Back in May Mabboo embarked on its biggest retail adventure to date by taking on a summer of promoting our new sustainable bamboo clothing at 12 very different Festivals across England for 4 months! As a new company we believed it would be a great opportunity to give the brand some increased exposure and a chance to take our clothing to the masses of festival goers! We'll try to give you the highlights and lowlights of the summer that was 2011 for Mabboo!

Things kicked off in Mabboo's home of Bristol with Vegfest, this was quickly followed by the London Green Fair (LGF) where we had a spot in the Ethical Fashion Tent, thanks to our friends at the Centre of Sustainable Fashion helping get us involved in this event in Regent's Park.
We had a great day of trading and Panda face painting for the kids on the Saturday in the sunshine but then in a typically British summer way Sunday was a wash out! However this did give Mabboo its first ever opportunity at going on the catwalk! Admittedly there were a lot of attractive models donning some designer ethical fashion labels who had a bit of a shock when two lads in shorts and a bamboo t-shirts rocked up on the wings of the catwalk! One turned to inquire 'WHAT are you doing here?' to which the Mabboo model replied 'Im a model too!' This was met with 'NO YOU ARE NOT!!' Um cringe! This didn't faze the Mabboo models who were well in the zone at this point to strut their stuff to the amusement and support of the crowd. After the catwalk was over one male onlooker commented 'I have never been so bored looking at so many attractive women, you guys were hilaroius and definately the highlight of the show!' The only downer on this little episode was that as Mabboo was on the catwalk we missed Ewan McGreor wandering into the Ethical fashion tent, would been nice to have him check out our bamboo tees!Gold Coast Oceanfest quickly followed the LGF so we were mixing it with the Surfers in Croyde, North Devon. This was the first of the bigger festivals for Mabboo with some pretty big names headlining, and what a baptism of fire! Being in very close proximity to the beach we had to deal with gale force winds getting our pitch set up Thursday, our gazebo was basically saved from collapsing but extra bits of bamboo which were the offcuts from having created some bamboo clothes rails. Our gazebo was battered but still standing on Friday only for it to be a complete wash out and I mean complete wash out it just didn't stop raining all day! Fortunately the Saturday and Sunday brightened up. Our Mabboo Panda suit became a big hit at the event, and Panda hugs were being handed out left right and centre. Musically Seasick Steve was a massive highlight what a character, every song was a mini chunk of his life story and we just love this quote from him: 'Hobos are people who move around looking for work, tramps are people who move around but don't look for work, and bums are people who don't move and don't work. I've been all three.'
Two smaller fesitivals followed the Festival of Nature in Bristol and Summer Breeze in Swindon. Both were great well run events and then came Relentless NASS! NASS is the UK's largest action sports festival. Some of the world's best Skaters, BMXers and Scooter Kids were on show as were seemingly the world's best tent burners!!! On the Sunday of the event we almost had a security guard collapse on the stall having dealt with riots outside the D&B tent the night before he'd had a morning of putting out 120 tent fires. It's fair to say there were a lot of mentalists at the event. We had a good time but it was definately out there as the most extreme festival we'd attend in the summer.

Between all of this Mabboo had entered into the BizIdea Competition run by the University of the West of England (UWE) this involved a written business plan being assessed and then pitching infront of a panel of 6 judges Dragon's Den style, and we ended up doing rather well finishing Runner Up. For this we recevived a nice little cash sum, business incubation at UWE ventures and possibly the coolest award in business competitions nationwide. Check out our glass chilli!
Latitude our biggest and best trading weekend but also wettest weekend of the summer followed in July, we then did Good Weekend in Basingstoke and Splendour in Nottingham. We had another homecoming in Bristol for the Bristol Harbour Festival and Bristol Balloon Fiesta. To round things off we finished with a bit of sunshine for V fest in Chelmsford. We made a lot of friends and met a lot of people over the months so if you bought one of tees and are reading this thanks for the support.

Throughout the summer Mabboo has also been involved in some small scale sporting sponsorship. Namely with the Ice Cold Pitchers Div 3 Softball team in Bristol. This crazy team is the world's first Softball team to be kitted out in bamboo clothing-what an honour, and they finished their maiden softball season solidly mid table you'll be glad to hear.

The other sporting event Team Mabboo was involved with was running in the Bristol Half Marathon on the 11th of September in support of various charities. This is where the pain comes from in the blog title! Team Mabboo conisisted of 6 runners 2 who've run Half marathons before and 4 complete novices. 13.1 miles is a long way trust me, but Team Mabboo did admirably with our fastest time being 1 hr 49 mins and the slowest 2hr 16 mins, 3 of our runners were sub 2 hours and 3 weren't but everyone was just happy completing it. Cue a week of pain and not being able to descend stairs due to thigh muscle ache!
I'll have to end this blog with saying a MASSIVE thank you to all those who helped out Mabboo at Festivals over the summer you know who you are. Also keep your eyes peeled for a soon to be published blog about exciting details of our new order...

For more pics check out our facebook group www.facebook.com/mabboobamboo