British Made Awards 2022

Countrywear Brand of the Year 2022 Glencroft make clothes that last a lifetime. Designed for the incredible rigours of country life, their products have earned a reputation for excellence. In SME News’ British Made Awards 2022, this reputation was translated into their stunning awards success. We caught up with them to find out how. Based in the Yorkshire Dales village of Clapham, the team at Glencroft are intimately connected with the local natural landscape. Using such as 100% British Wool, Harris Tweed, British sheepskin, alongside their own traceable wool made from the fleece of sheep on the local fields around their office, they have designed a range of jumpers, hats, caps, gloves, slippers, scarves, rugs and accessories that stands apart from the crowd. The business is still run by the same family as when it was opened in 1987 by Richard Sexton. His son Edward now runs the company, offering the same high standards of service that were set over thirty years ago. “Since we started in business, we’ve tried to make everything as locally as we can using local materials,” Edward tells us. “Today, over 90% of our range is still made in the UK, with the other 10% responsibly made in Portugal and Poland in factories that we know well.” When people turn to Glencroft, they turn to a team that is committed to building trust at every part of the supply chain. “Responsible sourcing is essential to our brand and always has been,” explains Edward. “People trust us and this trust has been gained over many years – but could be easily lost. We like to be completely honest and open about producing proper country clothing. Making in the UK is a key part of that, as we can trust our supply chain – the raw material, the yarns, the tweed, the people in our factories and the trade bodies that support it.” Even where the team have been forced to go overseas, Glencroft make a point of regularly visiting the Portuguese factory in order to get to know the people involved and ensure that they can trust the supply and working conditions. This care and attention goes in the other direction too, with customer service being paramount to how Glencroft operates. “The personal touch is part of the reason why we still visit as many of our trade customers in person as we can each year,” Edward smiles, “driving from the far North of Scotland to Cornwall. We handwrite a thank you note in every retail order we send out, so consumers know there are real people behind their purchase - like you’re buying from a trusted friend!” While a traditional family business at the core, modern methods are what keeps Glencroft relevant in today’s economy. Sustainability is one of the big drivers of the direction the company has taken over the last few years. “Sustainability is becoming increasingly more important to everyone,” explains Edward, “whether it’s the materials, the products you buy, the way brands operate, the carbon footprint and traceability.” One of the biggest projects the team revolves around Clapdale wool, with the team offering traceable hand knit yarn from local sheep. This innovative project has helped to establish the brand as a leader in sustainability. Working in a way that is more sustainable creates new challenges for this long-established business. “Making more sustainable clothing does cost more money,” Edward admits,” and the desire to be more sustainable is juxtaposed with worldwide inflation and the cost-of-living crisis, which is making people think hard about what to spend their money on. Despite this, we continue to believe that focusing on high quality, sustainable, local materials and production is the only way brands like us can survive.” While it’s likely that people will buy less, they will buy better – and there’s very little more durable and longlasting than the extensive range by the Glencroft team. When we think of the countryside, we think of something everchanging, whilst constantly evolving. When describing Glencroft, there’s very little more apt. Their commitment to quality, to sustainability and to the personal touch has seen them achieve tremendous customer loyalty over the last thirty-five years. It’s something worth celebrating, as is the strength of their position for many years yet to come! Company: Glencroft Name: Edward Sexton Email: Web Address: