Our SOCIAL Initiative
Paradise Row is the first business of its kind: every branch of what we do instigates social impact for the local area and its people.
Our mission was born out of a love of the culture of East London; we have made it our mission to preserve its local trade chain and champion its creative community by pioneering a movement: one which inspires consumers to buy locally and invest in this community.
We achieve this through three initiatives:
The story behind Paradise Row
When our Founder, Nika Diamond-Krendel, first read about how East London was once home to a booming manufacturing and textile industry, she wondered why an area that is internationally known for its designers didn’t seem to still be experiencing the impact of this movement.
She learned that in over only thirty years, only handful leather workshops are left from what was once a thriving textile culture. This decline has led to local jobs disappearing, skills being lost that were gained over generations, and, ultimately, the death of craftsmanship.
There is no protection at all for the heritage of East London or its people, from neither government or ‘local’ brands. Often, as a byproduct of globalisation, ‘London’ brands outsource production for cheap - but often unethical - labour. It’s a tragedy that an area with such a strong history is powerless in the eradication of its identity.
We wanted to create that brand that did just that: to create jobs, to help preserve a craft, to restore a workshop back to its former glory, for the area to still have the old spirit of its history sitting beautifully alongside new energy from the areas exciting young creatives.
A brand can have a stronger influence than any government fund or initiative and so we decided to create Paradise Row. The first collection, CORE, was designed to tell the history of the area it was born and keep its culture intact through its designs.
This brand then became bigger that what we could have ever envisioned, local establishments and hospitality companies approached us and wanted to be part of the Paradise Row social initiative, they wanted us to create pieces which were handcrafted and not mass produced to give value to their brand image.
We soon realised we had started a social movement and wanted to be a catalyst and inspiration to other brands. Paradise Row evolved into a leather goods brand from a bag business, all while making sure that the creatives working with Paradise Row were from the local area: if the traditional craftsmanship was to be preserved, it was also important to support the new creativity of the area.
This was another turning point for Paradise Row, where we realised we are a new form of social enterprise, we were not just investing a percentage of our profits into a local community, our whole business is designed on supporting the local and the creative community. We realised that every product and service we provide had social impact at its core.
By supporting a local trade chain, you help regenerate an area and not to be a facilitator in its gentrification. When you have different people with different skill sets from the same area and its the area which binds them together, the end product is incredibly special.
Through every thread, cut and design, you can see the inspiration from the area our trade chain reside in, nothing can replicate this.
This is true craftsmanship.