Four months back, I saw that Stafflex
, our go-to recruitment agency, had posted on their LinkedIn profile about pledging their support to Pure Elegance Carnival. I was intrigued, as 2023 was the first year that Huddersfield Carnival was back at Greenhead Park after a few years. I spent a lot of my childhood up there for Carnival on the Saturday followed by Mela on the Sunday. So, I reached out to Aiden at Stafflex to see if he could make an introduction. A few days later, I'd spoken with Paige Phillip and the relationship was formed...
What is Pure Elegance Carnival, and what is your role?
Founded by Mrs Phillip of the windrush generation, Pure Elegance are a not for profit community organisation specialising in Caribbean Carnival creative arts, design and dance for children and adults, alike.
We are proud to celebrate Caribbean culture; wearing extravagant Carribean Carnival costumes designed and made by the very people you see parade with vibrant rhythm and confidence on carnival day and at community and private events. Culture and heritage is important to us and we strive to continue and educate about the tradition and of carnival to celebrate the emancipation of slavery.
Paige Phillip, granddaughter of the founder now leads Pure Elegance, delivering weekly dance classes, delivering costume workshops and planning and preparing for Pure elegance to attend 4 carnivals in the north of England. They provide a summer of new experiences and opportunities to its member, engaging in cultural activity, learning new skills, meeting new people and having fun! Pure Elegance relies heavilly on sponsors and funding, so the team dedicate time to fundraising at any given opportunity.
Where did you hear of or discover MoC?
Ministry of Colours was introduced to us by one of our sponsors. They knew that we had used powder before and that powder and colour plays an important part of carnival experience and thought a partnership would enhance our performances, which it certainly did! I had never heard of Ministry of Colours but soon realised I had been using the products at carnival events for years!
What caught your eye when you visited our website?
Definitely the variety of colours available!
Why did you need the products you purchased?
Carnival is about colour and powder is part of the traditional J'ouvert event that usually happens before carnival. J'ouvert is a celebration of freedom and participants dance to music and throw paint and powder. Paint and powder were traditionally used to mimic the devil, demons and slave masters, as well as as a disguise, so that participants were not identified and penalised for taking part in the celebrations. There is a lot of cultural history in a J'ouvert celebration but more modernly it's a good reason to have fun, get messy and celebrate our ancestors.
Pure elegance were not attending a J'ouvert this year as a group but still wanted to incorporate that element into the carnival parade and it was absolutely perfect!
What made you choose MoC over the competition?
MoC is a local company and its important to us that we support our community, like we rely on our community to support the continuation and traditions of carnival. Ministry of Colours is also the supplier of powder I have personally used at other events and been impressed by the quality.
How did you use our products and how did the events/day go?
We used the powder during carnival parades to represent an important part of Caribbean culture and the history of J'ouvert. We threw the powder in the air, danced and celebrated on the streets with a mirage of colour. We had 4 carnival events and the costumes washed each time with no marks or staining from the powder.
Did you receive any comments in regards to the products you used or what are your thoughts on the products you purchased since using them?
Everyone loved the powder and kept asking for more! As we attended other carnivals across the north of England people looked forward to it and Pure Elegance were known for their colourful powder fun!
Would you recommend MoC to others?
Absoloutley! The quality and impact of the colours is amazing and the best thing is its washable!