Harris Tweed® has a unique story as a part of the Hebridean community and has now found its place in the community of Stirling, according to the chief executive of the brand authority.
Lorna Macaulay is chief executive of the brand authority and, along with her team, she works hard to ensure that the brand is promoted and protected globally.
She said: “We spend a lot of time telling the story of Harris Tweed® has a unique story as a part of the Hebridean community and has now found its place in the community of Stirling, according to the chief executive of the brand authority.
“The Tweed is a part of the landscape on the islands which produce it. When people understand this and the value it has to Scotland nationally and locally, they feel as strongly about it as we do.”
Macaulay has praised the 900 independent retailers who bring Harris Tweed to the market in many different forms and one local retailer in particular.
“We are very fortunate to have independent retailers across the country who do a great job representing the brand. I regularly look at the products being made from Harris Tweed® and recently came across Amy Britton in Stirling, whose products are fantastic.
“I would recommend that anyone looking for Harris Tweed® in the Central belt checks out her website.”
Amy Britton first started her business in 2014 having always wanted to produce products which were made in Scotland. She is passionate about Scottish heritage and wanted to produce something original.
After working with different fabrics in the early years of her business, she began to look into using Harris Tweed® and quickly realised it was a perfect match.
She said: “I needed to commission a Harris Tweed® range that was in essence contemporary, unique and a defined range inspired by the Scottish landscape.
“I spoke to the Harris Tweed® Authority about their finer details and called round a number of weavers. I found Margaret at the Adabrock Weaving Company in Ness on the Isle of Lewis and knew straight away we had a common goal.”
Since then, Amy has developed a wide range of products which are in keeping with what Harris Tweed® is all about. She has also found a job which she loves and a great group people around her to help her fulfil the demand for her products.
She added: “I love my job. How many people get to say they really enjoy what they do? I work with a great bunch of independent retailers who share a similar desire. People like the practicality and multi-functionality of the products which are usable, beautiful and long-lasting.
“My most popular products are the cosmetic bag, the glasses case and the varying sizes of purse.”
Lorna spoke very passionately about the importance of the story behind Harris Tweed® and Amy also recognises how important it is that the story is told.
She added: “The Harris Tweed® story and provenance is what makes the product what it is. I have complete respect for the story behind the cloth and I would not have a product without the provenance and process behind it.”
Amy Britton aims to ensure that Harris Tweed® has a bright future and she feels duty-bound to play her part in promoting and protecting the brand.
She said: “It is part of Scotland’s history and, being the only cloth covered by an Act of Parliament, it has a staying power like no other. The products made from it need to have that in mind, to have that ethos behind them too.
“It is up to us to reinforce the Scottish history and heritage behind it and ensure that the products are intrinsically Scottish.”
Intrinsically Scottish, intrinsically Hebridean and totally at home now in Stirling.
Eachainn Miller 24th November 2019