Fable & Base are on a mission to create a self-sufficient micro-business that is carbon neutral, ecologically sound and produces beautiful textiles that people can cherish for generations to come.
Their studio-produced textiles have been carefully sourced, hand-printed and made locally. The brand hand prints on sustainable fabrics, which are free from chemicals and pesticides, using low toxic dyes approved by the Soil Association to ensure their products have as little impact on the environment as possible.
Fable & Base was established in 2013 by Francesca Baur, a mother-of-three and a part-time lecturer in fashion and textiles, as a response to the need for stylish yet sustainable design-led textiles in the UK.
With her roots firmly in the textile industry and also growing up on an organic farm, Francesca combined these two influences when creating her textile company.
“My family heritage has had a large influence on the ethos of my business”, she says.
“My grandfather moved to London from Munich in 1930, where he had been an agent for the lace house Klauber. He set up a lingerie textile business in London’s Regent Street and Great Sutton Street, which he ran successfully until the late 1970s when textile production began moving overseas.
“When the business closed in the late 1970s, my father, who was a barrister, bought a derelict farm in Kent and set up one of the early organic farms.
“We lived the good life – eating home grown food and wearing homemade cloth kit clothes but as I reached adulthood I rebelled against country life.”
And so she fled to the bright lights of London to study printed textiles at Middlesex University but she never forgot her roots. Francesca returned to Kent to explore how the slow movements she’d experienced in her childhood could translate to her textile work.
In 2013, Francesca decided to make her green business dream a reality. She joined The School For Creative Start Ups where Fable & Base was born. The school gives budding entrepreneurs the basic business skills they need to get started.
“I’d had the business idea for some time but coming across The School For Creative Start Ups gave me structure and helped me fine tune my idea with the support of some inspirational business advisors.
“They didn’t so much influence the company but gave me the drive and the confidence to move the idea forward.”
And Francesca has big dreams for the future of Fable & Base.
“The bigger plan is to create a hub that will produce textiles by telling the whole story of the fabric. The aim is to provide complete transparency from seed to finished product.
“There will be a workshop programme giving people the opportunity to learn traditional skills as well as raising awareness of the environmental impact of fashion and textiles.
“We hope to work with the community to grow the business and build a creative hub to inspire future generations.”
Fabrics and products are made-to-order to reduce waste, with two new collections launched each year as well as designs being added to the existing collections.
Nature has an enormous influence on the brand’s print designs, alongside mid-century Scandinavian design as Francesca explains: “Colour, botanics and plant forms inform most of my ideas.
“I look for narratives that I can translate onto the cloth. I’m intuitive in the way I work but like to use my everyday surroundings as a springboard for ideas”.
Fable & Base’s ‘Edible Flowers’ collection is inspired by Francesca’s life on the farm, while the ‘Fable’ collection takes inspiration from nostalgic European imagery.
Fable & Base are currently running a crowd funding campaign on Kickstarter. The brand was chosen by The RSA, an enlightenment organisation committed to finding innovative and creative practical solutions to today’s social challenges.
The RSA selects the best new ideas committed to the same ethos.
“The Kickstarter campaign will provide funding for the first phase of setting up a workshop space and support the development of community workshops, as well as developing Fable & Base sustainable textiles by the meter and our DIY kits”, explains Francesca.
Check out Fable & Base’s Kickstarter campaign to be part of the slow textiles movement.