We may be living in a more isolated fashion these days, but walking is on the cards for most of us. Even those who are far happier on wheels than on walks seem to be taking to the streets and the fields for two-legged adventures. No need to do this without style and sustainability, however, which is why we are taking a look at Shackleton, a modern British brand inspired by Sir Ernest Shackleton’s courage and leadership. The mission is simple: to build a world-class, innovation-led label that offers a unique and compelling combination of high performance and luxury refinement in the form of jackets, jumpers and accessories.
Even if you haven’t got your sights set on an extensive South Pole expedition (and after weeks of hiking alone in your neighbourhood, you may change your mind on that) you needn’t be totally adventurous to enjoy Shackleton’s apparel. It’s made with everyday comfort in mind.
What’s more, the brand increasingly achieves high standards by using sustainable and recycled materials. The fur hood trims used on all Shackleton jackets are synthetic, made in Italy to match the look and feel of real fur. Similarly, the goose down used in all the outerwear is RDS certified. Recent advances within textiles, yarns and recycled materials have allowed Shackleton to explore new realms of innovation that, only a year ago, were out of the question. “Aside from the obvious,” says Patrick Tillard, Shackleton’s Head of Comms, “that we must be held responsible for the impact our production has on the planet’s health, there are fantastic natural properties that can be enhanced from sustainably-sourced fibres.”
There is something about our current isolation that – despite all the Zoom pub quizzes, virtual classrooms and family skypes – is taking us back to basics. We may not be all isolating in igloos but we are facing restrictions on our usual freedoms and are being called upon to be patient, courageous and disciplined, three things any explorer knows about.
As Tillard points out: “A century ago, during the heroic age of exploration, courageous men underwent unimaginable hardship to extend the limits of the known world: for science, for country and for honour. Sir Ernest Shackleton remains the most enduring figure of this age – his life and achievements stand out 100 years later as a reminder of what true character really means.