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Shackleton to explore growth with new investment

Tom Bottomley
26 September 2018

British adventure apparel brand Shackleton has just announced an undisclosed investment sum from five new advisors in a bid to take the brand to the next level.

Inspired by legendary polar explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton, the brand offers British-made, expedition-grade outerwear and knitwear to inspire and equip the modern pioneer, and fans of premium outerwear with a style edge to it.

Since launching in 2015 with its ‘Signature Sweater’, based on a piece worn by Sir Ernest throughout his most famous journeys, Shackleton successfully secured Harvey Nichols as a top tier stockist in 2017 with its first full collection. It recently launched a new website, and supports record-breaking expeditions.

The brand was co-founded by ultra-marathon runner Ian Holdcroft and sailor Martin Brooks, who were quickly joined by Sir Ernest’s granddaughter, The Hon. Alexandra Shackleton. Incoming investors include musician, Guy Berryman, former Burberry Chief Operating Officer, John Smith, sports and lifestyle sector lawyer, Nic Couchman, technology entrepreneur and investor, Jon Claydon and Chairman of TEDx Vancouver, Chris Dyer. All five shareholders will be advisors to the brand.

Martin Brooks comments: “John Smith spent eight years as Chief Operating Officer at Burberry, working alongside designer Christopher Bailey, so he has enormous experience around the world at product, retail, supply chain and everything. He will be a very important advisor to the business going forward to help us grow, particularly in North America and the Far East.

“There’s a lot of intellectual property (IP) involved in our business. We have the IP of Shackleton around the world in hundreds of product classes, so we need a really good lawyer as part of our team to help us manage that properly. Nic Couchman is very good at establishing licensing deals, and establishing partnership deals, and we’re planning to do various partnerships and collaborations with various other brands around the world going forward.”

Brooks says, as yet, there are no own-retail plans for the brand, but he does admit that they would like to eventually have a ‘Shackleton Adventure’ store. “But at the moment we’re just focusing on Harvey Nichols as our main retail partner. We have some other smaller accounts, and we work, on quite a large scale, with Antarctic cruise ship companies, supplying expedition grade gear to people going to Antarctica.”

Shackleton will also be going in to The Rake in October, though Brooks says they are really building an online driven brand, so they are very much taking an exclusive point of view as to who they partner at a bricks and mortar level.

The new ‘Kane Explorer Jacket’ has just landed for this season, but Brooks says the ultimate Shackleton product for autumn/winter is the ‘Endurance Lightweight Parka’. “That’s the real stand out piece. It’s a proper piece of exploration kit, but at the same time it looks great and its super light and packable. It’s about half the weight of a Canada Goose jacket.” It also costs £1,290.

“We’re combining the amazing technical performance you get in very cold weather exploration gear, with great style aesthetics, materials and trims. We call it the Range Rover strategy, because you know it can climb a mountain and go through a river, but it’s also just fabulous to be in and a great looking drive, whether you’re going in to town on a Saturday night, or just dropping the kids off. There aren’t many brands that really do technical performance combined with great luxury style aesthetics, and that’s what we’re trying to do here. The new investment will really give us the opportunity to continue to develop some great product.”

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