As well as a fantastic opportunity to align our brand with respected retail names; this also allows us to connect with new demographics who may move on to be future advocates for the planet
At the Natural History Museum, we are surrounded by treasures of the natural world. We see first-hand the joy and wide-eyed wonder as children come through our doors and explore the galleries for the first time. To bring some of that awe into the everyday lives of children in the UK, here in the Museum’s Brand Licensing team, we were thrilled to develop our first childrenswear collection with John Lewis, created alongside licensee Bro Global Group. For ages 3-12 years, this gender-neutral range consists of t-shirts, sweatshirts, long-sleeved tops, leggings and joggers. The graphic collection encourages a love of our planet, a message that is mirrored by the sustainable fabrics used to create the range.
Brand Licensing is an essential source of Museum income and this has proved more vital than ever after COVID-19 shut the Museum’s doors for the third time at the end of last year. As well as a fantastic opportunity to align our brand with respected retail names; this also allows us to connect with new demographics who may move on to be future advocates for the planet. The Museum has a vision of a future in which both people and the planet thrive and although our 300 scientists have had to work from home this year like the rest of us, this has not stopped them from continuing to undertake vital research into so many aspects of the natural world, from the major threats of climate change to biodiversity loss.
We know just how crucial inspiring the next generation is in the protection of the planet. That is why it is so important to us that our licensed products inspire children to celebrate the environment, even when the Museum itself is closed, and remind them just how important it is that we care for our planet and the creatures that we share it with.
Working with the Museum’s collections comprising of over 80 million specimens, the Brand Licensing team have plenty of inspiration to play with when it comes to new collaborations like this!
Our style guides work as a toolkit to help interpret some of the many exceptional assets we can offer to licensees, with graphics based on specimens hundreds of years old, some of which are found nowhere else the world.
Working closely with Bro Global Group, who really embraced our style guides and used the assets to great effect, resulted in a gorgeous graphic collection comprising of elephants, penguins, zebras and whales ablaze with inspiration phrases such as “Always be Kind” and “Let’s Make the World an Amazing Place to Be”. Of course, a childrenswear collection in collaboration with the Natural History Museum would not be complete without a dinosaur and so of course there is a T rex in there too!
The last twelve months have really shown us how important it is to be able to engage with young people from their own homes as well as during visits to our galleries
As well inspirational messaging, using sustainable practices is the biggest priority for my team and I. Bro Global Group understood our ambition and used sustainable fabrics and BCI Cotton wherever possible across the range. BCI (Better Cotton Initiative) is a not-for-profit organisation which exists to make global cotton production better for the people who produce it and better for the environment it grows in. As well as sustainable materials, Bro Global Group also only used water-based print techniques on the collection, resulting in a collection which really brings to life a love for the planet and celebrates the environment.
The last twelve months have really shown us how important it is to be able to engage with young people from their own homes as well as during visits to our galleries and we love the idea of one of these gorgeous graphic John Lewis & Partners X Natural History Museum pieces coming out of the wardrobe and reminding children to always be kind and to love our world. You can see the full collection online now at johnlewis.com, or it is available in 12 stores nationwide (when restrictions allow).