Footwear brand Clarks Originals and Scottish luxury ecommerce initiative based upon the Fair Trade model, Thistle & Broom, have partnered in a collaboration for the f/w 2011/12 ladies collection. The limited edition takes on Clarks’ ubiquitous Desert Boot featuring a hand-knit shoe 'cuff' reminiscent of an Arran jumper.

The idea originated with Clarks Originals Range Manager, Rosie Macgregor, herself a Scotswoman from St. Andrews. “Clarks has always stood for excellence in design and craftsmanship, and we’ve recently seen a huge resurgence of interest in hand-crafted products across the industry more generally,” says Macgregor.

Thistle & Broom blind sampled prototypes to Clarks to ensure that there was no bias to geographic origin or company. The Soil Association and certified organic yarn used for the project was sourced from Ardalanish Farms and Weavers on the Isle of Mull. Moreover, the limited edition of 1,200 pairs involved 35 hand-knitters living across Scotland. Clarks Originals also hired Glasgow-based portrait photographer Iain Clark, whose work can be found in the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, to capture the knitters' images.