Born to perform - thanks to its theatrical founders - AKT, an upmarket natural deodorant, is hitting all the right notes as it secures £1.5 million in funding from Stonebridge, the digital-first consumer brand investment firm headed up by DTC entrepreneur James Cox.
October is an important month for us as we celebrate Black History Month. Fashions Finest salutes this month by celebrating big and small realities in the beauty and fashion industry with you all.
Ph. Rodnae Productions, Pexels
The contribution of the Black communities in the UK has been underrated or simply unseen for too long. Yet Black Britons have enriched our cultural landscape and economy with vibes and stories coming from afar. Fashions Finest wants to celebrate black innovators and strong business women who make our life more beautiful.
Every month tinges with different colours and surges as the flag for a cause. Fashions Finest's Black History Month is a journey across people and ideas fueled by a courageous entrepreneur spirit and passion.
Tiph'arah is a UK-based haircare company born in Coventry, Midlands. The brand moved its first steps in the intimacy of a house - to be more precise - a kitchen. Jessica Oduro, the founder, was looking for intensive and natural options that could keep her Afro hair nourished and hydrated for longer. Failed to do so, she started to experiment with natural and organic ingredients at home until she found the right formulation for glorious hair. 'Tiph'arah means 'glory' in Hebrews, in fact! Tiph'arah's hair butters aim to strengthen the hair strands, hydrate and promote healthy growth. The product range, consisting of three types of hair butter (Shea Cocoa Mango, Paw Carrot and Shea-Mang AVO'), is made with 90% of pure and organic ingredients from Ghana and the remaining sourced in Europe at high standards.
Aviela (read [a-vee-el-ah]) is a word used in Northern Ghana for 'good', 'nice' or even 'beautiful'. This word conveys very positive vibes. Aviela is the child of Patricia Monney who, during a family holiday in Ghana in 2007, was introduced to the power of raw, unrefined shea butter to heal her little daughter's ankle. Patricia learnt about shea butter anti-inflammatories properties and, once back home in the UK, she focused on expanding her knowledge on shea butter. She found a way to work the natural ingredient without compromising the natural properties and qualities of shea butter. The solution was her kitchen helper which gives Aviela products that superb weightless whipped consistency. Aviela offers a range of skincare and body care for all skin types with 100% pure, unrefined shea butter. Patricia sources her shea butter ethically from a cooperative of 25 women from the village of Gurugu in the Northern region of Ghana.
Pamoja (read [pam-oh-jah]) is a Swahili word meaning 'together' and is inspired by formulator and founder Sarah Taylor's Tanzanian/British heritage as well her skin journey. During pregnancy, she experienced severe sensitivity and succeeded in finding the solution by herself. She worked on her own products and formulations gaining also some spotlights in national magazines.
This independent, black-owned company offers natural skincare with high performance and quality standards. Cruelty-free and environmentally friendly, Pamoja takes equal care of sensitive skin and the environment with sustainable packaging, ethically sourced botanical ingredients and zero palm oil. Sarah thinks that 'everyone deserves to feel good and that when you are kinder to yourself, it will help you be your very best.' For Sarah 'Black History Month is an opportunity to be more inclusive, to shine a spotlight on the contributions and the challenges we face so that we can better understand our collective history every single month of the year.'
Meet Wax + Wraps
For many of us, the pandemic represented a forced stop; however, this suspended time allowed us to reset priorities and rebuild ourselves. This happened to Jaqueline Shaw with Wax + Wraps. The fashion expert and entrepreneur overcame the COVID-19 backlash thanks to her acumen and love for fashion design. She realised how many people get interested in handmade and sewing during the pandemic and she also noticed how popular were and are still crafting subscription boxes.
Jaqueline, who has an MA in Ethical Fashion, is passionate about Africa and traditional fabrics. She put this personal love in her own subscription box by sourcing unique textiles printed, woven or knitted by hand in African states and regions. 'Other sewing boxes do the job but they are all very similar and I felt that they don’t inspire me to learn more about the people or even to source responsible fabrics and textiles too. My Master's degree in Ethical Fashion from the UCA Epsom, taught me that in this fashion industry, WE the consumers are the change we want to see. We are responsible for the impact of the industry on our planet and our purchasing decisions can build or break the industry. And its environment impact.'
Jaqueline thinks that 'Africa is Fashion's Future' and has been spreading awareness at previous London Fashion Weeks and events in Africa and the States. We could not but totally agree on that. Her sewing box does not just quench our thirst for crafts but also disclose stories from beautiful lands and people as no other service does.
