Tradition and innovation are blended throughout Cashmere Circle from our garment repair techniques to our cashmere wash, and where this blend has been most successful is with our founding team.
Knitwear industry icon Belinda Dickson met Ross Powell during his final year of university. Intent on driving greater sustainability into the industry she’d spent over three decades in, Belinda teamed up with environmental expert Ross to create Cashmere Circle.
Who is Belinda Dickson:
The ‘Queen of Cashmere’, Belinda is a luxury knitwear expert boasting over 35 years’ experience in the cashmere industry. With her brand, Belinda Robertson Cashmere, she was an industry disrupter, bringing cashmere into the modern world with daring design and creativity, ensuring quality was never compromised.
A successful businesswoman, Belinda has sat on numerous boards and currently advises the board of the UK Fashion and Textiles Association driving an agenda of change and transformation within the industry.
A graduate of The University of Edinburgh, Ross has a deep understanding of the causes
and implications of the current environmental crisis. Passionate about engaging others in the
environmental movement, he has been involved with the climate charity Protect Our Winters UK since its infancy and founded its now widespread coalition of outdoor sports clubs fighting to protect their futures.
As his mentor Belinda has guided Ross through the rollercoaster of founding and launching a business - a journey not for the faint of heart!
Belinda and Ross’ goal is to promote true wardrobe sustainability by caring for the clothes we already own.
Blending traditional textiles skills of the Scottish Borders with an innovative model and modern technology, they hope to make a positive impact, not only for the planet, but also for the future of the Scottish Borders as the industry moves towards greater sustainability.
Favourite Piece of cashmere:
Belinda: Too many favourites to pick one! I was in a fortunate position as a knitwear designer where I could make whatever I loved most. My favourite style is a wide neck to show the neck and collarbones and I love a drape which cashmere lends itself to beautifully as a fibre.
Ross: Admittedly, I have only ever owned one piece of cashmere and it's a jumper I love and care for as if it were my own child. It’s from Naadam, a cool ethical American brand.
Where are you based?
Belinda: I split my time between Elie on the Fife Coast and London
Ross: Having started in the North of Scotland I’ve ended up in London after a couple pit-stops along the way
When you’re not working, how do you like to spend your time?
Belinda: Doing some sort of activity - wild swimming, cycling, regular pilates for wellbeing, skiing and sea kayaking. I’m very fortunate to live on the beach so I spend a lot of my time outside - no matter the weather!
Ross: I love being outside and exploring London on bike. After a year of lockdown, I’ve also been meeting up with pals and reacquainting myself with the pub.
What’s one piece of advice you’d give for younger entrepreneurs starting their businesses?
Belinda: So many its difficult to pick one. Expect to take knocks but always strive to recover. See the top of the mountain and make sure you get there. Work outside your comfort zone.
Ross: The highs will cancel out the lows so buckle up!
What keeps you up at night / what are you paranoid about?
Belinda: A good party. Unfinished tasks.
What do you enjoy the most about this project?
Belinda: To have the wisdom and knowledge coming into this has been enjoyable and sharing this with a younger team extremely rewarding.
Ross: I LOVE hearing the amazing feedback we get from customers. Most of the feedback comes in via email, but occasionally I’ll get a direct phonecall and it provides such a nice boost - great to know we’re making people so happy!
What is something interesting about you that most people don’t know about?
Belinda: I swim every single day in the north sea come rain or shine - wetsuits a big no!
Ross: For a year in 2015 I was ranked number 1 in the UK for my general knowledge of the US sitcom How I Met Your Mother. My proudest achievement to date.