Superbowl LIV between San Francisco ‘49ers and Kansas City Chiefs in the Hard Rock Stadium in Florida a few weeks ago was not only one of the greatest comebacks in Superbowl history, but the first-ever all-tartan final. Congratulations to Kansas City Chiefs and commiserations to San Francisco.
Behind the McBrayer tartan is the remarkable story of Tim Bruce Sanders and his family and what they are attempting to do on their farm in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in a remote corner of Kentucky. Their website is well worth a visit – www.indiancreeksettlement.com
From a fragment of ancient cloth in the archives of the Scottish Tartans Authority, International Tartans has been able to reproduce the McBrayer (McBrier) tartan in honour of their grandfather Ichabod McBrayer. The design will be used for labelling a wide range of local produce in the farm shop, and the cloth itself will be used by local craftworkers to make a range of hand-made tartan accessories for sale in the gift shop.
This unique social enterprise will be run in strict accordance with the ‘Land Ethic’ outlined by American environmental philosopher and naturalist Aldo Leopold:
”The Land Ethic simply enlarges the boundaries of the community to include soils, waters, plants and animals, or collectively, the land.”
Aldo Leopold was a professor of wildlife management who was pivotal in the designation of Gila National Forest in New Mexico in 1924 as America’s first national wilderness area. Leopold introduced the concept of this land ethic, arguing that humans should transform themselves from conquerors of nature into citizens of it. In this, he was extending the preservationist philosophy of John Muir (1838–1914), founder of the Sierra Club and known as the father of conservation. Without men such as these, there might not be a planet left to save today.
Could our ancestors ever have imagined that the royal and ancient game of golf, a game invented and developed over five hundred years ago in Scotland, home to the world’s ruling body and so many world-famous courses, would ever become so popular? Perhaps. What they could never have foreseen though is that citizens of a nation-state which was only formed some 70 years ago on the other side of the world, would become so successful at playing it. Except they have and they haven’t.
Having three players in the ‘Top 100’ of the World Ranking List is no big deal. Even Scotland has one! But what would really astonish our ancestors, and has many of the ‘elite’ in the hallowed halls of our most prestigious clubs spluttering into their gin and tonics is that one country has thirty-seven nationals in their ‘Top 100’. I am course referring to the women of the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA), a species of golfer which was not even allowed inside certain clubhouses until recently. I wonder what would old Willie Auchterlonie make of the fact that there are more South Korean women called Lee (10) and Kim (7) in the ‘women’s Top 100’ than there are men from England, Scotland Ireland and Wales combined (14) in the male equivalent? Jings! (Just for the record Jings, thank goodness, is not a South Korean name. It’s Chinese).
I wonder how many of these elegant young women will be sporting the South Korean tartan on the course this season. Keep a sharp lookout.
And another thing. Congratulations from Scotland to Boon Jong-Ho, Director and Co-writer of ‘Parasite’ the film which picked up four awards at the 92nd Academy Awards recently. This South Korean production is the first-ever foreign-language film to win the Oscar for Best Picture. A South Korean tartan tie is on its way to Boon Jong-Ho to mark the occasion.
The design of the Royal Navy tartan encompasses those colours historically associated with the Senior Service: red, white and blue for the various ensigns, royal purple for its title, and all in a setting of navy blue: the sea, the endless sea.
As such it is intended to provide a common bond between ‘sailors’ regardless of rank, and identity for informal occasions, and even everyday wear.
It is, however, more than just a symbol of brotherhood/sisterhood. International Tartans operates a policy of sharing and caring by contributing to ‘good causes’ with a nautical background.
Registered with the Scottish Tartans World Register No. STWR 2840
The title of the design is taken from the universal anthem of the same name, and is intended to provide a common bonding theme for democratic socialists worldwide in keeping with the concluding line of the chorus: ‘The Internationale unites the human race’. The design itself can be reproduced to give that common theme a unique physical identity in the form of tartan. Although at times misused and cheapened, tartan has a broad popular appeal to people of all countries and is instantly recognisable.
An appropriate choice of colours in a tartan can give it a yet more specific identity – in modern parlance, a brand, and over time, by repetition, a recognisable brand. The colours for the Internationale tartan have been chosen to reflect those linked to the socialist movement, but with fashion in mind, by retaining their traditional red and (part) yellow colours, but in the softer tones implied in the battle-hymn of the Suffragettes: Bread and Roses.
‘As we go marching, marching, in the beauty of the day
A million darkened kitchens, a thousand mill lofts grey
Are touched with all the radiance that a sudden sun discloses
For the people hear us singing, bread and roses, bread and roses.
As we go marching, marching, we’re standing proud and tall.
The rising of the women means the rising of us all.
No more the drudge and idler, ten that toil where one reposes,
But a sharing of life’s glories, bread and roses, bread and roses.’
Illustrated below is an example of the best-selling item in Scotland’s tourist shops – the lambswool scarf: useful, stylish, light and comfortable to wear, and affordable.
At £20.00 (inc P&P) these exclusive tartan scarves make an ideal gift for family and friends, or maybe you just want to treat yourself. A donation of £5.00 from each sale will be made to local food banks. Get in touch to order one at firstname.lastname@example.org or click here.
