Brother Wolf - the eco-friendly clothing brand helping young and old get closer to nature
- Credit: not Archant
A Carnforth mum is going back to nature with her new business and community venture.
Feleena Taylor launched Brother Wolf, a community focused, sustainable clothing brand, just last year and already she, and dozens of other people, old and young, are feeling the benefit.
Feleena’s mantra is ‘inspired by nature to inspire value in nature’ which is reflected in her clothing and community projects.
‘I have a big passion for the outdoors. I grew up with three brothers and we often went walking in the Lakes,’ says Feleena, who’s also a fell runner.
She now has three boys of her own – Archie who turns 13 this month, 10-year-old Nathaniel and Lucas who will celebrate his eighth birthday this month – who partly inspired her business venture.
‘I liked the idea of brightening up boys clothing with nature inspired designs,’ she says.
So, in September, Feleena launched her sustainable t-shirt business.
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She is supplied with plain Fair Trade organic cotton t-shirts and then sends her design ideas to a team of illustrators including Carnforth-based Hannah Robinson and Helen Entwistle from Grange-over-Sands, who also hand screen prints them.
All Brother Wolf’s ethical clothing has a gold standard for sustainable processing which means the t-shirts are kind to the skin and the environment.
They are locally printed using Soil Association approved dyes and compostable packaging is provided.
Alongside the t-shirts are fact cards, highlighting the charities which Feleena is working with and for every adult t-shirt sold, £5 is donated to charities including The British Ornithological Society, The Beaver Trust, The British Dragonfly Society, the British Pteridological Society, The Heart of Argyll Wildlife Organisation, Buglife and the Bat Conservation Trust.
‘It’s been exciting to launch this new clothing brand and it’s been so well received,’ adds Feleena who’s named after a character in the country and western song, El Paso of which her grandad was a big fan.
But the t-shirts are just one half of the Brother Wolf story; Feleena wants to help people gain access to the countryside through community projects too.
And five months before launching her clothing brand, she organised her first dementia friendly walk.
‘My mum had dementia and we found one way to keep her going was retaining her connection with nature and the outdoors,’ she says.
Feleena wanted to help others in the same way so, with the support of Morecambe Bay Partnership and the Arnside and Silverdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), weekly walks began and by the end of last year, around 50 people were participating.
She has also organised walks in Kendal and Ings and they are due to be extended to Kirkby Lonsdale this year, once restrictions are lifted.
The walks help those living with dementia enjoy nature which can result in them feeling less stressed and agitated and this project also helps their loved ones, carers or anyone feeling lonely, to meet others in a similar situation.
‘I’m a positive risk taker so we do go off-road,’ Feleena adds. ‘I think about what people with dementia can do, rather than what they can’t.’
In recognition of her work, Feleena has received Arnside & Silverdale AONB’s Bittern Award, given to a person or organisation who have made an outstanding contribution to the AONB.
And at the other end of the age spectrum, Brother Wolf has been working with children.
Feleena’s Be More Wolf project aims to ‘rewild’ the child – connecting children with nature and expanding their local knowledge.
Last year, she took a group of Carnforth Primary School pupils to Warton Crag where they learned about its natural history from a botanist and geologist.
‘Even though the children all lived locally, none had previously visited the Crag which was surprising,’ says Feleena.
It was education which led to Feleena settling in North Lancashire although she was already familiar with the area as her grandparents had a static caravan in Bolton-le-Sands.
She studied for an environmental science degree at Lancaster University before training as an occupational therapist. She then took a break to have her three sons.
Despite a busy family life, Feleena hopes to see Brother Wolf grow in 2020.
‘I’d like to be a strong brand in the Morecambe Bay area continuing to deliver community projects, collaborating with conservation charities but also supporting the local creative talent on our doorstep.’
The clothing is vailable online at ourbrotherwolf.com.