Brand to watch: Turtle Doves

A British brand whose handcrafted products are made from fully recycled cashmere

Images courtesy of Turtle Doves

Care for the environment, sustainable growth and the creation of a positive working environment are the principles that underlie Turtle Doves, a Shrewsbury-based company that specialises in the use of post-consumer textile waste to create beautiful cashmere clothing and accessories.

Founded in 2009 by Kate Holbrook, Turtle Doves buys unwanted woollens from charity shops and waste fabrics from textile merchants, and transforms these into products such as scarves, gloves, hats and throws. Any waste generated during production is reused (offcuts from jumpers, for example, are turned into snoods or patchwork pieces) or given to charities and local craftspeople.

Now employing 20 people – including a number of former Laura Ashley seamstresses who were made redundant in the 1990s when the brand moved its production abroad – Turtle Doves has a highly supportive company ethos and a strong focus on maintaining and promoting British craftsmanship.

The company’s best-selling products remain its original fingerless gloves, but rapid expansion has brought opportunities to diversify into new product ranges, including childrenswear designs such as booties, hats, mitts and blankets. The business has also gained a fledgling celebrity following, with its scarves and wraps seen on the likes of Carey Mulligan, Dame Judi Dench, Keira Knightley and the former Town & Country cover star Naomie Harris.

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