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Holyrood needs to fight for Scottish fashion

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The V&A Dundee’s tartan exhibition

MICHAEL MCGURG

How similar the threads appear today that glinted through the textile industry a decade ago. In April 2013 a letter on the state of Scottish fashion written by the designer Beca Lipscombe was sent to the Scotsman newspaper. Lipscombe, who ran a small fashion label, mourned the impending loss of Caerlee Mills (formerly Ballantyne Cashmere), describing its closure coming at “a time when Scots and the world in general are scrutinising our ability to survive independently … I see a deleterious lack of government support.”

That letter has stuck with me, not least because it shows how little things have changed in the years that followed. The sound of Caerlee’s doors slamming shut for the final time did little to move anyone at Holyrood who

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