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Introducing our Lion of Leisure tees

May 16, 2018

We want to share something new with you… let us introduce you to our latest collection of kids’ tees, created in collaboration with kidswear brand Lion of Leisure. They’re not just any tees — and when you discover more about them we think you’ll love them just as much as we do.

The Lion of Leisure logo and drawing on one of their cotton tees

Lion of leisure is a small independent kids’ clothing brand owned by designers Matthew Grove and Saskia Solberg, who are based in Antwerp, Belgium. Their mission is to create a kidswear brand that is unique, with its own humorous identity that inspires the very people who inspire them — kids! Each product is lovingly designed with hand-drawn illustrations, drawing inspiration from the natural world around them.

We thought Matthew would be the best person to tell you all about it, so here he is to let you in on everything about the brand…

A portrait of Matthew Grove and Saskia Solberg, and Matthew printing a tee

Behind the brand

“Saskia and I have both been designing kids clothing for many years now. I do all the illustrations myself. We focus on drawing animals, working from photographs to get the expressions just right. We actually have an archive of over 500 illustrations, but have only used about 120 of them so far. They sit in a reserve until we come up with the words to go with the drawings."

A hand-drawn image of the lion graphic, and Matthew's workspace

"We’ve found that coming up with the text is the hardest, so we usually sit down as a family and ask our two daughters to pitch in with ideas and comments. Some of our bestsellers have come from our kids’ ideas! Coming up with new animals is also quite difficult, so we travel to animal parks, zoos, aquariums and farms to get inspiration.”

Hand-drawn sketches of animals that will appear as graphics on a t-shirt

Working with FatFace

“We’ve worked closely with the FatFace design team to produce the graphics on these tees. We’ve used 100% BCI cotton on every t-shirt, which means that the cotton we use is better for the environment and the people who produce it. Also, we’ve designed the fit so that both boys and girls can wear whichever t-shirt they like and still feel comfortable.”

The collection of FatFace Lion of Leisure Tees and the logo

Using great materials

“The ethical side of what we do is very important to us. We do the best we can with our materials, as we believe that companies big and small have a responsibility to do the best they can for the environment and the people who buy their products. Plus, using better materials like BCI cotton gives the tees a much nicer ‘hand-feel’ that is a pleasure to wear. I feel passionate about the products that we design - for any brand."

Supersoft cotton t-shirts with Lion of Leisure branding, and a print in progress

"We’re very proud of what we’ve made. We especially get a kick out of seeing others enjoy our designs, and seeing when someone posts a picture on Instagram from anywhere in the world — that is priceless.”

Want a closer look? Come and check out the Lion of Leisure tees here.

To learn more about BCI cotton and why we’re using it more and more, read the blog and discover why caring about cotton matters.