rain starts play evolved from a quest to find locally, ethically and sustainably made things for my daughter Kirstie, now three. I wanted to buy her stylish, colourful, high quality clothes, toys and bedroom things which didn't cost the earth - in both senses of that phrase - and were created by people with fair pay and working conditions. Kirstie is now wearing and playing with some of our things - I've marked these on the webshop - so I really do know how well they wash and withstand life with an active child!
We’ve combined the most creative new British brands including unisex clothing company Tootsa MacGinty with well-established British companies such as Gibson’s jigsaw puzzles and games (established in 1919) to create an exciting online children’s shop bursting with bright colours, character and fun. Some of our brands both design and make their products in Britain. Others design here and manufacture in Europe. What they all have in common is stringently ethical production methods and a close relationship with the factories they use, which they visit regularly to ensure high standards are being maintained.
To balance all the Union Jack waving we’ve added a dash of continental style with retro eco-chic clothing company l’asticot, retro German brand byGraziela and others, all of whom manufacture in Europe in a strictly ethical way. We buy directly from the designers 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 rain starts play.
Ethical manufacturing often goes hand-in-hand with eco-friendly principles, so some of our clothing brands –L’asticot, Old Rectory, Pili Pala and Organics for Kids - use organic cotton, Re-jigged up-cycles pre-loved garments into funky children’s clothes, and Pili Pala makes the soles of its Welsh merino wool slippers from recycled book bindings. Gibson’s jigsaw puzzles use 100% recycled board and the materials for The Sheppard’s Flock’s beautiful hand-made ragdolls and ragmice are sourced by bicycle. Manufacturing in Britain and Europe reduces the number of miles our products will travel before reaching customers in Britain.
The name rain starts play turns a phrase often heard in British sport - ‘rain stops play’ – on its head. All our products are designed to last and be passed on, and to be comfortable, hard-wearing, safe, and easy to clean.
Josephine Murray, director, rain starts play