Elgin-based luxury textiles firm Ava Innes looking to sew up six-figure investment

Moray-based firm Ava Innes, which says its luxury cashmere bedding helps people sleep, is seeking its first round of investment to support growth in the UK and the “booming” US market, eyeing growing demand from high-end hotels.

The Elgin-headquartered business was founded by luxury specialist Joan Johnston, ex-creative director at cashmere firm Johnstons of Elgin, who 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, and it is now seeking £150,000 to increase its production and sales function for its temperature-regulating cashmere guard hair and wool duvets and Scottish wool pillows, which it says help people to sleep better by adjusting to their body temperature.

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'Scotland has a long history of ground-breaking innovation, and I’m proud to follow in those footsteps,' says Ava Innes founder Joan Johnston. Picture: Paul Campbell.
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The firm adds that it identified an opportunity to develop a “unique” and sustainable fabric that was recently recognised by the Intellectual Property Office as a new invention, after capitalising on a by-product of cashmere production.

Ava Innes says that only 30 per cent of fibre brushed from cashmere goats is used in traditional knitting and weaving, with the rest, known as cashmere guard hair, considered a by-product as it is too straight to be spun, and having instead mainly been used as a source of lanolin for shampoo – but the Scottish business saw potential due to the substance being rich in keratin, which has temperature-regulating qualities.

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Ms Johnston explained: “Ava Innes was launched as an online business five months before the pandemic selling direct to the consumer, with 93 per cent 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.

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.

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“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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