New York - April 4, 2005 - Thistle & Broom today unveiled its premier online portal for marketing luxury products made in Scotland. Devoted to changing perceptions around Scotland being a static environment centered on tartan and biscuits, Thistle & Broom was created to provide immediate access to exclusive designs of limited production, one-of-a-kind pieces of artwork and crafts, clothing, home furnishings and jewelry from across Scotland.
Intent on linking its business model to a cause for the greater good, Thistle & Broom designates a full eight percent of its pre-tax profits from each product to benefit carefully selected charitable organizations. The company has identified its first two beneficiaries as the John Muir Trust formed in 1983 to protect, conserve and increase awareness and understanding of wild places and Fèisean nan Gàidheal, established in 1988 as the independent umbrella organization which supports the development of the Gaelic through arts tuition festivals and school programs throughout Scotland.
Nigel Hawkins, director of The John Muir Trust, said, "Each year in Scotland we loose tens of thousands of acres wild places to development and agricultural pressure. Our mandate is to purchase and protect these lands for future generations so that they remain available for all to enjoy. We think it's fantastic that through Thistle & Broom a global audience will be able to help us realize our goals."
With low labor costs available in the Far East and elsewhere, more than 35,000 jobs in the Scottish textile industry have been lost to labor outsourcing in the last decade. In an effort to counterbalance this devastating effect on the Scottish economy, all of Thistle & Broom's vendors and suppliers, artists and craftspeople, small manufacturing firms and sole proprietors are based in Scotland.
"Thistle & Broom was created with one essential goal in mind: to positively impact local economies while supporting Scotland's rich and dynamic culture," said Teresa Fritschi, managing director and chief creative officer of Thistle & Broom. "Regardless of the endeavor, Scots have enriched our world for thousands of years, I wanted to find a small way to give something back. Launching T&B in conjunction with Tartan Week provides our artists and craftspeople with a global venue their efforts might never otherwise experience. In turn I hope we will be in a position to help positively impact her economy while promoting Scottish heritage."
"We're excited to see the development of a cooperative luxury brand for gifted Scottish artisans and companies to market their products. That Thistle & Broom also serves to highlight aspects of our history and culture and showcases the beauty of our country is extraordinary," said Jamie Fraser, managing director of Hamilton & Inches, Scotland's leading jewelry, silver and luxury goods business. "The commitment that T&B is showing to Scotland, its suppliers, artisans and their communities is sure to leave a lasting and positive impression on Scots the world over."
The launch of the Thistle & Broom Web site coincides with New York City's Tartan Week festivities, celebrating the historic and current contributions of Scots and those of Scottish descent to America and the world. Thistle & Broom is serving as a sponsor of Dressed to Kilt, a fundraising reception benefiting Friends of Scotland, which takes place on Tartan Day on April 6, 2005 in New York City. The reception includes a fashion show featuring exclusive designs of suppliers of Thistle & Broom as well as a dance party.
For more information please visit: http://www.dressedtokilt.com/
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