Over 250 Years Of Heritage: Learn More About The British Cashmere Brand Joshua Ellis
By Felicity Carter
PUBLISHED: November 7, 2020
For 253 years the British brand, Joshua Ellis has supplied the best of the best with their fabrics, from royal families through to the military. With a rich heritage behind them, in 2014 the label decided to launch its very own collection of cashmere scarves so everyone can get in on the Ellis action.
And there really is something for everyone. The line, which is for both men and women, is made up of a whopping 200 cashmere scarves, and each one goes through at least 23 different processes in production to ensure it’s just right. On offer, there’s a variety of weights, designs (check, blocked, bright, and muted), and sizes to suit your look. Why stop there? Joshua Ellis also manufactures a line of cashmere and wool throws for the home for cozy winter times. Designed to be adored, look after your Joshua Ellis scarf, and as the CEO says it’ll last a lifetime.
Oliver Platts, the CEO of Joshua Ellis discusses heritage and the production process which has taken place in the heart of England for over 250 years.
Felicity Carter: Tell us about the history of Joshua Ellis…
Oliver Platts: Joshua Ellis was founded in Yorkshire, England in 1767 as a weaving mill of woollen cloth. In the last 253 years we have supplied fabric to militaries, royal families, celebrities and many of the world’s finest brands. In 2014 we launched our eponymous cashmere scarf collection which is now sold in many of the world’s finest department stores, multi-brand shops and on their website www.joshuaellis.com
FC: How has the brand has been updated to suit the contemporary customer?
OP: The brand takes aspects of our historical designs (we have an archive room with over 30,000 fabrics in stretching back decades) and then our team of designers translate them into contemporary patterns by adapting them or adding pops of trend colours. The marrying of modernity with heritage resonates well with our customer base and particularly in Japan where we have a strong following among young, fashion conscious consumers.
FC: What’s the offering?
OP: In addition to the range of over 200 cashmere scarves of all different weights, designs and sizes we also manufacture a wide range of cashmere and wool throws for the home. This year we have added an Escorial wool collaboration with famous English hatters, Lock and Co. as well as a fabric collaboration with Simon Crompton of Permanent Style.
FC: Who is your target audience?
OP: The target audience is anyone who takes pride in understanding where their clothes have come from and is interested in their provenance. They are someone who feels that clothing and accessories are an investment and something to be cherished and looked after. A cashmere scarf from Joshua Ellis, if properly looked after, should last a lifetime.
FC: What are the cornerstones of the brand?
- OP: Quality of manufacture and of the 50 skilled craftspeople who work in our mill.
- Sustainability of supply and raw fibre.
- Made in England.
- 250 years of industrial heritage within our community.
FC: What’s the production process, from sketch to production in Yorkshire?
OP: Many of our design ideas are taken from the local area – we have plenty of inspirational locations within Yorkshire and from that initial idea there is a process of CAD development using computer software. That design is then woven to create a blanket which is then ‘finished’ (a combination of washing, raising combing, pressing and steaming) to a specific sequence depending on the desired look and feel of the product. Every scarf, blanket or piece of cloth made goes through at least 23 different processes before being deemed fit for sale.
FC: Share the short and the long term goals of the company…
OP: In the short term we have a lot of work to do to maintain the growth we have seen in recent years while at the same time implementing our plan for a 100% sustainable supply chain. We need to protect our profitability and safeguard jobs within our local community in the face of a very challenging international luxury market.
In the long term we want to be recognised as one of the leading luxury manufacturing brands in the world with a reputation for our commitment to quality, design and the environment.