Tired of franchises and the globalization of fashion? Concerned about the environment and the way clothes are being produced? Looking for something different and ethically made? Then this is the shop you were waiting for.  Rikkitikkitavi, located in Santiago 4, just a few yards across the bustling Mercado de San Miguel, is a treasured find for those who come across it- they become loyal customers and return every few months to update their wardrobe.  

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This gorgeous shop, in a truly charming street in the centre of Madrid, showcases the creative talent of Teresa Novoa, a fantastic book illustrator.  Her heartwarming style features on over 20 books, published in many different countries.

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Teresa´s illustrations have earned her numerous awards and distinctions at international book fairs, and she has presented her work at the prestigious Book Fair in Bologna.

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Rikkitikkitavi came up as a joint project of Teresa and Florentino in 2010, when they decided to venture in the middle of the recession and try to find an outlet for Teresa´s illustrations beyond the printed page.  Florentino is in charge of printing the t-shirts, jackets and bags on sale, as well as the beautiful stationery products such as notebooks or cut-out houses and characters.  You can create your own city-scape with the original designs representing urban apartments, lamposts, and a plethora of interesting characters populating this unique setting.  

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Both Florentino and Teresa share a firm committment to sustainability and social justice, which means that most of the t-shirts they sell on Rikkitikkitavi featuring Teresa´s designs are ethically made in Africa, India or Bangladesh.  They use the best quality cotton, and empower local workers in developing countries.  In terms of carbon footprint, rest assured that these garments are not flown into Madrid. They are shipped.  Teresa and Florentino tried to find a local textile supplier in Spain but could not find one that complied with their requirements regarding quality, ethical trade and respect for the environment. 

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The range of clothes they sell includes baby rompers with the most adorable animal characters.  I personally attest to the quality of their organic cotton baby bodysuits and I love the way they look and feel. Their top quality is worth the extra cents, believe me!

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They have a small range of hooded jackets for babies which are simply irresistible (yes, I did buy one, of course...how could I not?)

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At Rikkitikkitavi you can also find t-shirts and jackets for adults.  Their bamboo range of t-shirts is just gorgeous in design and, of course, quality.  You will find it difficult to wear cotton again once you have experienced a bamboo garment. 

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At Rikkitikkitavi, you will feel like you have entered a magic kingdom where all sorts of fantastic creatures, from unicorns to centaurs, wander along their business, seemingly undisturbed by your peeking.

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Teresa's versions of mythological beings are just too beautiful to leave behind, so you might return home with a centaur in a business suit in your pocket.  Why not? 

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The whole feeling in Rikkitikkitavi is that life is fun, and the universe is to be explored with an inquisitive mind. They encourage reading through their beautifully illustrated books, which is of course something that cannot be replaced by a computer screen.  Their philosophy is that imagination should be fed and sustained through images, and they sell a wide range of stationary items like notebooks, mobiles - to be assembled preferably as a family activity if possible- and posters to decorate the walls of your home.

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Their respect for the environment is patent in the range of original lampshades on sale, made of recycled cardboard by Yarussi Alvarado.  

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In an increasingly consummerist society, where we are witnessing the disposable approach to material items and, more disturbingly, human rights and dignity of workers in developing countries, Rikkitikkitavi made a stand 5 years ago to go against the tide.  We love what they are doing, and we vouch for the quality and ethical credentials of their products.  

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Thank you, Teresa and Florentino.  Your committment is much appreciated, and we truly love Teresa´s style.  We feel like we could take flight once we step into this enchanting little shop!! 

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Location: 

Santiago 4

Opening Hours: 

Monday to Saturday: 11:00 - 14:00 / 17:00 - 21:00

Sundays: 11:00 - 14:00

Nearest Metro station: Opera

You can follow Rikkitikkitavi on Facebook.

Across Madrid recommends this shop as an independent company, and there are no commissions whatsoever involved in our recommendation. We simply have been there and loved it!

© Almudena Cros, December 2015. Please note that this article may be quoted in editorial contexts only, with source and author.