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Edmund Hillary Brands Has Social Enterprise in Its Fabric

Edmund Hillary Brands Has Social Enterprise in Its Fabric


A new high end, outdoor clothing range inspired by and named after Sir Edmund Hillary will see his charitable projects, and other outdoor initiatives around the world, benefit.


The brand, named Edmund Hillary, will have social enterprise sewn into every seam with a percentage of profits going to support schools in the Himalayas, and outdoor education programmes in countries where the range is made and sold – including New Zealand.


Founded by Aucklander Mike Hall-Taylor and Peter Hillary, the first range of premium quality men’s outdoor wear will launch globally – with an event at New Zealand Fashion Week – in August 2018.


“The new business – Edmund Hillary Brands Ltd – will help keep the legacy of Sir Edmund Hillary alive around the world for future generations. It will also support the people and places that he dedicated so much of his life to helping,” Mike Hall-Taylor says.


Mr Hall-Taylor describes the new venture as an international brand. Like Sir Ed’s 1953 Everest expedition, the company is largely being funded by UK investors, but will have a strong New Zealand flavour.


Inspired by the clothing Sir Edmund wore on his Everest summit, the launch collection will consist of around 25 items ranging from a ventile replica anorak originating from the one Sir Ed wore during his ascent of Everest to jackets, vests and exact replicas of his hand knitted sweaters. With the initial launch range designed more for ‘soft adventure and cold weather apres’ than mountaineering, some of the items will be produced by the same company that supplied the 1953 expedition.


Smaller Edmund Hillary garments, such as hats and scarves, will be manufactured where possible in Nepal, and the merino wool for the knitwear and baselayers sourced from New Zealand. The larger more complex and tailored products, such as ethically sourced down jackets as worn by Tenzing Norgay, will be made in the UK.


Initially, the company owners are looking to establish niche markets in Australasia, Northern Europe, North America and Japan.


Mr Hall-Taylor says the launch comes after a number of years working with the Hillary family to firm up their shared vision to honour Sir Ed’s achievements and build on his charity work.


“We’ve drawn on the heritage of the past – scouring imagery and researching fabrics used by Sir Ed and his climbing party – and then brought the clothing into the present day with style and functionality.


“The range captures the essence of Sir Ed and will resonate with those with their own spirit of adventure and a desire to be part of the Edmund Hillary story. In his own words – ‘it’s not the mountain we conquer but ourselves’ – this is a brand for people who enjoy overcoming personal challenges.”


Mike Hall-Taylor is also founder and managing director of HT Group, a consultancy specialising in social enterprise and sport, with the mission to help businesses generate sustainable profitability and create a better society.


ENDS

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