Inspirational Woman: Helen Oxenbury & Desert Island Discs

With lockdown this year creating feelings of isolation, the HotSquash staff have been inviting people into our homes by way of Ted Talks, podcasts and episodes of Desert Island Discs.

One of our favourite Desert Island episodes must be Helen Oxenbury, Illustrator of Children’s classics such as “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt.” If you have children, you are bound to have read this book and seen Helen’s beautiful artwork bringing the story to life. Listen here.

We at HotSquash can identify with Helen’s innovator spirit. She was at the forefront of turning previously bland greeting cards into the works of art that we’re used to seeing today, and in 1981 Helen developed board books for babies to look at independently, covering a diverse range of skin colours which was highly unusual at the time. Innovation is so important; we need to move forward as people and with business.

This idea is the very backbone of the HotSquash clothing range. Women’s clothes shouldn’t be uncomfortable if they’re flattering, neither should they be ugly if they’re practical. We wanted easy-care, machine-washable clothes that make you look good and feel good.

 During the interview, Helen talks about walking in the countryside “refreshing” her and we can certainly identify with that. The lockdown has kept us all cooped up and just a small amount of fresh air and exercise can really change your mood for the better.

So, if you’re going on a bear hunt with your kids this winter, make sure you’re wearing your thermals and remember (as Helen says in her Desert Island interview) “details matter.” The fact that HotSquash clothes are made in London paying workers a living wage MATTER, the extended length of our thermal tops ensuring coverage of your stomach and lower back MATTER, the easy-care, machine washable, no need to iron fabric MATTER because all of these things combined make an ethical, cosy, well-fitting, stylish garment that has been made by individuals not forced into poverty. Shop HotSquash here.


Whilst we can’t leave you on the “lovely white sand and palm tree” island that Helen dreams of, we will leave you with the uplifting lyrics to one of Helen’s chosen Desert Island Discs, Singing in the Rain. Despite the rain that has fallen on us this year, we want to keep singing and enjoying life, it’s so important as what else is there?

Singing in the Rain

Gene Kelly

Singin' in the Rain

I'm singing in the rain

Just singing in the rain

What a glorious feelin'

I'm happy again


I'm laughing at clouds

So dark up above

The sun's in my heart

And I'm ready for love


Let the stormy clouds chase

Everyone from the place

Come on with the rain

I've a smile on my face

I walk down the lane

With a happy refrain


Just singin',

Singin' in the rain

Dancin' in the rain

I'm happy again!

I'm singin' and dancin' in the rain!

I'm dancin' and singin' in the rain...


Why am I smiling And why do I sing?

Why does September Seem sunny as spring?

Why do I get up Each morning and start?

Happy and head up With joy in my heart

Why is each new task A trifle to do?

Because I am living A life full of you.


The HotSquash Team