We are fortunate enough to be located just 60 miles from Halley Stevensons, the world's leading manufacturer of waxed cotton fabrics. For this reason, it made sense to utilise their materials throughout our debut collection. We took a trip to their 'Baltic Works' site in Dundee to learn some more about the company, and how their waxed cotton is made.
Halley Stevensons have remained in the same facility since their inception in 1864 and, for over 150 years, their fabrics have been produced solely in this location. The Baltic Works is now a listed building, meaning only limited alterations can be made to the original structure. This creates an environment like no other. As we toured the facility, you could feel the history throughout.
It is comforting to know that generations of experience have passed through the Baltic Works, resulting in unique expertise that few can match. Whilst there is an unmistakable air of heritage, Halley Stevensons also have one eye on the future. Innovation takes as much importance as heritage, and recently they have introduced many new products that champion sustainability and increased technical capabilities.
We chose a fabric that aligns with both of these values when designing the North Sea Pullover, opting for R140 FCF Hybrid Aero. In layman's terms, this is an organic cotton ripstop fabric with a fluorocarbon-free dry-waxed finish. Organic cotton is grown without the use of chemicals, resulting in lower levels of CO2 emissions and less water required in the growing stage. Fluorocarbons are commonly used in waterproof materials. However, they are potent greenhouse gases, and some can form toxic compounds that accumulate in the environment. Hybrid Aero is a combination of Halley Stevensons' driest wax and soft aero tumbling. This results in a lightweight and breathable yet water-repellent finish, and is inspired by Halley Stevensons' initial patent for waterproofing fabrics from all the way back in 1910.
The opportunity to use a water-resistant fabric produced in Scotland that causes less harm to the environment than rivals was too good to ignore. In fact, as well as using it on the North Sea Pullover, we also included P200 Hybrid Aero, a heavier fabric with the same finish, on the Antir Runner, to provide water resistance when on foot.
We are grateful to Halley Stevensons for positioning themselves on the frontline of innovation in this field. They have set the benchmark for how heritage and innovation can work together hand-in-hand.
The North Sea Pullover and Antir Runner, both featuring Halley Stevensons fabrics, are available to buy now.