About this project
We've passed our funding target, thank you so much for your support!But there's still time (up to midnight on Saturday 31st January) to join this successful project with a pledge... and to win yourself a great Shackleton reward!
Get on board a Great British manufacturing adventure! Help us launch our Shackleton® brand clothing: inspired by photographs of the great Antarctic explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton and his men taken a hundred years ago.
Designed and made in Great Britain for comfort, style and quality. Inspired by Shackleton's epic expeditions: but made to wear every day of life's great adventure! For men and women.
Back us for a reward from as little as £5 - we have an amazing array of superb rewards.
REST ASSURED... WE WILL BE MAKING ALL OUR CLOTHING IN SIZES FROM XS TO XXL, IN CUTS FOR BOTH MEN AND WOMEN... SO YOU WILL BE ABLE TO GET A SHIRT, JUMPER OR JACKET TO FIT! WE WILL CHECK YOUR SIZES AT END OF THE CAMPAIGN.
NEW REWARD... BOOK SHACKLETON BRAND FOUNDER SIMON MIDDLETON TO TEACH YOUR TEAM HOW TO BUILD A BRAND AND RAISE FUNDING!
NEW REWARD ADDED BY POPULAR DEMAND: SUPERB QUALITY BRITISH HANDMADE LEATHER BELT £65
NEW REWARD ADDED JANUARY 20TH... SAVE OVER £200 ON THE ULTIMATE SHACKLETON CLOTHING SET. JUST ELEVEN SETS AVAILABLE IN THIS REWARD PACKAGE! see below and right.
Just over a year ago, we embarked on a British manufacturing adventure, by launching The Great British Banjo Company® and creating The Shackleton® Banjo: the first production banjo to be made in Britain in more than 60 years.
Now we are continuing that British manufacturing journey by producing a complete range of men's and women's clothing inspired by our hero, the Antarctic explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton.
And you can be part of the story. Back us now and in return we are offering a range of great rewards, including our fabulous Shackleton waxed cotton windcheater, our cosy British-wool Shackleton sweaters, T-shirts, hipflasks and enamel mugs, our explorer quilt, and even a unique Kickstarter version of our Shackleton banjo!
We began our Shackleton banjo project with a Kickstarter campaign which, thanks to all of you, literally kick-started our enterprise. More than 200 backers, including over 130 pledges for the banjo itself, put our campaign in the top 5% most successful Kickstarter campaigns. Thank you!
Your support enabled us to create three full time jobs, and to establish a small factory in Norwich, Norfolk, England, which makes superb instruments and ships them to customers all over the world.
One surprising and wonderful thing about our 2013 Kickstarter was the fact that more than half our supporters were not banjo players. Instead they were people who loved the idea of high quality products being made in Britain again, and who loved the spirit of courage and adventure personified by Ernest Shackleton and his companions in Antarctica in the early years of the 20th Century.
We had called our British banjo The Shackleton in honour of the role that a banjo played in Shackleton's Endurance expedition of 1914-17. Exactly one hundred years ago Shackleton was beginning his attempt to lead the first expedition to cross the Antarctic continent, on foot, from one side to the other.
When the expedition’s ship Endurance was trapped, and eventually crushed by ice, the banjo (belonging to meteorologist Leonard Hussey) was rescued, and it played a crucial morale boosting role. For many months it offered Shackleton’s 28 men their only entertainment, and Shackleton himself described the instrument as “vital mental medicine”.
Thanks to your support on Kickstarter we brought our British banjo dream to life, and we’ve come a long way since then: setting up our factory, building our team, prototyping the banjo, and ultimately shipping two hundred of them all around the world.
They’ve had rave reviews from customers and our original banjo has spawned a range of six different Shackleton© instruments.
Actually we’ve already gone even further than making banjos.
First we produced a range of Shackleton traditional English beers which have received plaudits from ale enthusiasts.
