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The truths they don't want you to read....

Friday, July 06, 2007

Harris Tweed

I've had my doubts for some time about the future of the industry, but refusing a million pound order, really shows what is going on.

My understanding, from workers on the shop floor is that an order was placed for some of the existing patterns but was rejected by Haggas because it was not in one of the five designs that he has decreed will be used in future.

Unbelievable as this may seem, the logic is clear (as I have previously warned): churn out huge volumes, maximise the profit before the market is saturated, sell up and move on.

This will destroy the industry, as who now will have confidence in placing any orders for Harris Tweed? The empty shell that will be left will have a mountain to climb when Haggas is finished profit stripping.

It is now probably too late to do anything. Let's just wave farewell to our heritage, as it - and the profits - head to Yorkshire.
Tweed MacLeod of Lewis TartanMacLeod of Lewis is no longer an 'approved' tweed


Anonymous said...

Angus, perhaps you can help me out here. Does Mr Haggas own the rights to the harris tweed symbol or is it just that he owns the only company that does Harris Tweed? I was sure that there was another company?

Would it be possible for another company to start up doing Harris Tweed?

Angus said...

The Orb symbol is controlled by the Harris Tweed Authority, by Act of Parliament.

There is another tweed company, but it's most recent accounts show it is technically insolvent, by a large margin. It has 2%(?) of the market.

Anyone else could start a tweed mill, as the HTA cannot refuse to stamp i.e. approve, properly manufactured tweed.

However, apart from the large start-up costs, I believe that Haggas now also controls the company that produces the double-width looms and consequently might (try to) exercise some form of monopoly control over the self-employed weavers, preventing them working for a new competitor.

Anonymous said...

It's just that to me mr haggas taking over might be a bit of a godsend for the other company - I'm sure the million pund order would help them move closer to solvency

Angus said...

Do they have the capacity to complete the order? I believe not.

Will there still be an order for Harris Tweed, or will it now be placed for Donegal Tweed?