No one does cashmere quite like Brora.
What sets ours apart is the workmanship that goes into each piece, much of which is done by hand.
Every season, we carefully select the best cashmere fibres from the native goat of the Mongolian plateaux, carefully removing the coarse hairs to ensure our cashmere is Grade A. Only the finest and longest fibres are used by Brora, so that you can be sure your garment will be of exceptional quality.
Cashmere fibres can only be collected in the spring, when they naturally moult and only 200 grams of the precious fibre are produced per goat. On average, it takes the cashmere fibre of four goats to make a single Brora jumper while two cashmere goats are needed to knit a scarf.
For our Mongolian herders, cashmere is the main source of income. As a member of the Sustainable Fibre Alliance, the mill who produce all of our cashmere are committed to securing goat herders’ livelihoods, restoring grasslands and ensuring the wellbeing of animals. Funds from the programme are used to train communities of Mongolian herders and promote sustainability.
Our cashmere wouldn’t be complete without the renowned colours which are blended using the latest technology combined with traditional expertise. In its original form, cashmere comes in grey, brown and white. At Brora, up to seven colours are used to create our much-loved and unique hues.
By buying Brora, you are supporting British manufacturing and helping preserve traditional craft. Since the brand was founded almost 30 years ago, all of our cashmere has been made at one of the oldest mills in Scotland which started with a staff of just ten. Today, they employ around 300 people from the local community, providing more training and apprenticeship opportunities than any other business in the Scottish textile industry.
At the mill, the skills involved in working with cashmere have been passed down from generation to generation. Every step of the way they apply their expertise and, in doing so, take their part in creating the highest quality, long lasting cashmere that will stand the test of time. There are over 50 processes involved in making any one of our cashmere designs and as many as 37 people can be involved in the creation.
While they continue to invest in the latest technologies, many of the steps involved in creating quality cashmere are still carried out by hand, such as the cutting of a neckline. Cashmere offcuts are put to good use and made into elbow patches or even mattress fillers.
All of our cashmere designs are washed in soft, Scottish water. This not only helps make them long lasting and luxurious but naturally reduces the number of chemicals used in the manufacturing process. The levels of those which are used are carefully monitored and all feature on the approved list of the Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals Foundation.
Sourcing cashmere from Scotland’s only ‘vertical’ mill, means that each part of the manufacturing process takes place within a single location, minimising the movement of our products and reducing airfreight. As a result, we have complete control over quality as well as their impact on the planet.
Our cashmere production is based on over 200 years of expertise and is as gentle with the environment as it is with the delicate fibres. For example, many brands will buy cheaper, dark fibres and heavily bleach them ahead of dyeing. In contrast, we select fibres close to the desired end colour, minimising both the amount of bleach and dye used. While these chemicals have an obvious environmental impact, they can also be hugely damaging to cashmere, thus reducing the quality and lifespan. This process, along with the mill’s other environmental commitments are managed using the ISO 9001 Environmental Management Standard and we know exactly how each process is carried out because of our close supplier relationships and regular visits.
Once your cashmere garment is complete, it is brushed with the dried heads of the teasel plant so that the hooked ends can gently tease out and align the cashmere fibres to produce the characteristic ripple finish of our woven products.
Just like fine wine, quality cashmere only gets better with time as the softest fibres form on the surface to make it even more luxurious. Although each cashmere fibre is six times finer than human hair, it is capable of making a jumper that can be treasured for generations.
Fashion is one of the world’s most polluting industries with an estimated 11 million items of clothing being sent to landfill every week in the UK. At Brora, we’re not about fast fashion. While it may be cheap, the cost on the planet is high and we believe that your wardrobe shouldn’t cost the earth. Reducing clothing consumption by purchasing fewer, higher quality garments and wearing them for longer is the single biggest change we can make to reducing the environmental impact of our wardrobe.
In addition to our ladies’ and men’s cashmere, we also have a dedicated team of hand knitters who produce much of our babies’ and children’s knitwear and accessories with love and exquisite craftsmanship.