Meet my five favourite brands this Christmas

In our last two blogs in the run-up to Christmas, we discussed sustainable consumption.

'Christmas' and 'sustainability' can often feel like an oxymoron, that's why I like to support the brands and people I love and that are making a small difference in this world.

This Christmas, I thought I'd share my five favourite brands. Three of these are also led by wonderful women who've also inspired me in my own creative journey.

  • Completedworks is my ultimate favourite jewellery brand. They share our ethos of melding form and function in everyday objects, using recycled metals and material to create stunning jewellery and ceramics. Creative Director Anna Jewsbury incubated Completedworks in North London, and their lovely team makes them special. Anna's story is an inspiration: she studied mathematics and philosophy, then decided to make beautiful jewellery and ceramics mainly using recycled metals and material. Although she's left maths and philosophy behind, you'll see that theme running through the jewellery naming convention. These earrings are on my Christmas list!
  • I love the aptly-named shirt specialists, The Shirt Company They're my go-to for shirts that inject me with poise and confidence (especially when I'm not feeling much of either!). Their figure-flattering range and their work-womanship makes them a perfect, thoughtful gift. The Shirt Company is led by Donna Middleton, a Londoner from New Zealand who built her brand straight out of design school. Donna is also one of the most beautiful, supportive women I know. She grew The Shirt Company entirely on her own as a labour of love. Donna and I met each other at a pretty dull networking event two years ago, just as I had started Paradisefold. I was still a wide-eyed Bambi with an idea, lots of energy, but no clue. Without her mentorship and support, Paradisefold would not be where it is today. This winter, I'm loving this fitted shirt to dress up in the evenings.
  • For lingerie and basics, I turn to Nubian Skin. Nubian Skin was the first brand to make melanin-loving lingerie in non-pink nudes for Black and South Asian skin tones. Led by British-Nigerian Ade Hassan, Nubian Skin went stratospheric when Beyonce started wearing their bodysuits. Since their launch eight years ago, many have started copying their range, but their quality and ethos is unrivalled. Nubian Skin makes a wonderful gift for any melanin-kissed friend. Ade personally has also been a massive believer in our mission and a huge supporter of Paradisefold. I love natural fabric, so to contrast with my white/Mediterranean skin tone, I go for beautiful Berry-coloured staples, such as these organic cotton undies.
  • My beauty routine in the morning takes all of five minutes (my approach is: polish, don't paint!). That's why I love Beauty Edit Mayfairfounded by Sherille Riley. Sherille launched Beauty Edit at her boutique salon, Nails & Brows. Sherille has created their own range of basics, and curate a limited number of effective tested beauty and skin products. This has saved me tonnes of time and experimentation. I have thick-ish brows, so this brow-styler has a permanent home in my handbag. 
    • I love having useful, well-made luxuries that brighten up the every-day, and long dark winter days definitely need to be brightened-up! That's why my final favourite is a bit left-field, but it makes for a fun, surprising, luxury gift for any man or woman in your life. James Smith & Sons (Umbrellas) are a British umbrella-maker. Founded in 1830, they've survived a bombing raid during the second world war, and they're still going strong, even thriving. Their umbrellas are gorgeous, carved from natural wood, and visiting their store in London is like taking a trip back in time (their online range is slightly limited). I've walked past their store for years, but I've never quite worked up the courage to treat myself! That's why this beauty is on my Christmas list this year - I'm angling for the red!

    And in case you're wondering what my pick is from Paradisefold, this Christmas I'm gifting friends the Energy Turban: we've streamlined and improved our smaller sizing on the Turbans this year, and I think these really hit the mark. Plus they're handy for any flight, bed-time routine, and to wear under a woolly hat in winter! For small stocking fillers and office gifts, I'm going with the Grip hair ties: they're practical and beautiful!

    Hope you love these picks as much as I do! If you have some brands you'd like to spotlight, please comment below! 💚

    Have a great December! 

    Andrea xx

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