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Visit Scotland | Alba
Article published 19/06/2023

Meet Johnstons of Elgin

Johnstons of Elgin, the world-renowned luxury cashmere and fine woollens manufacturer, returns for the second year as the main sponsor of the Scottish Thistle Awards.

The brand, which has mills based in Elgin and Hawick, has been a keen supporter of Scotland’s premier tourism and events awards for several years.

Let's take a closer look at the business and its partnership with the Scottish Thistle Awards.

Who are Johnstons of Elgin?

Johnstons of Elgin is one of Scotland’s oldest family-owned businesses, celebrating 225 years in 2022. The business, which holds a Royal Warrant, have been experts in the world’s natural fibres since 1797, combining exceptional quality and craftmanship with a focus on their communities.

The brand craft the finest cashmere and merino wool products in their Elgin and Hawick mills – Elgin being Scotland’s only vertical weaving mill.

Find out more about Johnstons of Elgin's history

Johnstons of Elgin tours

Johnstons of Elgin tour

Johnstons of Elgin and sustainability

Johnstons of Elgin recently achieved a B Corporation status in recognition of the brand’s commitment to being a force for change in the social and environmental sphere. Becoming a B Corporation reinforces the community purpose that has been a feature of the company for generations.

Attaining B Corporation status requires business transparency emphasising environmental and social factors. The business must benefit all stakeholders, the suppliers, and employees whose lives depend on the company, not just shareholders.

Find out about Johnstons of Elgin's sustainability

Johnstons of Elgin

Employee at Johnstons of Elgin checking quality

Johnstons of Elgin and quality

Johnstons of Elgin recently achieved a 5-Star Quality Assurance (QA) grading for its Elgin visitor attraction for the 28th year in a row. The Hawick Mill was awarded a 5-Star Visitor Attraction Award in 2012, and the St Andrews store has held a 5-Star Award since 2013.

Visitors to the Elgin site can experience some of the thirty processes involved in crafting a single scarf and learn more about the families that have shaped the business over the decades.

There are a new range of tours available at both Elgin and Hawick including, the Discovery Experience, Afternoon Tea Experience and the Craftmanship Experience. Visitors can also explore the latest collections in the shop in both Elgin and Hawick or visit the on-site restaurant and coffee shop.

Find out more about Johnstons of Elgin's quality and craftsmanship

Johnstons of Elgin award

Johnstons of Elgin recieving a 5-Star Quality Assurance Award from Lord John Thurso

Johnstons of Elgin and the Scottish Thistle Awards

The Scottish Thistle Awards celebrate the very best of the tourism and events industry, helping to shine the spotlight on this vital part of the local economy.  

The awards champion innovation, collaboration and sustainable practices, in line with the ambitions of the national tourism strategy, Scotland Outlook 2030.

Find out more about the Scottish Thistle Awards sponsors

Johnstons of Elgin tour

 Johnstons of Elgin team at the Scottish Thistle Award National Final

Johnstons of Elgin are delighted to return as headline sponsors of the Scottish Thistle Awards, highlighting the individuals and businesses making a difference in the sphere of tourism. Responsible tourism is at the heart of this year’s event, which is particularly poignant for us in the year we became a certified B Corp, meeting stringent criteria and working towards building a more inclusive and sustainable economy.

The Scottish Thistle Awards will recognise innovation, excellence and success in an industry essential to us and other luxury brands. Proud of our long-standing relationship with VisitScotland, we are thrilled to celebrate the unique experiences and spirit of our beautiful country.

George McNeil, Johnstons of Elgin Managing Director of Retail

The Scottish Thistle Awards mark an important celebration of the best of our tourism and events industry as we help support the ambitions of the national tourism strategy, Scotland Outlook 2030, for Scotland to be a world leader in 21st century tourism.

It's fantastic to have the support of Johnstons of Elgin once again as headline sponsor for the Scottish Thistle Awards. We look forward to building on the success of last year to help shine a spotlight on the very best of Scotland’s tourism industry and ensuring that tourism is recognised for the positive impact it brings to the country.

Rob Dickson, Director of Industry and Destination Development at VisitScotland

The regional awards programme

We deliver the Scottish Thistle Awards, in partnership with regional awards programmes.

This year will see the introduction of a dedicated South of Scotland Thistle Awards. This is delivered in partnership with the South of Scotland Destination Alliance and supported by South of Scotland Enterprise, which will invite nominations and entries from the tourism and events industry in the Scottish Borders and Dumfries & Galloway.   

Winners from all five regional awards, which also include the Highlands and Islands Thistle Awards (HITA) and the Aberdeen City and Shire Thistle Awards (ACSTA) progress to the National Final, taking place in December 2023.  

We will continue to deliver the Central and East Thistle Awards and West of Scotland Thistle Awards, taking place in September 2023. 

Thistles trophy

Scottish Thistle Awards trophy from the National Final.

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