Tell us about the Touch of Tweed team
Touch of Tweed is run by myself, Catherine, my partner James, and our rescue lab, Jasper. I am into anything countryside and rural related and James is a beach and coastal lover. Jasper just loves food, walks and sleep!
Tell us about Touch of Tweed
Touch of Tweed is a unique country and coastal clothing and soon to be accessories brand providing high quality, British made, sustainable items that people will love to wear and will stand the test of time.
How did Touch of Tweed start?
We started Touch of Tweed in 2018 when we were frustrated with finding the same old styles on the High street that weren’t British made and nor where they sustainably made. We wanted to create clothes that were unique and different from the other styles being offered on the High Street but were also of utmost quality and kind to the environment.
What do you love about running Touch of Tweed?
Being able to offer something different, making a difference and educating people. Supporting British manufacturing and the British economy and making a difference to the environment and leading others to do the same.
We also love seeing our customers in our products and sharing their love for them and meeting new people at trade events and forming lifelong relationships with real people who also want to make a difference and appreciate our brand.
What do you find difficult about running Touch of Tweed?
Time is a huge factor, with us both working full time it is very hard to fit it all in but we have automated and strict processes in place to make sure the business flows as best as it can but also maintain that work-life balance.
Making mistakes, sometimes big ones, is also really hard but we always try to think about what we can take away and learn from them to be better next time. Mistakes are inevitable in business; it is about always pulling the positives from any situation.
What are your future plans that you can share?
We are currently working very hard on expanding our clothing range to include more styles and colours in our sweatshirts, and we are also excitingly collaborating with another local brand to look into complementing leather accessories. Alongside that, we are also looking at repurposing tweed offcuts into handmade greetings cards. We are also looking at reusable bags. All very exciting expansion plans for the business and we can’t wait to share more as and when we can.
How important is being environmentally friendly to your business?
Very! The current global situation and how the canals in Venice and pollution over China has been clearing since self-isolation just shows what a negative impact we as humans have on the environment but if we change our habits how mother nature can bounce back and we can live alongside in a much better and sustainable way. We and other businesses need to do what we can in every stage of the process to help.
Tell us more about fast fashion and why it is a cause close to your heart
We are all about slow fashion, not following seasonal trends and instead of making clothes in styles that are classic and versatile. Using high-quality fabrics and manufacturing techniques to ensure the clothes will last a long time. We also have our products made in the UK to decrease air miles and ensure quality and maintain that important relationship with our manufactures and suppliers. Fast Fashion is the production of clothing at a fast rate, seeing a huge turn-over of styles for a season collection, items in the sales at rock bottom prices, items made overseas at low prices and at the detriment to human health, safety and the environment.
Fast fashion is ridiculous, the consumer habits of buying a new outfit to attend an event as they can’t be seen in something they have worn before, buying things as they are cheap and can be thrown away into landfill and replaced cheaply is absurd and needs to change. The materials used to create the clothing are often harmful to the environment too.
What should we as consumers be looking out for in relation to fast fashion and how can we help avoid it
Labels – always look at the labels – where are the clothes made, they may be ‘designed’ in the UK but that doesn’t mean they are made in the UK. Look at the composition of the clothes, what materials are they made from, are they made from organic or natural materials that are kinder to the environment or cheaper synthetic materials. Can the clothes be washed in a cool wash or hand washed to save water, are the fibres full of plastic which will shed in the wash and travel into the waterways.
Can you feel the quality in the material and fabrics used or does it feel thin and cheap.
Can you buy once and buy well. Could you invest more in a product that you know is well made and will last rather than spending less on a product that doesn’t last as long and will then need replacing.
Can you clothes swap with friends and family, borrow clothes for an event, repair clothes rather than buying more.
Can you see the traceability of the company – are they happy to share where and how the clothes are made and where their materials are from, or is that information hidden? If it is hidden it is usually hidden for a reason.
What sets your sweatshirts so special?
Our sweatshirts are unique, there are no other styles using the tweed in the way that we do so you can be sure you have a truly unique product. They aren’t mass-produced, we stock little stock but in a range of sizes, we grow our business organically and slowly rather than mass-producing lots of styles quickly. Our sweatshirts are designed in the UK by us and are handmade in Yorkshire by a family-run factory, using natural materials (organic cotton and tweed) with substile high-quality details such as branded buttons, real leather branded logos and zip pulls. We also use non-itchy more sustainable labels and fully recyclable packaging. We create clothing that is made well and built to last.
We won’t ever mass produce our products overseas, we will always stick to British made, quality is of utmost importance to us and you can be assured we are stuck fast on that.
Your Top environmental Tip
Buy once, buy well, buy British
Your Top Tip for anyone starting a business
Do your research, really look into your market, and know your target audience. Remember it is better to try than never to. Stay positive and not be afraid to ask for help