Zara Biffed on Conk by Harris Tweed Authority
All Tweed is Not Born the Same
Red faces all round at Inditex, the world's biggest fashion group. The Spanish parent company of brands such as Zara and Massimo Dutti had recently been selling a blazer on its Zara website advertised as Harris Tweed. Not so. The cloth had been nowhere near the Outer Hebrides or the British Isles for that matter.
The Harris Tweed Authority, like a Celtic David against Goliath, was quick to act and the description of the blazer was withdrawn. Inditex, famous for sourcing production in the lowest cost-base countries it can find, manfully apologised and assured the authority that it won't happen again. Good on the HTA. This sort of action is necessary to ensure the integrity and respect of the name and the product, and to support the industry on the islands. No doubt it was a lazy generic appropriation of the name by Inditex, but it's the sort of thing that dilutes the image of Harris Tweed. All tweed is not born the same.
Harris Tweed Act and The Orb
Let's remind ourselves of the Harris Tweed Act of 1993, which defines Harris Tweed as "cloth that has been handwoven by the islanders of Lewis, Harris, Uist and Barra in their homes, using pure virgin wool that has been dyed and spun in the Outer Hebrides."
Only cloth that is woven using this process can be certified with the Harris Tweed Orb symbol and referred to as ‘Harris Tweed’.