rain starts play launched in 2012, evolving from a quest to find stylish, colourful, high quality and practical children’s clothes and toys which were created in an ethical and sustainable way for my daughter, Kirstie. She now wears and plays with our products, so I know how well they withstand frequent use and washing.
Our original aim was to bring together the most creative new and well-established brands designing and manufacturing in Britain and Europe to create an exciting online children’s shop bursting with bright colours, character and fun. We're now expanding our range to include kids' stuff made all over the world, whilst still ensuring that all our brands use either certified fair trade or stringently ethical production methods and have a close relationship with the factories they use, which they visit regularly to ensure high standards are being maintained.
We buy directly from designers, rather than wholesalers, to really get to know them and their products, some of which are award-winning. Most of our products aren’t available on the high street, and some have been specially made for us.
Everything at rain starts play is ethically made, mostly in Britain or Europe. We ask our designers lots of probing questions until we’re happy that each product, the fabrics used to make it, and as far as possible the raw materials, such as cotton plants, were created and processed by adults working in decent conditions, for fair pay.
We’re an eco-friendly company, so many of our products are made from organic cotton, pre-loved and recycled materials.
Our name inverts the phrase ‘rain stops play’, often heard in British sport. Our clothes are designed for play, whatever the weather; reflecting our belief in the importance of outdoor play for children’s development. They are stylish yet machine washable, easy for children to put on by themselves, mostly unisex, and durable, so they can be handed down and passed on. We only sell Slow Toys, so children use their imaginations rather than batteries. Our products are designed to be fun, safe and easy to clean, without sacrificing good design.
Josephine Murray, director, rain starts play