Archive for the ‘who we are’ Category

The Cambridge Baby Team

Thursday, October 30th, 2014

Who are the people behind Cambridge Baby?  It can be nice to know a bit about who you're talking to on the phone, or who you're corresponding with by email so here's the low-down on us!

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Helen

Cambridge Baby started with Helen. After being given wool garments for her little girl, she realised how great wool is - it doesn’t absorb liquids like cotton does, it’s breathable, soft, combines beautifully with silk and cotton and comes in such a great range if textures – fine, fully, fleecy, wool crepe, wool terry… and as she couldn’t find woollen baby clothes in the UK, she started Cambridge Baby back in 2006.

Helen’s background is as an academic and she's a mine of information on fabrics and how to care for them. You might see her at trade fairs, looking for the best natural, organic, fairly traded clothing out there. She also sings beautifully! 

Nick

Nick is the engineer behind the scenes. He built and runs the Cambridge Baby website and also built from scratch “The Good Natured Shed” where your orders get picked and packed. He’s the one to ask about outdoors clothes for children and adults, as he loves skiing and sailing amongst other things includes his daughters in his adventures. If you speak to him on the phone about what clothes to get the little ones, he’s sensible and practical and will always tell you not to forget “a little something for yourself” – parents need comfort too!

Rosy

Rosy is our resident expert on twins, as she has lovely twin girls. Rosy knows our range inside out, as she goes to trade fairs to find ethical manufacturers making practical, useful and lovely clothes. Chances are you will speak to her if you phone us and that she’ll be the one answering your emails.

Rosy is sporty and active, and always on the go – she shares and her four children share interests in art, music and dancing. She is warm and caring and has a great sense of humour – just the person to go to for advice about specific clothing and tricky questions such as “which sleeping bag is best?” or “which outerwear would you recommend for my fussy toddler?”

Wendy

Wendy is a calming influence in the hustle and bustle that is Cambridge Baby. She likes making a positive difference for people and is immensely patient and caring. She is our resident colour expert: the colours swatches on the product pages are all her handiwork – making it easier to pick the right colours when ordering. You’ll see Wendy is a Lindy Hop dancer, so you might see her at the various festivals we have here in Cambridge. Then again, you might also see her in an orchestra, playing the cello. She’s multi-talented!

Agnès

Agnès loves being part of the team here at Cambridge Baby. What attracted her to Cambridge Baby was the care that is put into the clothes that we sell (see her blog post The Little Touches). Agnès picks and packs orders, answers the phone and emails, and love choosing the perfect items for the “Wear This With” section. She also keeps us all (gently) in order. When she isn’t revelling in the softness of Cambridge Baby clothes, Agnès is a passionate teacher – French (her native language) and martial arts where she teaches children in a local Kung Fu club. If you see her around Cambridge – most likely clad in Engel! – don’t hesitate to say “Bonjour!”

Rachel

Rachel has joined Helen to form our marketing team. You’ll see her comments on our Facebook page. She and Helen make our adverts and competitions too.

An active mum of two, Rachel cares about ethical issues. Having previously worked in the marketing department of an ethical chocolate company, joining Cambridge Baby was a logical choice. As her husband runs a cycle courier business (yes, it is Cambridge after all!), you will often see Rachel and her little ones and their Dutch school-run bike around Cambridge.

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Hunting down organic clothes at Bubble London :)

Sunday, June 16th, 2013
Rosy and I have just come back from Britain's loveliest trade show for children's clothes - Bubble, held in Islington. We always go to find new brands that work for us - soft wool or organic cotton, well-made lovely baby and children's clothing.  We always want genuine ethical commitment and a bonus is...  enthusiasm!  If there is someone you think we should look out for or stock next year, let us know below. It was good to see some of our favourite British ethical companies - hello Pigeon, Kite, Piccalilly and Frugi!  And a welcome addition to the British scene - Sense Organics is launching here good and proper (though we got in first and are already stocking them!). There was very little wool there but we were delighted with the made-down-the-road quirky designs of Donna Wilson - cushions, toys and blankets in gorgeously soft British lambswool. http://www.donnawilson.com/ At the moment they're not selling to online stores but if you'd like to see them on these pages, let them know 🙂 Fun, aren't they?!  I'll leave you with one more.... www.donnawilson.com

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Cambridge Baby Word Cloud

Wednesday, March 6th, 2013
Wordle: www.CambridgeBaby.co.uk This is what the computer came up with when we asked it to describe us. I quite liked it.

Why I Buy Organic & Competition

Tuesday, September 18th, 2012
I live in lovely village called Horningsea and one of my greatest pleasures is cycling to work. I was zooming along thinking how lucky I was on this bright blue September day... when suddenly I saw a tractor spraying and I felt sick. The dark side of agriculture was brought home. You'll find a personal post from me below, but to celebrate Organic September we're running an organic competition! We have 8 pairs of Demeter-quality organic cotton socks to win!  To enter, tell us, why do you buy organic?  Comment below - each comment will count as an entry.  Plus, if you share this link anywhere online, we'll give you not one but two bonus entries - simply comment and tell us where you've shared - twitter, facebook, forums, all are good for us!

