The west coast of Scotland has long been renowned for its serene beauty, and now five ‘everyday heroes’ of the area have become the driving force behind a new campaign from luxury British heritage fashion brand, Belstaff.
Belstaff, who are known for their high-end, rugged and practical outerwear, launched the ‘Belstaff x Leica Everyday Heroes’ project as the next installation of their ‘Icons Collection’, which focuses on remarkable individuals amongst normal society.
The brand teamed up with renowned Leica photographer Emily Garthwaite, with the aim to create a campaign that highlighted ‘communities living on the edge’, as well as the ‘wild and free’ landscape of the West Coast itself.
At just 26 years old, Garthwaite is already highly acclaimed. Having recently been included in the Forbes 30 Under 30, the photographer has received numerous accolades for her humanitarian and environmental journalism and has had work exhibited across the likes of the Guardian, BBC News and The Natural History Museum.
Her ‘resilient but soft’ style has been utilised by Belstaff to capture the subjects at the heart of the project.
Perhaps the highest profile member of the five, Guy Grieve is a half Italian, half Scottish author and TV presenter with a taste for extreme adventure amongst a simple existence. Born in South Africa but having settled in Scotland, he relocated to Alaska in 2004 to spend a year living alone, and has also sailed 15,000 miles from Venezuela to Scotland with his family.
Now back on the West Coast, Guy set up the Ethical Shellfish Company in 2010 off the back of his interest in scallop diving. The business aims to support sustainable fishing methods going forward to aid the recovery of British Seas.
In amongst the Inner Hebrides, just off the west coast of Mull, sits the tiny island of Ulva – an area with ancestral history dating back to Mesolithic times. Back in the mid-19th century, Ulva had a population of around 570. Right now, it sits at six. One of those six is Rebecca Munro, who is looking to repopulate the island.
Alongside her husband and young family, Rebecca runs a small café on the island catering to visiting tourists. Her passion, however, lies in the renovation of the many empty houses on the island as part of a community ownership scheme, designed to encourage people to return to Ulva and breathe new life into the island.
The Mossgiel dairy farm sits as an unprecedented success story amongst an industry that has largely fallen upon hard times. This is thanks to its owner, Bryce Cunningham, an Ayrshire based farmer who’s looking to regenerate both Scottish and British farming.
Bryce grew up on the Mossgiel farm, originally bought by his grandfather in the 1940s. After losing both his father and grandfather within the space of one year, he was quickly thrust to the head of the family business. However, by selling directly to consumers and introducing sustainable practices, Mossgiel has thrived under his stewardship.
Off the back of this ethos, Cunningham is now working with the Scottish government on a research project centred around organic, sustainable farming, which he hopes to spread into the wider industry.
Dervaig’s 2,000-acre Antium Farm is home to Fiona Boa, a leading light for female farmers making their mark across the UK. The farm has been in the Boa family for generations, with Fiona leading the helm alongside her semi-retired parents.
Despite the challenging farming conditions of the island, Fiona has made a success of Antium through the introduction of a three-step nutrition programme, which focuses on the health and vitality of the farm’s considerable animal count.
Initially from Scarborough, John Ogden is a popular character and long-established member of the port town community of Oban. Having been a fisherman since the 1970s, John identified a gap in the local tourist market for fresh, local and affordable seafood.
Borne out of this was the now famous Oban Seafood Hut, otherwise known as the Green Shack, still run by Odgen to this day.
Once dubbed the home of the best prawn sandwich in Britain, John’s little green shack has attracted visitors from as far as Australia and America, and plays a huge role in Oban’s phenomenal reputation for seafood.
The five ‘heroes’ of the West Coast all feature on the Belstaff website, clad in a range of the brand’s outerwear.