The Act of Parliament in 1993 brought into being the Harris Tweed Authority, a new statutory body, replacing the Harris Tweed Association originally set up in 1909.
In accordance with the Act, Harris Tweed cloth must be: “Handwoven by the islanders at their homes in the Outer Hebrides, finished in the Outer Hebrides, and made from pure virgin wool dyed and spun in the Outer Hebrides.”
The Act ensures that all cloth certified with the Harris Tweed Orb symbol complies with this definition.
This legislation – alongside the work of the Harris Tweed Authority – allows the safeguarding of the Harris Tweed name, quality and reputation.
“The role of the Harris Tweed Authority is to promote and maintain the authenticity, standard and reputation of the world famous Harris Tweed cloth. We oversee the production and inspection of the cloth from start to finish. Only when satisfied that the article is genuinely deserving of our historic Orb will we brand the cloth with the certification mark.
The mark of the Orb, also found on the traditional label affixed to finished items, guarantees the highest quality tweed - dyed, spun and handwoven by islanders of the Outer Hebrides of Scotland in their homes to the laws outlined in the Harris Tweed Act of Parliament.”
The Harris Tweed Authority Board is made up of volunteers who understand the vital role of the Harris Tweed Authority in protecting the Harris Tweed industry as a sustainable part of the local economy.
Fellow of the Institute of Financial Accountants and in business on the island for 40 years, Norman has been on the HTA Board since 1999. He has served as a local authority councillor and Stornoway Port Authority member and sees the Harris Tweed industry as a sustainable part of the local economy.
Alasdair is a member of the Highlands & Islands Joint Valuation Board, An Lanntair and advisor to Gearrannan Blackhouse Village, he is committed to developing the language and culture of the Western Isles.
Ian has lived in Lewis since 1983 and is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and was responsible for Professional Development & Teacher Education at the University of the Highlands and Islands for 15 years.
Donald is one of two Comhairle nan Eilean Siar representatives on the Board. Originally from Swordale, he has lived in Upper Coll since being elected Councillor for the Loch A Tuath Ward in 2012. He has been Chairman of the Comhairle's Sustainable Development Committee since 2017. He believes the Harris Tweed® brand is a vital element to the future success of the local economy and culture and its promotion and protection is crucial. Mr Crichton is also an elected Trustee of the Stornoway Trust Estate.
Rachel Mackay works freelance in TV Production. She comes from Stornoway and maintains close links with the island. Rachel's passion is for language, culture and fashion. She is a strong lobbyist for the survival of the Gaelic language and protection of the unique culture of the Outer Hebrides and brings an articulate youth voice to our organisation.
Maggie, from South Dell, is Clerk to the Lord-Lieutenant and a partner with Anderson Macarthur Solicitors in Stornoway. She is a former member of Ness Community Council and Company Director of Galson Community Owned Estate Trust and currently Chair of Iomairt Ghaidhlig Iar Thuath Leodhais.
Angus Maclennan, who hails from the village of Govig on the west side of Harris, is employed by Comhairle nan Eilean Siar as Head Teacher of e-Sgoil (translates as e-School), an innovative digital educational project based here in the Outer Hebrides. Angus brings to the HTA experience of management and leadership, national educational contacts and Gaelic language skills.
Malcolm attended The Nicolson Institute in Stornoway and the Lews Castle College, followed by Dewsbury & Batley Technical & Art College where he obtained a Diploma in Textiles. He worked for Clansman Holdings Ltd as a Quality Controller before joining Comhairle nan Eilean Siar as a Management Services Officer with an MMS (Dip) qualification gained in post. Currently, Malcolm is Chair of Stornoway Historical Society, Chair/Secretary of Stornoway Athletic FC and an Officer in the Boys' Brigade, as well as a member of other local bodies. Malcolm has also written and co-written several books on Leeds United and local history, including The Darkest Dawn - The Story of the Iolaire Tragedy.