Walking through life like a breeze, leaving little or no sign on our way. Newly-launched sustainable womenswear brand Organique proposes a minimal and low-impact fashion for a life in constant motion.
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
Fast Fashion is so last season, meet Aqua & Rock a high-quality premium sustainable fashion and lifestyle brand.
Their motto ‘Where ethical meets aesthetic’ hits the spot. Too often people still associate sustainability with strong limitations and unsightliness. Aqua & Rock surely prove this to be a false prejudice.
If you think sustainable fashion must have a dated aesthetic and cannot possibly look stunning and modern without any compromise, then read on to get to know this brand and pay their new flagship store in Covent Garden a visit when your interest is sparked.
An interior collection consisting of lamps and vases uses naturally sourced materials. All items are one of a kind due to the variable key components of wood grain, natural sand, clay and alpine hay, which naturally do not appear uniform. Furthermore, they are carefully crafted by hand.
This store is unique, since every little detail, down to the lamps, hangers and even drinks is produced 100% sustainable and guilt-free, reflecting the genuine dedication and passion behind the brand. Aqua & Rock was established in 2019 and has been driving forward innovative concepts for ethical fashion ever since. Everybody is more than eager to put a ‘sustainable’ stamp on their clothes now with younger generations, especially Gen Z becoming ever more aware of shortcomings and accordingly concerned about our planet’s future. 'Green washing’ developed to become a huge issue. Customers are getting blatantly misinformed about the background of their goods and continue to shop with a false sense of righteousness. We all know those high street companies for instance, that suddenly hop on the bandwagon by realising an allegedly sustainable line when we honestly ask ourselves: who are they trying to fool? Huge fast-fashion retailers aim to transform their il repute, however, in the end, merely a minority can really state that their company meets the necessary regulations in all areas. Founder Dea Baker and her team instead showcase what true passion and competence in the industry can look like. That is why they also deservedly won the award for “Innovator” of the year at the Drapers Independent Awards 2021 this September.
The Blue Thetis Trench Coat pictured at the front is a centrepiece of the 2021 collection. It incorporates wooden buckles and is made from 100% organic cotton.
Each piece of the latest collection is designed to be ‘seasonless’, so it can be reworked according to season and mood. Not only can they be either composted, recycled or biodegraded, but also include the use of fertiliser to support organic farming. The main concept is based upon a bio-circular model with four components, them being: organic, natural, recycled, and upcycled. All the resources like wood, hay, leaves, cotton, hemp, and flowers are organically grown. Wood, aloe vera, cotton, hemp, wool, as well as the colouring are naturally sourced. Existing materials are updated and reinvented within the upcycling process.
The model is designed to avoid the use of chemicals during manufacturing. Aqua & Rock have even created their own sustainable fabric dubbed 'Aqua Triblend', which is inspired by the French riviera. Among organic cotton, it incorporates recycled plastic and upcycled clothing. With overwhelming numbers regarding beef consumption, the brand saves the by-product of the meat industry from organic farms. Thereby, waste that otherwise would hit the landfill sites is further minimised.
According to Baker this variant of recycled leather is even more sustainable than buying vegan leather, which many people would never assume.
And that is by far not all, since the leather is going through a 'Wet-White' process it is completely free of chrome and other harmful chemicals. So, it is not only better for mother nature, but also for our own bodies. Due to this way of production the Ecotan leather items can be sent to their organic fertiliser partners. After being turned into organic fertiliser it is then used to fertilise fields and plants on organic farms, resulting in the regrowth of organic harm-free vegetation. In being reverted back to nature the bio circle is closed, ending where we started, the animal, which can gaily graze on these natural fields again.
The collection has been designed and produced in the UK, no sweatshops or underpaid labour included in any form, that the customer can be certain of. All pieces of the 2021 collection come in muted colour tones like brown, mint, white, and crème, all easy on the eyes and extremely versatile, giving customers lots of room for creative combining.
British musician Elle L gave the attendees an exclusive glimpse into her new single 'Hoping'. She took on the role of first brand ambassador because she is personally very passionate about the subject in all areas of her life and wants to advocate for less waste. As a public figure, she feels like having a responsibility to inform and positively influence others to have an impact on a larger scale and act as a role model for younger people. She aims to actively contribute to 'leaving a legacy for future generations' by not only talking about it but committing to an accordingly lifestyle.
Fashions Finest thinks this store is a great addition to the Covent Garden area and will hopefully attract lots of new customers to join forces with for a better world. Supporting this goal by shopping for beautiful clothes does sound dreamy, right? Yes, it is actually that easy to partake and conduce a little bit. Maybe this shop will be a starting point for some people to become more immersed and engaged in sustainability in other areas of their everyday life as well. Aqua & Rock officially opened their doors on the 27th of September, a visit is not only highly recommended but a must for everyone interested in sustainability and all its facets. The power for real change lies in our consumer behaviour, supply and demand regulate the market after all and progressive brands like Aqua & Rock are successfully leading the way in a current turnover. The aim does not have to be a Utopia!
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'.
In an attempt to reduce our carbon footprint, we may adopt sensible choices such as buying secondhand clothing, switching to LED lights or public transport; maybe even changing our search engines! Ecosia, the green search engine for excellence, is now partnering with visual artists with nature-inspired T-shirts to plant trees.
Taking care of our skin every day should not be overcomplicated. Straightforward and natural, this is what L'abu Skin thinks about skincare.
The benefits of Rosehip Oil are endless; from reducing the appearance of stretchmarks to soothing sun burn, and can can be used as part of a daily routine for both men and women of all ages, even those with the most sensitive skin.
When I buy a new product I am all about the way it is packaged. Presentation is the key to success I believe.
Over the past few weeks I have been using some products that were kindly sent to me to review from Buff & Butter.