Saka Luxe Beauty
Many feels puzzled by the length and complexity of cosmetic labels. This exact reaction is behind Saka Luxe Beauty, a UK natural hair and skincare company founded in Bristol in 2020. Available on Etsy, eponymous of everything handcrafted, the brand's ethos is based on creating simple and affordable products to moisturise and nourish hair, beard and body. Every jar of butter, every bottle of oil is handmade in small batches to ensure a caring and luxurious feel.
Jessica, Patricia, Sarah and Jacqueline are just four of the many black businesswomen that turn their creative verve or necessity to express themselves and made a living from their passion. Black History Month is important to us because the majority of the black-owned businesses are too small to gain the deserved visibility on the media and still struggle in this overcrowded industry.
We invite you to have a look around and discover the authenticity of these companies and that of many similar ones. As you and we shop independent and black-owned, we can support these individuals and make a little but significant change in their lives, ours, and the way we shop.
Fashions Finest is happy to bring you these personal stories and call all the black-founded companies to get in touch to join us and build together a network of creators beyond Black History Month.
- Black History Month
- independent brands
- Natural Hair Products
- ethically sourced
- Organic Products
- African Fashion
- African Prints
- Black British
- Black women
- Black Owned business
- Black businesses
- Body Care
- Subscription box
- Dry Hair
- Sensitive Skin
- Afro Hair
- Afro Hair Company
- Afro Hair Products
- Wax + Wraps
- Sourcing in Africa
- Jacqueline Shaw
The skincare and makeup brand jane iredale is introducing a limited-edition product in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month with 100 % of profits donated to Against Breast Cancer.
The autumn and winter months are bearing down on us quickly but that does not mean that we should abandon looking after ourselves and keeping our bodies in tip-top condition especially when it comes to our waxing.
MONAT® introduces its new Soothing Micellar Shampoo, which carefully lifts and removes impurities and product build-up from delicate hair for a gentle yet deep, refreshing cleanse. Vegan and cruelty-free as always.
'Beauty sleep' is not a buzzword nor a luxury. Sleeping is crucial for our mental and physical regeneration, to feel great inside and out. Women seem to struggle particularly with insomnia. Hopefully, aromatherapy can help.
Salty water, sun, wind and pool. Summer holidays do good to your mood but can leave your hair stressed out. Build a new haircare routine to rescue your hair and start anew.
Photo by Helena Ije, Pexels
Chlorine and seawater but also intense heat and styling tools can play havoc with your hair. Here is how to say goodbye to this Summer with the healthiest locks ever.
Start with cleansing and conclude with extra pampering. These are the expert products to take care of your hair during the seasonal transition:
Only Curls Cleansing Shampoo Bar (£12, available online)
The newest addition to the Only Curls collection is this eco-friendly shampoo bar. Solid is better for the environment and perfect to take away with you, wherever you are going this summer. Leaving your hair refreshed, nourished, and cleansed, shampoo bars are making headlines!
SheaMoisture Raw Shea Butter Deep Treatment Masque (£12.99, available online)
This iconic hair mask is essential for those with dry, damaged hair. Raw shea butter deeply moisturises and repairs your hair, leaving your locks hydrated and healthy.
SheaMoisture Sugarcane Extract & Meadowfoam Seed Silicone-Free Miracle Styler Leave-In Treatment (£14.99, available online)
Free from silicones but rich in natural ingredients, this leave-in treatment detangles, adds shines, and reduces frizz. It is perfect for all hair types and can complete everyone’s hair care routine.
Jerome Russell Bstyled Heat Protect Sleek Primer (£6.99, available online)
Style your hair, without the fear of damage, thanks to Jerome Russell. Protecting your hair from heat up to 230 degrees, along with protection from humidity, this product is essential whatever you’re up to.
Jerome Russell Bblonde Maximum Blonde Toner Platinum (£4,99, available online)
According to Google trends, searches for blonde hair toners are up 90% this month, suggesting blonde hair is the colour everyone is after. With the UK’s Number One Blonding brand, blonde hair has never been so easy to maintain. Neutralising all brassy tones, this toner is guaranteed to leave your blonde hair glowing.
Back to basics: your next hair care programme starts this September to restore your locks and remember just the best of your Summer.
Forever Living has launched a new lightweight formula Aloe Body Lotion to quickly deliver the benefits of pure aloe vera and other moisturising ingredients making it ideal as an everyday moisturiser to soften skin and leave it feeling smooth, hydrated and healthy.
The 'Martini', the 'Brazilian', the 'Classic'... No, these are not the names of some fancy Summer cocktails but three popular bikini waxing styles. Waxing the bikini area can be quite challenging at first, but everyone can master it at home with pro tips, practice and the right product like Sugar Coated Bikini Hair Removal Kit.
Give a romantic flair to your makeup look and add all the gentleness of mineral-based cosmetics with Pure Anada and its award-winning 'Dreamy Compact Palette'.