&SONS Pioneer series

&SONS Pioneer series

&SONS story began in 2014, as its founder, Phil James, a commercial photographer, had conceived the idea of producing a range of workwear that would be created by and for artisans, craftspeople and pioneering creatives.

The feel and style of the brand draws upon throwback influences, such as American workwear from the mid-to-late 20th century; leaders in the industrial age; and old-school motorbikes.

&SONS refuses to pump out large releases frequently, instead small drops land throughout the season. All pieces are considered carefully and done in the most sustainable way. The emphasis of &SONS is always quality first.


 "Each month we do a ‘Pioneer’ feature on a creative or someone who is breaking new ground, trying something new or just setting out on a new path. We found Kiri surfboards and decided that Olaus McLeod, the founder, would make the perfect Pioneer. He is championing sustainability in the surf industry by creating wooden surfboards with his company Kiri."



It was an early start for the team to catch dawn patrol but the Cornish weather was glorious and it was the perfect place to get to know Olaus and his family.



OM: How I arrived at Kiri has been quite a journey! I started with a degree in philosophy. I then spent 12 years working as an airline pilot. After that, I was employed as a drone operator and completed a couple of tours in Afghanistan. I then wanted to get back home to Cornwall to be with my family more, so I became a primary school teacher! Then COVID hit, which became the catalyst for so much change in the world.

Personally, COVID allowed me the time that I'd never had before to commit to something that I’d wanted to do for a long time. I'm a lifelong surfer, but I'd never had the opportunity to shape my own board before.

Alongside that, I had a growing sense of the need to look after our planet and make the right choices of products, materials and manufacturing processes. So, for me, the only way to go forward with Kiri was to create a wooden surfboard. I taught myself how to shape a board by researching it online, and also getting hold of how-to books and eBooks.

No sooner had I shaped my first board than friends and family started saying “Do one for me please!” Very soon, the snowball started to gain momentum, all through word of mouth. It's just been growing ever since - completely organically.

One of my personal core values and therefore a core value for Kiri is sustainability. We put the planet before everything. In everything we do, we relentlessly pursue the most sustainable materials and strive to use the most sustainable processes that we can. We're not there yet, but we're working on it. For example, I use a lot of electricity in the shaping of my boards and we're working towards sourcing renewables, so that we can be completely off-grid.

Fundamentally, Kiri is an expression of my personal passion for the ocean environment - that we should really take care of it for our own benefit, as well as for the benefit of the entire planet and for future generations.





Two of my personal favourites are the Breton shirt (I'm a lifelong fan of a stripe!) and the Carver jackets. I love the fact that the Carvers have an authentic connection to the hardy outerwear, traditionally worn by French workers, fishermen and sailors. They're fantastically practical and comfortable, season in and season out. I love my Carver jacket. It goes with me everywhere!

Follow more Pioneers via andsons.co.uk

*SSEAMS readers discount: Use SSEAMS25 discount code

Image credits: Phil James, Founder, &SONS

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