LOCAL politician Rachael Hamilton believes that the tartan and textiles industry seems to have weathered the economic storm and is looking towards a bright future.

The MSP for Ettrick, Roxburgh & Berwickshire recently spent an afternoon speaking with Selkirk weavers – Lochcarron - about the future of the tartan and textiles industry in Scotland.

Her visit, which included a tour of the mill in Selkirk, allowed staff at Lochcarron to raise a variety of important issues with the MSP relating to the industry, and future expansion of the business.

As the world's leading manufacturer of tartan, they feel it is important to adapt and develop with what is becoming one of the most important influencing factors of modern times, environmental sustainability. By sourcing their wool as locally as possible, they are dramatically reducing their carbon footprint

Ms Hamilton was impressed by the global reach of the firm, and the workforce’s ability to simplify such a complex process. She also commended the firm for its efforts to champion more environmentally sustainable manufacturing processes.

She said: “From kilt to catwalk, as they say, Lochcarron are an incredibly impressive Borders business.

“With such a rich history in the textiles industry, the Borders boasts a number of successful tartan and textile businesses. I was very pleased to have been able to learn more about it.

“Their environmentally minded policy towards sourcing the wool they use is a great example of how businesses can contribute to achieving net zero carbon emissions.

“I was particularly impressed by Lochcarron’s clientele. Globally recognised brands such as Chanel and Burberry are using Borders businesses like them to supply material for their designs.

“Equally as impressive is the ease with which the skilled workers put together complex patterns with pinpoint accuracy. I was thrilled to hear that Lochcarron was providing opportunities for young people to work at the mill where they can learn these skills, and keep the proud Borders textile tradition alive.

“As the Borders recovers from the pandemic, the tartan and textiles industry seems to have weathered the economic storm it brought well, and is looking towards a bright future.”