Shackleton clothing brand says “John Lewis’s Monty is a softy”

Posted by on January 6, 2015 in Company, News, Products | Comments Off

Shackleton clothing brand  says “John Lewis’s Monty is a softy”

Shackleton clothing brand “reclaims penguins” from John Lewis

“Monty is a softy,” taunts company head.

The made-in-Britain clothing brand named after explorer Ernest Shackleton, launches ad design and mocks “lame John Lewis penguin”.

The Christmas TV commercial by John Lewis featured a lovelorn penguin called Monty, which was a huge hit with children and parents. But a small Norfolk-based company which has also launched a campaign based on a penguin theme says that it’s a species much more appropriate to its own heritage than to that of the high street giant.

The Norfolk-based Shackleton brand, which embraces musical instruments, beers and now clothing, is named after Antarctic explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton.

Company founder Simon Middleton says penguins are “much more appropriate to our rugged Antarctic-oriented brand than they are to John Lewis!”

The Shackleton brand, whose made-in-Britain knitwear is actually on sale in the Antarctic at the extremely remote Penguin Post Office in Port Lockroy, on the Antarctic Peninsula, has revealed its new advertisement and catalogue cover which features a penguin ‘showing off’ its new outfit.

“It’s a kind of reversal of the ugly duckling idea. In our ad a young penguin is showing off its warm winter ‘woolly’ to a rather critical-looking adult,” says Middleton.

He added: “Compared to John Lewis’s softy penguin Monty, we think ours are the real deal, and made of the stern stuff it takes to survive and thrive in the Antarctic! By contrast Monty is a lovesick softy, who turns out to be only a stuffed toy in the end anyway. Monty wouldn’t last more than a day outside the comfort of a department store.”

Ernest Shackleton himself had a very unsentimental attitude to penguins. When the great explorer and his men were stranded on Antarctic ice for two years a century ago, their meagre diet was regularly supplemented by hunting for seals and penguins. Seal meat was considered excellent by all involved, but they only ate the penguins out of necessity, because it was so oily and unpleasant tasting.

The Shackleton brand, which sprang out of The Great British Banjo Company last year, is currently engaged in an adventure of its own, attempting to raise £30,000 funding for the development of its clothing range on the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter.

With the campaign running until the end of January, the campaign is 21% funded. In 2013 Middleton led a Kickstarter campaign which raised £48,000 for the prototyping of the company’s Shackleton banjo, the first production banjo to be manufactured in Britain for more than 60 years.

Potential backers can find the Shackleton brand clothing Kickstarter campaign at this link