Elgin-based luxury cashmere bedding brand poised for global expansion

Elgin-based luxury cashmere bedding brand poised for global expansion

Joan Johnston

Luxury textiles company Ava Innes is seeking its first round of investment to support its growth across the UK and within the booming US market.

To capitalise on the growing global luxury bedding market, which was valued at $2.43 billion (£2.18bn) in 2021 and is projected to reach $2.85bn (£2.55bn) by 2028, the Elgin-headquartered business founded by luxury specialist, Joan Johnston, is seeking £150,000 to increase its production and sales.

Only 30% of fibre brushed from cashmere goats is used in traditional knitting and weaving. The remaining fibre, called cashmere guard hair, is considered a by-product as it is too straight to be spun and therefore unsuitable for clothing and was mainly used as a source of lanolin for shampoo.

Frustrated by the waste of this unused natural cashmere by-product and identifying that cashmere guard hair is rich in keratin which is recognised for its temperature-regulating qualities, Johnston identified an opportunity to develop a unique, sustainable fabric that was recently recognised by the Intellectual Property Office as a new invention.

Ms Johnston, ex-creative director for Johnstons of Elgin, spent more than 20 years’ working in the global luxury textiles industry, supplying brands such as Burberry and Ralph Lauren. She launched Ava Innes just before the pandemic, with core values built around sustainable UK-made products, that are better for people and the planet.

Heralded as the new “5-a-day”, increasing evidence is emerging highlighting the importance of sleep. It is an essential function that allows your body and mind to recharge, improves physical health and staves off disease.

Ms Johnston explained: “Ava Innes was launched as an online business 5 months before the pandemic selling direct to the consumer, with 93% of our customers confirming a better night’s sleep.

“Word-of -mouth referral has been our main success to date, but we are now receiving demand from the hospitality industry across a range of boutique hotels and luxury hotel groups.

“It has never been more crucial to choose and develop highly sustainable products that support our growing circular economy. Customers are placing increasing importance upon ensuring the brands they choose align with their personal ethics and net zero ambitions, and business owners have a responsibility to meet these needs.

“Investors have a great opportunity to demonstrate their own eco-credentials by supporting a business that places sustainability at the heart of everything we do, from our core bedding products to our packaging and commitment to exploring further sustainable best practices for our business.”

She added: “Scotland has a long history of ground-breaking innovation, and I’m proud to follow in those footsteps. We are ready to embrace the next stage of our evolution and look forward to helping customers around the world get a better night’s sleep.”

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