FAFU began trading in 2009 with a range of imaginative children’s play costumes created by Icelandic designer Hulda Hreiðarsdóttir. Hulda designed the colorful range of costumes after seeing how children flourished when they could create their own worlds playing different roles and characters.
“I want to give children the chance to use their imaginations and use the clothes to create their own characters rather than just giving them an off-the-shelf outfit they couldn’t change,” said Hulda. “We all know children are very imaginative and I want to encourage them to bring that imagination to life.”
In 2013 - FAFU moved its operational base from Iceland to the UK following the company’s acquisition by child development expert Tom Shea. The move is aimed at expanding the company’s reach to children in the UK and overseas.
All FAFU’s products are made from natural materials – wool, felt, silk and cotton - and manufactured in Nepal by skilled local women and men working under ethical conditions.
Tom Shea first became involved with FAFU in 2011 after meeting Hulda Hreiðarsdóttir and her team at an exhibition in Coventry. “I spotted this tiny oasis of colour in the exhibition hall and went to take a look,” said Tom. “I’ve been working on the development of children’s brains for over 50 years and I was impressed with what I saw. Hulda’s designs are unique and I knew children could be fascinated and stimulated by them.”
FAFU’s main customers have predominantly been children’s day nurseries, but the company is keen to expand sales to other organisations such as primary schools and play groups as well as individual families. “The market in Iceland is very small, but the potential for growth in the UK is enormous and we are very excited about the future,” said Tom. “One benefit of moving our base to the UK is that we were able to reduce our prices by around 30% which will make our products much more affordable and accessible for all families and schools.”