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Kettlewell Colours sold to Refined Brands Group

25 January 2023
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Ethical fashion business Refined Brands Group has bought West Country-based Kettlewell Colours, a fast-growing online retailer of high-quality own-brand women’s clothing and accessories, with a strong focus on ethical fashion.

Corporate finance advisor BCMS advised the shareholders of Kettlewell Colours on the transaction, with Kvika Bank acting as financial advisor to Refined Brands. Financial due diligence was provided by Grant Thornton LLP.

George Green LLP acted as legal advisors to Refined Brands, while Knights acted as legal advisors to Kettlewell Colours.

Headquartered in Somerset, Kettlewell Colours offers premium wardrobe pieces and accessories, in over 300 colour shades, across multiple product categories.

The business is the market leader in the concept of colour analysis, which takes into account the tone of an individual customer’s skin, eyes, and hair to match them with a palette of harmonious seasonal colour combinations. Using a digital content-led approach, Kettlewell Colours guides customers on their shopping journeys, towards colours and styles to elevate their confidence. 

Engaging with customers via both catalogues and digital channels, Kettlewell Colours is a UK success continues to experience growth in demand at home and abroad, particularly in the US.

First founded in 2004 by Melissa Nicholson and her husband John, Kettlewell Colours was created as an online one-stop-shop. Adopting an ethos of fair-trading practices, Kettlewell Colours works predominantly with small, family-run factories who share their environmental values. 

Kettlewell Colours represents a complementary and strategic acquisition for Refined Brands, who are digital pioneers of the ethical fashion movement, with a strong focus on British heritage and high-quality manufacturing.

Kettlewell Colours joins sustainable Cornish lifestyle brand Celtic & Co., ethical childrenswear brand Frugi, and the upcycled cashmere accessories brand Turtle Doves in the Refined Brands portfolio.

Read more - Berkshire's BCMS advises Audiologic on its sale to EAV Group

Melissa Nicholson, founder of Kettlewell Colours, said: “I am thrilled to be joining a fantastic group of entrepreneurial British brands with sustainability at their heart. 

“I am really looking forward to partnering with the Refined Brands team to accelerate the growth of Kettlewell Colours in the UK and Internationally, introducing more people to the powerful benefits of wearing your best colours.” 

Jeremy Bate, Senior Director, BCMS added: “It was a very enjoyable journey advising John and Melissa on the sale of the business, and we are delighted to have delivered an outcome which realises both of their respective objectives.

“Despite ongoing challenges faced by the wider retail market, Kettlewell Colours continues to deliver consistent growth, proving itself to be a very strong and resilient performer. Refined Brands is a great home for the business – the vision and strategy for the combined group is highly compelling, and we look forward to seeing that success unfold in due course.”

James Williams, Group Managing Director, of Refined Brands said: “We have long been admirers of Kettlewell’s philosophy, renowned for products that offer longevity with a focus on maximising your full wardrobe and a cost per wear ethos at the heart.

“Working alongside the team, we are looking forward to extending natural, organic and recycled fibres through the range over the coming seasons.”

Refined Brands is a leading digitally native portfolio of ethically sourced, natural and sustainable British brands.

Built on the back of British heritage brands and high-quality local manufacturing, the group was founded in February 2021 by Refined Capital Partners, the investment company for a group of committed retailers including Ben Barnett, former CEO of TFG London (owner of the Phase Eight, Whistles and Hobbs brands) and retail veterans Michael Rahamim and Lee Harlow.

The group is funded by the team, in partnership with HSBC, Kvika Bank and Souter Investments, the family investment office of Stagecoach co-founder, Sir Brian Souter.

Read more - Corporate finance firm BCMS becomes majority employee owned

Featured image credit: Kettlewell Colours.


Sam is the Regional Editor of Biz News, responsible for both Hampshire and Dorset.

A new recruit to journalism, Sam started writing for the Business Magazine as a freelancer in May of 2022 after completing his degree in English at University College London. His passion for local businesses and ability to tell a story soon caught the attention of the publication’s management team and have led to his meteoric rise.

Sam, who lives in central Reading, takes a particular interest in technology, gaming and food and drink, having been a chef before starting his degree.

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