Harris Tweed Hebrides has chalked up its latest accolade by being named Scotland’s SME Exporter of the Year at an awards ceremony in Glasgow.
The company sends fabric to more than 60 countries and around 75 per cent of the overall output is exported. Harris Tweed Hebrides now employs 90 people at Shawbost and provides work for over 120 home weavers.
Last Tuesday’s Scottish Export Awards, sponsored by the business magazine BQ and Scottish Enterprise, was held in Glasgow’s Hilton Hotel where Harris Tweed Hebrides was represented by chairman Brian Wilson, brand development director Margaret A. MacLeod and creative director, Mark Hogarth.
In its short history, Harris Tweed Hebrides has been named as UK Textile Company of the Year as well as being honoured on several occasions for its outstanding contribution to the Scottish fashion and textiles industries.
Brian Wilson said: “It is another tribute to the entire team that we have this recognition specifically for our contribution to exporting. Sending Harris Tweed to every corner of the world, from the west side of Lewis, is a remarkable logistical exercise which involves an immense input of experience, co-ordination and attention to detail”.
Shipping manager Alison Mackenzie said that there was no “one size fits all” solution for exports as many different markets and clients have their own requirements. “We use shippers in Glasgow, Manchester and Essex for onward distribution by air and sea, but some clients want to use their own shippers.
“It is all quite complicated and specialised. There are some countries which have particular issues with customs, taxes and form-filling. Our biggest market is Japan but I think the most difficult place to deal with is Turkey which has its own very particular requirements!”.
Chief executive Ian Angus Mackenzie said that the company – which produced its first tweed just seven years ago after re-opening the Shawbost mill - is heading for its busiest year so far, following a major surge of early orders. “The response from both mill workers and weavers has been superb ,” he added.
Last year, Harris Tweed Hebrides were official suppliers to both the Ryder Cup and Commonwealth Games while a collaboration with Johnnie Walker whisky attracted world-wide publicity. Harris Tweed from Shawbost has featured prominently in this year’s fashion collections from leading designers including Chanel, Ermenegildo Zegna and Lardini.
A special lady needs a special gift. Flowers and chocolates will never go amiss but if you really, truly, seriously want to show your mum how much you love her, why not treat her to a new bag?
After all, every woman needs something fabulous and ample to carry around her kitchen sink in – or something chic and bijou to slip her lippy into on those (probably rare) occasions she gets to hit the town.
With Mother’s Day looming large on the 15th of March, we at Harris Tweed Hebrides are here to help you choose the perfect present for your one and only mum. Any selection from our Owen Barry range really wouldn’t go wrong. The only choice you have to make is exactly which bag would be the one to take pride of place in her collection.
And to make it even easier, we are offering a special Mother’s Day discount, with 20 per cent off anything from the range between now and the big day.
Just add the code MDBAG15 at check out and we'll do the rest!
Over the last two years, Somerset-based company Owen Barry have worked with us on our exclusive range of handbags. Established in 1948, Owen Barry expertly craft all their leather goods from quality, sustainable sources. Paired with the authenticity and provenance of our handwoven fabrics, we think their lovely leathers are our perfect match.
Bags, like jewellery and perfume, can be a very personal choice but we have a bag for every personality. If it’s something stylish for the office or a bit of power shopping, then the Barrington might be the thing. If quirkier is what you want, then the Iggy would be a good choice.
Whatever you’re looking for, from the practical cross-body bags (Bella and Francine) to spacious totes (Keinton) and classy clutches (Kings and Tigres), you’re sure to find something to bring a smile to your mum’s face this Mother’s Day. And if you’re really lucky (girls only, we presume), she might even let you borrow it… Click here to start shopping.
The autumn/winter 2015 Menswear show season may well be looked back on as the moment when fashion got serious. Brands across the four main fashion capitals seemed desperate to show off their ethical credentials and social awareness.
