Tuesday, March 20, 2012
What exactly is Harris Tweed?
Harris Tweed forces Zara to stop misusing its name
March 19, 2012 By MR
Harris Tweed has forced Zara’s online trading arm to stop describing a product as a “Harris Tweed Blazer.”
In January, ITX Fashion was selling a product on its website described as, but not labeled, as a Harris Tweed blazer. It said that because the product was not made using Harris Tweed, ITX had broken the law.
The Harris Tweed Authority said the proceedings concluded amicably, the ITX apologizing and assuring that there will be no repetition.
The authority said it accepted that the incident was “not deliberate and was an oversight on the part of ITX”.
The Harris Tweed Act of 1993 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.
Harris Tweed has seen sales soar, reaching 1 million meters, the first time since 1992.
The Harris Tweed industry employs over 250 people and is, and will always remain, vital to the modern economic, social, cultural and social fabric of the Outer Hebrides, the Authority said. “Therefore it is imperative that the integrity of this well-respected quality fabric is safeguarded across the globe,” it said.
Harris Tweed Authority chief executive Lorna Macaulay said: “The Authority was created by the passing of the 1993 Act of Parliament to be the custodian of the Harris Tweed industry. We have a legal remit to protect and safeguard the historic fabric which is now synonymous with Scotland.
“The values of quality, beauty, skill and craft are embodied in the trademark and provide assurance for our customers that their Harris Tweed is genuine. Therefore we will never hesitate to challenge misuse of the name.”“Harris Tweed means a tweed which has been hand woven by the islanders at their homes in the Outer Hebrides, finished in the islands of Harris, Lewis, North Uist, Benbecula, South Uist and Barra and their several purtenances (The Outer Hebrides) and made from pure virgin wool dyed and spun in the Outer Hebrides.“