A few days ago over Christmas, Sara Shaw from Harrogate printed 25 sweatshirts with the HGTE logo to sell in her shop and raise money for the Harrogate Homeless Project.
Fast forward just a few years and HGTE has raised over £14,000 for the Harrogate Homeless Project, expanded the range and is now embarking on a new collaboration with fellow Harrogate BrewBar.
Sara said: “Honestly, I thought my friends and family might buy the first batch out of kindness to me and as great Christmas gifts, but I was delighted with the feedback and embarked on the development of the range, from sweatshirts to what is now a range of fashion and lifestyle pieces.”
Sara successfully ran the Violet store in Harrogate for several years and her passion for well-made, sustainable style is the foundation of the HGTE collection.
She added: “The collection includes unisex sweatshirts, hoodies and t-shirts in premium organic cotton, plus a growing range of accessories including a reusable and upcycled coffee mug, the all with a simple and easily identifiable HGTE varsity-style logo.”
HGTE is short for Harrogate, which makes the collection popular with locals, but the collection and the charity it supports have attracted an international fan base with pieces published worldwide.
Sara explained: ‘When I had a shop in Harrogate I wanted to support a local charity with a percentage of the profits and I arranged to go and see the Harrogate Homeless Project as it was just a few streets away and the subject of roaming was something I had thought about a lot.
“At the time, my children were older teenagers and I couldn’t help worrying about the young men so often seen on the streets and thinking about my own children and their friends.
“I wanted to learn more about the drivers of homelessness and then I was convinced by the great long-term work the Harrogate Homeless Project is doing, trying to not only raise donations for them, but also raise awareness and this is where the idea of a where the actual product comes from – it could make money and also be a talking point.
“The collection is great but, more importantly, it does great things.
“The aim is to support a vital local charity with a quality, ethical and sustainable product.”
Jenni Moulson, Chair of the Harrogate Homeless Project Board, said: “Sara has been a long-time supporter of the Harrogate Homeless Project and her regular donations from the sale of her fine range of products have already had a real impact on the lives of homeless people in the Harrogate area.
“As we celebrate our 30th anniversary and plan to expand our day center services, where people can access emotional and practical support, food, GP and other health services, Sara’s continued and sustained support makes a huge difference to our charity and those we support. ”
Sara added: “I was looking for a new home for the range and Simon, owner of BrewBar and a big supporter of the initiative, approached me with the offer to work together on a collection for his cafe.
“It’s a great fit for the brand as BrewBar is located right in the heart of a thriving residential area of Harrogate, just off the famous Stray and it has such a loyal following thanks to the brilliant customer service of its teams – I don’t couldn’t say no.”
Simon Somerville-Frost, owner of BrewBar, added: “Sara’s charitable efforts have both inspired us and aligned us with our own ethos of being a community cafe dedicated to bringing people together and helping those in need.
“In our collaboration, we provide space for Sara’s vision to come to fruition, and the feedback has been great.
“Seeing the benefits of these contributions to the community is truly humbling, but being apart with someone like Sara is even more so, and we’re looking to continue that to give back to the community. .”
The new collection in collaboration with BrewBar includes unisex organic cotton t-shirts in a range of colors priced at £25 and a reusable coffee mug priced at £12.50, with £5 each donated to Harrogate Homeless Project.