Today we paid a visit to Kinloch Anderson. They are a company based here in Ediburgh that manufacture tradition highland dress and high quality menswear, womenswear, childrenswear, leather goods, shoes, household textiles, and accessories. They claim to make the best kilts in the world. Starting at 550 pounds for a kilt, I sure hope they are the best! Kilts are an iconic part of Scotland’s culture and identity. They are part of traditional Scottish dress. Men wear kilts for special occasions, like weddings or other important celebrations. Tartan is the design on the kilts, which we call plaid in America. Tartan can be used to communicate the wearer’s region of origin, family, religious affiliation, education, and much more. I was surprised to learn how big the tartan industry is here in Scotland. There are around 4,000 jobs in the tartan industry, and the production and sale of tartan makes up 5% of Scotland’s GDP. Kilts are not a thing of the past. They are a part of modern Scottish culture. The is a debate around who can wear tartan. Traditionalists believe that only people who part of one of the old Scottish clans should wear tartan. Modernists believe tartan should be shared and can be worn by anyone. Kinloch Anderson says they try to stay out of the debate, but do lean more toward the modernist side. One important thing about Kinloch Anderson is that they have royal warrants to make tartan for the royal family. They make tartan for the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, and the Prince of Wales. The company has been family run for 6 generations. It goes to show how important tartan is to Scotland. It is such an iconic part of Scottish identity and powerful tool for communication.