Crafted with the upmost beauty and dexterity

Tell us the story of how your business got started.

While on a visit home to the Lake District in 2016, a passing conversation with a local farmer sparked the whirlwind of ideas that ultimately led us to create RUSKIN: “You’re lucky you found your way back down in this weather. Next time you should line your shoes with some Herdwick wool to keep your feet warm and dry. There’s so much value in that wool, you know. If you had time, you could really do something useful with it.”

We decided that we could innovate and elevate this rare natural fibre to reimagine its potential, if we were able to harness the properties in the Herdwick wool the right way. The result is the RUSKIN tweed range. Fast forward five years and our collection has grown to encompass tweed and a leather range, defined by a luxuriously muted palette and soft organic curves. In a world of overproduction, our intention is to create a tightly edited collection of real depth and beauty that offers up all the right kind of sensory overload.

What inspires your brand /design process?

We are inspired by the natural material world around us and by skilled workmanship that produces exceptional results that stand the test of time. You can see from the materials we use, our preferred palette and brand ethos that our greatest inspiration, of course, is nature and the intelligence that it embodies.

Why did you choose to use British wool in your products? What do you value the most when using British wool?

RUSKIN tweed begins and ends with nature. It is woven from the wool of the rare, protected breed of sheep called Herdwick that live and roam freely in the mountains of the English Lake District. By nature, Herdwick fleeces are heavy and dense; the wool is uniquely durable, pliable and water resistant – perfectly suited to extending the life cycle of an artisan bag. It is so much more than just fabric – it is an idea made real, values translated, potential reimagined. Therein lies the magic.

For years, Herdwick wool realised very little return for Lake District farmers, with some fleeces even being burned. Recognising the potential in this rare, natural fibre, we set out to harness these uniquely durable properties and elevate them in an artisanal design. The result is a high-performing, low-impact fabric that is a visual delight and a tantalising invitation to touch.

As cultural tides shift, we hope that our collection will inspire a new way of thinking about the potential in rare, unconventional materials. We are committed to exploring the possibilities within natural material innovation because of what it represents, how it affects us as humans and how it gives us pause to think, touch and really feel.

Ultimately, our aim is to inspire an emotional response with the soft, textured nature of our fabric; something akin to that feeling you get when you hear a piece of music that stirs something inside. The tapestry of earthy tones in the deep, tactile weave, combined with the full grain Italian leather, conspire to soothe and stimulate. The result is harmony.

ruskinlondon.com