Celtic Sheepskin - A Buyers Guide
History & Culture
The Celtic Sheepskin Company originated in Newquay, Cornwall in 1973 under the company name ‘Hide & Feet’ designing Ugg boots and a variety of leather goods. Nick and Kath Whitworth, a married couple had worn Ugg boots for years and decided to buy the business in 1990 from a builder. The business was extremely tiny; there were no staff, no accounts and only seven pieces of stock! However, Nick and Kath had a vision and identified a gap in the market. They believed they could promote the Ugg boot as a viral part of Cornwall’s expanding surf and lifestyle culture to women, men and children. In 1991 Nick registered the tern UGG as a trademark and for the forthcoming 6 years and the traded under the new name of the Original UGG Company. Their sales soared and the popularity of Ugg spread across the UK which led them to focus the company on concentrating on selling products via mail order and online, they also decided to expand the product portfolio at this time to include slippers, now a core product of the business.
In 1994 Nick and Kath were approached by the USA Company of Ugg Holdings and asked if theycould purchase the rights to use the term UGG. During this period in time Ugg Holdings were taken over by Deckers and in 1996 an agreement was reached where Deckers licensed the use of the UGG trademark. After this major change to the business Nick changed the company name to the Celtic Sheepskin Company and re named the range of boots from Ugg to ‘Celt-boots’. Since then the company has continued to innovate and diversify its product range, starting in the late 90’s with a range of sheepskin coats and the introduction of clothing in 2005.
The Celtic Sheepskin Company employ over 69 staff including skilled cutters, machinists, gluers, finishers, checkers and warehouse staff who collectively work together to ensure that all of the boots are the very best quality and fit. Celt Boots are handmade; during the manufacturing process staff combine traditional skills and eco-friendly manufacture with modern design. In the factory energy usage is low, waste is kept to a minimum, materials are sourced from suppliers in the UK where possible and the local community is boosted by job positions. Differently to a lot of Ugg Boots, Celt boots are made to last and can be repaired and resoled. Most boot styles can also be machine washed! Almost all products are made the UK in order to keep their carbon footprint as small as possible and to support local businesses. In the early stages of the business as mentioned previously, the company had 7 styles in their collection. Now they produce 60,000 pairs of boots and slippers each year! There are eight separate stages involved in the production of a pair of sheepskin boots, once the skins have been examined for imperfections and colour matched the cutters collect the eleven separate elements that go into each boot.
New styles for spring 2012 include the Popper Boot. Like all Celtic Boots the Popper Boot is handmade at the company’s Cornish factory, the side poppers can be worn fastened or left undone near the top for a stylish slouchy effect. We also love the Chocolate Brown Biker Boot; they are of the highest quality and are extremely durable. The boot is topped with spilled wool and trimmed with chunky fashion buckles. The original and most popular style of Celt Boot is an instant favourite! Each boot has a pure sheepskin upper and a lightweight, flexible black rubber sole with a rugged tread for extra grip. These boots are built to last with double stitched seams and hand finished to the highest standard.