The Tartan is Registered No. 11376 on the Scottish Tartans Register
This year’s Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to Abiy Ahmed Ali, President of Ethiopia, “for his efforts to achieve peace and international cooperation, and in particular for his decisive initiative to resolve the border conflict with neighbouring Eritrea.” The next initiative he says is to unite the 80 or so tribes and ethnic groups that make up the 105 million population in one of the world’s oldest and poorest countries.
The flag of Ethiopia uses the colours red, yellow and green, which have come to be known as the ‘Pan-African’ colours, and have been adopted into the flags of a dozen other nations. The Ethiopia tartan comprises these, along with the central blue circle and gold pentagram, to create a unifying symbol that embodies an entire nation. The unique qualities of tartan are such that this ‘national’, inter-tribal symbol can be used in a wide variety of ways and forms from every-day and ceremonial clothing and accessories, to giftware and printed paper goods.
Alache Malia Ode OBE, lecturer in International Development at Birkbeck College, University of London described each of the designs in the ‘tartans for Africa’ range as
‘Tartans that inspire self-pride, a kind of cultural connectivity that is positive by using a product from one culture to infuse cultural relevance in another. In a subtle way, it represents the entirety of what multiculturalism, interculturalism or whatever ‘isms’ seek to achieve.’
The world recognises tartan as Scottish in origin, but gifting this unique design to Ethiopia at a time when it is once again in the international spotlight can only highlight the ‘ism’ of our common humanity in a way that benefits both nations.
To celebrate President Abiy Ahmed Ali’s achievement International Tartans have created a unique gift in the Ethiopia tartan which will be sent to the Ethiopian Embassy in London for forwarding to Addis Ababa.
The Ethiopia tartan on display at ‘Tartans for Africa’ fashion show:
On Sunday, the 13th of October, Scotland plays against Japan in their final group match of the 2019 Rugby World Cup. It’s all to play for as only the winners will qualify for the quarter-finals of the knock-out stage.
The as-yet-undefeated Japanese team known as the ‘Sakuras’ have been sensational so far beating world No 1 Ireland in their opening match and following up with wins against Russia and Samoa.
Japanese fans all over the world are gearing up for the occasion. This image shows three lovely young Japanese girls in Edinburgh dressed in their Sakura tartan outfits. It’s just a pity that they-re not playing in the front row for Japan! Or are they?
Edinburgh born supermodel Eunice Olumide has worked all over the world, walking the catwalk for legendary designers including Mulberry, Alexander McQueen, Christopher Kane and Harris Tweed. In ‘How to Get into Fashion’, she shares insider tips on her sought-after industry and in this event opens the door into the rarefied world of haute couture. Olumide appears in conversation with Elizabeth Paton, European styles correspondent of The New York Times.
This is Eunice modelling the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee tartan as a hostess at the Herald Fashion Awards in Glasgow. You can order the tartan cloth at https://www.internationaltartans.co.uk/contact
It’s been a great August for International Tartans accessories supplier, ReTweed, the social enterprise based in Eyemouth, Berwickshire.
It has been announced that Founder and Director Hazel Smith will be part of a Scottish delegation led by Cabinet Secretary Aileen Campbell MSP attending the Social Enterprise World Forum in Addis Ababa this October along with some 1200 delegates from around the world.
Hosted by the British Council the Social Enterprise World Forum (SEWF) is the leading forum for international exchange and collaboration in social entrepreneurship and social investment. The annual event was first held in Edinburgh in 2008 and has since been held on six continents. This is a historic occasion as it is the first time the SEWF will be held in a developing economy.
Hazel will be delivering a paper outlining the creation, development and future plans for Retweed as a model social enterprise and, as an addition to this unique occasion, the volunteers and trainees at ReTweed are busy making a range of accessories in the Ethiopia tartan as gifts for their hosts. The Ethiopia tartan is from International Tartans ‘Tartans for Africa’ range.
The Ethiopia tartan at the ‘Tartans for Africa’ fashion show. Full video here.
As a division of International Tartans ‘Tartans for Africa’ is a project comprising the registered tartans of some twenty African countries. Offered as a unifying national symbol for each country, ‘Tartans for African’ uses these tartans to generate funds for numerous ‘good causes’. From each purchase a 10% contribution is made to an appropriate ‘good cause’ – ‘the 10% solution’. Apart from individuals, schools and charities, customers include a number of MP’s and MSP’s and the Scottish Government.
It may interest you to know that the good people of Catalonia actually have their own tartan. Commissioned by Catalans in Edinburgh the Catalunya Escocia tartan is registered no. 11163 on the Scottish Register of Tartans. The colours are based on the ‘Estelada’, the flag of the independence movement in Catalonia.
It was launched at a fashion show in Glasgow, the occasion being the ‘Football Fashionistas’ fashion show at the second Tartan & Turban Burns Supper at the Thistle Hotel in aid of ‘Show Racism the Red Card.’ It represented Barcelona.
The event was organised by the Sikh community in the West of Scotland and compered by Hardeep Sing Kholi. His fee was a kilt in the Spirit of India tartan.