See the Hoodies Inspired by Yorkshire Air Ambulance's Life-Saving Work
Living North catch up with Knaresborough fashion brand Luce and Bear, who have teamed up with Yorkshire Air Ambulance to create a hoodie inspired by their life-saving work
‘Luce and Bear is a casual clothing brand based in Knaresborough,’ says Lucy. ‘We design and illustrate everything ourselves here in Yorkshire. We sell ladies’ and men’s clothes, gifts and accessories through our website and at pop up events. Our aim is to design products that are quirky, have strong meanings behind them, and hopefully raise a smile!’ Lucy has suffered from late-stage Lyme Disease for years and her ongoing battle is the main inspiration behind the brand. ‘Lyme symptoms can be completely debilitating so we know how tough things can get,’ adds Clare. ‘We know everybody has their own personal battles.’
‘We also know how important true Yorkshire grit is and a good old sense of humour, and we hope our brand reflects this,’ says Lucy.
Wellbeing is at the heart of the brand and they have created a bespoke design – the SOS (Story of Sisters) print, which is made up of symbols with hidden meanings. ‘There’s a flying carpet to transport you to your favourite place, a phone to remind you there’s always somebody to call, a life buoy as a little reminder to always hold on, and we’ve even thrown in some magic beans, as, in a sometimes very serious world, we all need to believe in a little magic,’ says Clare. ‘You will see our SOS design featured across many of our clothes including our signature Healing Hoodie,’ adds Lucy.
Luce and Bear had a stand showcasing their products at the Yorkshire Air Ambulance’s Christmas Lunch Event. As a rapid response air emergency service, the charity serves a population of around five million people across four million acres. To keep both of Yorkshire’s air ambulances in the air they need to raise £19,000 per day. ‘The YAA team loved some of our work including our bestselling Ey Up, Chin Up, Bottoms Up sweats and the Healing Hoodies,’ says Clare. ‘A few weeks ago we were contacted by Katie Collinson, partnerships manager at YAA, and she asked if we’d be interested in designing a hoodie highlighting the incredible work the YAA do saving lives across Yorkshire. What a privilege!’ Their brief was to design something in the style of their Happy & Glorious Hoodies, which they’d previously designed to celebrate the late Queen’s platinum jubilee.
‘The first product we launched was the unisex Hoodie for Heroes. It has been hugely successful and the first batch of pre-orders are now in production,’ continues Clare. The design features symbolic illustrations including the four major trauma centres in the region, the crew, and the aircraft and Rapid Response vehicles. There are also images of horses, motorbikes, hills and bicycles. ‘Due to its success we are about to launch a children’s version which will be available to order soon. We are in discussions with the team at YAA about what’s next – watch this space! We have been overwhelmed by the support so far.’
Lucy and Clare presented their design to the lifesaving crew during a visit to the air base. ‘The whole team were incredible, welcoming, friendly and down to earth whilst doing extraordinary work on a daily basis,’ says Clare. ‘We had the most insightful, fascinating and fun day learning a little about what goes on behind the scenes, but when the siren went off the crew were airborne within minutes.’
‘Seeing them fly off really brought home that while we were having the best day, somebody close by was having their worst,’ adds Lucy. ‘We are so lucky to have them.’
Read More: How Brighouse Charity is Supporting Homeless, Elderly and Vulnerable People in West Yorkshire
One hundred percent of the profits will go towards funding future lifesaving missions. ‘We’d already designed a Lionheart T-shirt in response to the Ukraine Crisis, with all proceeds going to the Red Cross DEC, and managed to raise over £1,000,’ continues Clare. ‘We realised that using our skills as designers could actually make a small difference, and this really matters to us. We have been associated with horse riding and the farming community since childhood, so we grew up knowing how crucial the YAA service is, especially in rural areas. This collaboration means we are able to contribute to an organisation which has already helped many people we know.’
‘You can’t live in Yorkshire without knowing somebody who has a story about how amazing the YAA have been,’ says Lucy. ‘It’s a vital service that one day any one of us may need.’