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Ross-shire textile designer Iseabal Hendry of Strathcarron hopes to bag boost from Creative Scotland with help from public


By Hector MacKenzie

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Iseabal Hendry
Iseabal Hendry

A young Ross-shire based textile designer has been backed to succeed by Creative Scotland after being selected for a leading nationwide initiative.

Iseabal Hendry will launch her first collection of sustainable hand-woven leather bags and accessories next week and has already caught the eye of the organisation that supports creative industries in Scotland. Creative Scotland will provide match funding to Iseabal to help support her growing business, if she meets her initial £5000 target on Crowdfunder.

The funding will enable the Strathcarron-based Glasgow School of Art graduate to bring her premium, locally hand-crafted bags and accessories fully to market.

The 27-year-old went to school in Lochcarron and High School in Plockton before pursuing her craft.

Iseabal Hendry collection
Iseabal Hendry collection

Every item is made of sustainably produced and sourced materials, including cotton woven in Scotland on traditional looms that are more than 100 years old.

Iseabal takes around 15 hours to craft each of her bags, which are made of organically tanned leather – using natural vegetable tannins found in plants, bark, leaves, berries, and fruit.

She said: “There is a definite need and desire for environmentally friendly and ‘slow’ fashion which places the emphasis on the sustainability and quality of the materials and finished product.

"The fashion industry is obviously dominated by global brands and cheap, overseas manufacturing, but buying from closer to home has more benefits than just supporting local businesses.

“There is a growing awareness that knowing where your product came from and who made it, creates a stronger connection between purchaser, designer, and maker. This exciting initiative from Creative Scotland takes that a step further and lets the public build a strong bond with local designers from an early stage.

“Pre-ordering your bag on Crowdfunder allows me to make the collection entirely from materials sourced within the UK and Europe - minimising the environmental impact and providing confidence in their origin and the quality of the product.”

The peaceful pace of life in Wester Ross, where she lives, lends itself to Iseabal’s craft. She said: “It is a slow process, and one that can’t be achieved with the help of a machine. It’s about valuing the process of making, not just the design, and celebrating craft and quality.”

Reaching her target of £5000 will allow this small start-up designer to realise her dream of putting her beautiful designs into production entirely within the UK. However, Iseabal needs to raise her fundraising target as quickly as possible in order to access the match-funding.

She added: “There are a lot of people competing for this funding and I’m told the pot of money will go within the first few days. It’s vital that I reach my goal early or I’ll miss out on the funding all together.

“There are several ways to show support. I will be launching a range of products available to pre-order from smaller items to the capsule collection itself. There will also be the option to make a donation.”

Iseabal will launch her capsule collection on Crowdfunder on Monday August, 17.

You can see her work at www.iseabalhendry.com and also follow her on Instagram @iseabalhendry for updates on the Crowdfunder.

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