Director, Rosie Sugden Scottish Cashmere, aged 25
Flying the flag for British manufacturing, Rosie Sugden was born into textiles. “Both my parents’ families come from a textile background. My father [James Sugden, director at Johnstons of Elgin] in particular has always worked in textiles and when I was little he used to pick me up from school and take me round the factory with him. I loved the smell of the dye house, the noise in the weaving shed and seeing all the raw fibre - cashmere or wool - going through the processes (carding, dyeing, spinning, weaving) and coming out at the end as a beautiful woven rug, or knitted jumper,” Sugden reminisces.
After achieving a first-class honours degree in Fashion Design, Knitwear at Northumbria University, Sugden interned for designer Christopher Kane and worked as a sales assistant for cashmere clothing retailer Brora, before launching her own accessories label in 2011. “I do not believe that it is necessary, as so many companies these days do, to outsource to Far East factories in order to make margins, particularly when I have such highly skilled artisans and machine technologies available right here on my doorstep in the Borders.”
In just over a year, Sugden boasts stockists including Matches, Liberty and premium indie Black White Denim.
Her father is both Sugden’s mentor and the person she most admires in the industry.
“I think the best piece of advice he has given me and instilled in me is to work really, really hard if you want to achieve something and to never give up. I think Julie Deane [founder of The Cambridge Satchel Company] is also very inspirational.”