homenews and insights case studies renewable energy powering a tartan revolution

Renewable energy – Powering a tartan revolution

Prickly thistle cloth

Entrepreneur Clare Campbell chose SSE Green Electricity to power her vision of a tartan mill in the Highlands for the first time in over 20 years.

Prickly Thistle designs and manufactures artisan textiles for modern times. Sustainability is woven throughout the bespoke tartan company, helping win an enthusiastic customer base that includes distillers, global brands and people celebrating personal events.

Our customers really care about sustainability. Most people jump to the conclusion that the clan system must work for us as a sales tool, but sustainability is proving more powerful than the Scottish element.

Clare Campbell
Prickly Thistle’s founder

Key facts: Prickly Thistle

Clare Campbell

Operations: Manufacturing

No. of employees: 10

The problem: Sourcing a sustainable power supply to run 100-year-old looms, as well as sewing machines, lighting and so on.

The solution: A 100% renewable SSE Green Electricity contract.

The value of solid environmental credentials

“It was important to go with green energy because we want to be as sustainable – and Scottish – as we can, and to find an electricity supplier with the infrastructure to supply our building,” says Clare.

“SSE Energy Solutions was the most well-known name, with the Scottish connection.” SSE was formed in 1998 following the merger of Scottish Hydro Electric and Southern Electric. “And plenty of renewable power comes from Scottish rivers and dams, as well as the wind on the hills that we’re nestled among.”

SSE Green Electricity is wind and hydro power matched to energy used from the national grid. It’s backed by Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin (REGOs) and independently verified by EcoAct, which proves it comes from renewable sources.

SSE’s vision is to be a leading energy provider in a low-carbon world and it’s investing in renewable energy in Scotland and elsewhere, planning to treble output by 2030.

Our SSE Green certificate is on display inside our mill. It’s important that it’s verified because it adds to our credibility.

Clare Campbell
Prickly Thistle’s founder
Prickly Thistle machine

Making sustainability a core value, showing integrity and being transparent about greener decisions is helping Prickly Thistle build a solid customer base. “We heavily promote sustainability and what we’re learning on our journey, actually more than our products, via social media,” says Clare.

“We want to be as sustainable as possible. It’s hard work as a start-up, but worth it – I don’t think there’s another option. It’s about recycling, composting waste wool and so on. We’ve even said no to commissions that would have produced too much waste.”

“SSE is a well-recognised and reputable organisation, and validation by a third party helps show we’re doing our due diligence. With digital communication, customers can ask anything and if it’s not shared there’s a question mark. I’m excited that companies now have to walk the walk, not just talk the talk.”

Artfield Fell Wind Farm

SSE renewable energy

SSE has around 4GW renewable energy capacity across the UK and Ireland.

  • 52 hydro power stations
  • 42 wind farms

With a further 7GW of off- and on-shore wind power in the pipeline, SSE is making a significant contribution to net zero targets.

For more on how to power your business sustainably, contact us. Find out more about SSE Green or read our energy efficiency tips for manufacturers.