Style was not compromised in this eco-friendly engagement particularly when it came to the Ermenegildo Zegna show that kicked off Milan Fashion Week. Zegna is a favourite of executives and fashionistas while new creative director Stefano Pilati has brought a new dimension to the Italian superbrand: “After talking to industry experts on sustainable fabrics, Pilati settled on Harris Tweed” Style.com Jan 15th 2015 Photos below.
More eco-statements were on show at London Collections Men where fine-knitted jumpers with motifs of plastic bags projected slogans like “thanks for nothing". The special environmental testimonial by designer Christopher Shannon was a punkish indication that the fashion industry is getting more engaged with society at large.
Back to the Clo Mor. Margaret Howell has never really done trendy fashion and her London show relied on the well-cut and well-loved classic soft, utilitarian lines using well produced fabric including our very own Harris Tweed. There are stlll few things more eco-friendly in fashion than a last-a-lifetime Harris Tweed jacket. Photos below.
Like the Fringe at The Edinburgh Festival, the jamboree of bloggers, stylists, print journalists and fashion executives sashaying around the catwalk shows are proving to be even more influential and entertaining than the main events. Dapper gents and chic ladies on their way (or outta my way in some cases) to the shows draped in styles that are immediately amplified through social media.
The entire industry spectrum is being blurred and there is no better personification of this zeitgeist than Nick Wooster. A former buyer and stylist Mr Wooster has teamed up with Italian fabrication powerhouse Lardini to produce an exquisite collection of Tweeds and knits. Naturally The Shawbost Mill was his first stop for “that burst of unique Harris Tweed colour set against some classic herringbones and Glen Checks” Nick Wooster and Harris Tweed Hebrides' Mark Hogarth pictured.
The Japanese will show their collections in Tokyo over the next few weeks but the Koreans are fast proving that there is more to their exporting prowess than Gangnam style. Classic outerwear is given a seventies New York upscale by Munn and gilets by Bastong (pictured below) formed part of a collective that earned praise from international press and buyers at Pitti Uomo in Florence.
Appreciation of Harris Tweed and careful attention to detail (RIRI zips and cashmere trims) bodes well for the future of the Korean fashion industry and their respect for our fabric makes for a promising partnership.
Green may be the new black and the pavement the new catwalk but Harris Tweed remains unchanged. That our proud fabric remains so respected and ubiquitous in a changing industry reflects great credit on the mill workers and weavers who contribute their skills to create product that lasts a lifetime… or two. Our sustainable fabric to the world.
Black Friday is a distant memory and the Christmas shopping marathon has entered the final frantic week so it is time to focus on special presents for special people.
There is great variety of Harris Tweed collections on and off the high street this year. From novelty creations on Etsy to classic gents jackets at John Lewis and Hipster friendly options in plain browns and deep checks from Topman pictured below.
2014 is stronger than ever for classic ladies blazers and hacking jackets. Next (picture below) have a simple but well cut jacket suitable for work and play. The Edinburgh Woolen Mill can be found in most high streets across the UK and Harris Tweed Hebrides have new stock available at both the Edinburgh Boutique - 495 Lawnmarket - and the Stornoway flagship at 25 North Beach.
High-end designer collections have been widely featured by fashion journals and if you were looking for a one-off collectors item then the patchwork jacket by Beams would be a great present or indeed a solid investment. The jackets below are available at Mr Porter and not bad value at £300.
If you are unsure of sizes or taste then accessories and luggage may be a safer alternative. M&S have a really well finished holdall (picture below) and Walker Slater and Harris Tweed Hebrides have an array of bags and accessories to fit the most discerning.
Despite so much shopping being done on-line, there is perhaps one area where the high street (only seven days left!) still reigns; furniture. Harris Tweed Hebrides’ partner Tetrad has quality sofas and chairs available at stockists throughout the UK. Classic designs by Barker and Stonehouse and John Lewis have room for all the family will last for life not just for Christmas, Monty the penguin would surely approve.