Organic Cotton Socks for Children

Why I feel lucky I hope you're entered the competition and are feeling lucky.  After passing the spraying tractor, a moments reflection and I felt lucky too. I was briefly exposed to a bit of herbicide. Nothing in comparison to what a conventional cotton farmer has to deal with daily. Many chemicals used in cotton farming are acutely toxic. Some are so dangerous that 120 countries agreed at a UNEP conference in 2001 to ban them - unfortunately many are still being used. The World Trade Organisation estimates 20,000 deaths and three million chronic health problems annually are the result of the use of agricultural pesticides in developing countries. I feel very lucky to live in Britain, where we are at the forefront of change, even if it is slow.

Wearing organic cotton

Choosing organic cotton All our cotton at Cambridge Baby and Good Natured Clothing is organic and we wouldn't have it any other way.  (You can view some lovely organic cotton children's clothing here.) A whopping eight times more pesticide is used on one hectare of conventional cotton than on other crops. These chemicals are incredibly expensive for small holder farmers. In some Indian states, chemicals account for 60% of farmers' budgets.  Over a 1000 suicides in one state alone been attributed to debt. And of course, intensive pesticide use reduces biodiversity, damages ecosystems, and contaminates water supplies. Because pests build up a resistance to pesticides every year, farmers have to use more pesticides to grow the same amount of cotton - increasing the annual damage to the environment. The small extra we pay for quality organic cotton means that farmers receive a premium for organic cotton enabling them to live a healthier more sustainable lifestyle. All our organic cotton is also produced with social sustainability criteria in mind - fair trade principles are embedded in the organic certifications we use, even if the cotton is not Fair Trade certified. How organic cotton farming helps Organic cotton farming is kinder to the environment and helps farmers make a sustainable living. Organic cotton farmers use natural pesticides to keep pests off the crops, without eliminating their natural predators. Intercropping with sunflowers and millet help mask the smell of cotton from weevils that love it. So cotton can be successfully grown without pesticides by enrolling the help of insects and fungi that attack the cotton pests as our many organic cotton farmers demonstrate. Once chemical pesticides are no longer used the presence of beneficial insects increases dramatically while artificial traps, trap crops and host crops can also help to control the pests. The need for chemical fertilizers can be eliminated by utilising organic manures, rotating crops, intercropping, and drip irrigation. Water in organic cotton growing Water use is another concern, even with organic cotton production methods.  Conventional methods of cotton production are literally responsible for creating deserts. Bishopton Trading's organic cotton, however, which we are proud to stock, is predominantly rain-fed.  And soils fertilised with natural manures have a higher hummus content and are better able to retain water. Most fabric used for clothing has many chemicals added to it to enhance the feel and colour and to reduce creasing - our organic cotton clothing doesn't.  One of the few additions is the dye - and this has to be accepted by organic accreditation bodies.  Bishopston Trading, for example, alongside many of the brands we stock, use GOTS accredited (Global Organic Textile Standard) non-azo reactive dyes to stand up to machine washing.  The only treatment to their organic cotton yarn is a rice water starch applied to the warp threads to enable the weavers to span the looms - this quickly washes out. And, Bishopston Trading say that their white cloth is bleached without the use of chlorine - so you can be safe and comfortable on your organic bed linen with a clean conscience. Good to be a part of change I feel lucky - I'm in a position to be able to choose change. Working for Cambridge Baby, who sell only organic cotton, makes me really happy. Being able to choose to buy organic makes me feel good because I know I'm contributing to creating a world that I'd like to live in. Wheat fields filled with poppies and butterflies, rather than wheat deserts, healthy organic cotton farmers and families around the world. We'd like to know what you think too.

Meet Wendy from the Cambridge Baby Team

Thursday, September 6th, 2012

Wendy's In the Pink!

Wendy's favourite mornings at Cambridge Baby is when she's picking and packing pink clothes! Her love of pink is clear to see as she turns up for her Cambridge Baby mornings on her bike with pink coat and helmet, ready for action!

Her love of colour ties in with her own natural well-being business which she's enjoying growing - take a look at her website, WhatYouReallyReallyWant.co.uk.

Wendy is a joy to have on the team, being very good natured and positive.  As well as preparing orders she delights in keeping the boxes of Cambridge Baby clothes clearly labelled, for quick and accurate picking. When the need arises she is also on hand to answer phone queries, answer e-mails,  process returns, and unpack incoming deliveries.

Music to Your Ears

She sometimes entertains the rest of the Cambridge Baby team with whistling renditions of the latest orchestra pieces she is rehearsing. She plays the cello in the Cambridge Graduate Orchestra, who give concerts four times a year at the renowned West Road Concert Hall. A few weeks ago they performed The Planets by Holst to a sold out audience as part of the Cambridge Science Festival.

Another highlight of her week is running a local Brownie Pack for girls aged 7-10 years. The girls love the games, action songs, and all the new skills and crafts they do. A few weeks ago they made some great owls out of fir cones that made it to the Cambridge Baby desk to be admired!

