Tweed – a story worth telling and a sustainable fabric to boot (or shoe!)

October 12, 2021

This article was written for Annabel & Grace, which is now part of Rest Less.

Do you have a view on tweed? An old fashioned fabric worn by country squires and academics or a material synonymous with Coco Chanel that’s perfect for stylish older women? Well, here at A&G, we’re championing tweed because it is – somewhat surprisingly – more functional, distinctive and versatile than you may think. Tweed is, in fact, anything but stuffy.

Timeless and classic, this sustainable fabric is not just for jackets. It makes for a great accessory too. Specifically footwear. Tweed shoes and boots look just as great in off-duty combinations as they do as part of a more sophisticated one.

Anyone who has ever worn tweed knows how warm it is and that it is also wind and water resistant. So it’s a great all rounder and a savvy sartorial choice.

Originating in 18th century Scotland, this dense woollen cloth provided sturdy protection for those who worked the land, usually in soft browns and greens that blended in with the surrounding countryside.

The softer, more flexible Harris tweed – introduced in 1847 and still the go-to tweed today – is the choice of fabric for Caroline Townsend, founder of Mandarina Shoes.

As many of our loyal customers know, we work closely alongside the Harris Tweed mills in the Outer Hebrides. Harris Tweed is a British wool sheared from Cheviot flocks of sheep. When the cloth is woven it is both biodegradable and recyclable, therefore wonderful for the environment. For our boots and shoes it is a perfect fabric to work with especially for the Autumn Winter collections. It’s waterproof and breathable without any need for further finishes.

By blending British heritage and modern details, Caroline is able to offer designs and wonderfully vibrant colours that you won’t see anywhere else. Less Downtown Abbey, more downtown. So, shall we have a look at a few of them? For more information or to treat yourself, visit the Mandarina website.

Caroline has kindly given A&G readers an exclusive discount. Just use AG10 at the Mandarina Shoes checkout for 10% off your chosen footwear.

Choose tweed – it’s here to stay.

Read more about this fabulous niche brand that wants us to “resist frumpiness at all costs!” here

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