The founder of a successful Scots clothing brand has said he has no regrets about "turning his back on capitalism" and switching his business to a social enterprise.

Ross Geddes said he was warned the move was akin to "commercial suicide" but is about to open his second store in Glasgow's south side.

All products at Finnieston Clothing are made in either the UK or Portugal, with a focus on sustainable materials and local producers that appeal to "conscious consumers".

Its knitwear and beanies are made in Stewarton; cord coats made in Fife; and they work with a Dundee cotton mill while jackets in the winter 24 line will be produced with wool from a sheep farm in Eaglesham, run by his 91-year-old grandpa.

The 37-year-old launched the brand in 2020, selling workwear-inspired garments from its Byres Road branch and a successful online store.

The Herald: Ross Geddes donates all the profits from his clothing brand to charity Ross Geddes donates all the profits from his clothing brand to charity (Image: Ross Geddes)

He says the closure of the shop soon after due to lockdown and the stress of "ordering too much stock" led to his mental health deteriorating and alcohol became his coping mechanism.

He was later diagnosed with ADHD and says all of this led to a re-think about his business model.

While business costs including salaries are paid, profits are donated to charities and initiatives related to mental health and the environment.

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“It’s been an awakening," said the father-of-one, who started to pay more attention to his health and wellbeing and has since quit alcohol and coffee.

 "It feels like I’ve been turned inside out, so it was inevitable the business would have to change too.

"Having a capitalistic business no longer worked for me, so if it was to keep going, a purpose-driven business was the only option. 

"I’m so grateful to have my partner, a healthy baby and a roof over my head – I want to give something back. I’ve found peace, for now, but many haven’t. There’s a mental health crisis – and we know we can help.

The Herald: Ross Geddes, far left' was warned the decision to switch to a social enterprise was akin to 'commercial suicide' Ross Geddes, far left' was warned the decision to switch to a social enterprise was akin to 'commercial suicide' (Image: StoryShop)

"Every single time you buy a Finnieston product, you will help to promote and aid mental, physical, and environmental health in Scotland and beyond.

"People in the industry have described my decision to switch to a social enterprise as ‘commercial suicide’, but that’s a risk I’m willing to take.”

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He says he decided to make serious changes to the business in a bid to halt what he describes as the fashion industry’s greed-driven ‘race to the bottom’. 

As well as selling its own products in-store, Finnieston also stocks a select collection of other brands, but Geddes has discontinued a number of lines due to rising prices, despite a marked drop in quality.

He said: “I refuse to sell poor quality clothing made cheaply for eye-watering prices.

"It’s a race to the bottom. ​​We want to be the antithesis to fast fashion. Clothes built to last, built for purpose, and built for the future.

"All our clothes have a long lifespan – we always think about cost per wear – and we offer a repair service. They’re investible pieces. 

“Going forward, we will educate consumers about the industry so they can be more informed.

"We will be transparent about the costs involved in making our garments and where those profits go."

He says brands are being cornered into compromising on quality or selling clothing at prices "most people can't afford".

He said: "It’s cheaper to go to the Far East, but we’re standing by our commitment to quality, and we always make conscious decisions about where the products are made.”

Finnieston’s second store will open this week in Shawlands and the owner believes there is still a major appetite for "bricks and mortar" shopping.

He said: "I’m sticking to my guns and focusing less on online where fashion brands are fighting a losing battle. 

“We’re appealing to conscious consumers who want to feel and touch the garments, who are more likely to shop local, and who want to make a positive impact with their purchasing decisions.

“I’ve always wanted to open a unit in the southside. It’s where I live and we know from our online orders that much of our demand comes from that area.

"There’s enough cafes in that area – it’s time for a few more shops.”