Western & English Today

Summer 2018

W&E Today provides retailers and manufacturers with education and ideas that provoke innovation in the Western and English markets.

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SUMMER 2018 Western & English Today 13 employs as many eco-friendly textiles as possible, with more coming available each year. For example, in lieu of leather collars on hunter jackets, Valentine Equine instead uses fabric or eco-leather composed of recycled materials. "It's not just the environmental impacts of factory farming or the welfare issues for the animals," Harmer says. "e chemicals used in treating leather are problematic for the environment and the people having to undertake the processes." While some argue Valentine Equine's cruelty-free status is restrictive, the brand sees it as an opportunity to be more creative and, as a result, distinguish itself from other companies. For instance, Valentine Equine recently incorporated fabric made of 78 percent ECONYL, which is a 100 percent post-consumer waste polyamide yarn. is flat, so, and stretchy fabric resists oils and provides muscle support. In tandem with quality textiles is a quality fit, crucial elements in competitive performance. "Wearing something fitted while you ride makes you more aware of your position," and better able to make adjustments, Harmer says. at's one reason why four-star rider Colleen Rutledge and Australian Olympic gold medalist Sonja Johnson find Valentine Equine's bespoke offerings particularly enticing. From custom-colored accoutrements like pinneys to custom-fit mainstays like the Shadbelly Tailcoat or Aila Shirt, Valentine Equine's tailored pieces are characterized by confident designs and specialized details. e only step le is for the rider to stride into the winner's circle. Over the next five years, Valentine Equine would rise up the ranks as one of the world's most luxurious brands for those on and off the horse. "e whole reason I started making shirts was purely for the function," Harmer says. "I was riding and teaching in around 90 degrees with 80 percent humidity in four-hour shis. I wanted to be comfortable, stay cool, and look presentable to clients." Valentine Equine's specialty is in the details. Its bibs feature bright binding and rows of crystals, while nine jacket options offer a variety of textures and styles, ranging from a double back split to front pleats, and are available in materials such as luxe velvet, quick-dry air mesh, and shower-proof stretch fabric. ese designs, composed of malleable and long-lasting textiles, are both stunning and useful in the riding arena. Valentine Equine also sets itself apart in another way, with its humane use of textiles and its plastic-free packaging. e company uses no animal products and

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