s and 70s much of the world decided that if we wanted to increase agricultural production pesticides were the answer. It moved from small holders using crop rotation with food for their own family to larger land holdings employing many workers and producing just one crop (mono-agriculture) for cash. Pesticides were used largely without restraint. When I visited an organic project in Egypt they told me that one year under President Nasser 63 million tonnes of chemicals were sprayed across vast swathes of Egypt from light aircraft.

Of course, for a time it seemed to work but then initial gains in crop yield started to dissipate as the chemicals became less effective and the mono-agriculture impacted on soil fertility. And the high cost of pesticides soon altered the financial equation for farmers.

Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, written in 1962, laid bare the real consequences of this approach for the environment.

Done properly organic agriculture is a joy to behold. Good bugs and traps are used to catch the bad bugs. Natural fertlisers and manure are used and sensible crop rotation keeps nutrients in the soil. Farmers are normally organised in co-operatives so they support each other.

Organic farming is not the easy option. It requires careful planning and hard work, and farmers still lead a precarious existence but few who convert to organic consider returning to chemical based agriculture. More farmers would convert to organic but they need to be able to sell their organic cotton as organic rather than back into the conventional market, where they get a lower price. So all that is needed is for more farmers to convert is for more of us to choose organic.

Nick –  LGR Founder

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Radical Photo Shoot

 – December 7th, 2016. Nick: LGR Founder –

All are welcome

It’s photo shoot time of year and I have a nostalgic feeling. Naturally, the star of our early photoshoots was my son. And, of course, he looked gorgeous in the slogan tees that got us going. Here he is in Give Peas A Chance.

He is just as cute today but Leo isn’t quite like any other boy or girl in his cohort. He is different, special, Autistic. At the age of 12 he does not speak and his likes include playing with foam, rides on carousels and pulling dogs ears.

In many cultures having a disabled child is considered a blessing. I now understand why. There is no pressure on my child to achieve. I never worry how he or I are judged. The only mission each day is, as Dr Seuss put it, to have lots of good fun that is funny. And he does. Every day.

Over the years we have had a few children that are that little bit different as models at our photo shoot. And they had lots of good fun that was funny. Of course, our photo shoots are very popular, so there isn’t space for everyone but everyone is welcome. Does your child want to have lots of good fun that is funny? Do let us know if they do and I bet they will look cute too.

Nick – LGR Founder

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