Minshan is the new fabric range from Lewis & Irene. Not only is it a beautiful fabric range but profits from it are going towards protecting the Red panda.
We caught up with Hannah Richards, Creative Director of Lewis & Irene, to find out more about the inspiration behind the range and the project it is helping to support.
“Minshan is inspired by brightly lit Chinese lanterns on a family day trip to a ‘Festival of Light’. It was a panda shaped lantern specifically that sparked the idea and then the Red panda design as it’s one of my favourite animals.”
Both the Giant panda and the Red panda are endangered animals and this encouraged the idea to use the profits from sales of the fabric to make a donation towards their conservation.
Act Now For Wildlife, which is led by Chester Zoo, support a Chinese conservation project helping to save endangered species around the world from extinction. Hannah said ‘It was the natural choice’ to support them, especially as 100% of donations goes to the project. It is aimed at raising awareness of these desperate conservation needs and the money needed to make that difference.
Because of the success of the fabric range so far, Lewis & Irene have managed to present a check to Chester Zoo for a whopping £1000. This money will go towards protecting Giant pandas and Red pandas from extinction in the wild. This simply means ensuring they have a home to live in. Without the forests these enigmatic animals will be lost in the wild forever. Habitat loss is a major factor in the decline of many species across the globe. The forests in the Sichuan Mountains of China offer outstanding habitat for a wide range of wildlife and contain populations of animals such as the Red panda.
It isn’t just the Minshan range that has a story behind to it. As a company Lewis and Irene have their own story which is filled with nostalgia.
Lewis and Irene are a family run company. Hannah’s Father Bryan is the Managing Director and Hannah’s Brother Ben has recently joined the business as Sales manager, covering the South of England.
“Lewis & Irene were my maternal Grandparents. There are little memories of them throughout our collections. In ‘The Botanist’, for example, there is a Passion Flower design which is taken from my childhood memory of Passion Flowers in my grandparents garden. Another example is ‘Bluebell Wood’ which is inspired by a favourite walk in ancient woodland near my house. In every collection there is something!”