Passion to help save the planet leads inspirational Clitheroe mum to open children's clothes' shop selling only organic and fair trade stock

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Clearing out her daughter's wardrobe was a 'lightbulb' moment for Melanie Riding and led to her launching Clitheroe's only dedicated childrenswear shop.

Melanie said: "I felt guilty about the amount of clothing she went through and its cost to the planet.

"I also noticed that the few organic brands I had bought for her still looked amazing after repeated runs through the washing machine.

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"Further research horrified me when I discovered that man-made fibres use over 20,000 chemicals in their production, many of which are carcinogenic.

Melanie Riding with her daughter Emily outside her new shop Hedgehog and PearMelanie Riding with her daughter Emily outside her new shop Hedgehog and Pear
Melanie Riding with her daughter Emily outside her new shop Hedgehog and Pear

"The conditions in some of the factories I had bought clothes from too amount to nothing less than child slavery and I couldn’t honestly buy something for my daughter again that had meant one child was virtually enslaved in order for my child to look pretty."

Six weeks later, Melanie opened Hedgehog and Pear in Moor Lane, selling only fair trade, organic clothing and gifts from brands she trusts for children up to the age of six, along with gifts for new babies and mums.

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Melanie says that having her little girl Emily, who was just nine months old when the covid pandemic hit, changed her world completely.

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She said: "I came to motherhood late in life after a long and pretty tough journey. I have absolutely loved motherhood –my daughter is the absolute light of my life! I am a completely different (and much happier person) since becoming a mum.

"But as we entered lockdown and the whole world changed I returned from maternity leave a different person in a different world. The following 12 months, as it did for many, made me rethink my life completely.

"I didn’t feel I was doing a good enough job at home or at work and a bereavement knocked me sideways.

“ I realized I needed to find a new life."

That was when Melanie hit on the idea for her own shop and she is proud to say that several of the brands she stocks have 'put their money where their mouth is' and donate some (and in one case all) of their profits to charity.

And she has her own green scheme to encourage further sustainability in three ways. Customers can return the clothing the shop sells once it is outgrown in exchange for 10% off their next purchase.

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