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RITUALS: We caught up with Founder, Phil James on his daily rituals and sacred Sundays

RITUALS is a new series we’ve launched for 2021 to gain insight and inspiration from the team at &SONS and hear how they channel creativity and remain focussed during these unprecedented times. 

First up, our Founder, Phil James. He is an award-winning photographer and
all-round creative who took a massive leap of faith 5 years ago to launch &SONS. Phil invested everything into the new venture and has been on an incredible journey as he switched from being behind the lens to designing clothes, working with makers and driving the ambitions of the business forward. 

Phil has always been very open about his own mental health and how he balances life and work. Over the years Phil has developed techniques to help him stay balanced and on top of his mindfulness...

"I have my own demons with mental health and over the years I have concentrated on a few rituals I use to maintain a healthy mind and body. I always wake up early, so I splash my face with cold water in the morning and as soon as I can, I stand or sit in the daylight. I exercise a lot, usually early in the morning, as the endorphins from training are probably the strongest antidepressant you can get. I read a lot and listen to music. I have started using a six-minute journal to write down the positives I have had that day – this really makes you appreciate how much you have and can swerve you away from the negatives, which as humans we always seem to dwell on. I always used to sleep badly but I now use meditation music to relax and get to sleep, which has radically changed the amount and quality of sleep I get – I’m addicted now!"

Phils Top 3 Apps

You use a lot of apps for all sorts of tasks, what would be your top three?

Peloton, Calm and Pinterest. I use mediation to sleep and to relax if I feel stressed.

Favourite Music

Favourite music at the mo?

The Slow Readers Club's album '91 days in Isolation’. The album was written and recorded remotely during the lockdown.  

Kickstarting The Day

A ‘must-do’ ritual that helps you kick start the day?

A fresh coffee and a read of my current book – 'The Three Body Problem’ by CIXIN LIU – in a quiet house. I also go for a run most Sundays. 

Food For The Soul

Food for the soul! What’s your favourite dish that helps kick start the day?

Brunch – a bacon sarnie with peanut butter, chilli jam on sourdough toast. It’s a once a week treat. It’s also a great hangover cure ;)

Switching Off

We all know how hard it is to switch off and with a growing online brand, it can sometimes feel like 24/7. What do you do to switch off?

Sunday is more of a family day than any other day of the week in our house. We come together for the breakfast/brunch and I usually have the radio on or playing some Glen Campbell. Back in the seventies, my parents would also play music on Sunday morning while cleaning the house and prepping the Sunday roast – I was usually washing our car for pocket money. Glen was always on back then.

Outdoor Therapy

Outdoor therapy – with restrictions in place, how are you managing to get some fresh air in the lungs?

Sometimes we go for a walk up the hill near us and drag the kids along, working up an appetite for our Sunday roast. This is another precious time when we manage to all get together – I’m not sure we would see our teenagers otherwise!

Family Downtime

Unwinding with the family?

We are lucky enough to have a cinema projector so the screen comes down most Sunday afternoons and we watch a film together in the dark. Popcorn flowing. We are watching 'TRON: Legacy' this Sunday.

I am very aware that they will have grown up and left home soon enough, so Sundays are indeed a special day for me, always will be. Who knows, maybe our sons will be playing Glen Campbell on a Sunday, when they have kids….

FOUNDER'S FAVOURITES: Phil's go-to garments...