With Radical Tea Towel, we're on a mission. Whether it's with thought-provoking blog posts, informative newsletters, or inspiring gifts, we want to spread the call of revolution – one that's inspired by radical history and makes the world a more equal and empowering place. We love getting to know you through your emails, messages and comments, and we thought you'd like to get to know us too – from what we do, to what inspires us.
The Revolutionary Spark
A revolution begins with a catalyst – and that’s Bea, who had the idea for Radical Tea Towel back in 2011. Now, she looks for ways to grow the revolution, makes sure we get the goods, and calls to arms on social media.
Her favourite radical from history is Rosa Parks: ‘She is often described as "the first lady of civil rights" and "the mother of the freedom movement" but however we describe her, she was certainly an incredibly brave and inspirational woman who challenged the institutional racism of her day.’
The Chief Radical
Every revolution needs a leader, so when he's not subversively leaving radical tea towels around North Korea, Luke makes sure the rest of us do our bit the best we can.
His favourite bit of radical history is how US independence saw radical 18th century ideas about freedom form the basis of a new political system: 'Obviously today we can see the flaws in that imperfect system - the gross marginalisation of women, native Americans and people of colour. But what happened in 1770s America was a wake-up call to power, and I think created a context in which ordinary people could think about claiming their own freedom - whether they were later inspired by Karl Marx, Emmeline Pankhurst or Martin Luther King.'
What does a revolution look like? Tim will tell you. As the designer for Radical Tea Towel, he comes up with most of the stunning artwork on our products.
He considers himself a pacifist, but his favourite radical event in history is the Easter Rising in Ireland in 1916: 'This may be a rather strange choice, but I am fascinated by the desperation to which people were driven and the frankly very small odds they had of success.' He recalls the poet W B Yeats when reflecting on the bleak romanticism of their plight with the words, 'A terrible beauty is born.'
To make a revolution succeed, you need to have a slick game plan. That's where Matt comes in. As well as putting together exciting newsletters for our fellow radicals, he also gets up to all sorts of subversive activity across the pond, in his native USA.
Right now, his favourite radical figure is Harriet Tubman, who - in his own words - was a total boss. 'Most people know Tubman because of her connection to the Underground Railroad (which is epic in itself) but did you know she also led raids on southern plantations during the Civil War and lived long enough to be a part of the Suffragette Movement when she was nearly 90 years old? That's a radical right there.' We couldn't agree more, Matt.
Who were our radical ancestors? What's the legacy we're following? To understand the present, we have to look back at our past, and that's exactly what Pete's radical history emails and blog posts do. It's with his expertise that we can forge our own radical path!
With so many remarkable individuals, It's impossible for Pete to choose his favourite figure from radical history, but if he had to, he'd say Sylvia Pankhurst: 'She always appreciated that the struggles for feminist, economic, and racial emancipation are linked together, and she did all of her politics with that truth in mind. Also, like me, she's a Mancunian!'
We love what we do, and do it for our own values – but ultimately, Radical Tea Towel is all about inspiring and empowering you. After all, it wouldn’t be revolution without the people! And whether you have questions, or compliments, or suggestions, Joana is always up for guiding you to the answers you search for.
And if you're wondering who inspires and empowers Joana, it's Greta Thunberg: 'She is living proof that age, gender and social status are irrelevant if one is really resolved to make the world a better place. Her determination to fight climate change is an inspiration for future and old generations alike.'
We want to get our radical message out to as many people as possible, so we called in Adam to make that happen. He finds the perfect words so you can find us, and helps us on our journey on self-improvement by re-editing and updating our blogs, (among other things!) He's currently a student at LSE.
His favourite radical figure from history is the philosopher, John Rawls: ‘While Rawls’ ideas on face don’t appear that radical, the guiding rationale behind all of his work (the foundational equality of all people) certainly is. Basically, I’m a massive fan.’
How does a revolution fit into your life and values? We've got Shraddha to help you figure that out – whether through photos, Pinterest boards, or puns. She's currently a student at Cambridge.
Her favourite radical is Malala Yousafzai: 'It's so easy to do nothing because we're scared. But Malala, who has fought for her beliefs right from when she was a child despite the terrible danger, is reminder of how much an individual can do with some bravery. Even now, she's got all the opportunities she wanted, but she's not going to stop until all girls like her get them too.'