Saving plastic bottles from landfill and supporting independent artists, Hello Fred are brand new on the scene and ready to take your orders! They are the place to go for unique, handmade items like playmats, bibs and beanies, change mats and fabric wraps. The playful and colourful fabrics are ethically sourced and sustainable, with eco-friendly prints, all made to order. We spoke with Amy, who started Hello Fred with her mother Tracy, to learn more.
The passion: What inspired you to set up your business?
Five months ago I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, Lyla. Starting Hello Fred was not even an idea yet. Lyla was about a month old, and my mum, Tracy, was telling me about a playmat she had made for Lyla. The conversation developed very quickly, and by the end of that weekend we’d decided to start a business. Talk about a whirlwind!
My mum has ample experience from two previous children’s clothing businesses she started from scratch in the past. I grew up around these businesses and even designed our first logo at the age of seven, plus some outfits as I got older. This took place in South Africa, but came to an end abruptly when we immigrated to Australia in 2006.
Fast forward 11 years and it’s all beginning again, only this time I’m a partner in the business with my mum, and we are focussing on environmental impact and awareness around ethical consumerism, recycling, up-cycling and the importance of supporting the right kinds of businesses.
…we are focussing on environmental impact and awareness around ethical consumerism, recycling, up-cycling and the importance of supporting the right kinds of businesses.
The Launch: How did you start out in the beginning?
We launched a Kickstarter campaign for 30 days, which gave people the opportunity to support us however they chose to. We were overwhelmed by the amazing response and support we received, and are feeling so grateful for so many incredibly generous people from all over the world.
We are a part of two amazing upcoming markets, and our website launched on the 1st of December! People will finally be able to see what we’ve been working hard at getting ready these past few months.
The innovation: What was the biggest breakthrough for you with your business?
Realising and pursuing an eco-friendly direction was the biggest and most exciting realisation/breakthrough we had. We have sourced natural fabrics like hemp, bamboo and organic cotton to use for our products, and even a soft fibre for the inner of our playmats made from 100% recycled plastic bottles that would otherwise end up in landfill. The inks used to print out fabric is eco-friendly and biodegradable.