Then, after studying photographs from the Endurance expedition, we created a fabulous British-made chunky sweater, closely based on Shackleton’s own. After a quite a search we found a small English knitting factory who could produce exactly what we wanted, from certified British-grown wool.
We have modernised the weight and cut of the sweaters a little from the original, to make them rather more practical for modern living. Ours are superbly comfortable and really cosy. And they’re already a hit, and even on sale in the Antarctic itself at the world’s most southerly shop, known as the Penguin Post Office, as you can see in this picture.
So, after all this, why are we back on Kickstarter?
Because, having proved that British craft manufacturing can work with musical instruments, and then with beer, and then with knitwear, we now want to prove the same with a full range of clothing.
Specifically, we want to produce a collection of very high quality British-made men's casualwear, inspired by the hardwearing and wonderfully characterful designs worn by Shackleton and his men on their Antarctic adventures, but suitable for modern everyday use.
We have designs in progress for warm woollen jackets, wax impregnated cotton windcheaters, naturally thermal undershirts, tough and stylish outer shirts, and the most comfortable and rugged corduroy and canvas trousers, as well as a fabulous felt fedora, just like Shackleton's.
And to complement the clothing, the Shackleton range will include superb quality welted boots and shoes in timeless British styles which are just as ‘on-trend’ in the twenty first century as they were at the turn of the twentieth.
Just like our instruments and our sweaters, The Shackleton clothing collection is designed in Britain, and will be manufactured in Britain by small scale craft-based producers who are completely committed to quality production.
And, just like on our banjos, we’re offering a six year repair or replace warranty on every item (because of its nature knitwear has a two year warranty).
Creating the knitwear has proved to us and our customers that The Shackleton clothing brand represents high quality, highly distinctive and very desirable style.
But to go to the next stage, of producing our range of jackets, windcheaters, trousers, shirts, and boots, we need your help.
We’re a very small company still, and the costs of developing designs, prototypes, and trade samples of a clothing range, are substantial.
So we’re asking you to support us, by pledging to our campaign, in return for fabulous Shackleton brand rewards.
We know you’ll love the products, and we know that many of you are already enthused by the Shackleton story.
We’re very proud to be part of the resurgence of making things in Britain. It’s more than a trend: it’s a movement. A movement that is creating high quality, skilled jobs, that is reviving businesses that have struggled in recent decades, and that is providing the real power behind the British economy.
Now we hope that you’ll want to continue your support for small scale, British craft manufacturing and that you’ll pledge to give us the kick-start we need. Thank you.
While you're here, why not take a look inside our banjo factory?
And why not step back in time one year to watch our original Kickstarter movie (the one that got us started)?
Shackleton®, Vital Mental Medicine®, and The Great British Banjo Company® are all registered trademarks of The Great British Banjo Company Ltd.
Port Lockroy Post Office photograph used with permission of UK Antarctic Heritage Trust.
Banjo workshop photograph used with permission of Andi Sapey.
Bearded model photography by Simon Buck.
Kickstarter movie by the excellent Matt Watt at Hot Milk Films.
With thanks to our brilliant banjoneers Geoff Ransome and Fraser Knight, and to Sheila, Nigel, Mark, Steve, Sid, Dan, Sam and Saffron for their continued support.
Shackleton clothing range sketches by Simon Middleton.
Risks and challenges
We are more experienced and better qualified to fulfil our promises on this project than we were on our first Kickstarter: which we delivered successfully.
We have established strong working relationships with manufacturers and we have done a tremendous amount of homework before launching this project to ensure that we can deliver every reward within a six month timescale.
We know that there are always risks associated with manufacturing. Supplier companies can fail for example. However, our supply chain is short, and all our suppliers are in the UK. We can visit them, work with them, and solve problems with them.
We have proved that we can run a successful campaign and fulfill its promises. We have shipped 200 of our Shackleton banjos, plus many other items, to very satisfied customers.
We also promise every backer that we will keep you all fully informed of progress, with regular updates, and that we will contact you immediately if there are any unforeseen glitches or hold-ups along the way.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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