If you're local to Cambridge and your girl would like to join Brownies, phone Wendy on 01223 515470.

Her Other Side

When she’s not at Cambridge Baby she’s helping people who are overwhelmed by stress, depression, or fatigue, with the natural wellbeing business she is growing.  Her clients are often extremely grateful for the support she offers, which can  include herbal supplement recomendations, dietary recommendations, and chakra and meridian balancing treatments.

She also loves helping people become truly alive using a fabulous colour system that combines the energies of colour, plant extracts and crystals. If your looking for something to quench your spiritual thirst then this could be for you. Help more of your 'true colours' shine through with solution treatments.

To find out more visit WhatYouReallyReallyWant.co.uk - it's Wendy's website, and you'll see it's a little pink.

Meet Agnès from the Cambridge Baby Team

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

Being Part of the Team

Agnès loves being part of the team here at Cambridge Baby. She works with Rosy and Wendy in the Good Natured shed and is pictured here in her favourite Engel top sold here at Cambridge Baby.

Before working at Cambridge Baby Agnès never expected to work in retail.What attracted her to Cambridge Baby was the care that is put into the clothes that we sell (see her blog post The Little Touches). What makes her job so worthwhile is her passion for high quality, ethical, and eco-friendly clothes that have the comfort and practicality of the wearer in mind.

Her Cambridge Baby Roles

Agnès loves the variety of her roles in the Good Natured shed.

  • When receiving your Cambridge Baby clothes it is likely to have either been picked or packed by her....
  • When you phone up with a query you may be helped by her...
  • And when you found Cambridge Baby on the first page of google Agnès's computer skills helped it get there.
  • Her passion and talent for implementing effective procedures for incoming deliveries are specially appreciated by the rest of the team.

She is also the lucky person who gets to share customer quotes with the world. It makes her day receiving lovely comments from people like you who really appreciate the difference these natural fibre clothes make to the comfort and happiness of their little ones and themselves. In her own words “Feel free to keep sending them in!”

French Teacher Extraordinaire!

After leaving the Good Natured Shed at lunchtime she zips around Cambridge giving French lessons to children and adults alike, both in person and over Skype. Her enthusiasm for helping others enjoy the French Language is infectious. For more info see her ‘French For All’ website, where you can also discover more about her French Translation services.

The Little Touches

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012
Often it's the little touches that make all the difference.  When choosing which clothes to stock, we look at attention to detail and particularly like little ideas that make life easier. Here are 5 little touches that we love.  You can WIN a £20 Cambridge Baby voucher by leaving a comment, and saying which is your favourite! 1.  The extendible bodysuit Babies grow quickly, so helping things last longer as your baby gets bigger is a great idea.  This wool/silk sleeveless bodysuit by Iobio has two rows of poppers so it's extendible and lasts longer, and is even better at handling cloth nappies.

Extendible Sleeveless Baby Body

Iobio's wrap-around bodysuit also has sleeves which can either be down as scratch mitts, with little hands tucked into them, or folded up as your baby grows.

2.  Leggings with a perfect fit This perfect touch is even simpler.  On all their wool and wool/silk leggings, German company Engel has included an opening on the inside of the waistband, which allows you to tighten or change the elastic without having to un-stitch anything.

Leggings with adjustable waist

So if you have a narrow-waisted child, you can easily shorten it as much as you need to for a perfect fit - and should the elastic break (not that that has happened yet!), it's easy to replace.  Simple - why doesn't everyone do it?

3.   Hand-stitched invisible seams Comfortable fabrics, comfortable cut and comfortable finishing create clothes that keep babies and children happy.  Comfort is at the top of the list with us - from top to toe.

Wool tights with seamless toes

Groedo hand-stitch the toes and heels of most of their organic cotton and wool socks and tights, creating "invisible" seams that can't be felt.  So these socks and tights never rub nor feel uncomfortable!  The German word for this is handgekettelt and we love this attention to detail. 4.  Removable labels Youngest Good Natured Team member, Connie (aged 4) always needs labels taking out, and it is annoying when they're stitched right into the seam, making it impossible to take them out cleanly.  Swiss brand Alkena make this so easy.  Alkena's biodynamic silk clothes have labels lightly stitched at each side, so that they can easily be removed.  Because it's so easy to do, it gets done sooner and little Connie is happier.  They do the same for adults too - thanks, Alkena!

Twist biodynamic silk top with removable label

5.  Stay-on hats "My little boy Phillip has worn it all day today in the park, and it fits so nicely he forgot he had it on. The design is brilliant ... and it really stays on." Mirjam, Cambridge.

Organic Sun Hat with Ties under the Chin to Stay On

Whether they're sun hats or woolly hats, baby hats really need to stay on.   We have always loved Pickapooh for making sure they do just that, with soft ties or poppers under the chin for long-lasting stayonability. "The best bit is that she forgets she's wearing it!" Lauren, Redhill, UK. And that's how all children's clothes should be. ---------------------------------- Win a £20 Gift Voucher!  Comment on this or any of our blog posts in March, and we'll randomly select a winner on 1st April.  Share or link to a blog post for bonus entries!