A Scottish textiles manufacturer believes strong protection of the Harris Tweed trademark is the foundation for its success.
Brian Wilson, chairman of Harris Tweed Hebrides, explained that the product can only be produced in the Hebrides Islands, reports the Stornoway Gazette.
This restriction must never be interfered with, he urged.
“We must be not only the champagne of fabrics but also the vintage Margaux, pursued by the aspirational around the world for rarity as well as quality,” Mr. Wilson said.
He explained that his firm works year-round to meet customer demand for tweed products, due to restrictions enforced by the number of available weavers.
But he claimed that quality, provenance and skills would probably not have been enough to save Harris Tweed if it was not for one crucial factor – “the existence of a definition embedded in legislation which means that Harris Tweed can only be produced here”.
“If it was legally possible to produce something called Harris Tweed elsewhere, whether on the mainland of Scotland or in the cheap labor economies of the textiles universe, then that would have happened long ago,” Mr. Wilson claimed.
“[The Hebrides] would have been left protesting vainly that ours was the only genuine article.”