The Harris Tweed Authority, the custodian of the historic Scottish Harris Tweed fabric, has ordered high street retailer Zara to change the descriptions of one of the garments on its website.
According to reports, the Harris Tweed Authority told ITX Fashion, Zara’s online trading arm, to stop describing one particular item as a “Harris Tweed Blazer”, as it was not labelled as such on the actual garment and didn’t actually use the official Harris Tweed.
The Harris Tweed Authority said that ITX had broken the law because it hadn’t actually used the Harris Tweed fabric.
The Harris Tweed Act, passed in 1993 to safeguard the Harris Tweed industry, 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.
“We have a legal remit to protect and safeguard the historic fabric which is now synonymous with Scotland,” said Lorna Macaulay chief executive of the Harris Tweed authority.
“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.”
The authority added that the actions of ITX had been an “oversight” and was not “deliberate”.