Borders cashmere firm backed to continue growth

Exciting expansion plans by a Scottish Borders-based cashmere accessories firm has been supported by a six-figure grant from the South of Scotland Enterprise.

Sinclair Duncan have been provided with a £100,000 grant to assist their development and growth as it looks to target new export markets.

Established in 2012 by Sinclair and Debbie Paterson and based in Galashiels, Sinclair Duncan aims to support independent manufacturers and reinforce the Scottish Borders’ strong reputation for high quality textile manufacturing.

Sinclair Duncan also look to support other local firms, and jobs, in a variety of other sectors, from marketing, videography and photography to web design.

The company has targeted the tourism industry since its inception but is now looking to expand its export sales, with a new brand and website set to be launched early next year to support its growth into the luxury fashion market.

The timing of this fits with the wholesale buying season and with a unique range of new products on offer, the Sinclair Duncan team is feeling very positive about the collection, and the future.

Sinclair Paterson, owner of Sinclair Duncan added: “The grant has allowed us to create sample ranges of newly developed products which will really push us to the forefront in terms of quality, uniqueness and design.

“Backed up with new branding and a high-end website, I think this is the perfect package to promote the manufacturing expertise of the Scottish Borders on an international stage.”

Sinclair Duncan has also enjoyed recent success on a more local level in leading The Cashmere Collaborative, a partnership with Developing Young Workforce – Borders and Heriot-Watt University’s School of Textile and Design.

This project allowed pupils from four secondary schools in the Scottish Borders to design a cashmere scarf under the mentorship of third and fourth year Heriot-Watt Design students from concept creation right through the manufacturing processes to merchandising their finished product in stores. 

The industry-led project, which ran over a period of 12 months, has inspired some of the youngsters to follow a career in textile design, supporting the next generation of home-grown talent.

Chair of the South of Scotland Enterprise (SOSE), Professor Russel Griggs OBE, said:  “The Scottish Borders’ textile industry is known across the world for its quality, and I am delighted SOSE is able to support a company looking to carry on this tradition, while also looking to the future.

“While 2020 has been a hugely challenging year for many companies across the South of Scotland, it is fantastic to see Sinclair Duncan look to grow their business in 2021 and beyond. This is while using local suppliers and encouraging local schoolchildren to think about a career in textile design, to the benefit of the local community.

“As the economic and community development agency for the Dumfries and Galloway and the Scottish Borders, the South of Scotland Enterprise wants to be bold and ambitious and it is great to be working with like-minded organisations such as Sinclair Duncan.”

A video from Sinclair Duncan is available on YouTube

If you are a business which has already applied for available streams of funding and are genuinely still struggling, or you have a good idea to adapt or diversity your business, please get in touch with us.