THE founder of an online tartan retailer has said it’s her goal to get President Zelenskyy wearing the tartan her team created to show solidarity between Scotland and Ukraine.  

Margo Page McCoy runs Keith-based Great Scot, which went through a rapid design process to create the “Ukraine Forever” tartan combining the colours of the Saltire and Ukrainian flag.  

Her company will be selling the tartan in various forms from scarves to kilts, with all the profits going to the Disaster Emergency Committee’s (DEC) Ukraine fund.

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The DEC is bringing together a number of global aid agencies to support relief operations within Ukraine, as well as those fleeing the terror imposed by Vladimir Putin’s invasion.  

So far, in under a week, the DEC has raised more than £120 million across the UK.

Now Great Scot will be selling the Ukraine Forever tartan to help the appeal. Page McCoy stressed she wanted her business to help in a way that went beyond signing a one-off cheque, and would have a lasting impact. 

“I said listen, what can we do creatively?” the business founder said. “We can weave, we can cut, we can sew. Let’s design something which is totally democratic – let’s get guys in from shipping, customer services, sit down and take what’s normally a several-week process to design a tartan and let’s not leave until we design something.” 

READ MORE: 'Emotive' tartan designed to show solidarity between Scotland and Ukraine

She went on: “For us it’s about what did we generate? What can we as a sovereign nation do to understand the challenges of another sovereign nation and what can we do to feel like we’re leaving a legacy long after this big news story has dissipated, I want to keep on giving so when it’s all done and dusted the next generation pick up the tartan when I’m lying dead in the ground and say ‘oh my god this is the tartan that shows Scotland’s alliance with Ukraine’.” 

“And we’ve got to make sure that every mill that we’re associated with touches this. I want to try to create jobs at every point in the process.” 

Typically it would take weeks to design and produce a new tartan, but staff from across the business came together to create the product over the course of several hours. By the next morning, Page McCoy was on the phone to tartan mills asking them to start weaving, to ensure cash could start flowing and supporting those in need as soon as possible. 

The experience was an emotional one, Page McCoy explained. “When we were in the showroom working on it, there were people shedding tears when we were talking about the reasons why we put this there, centre lines here, this to the left and that to the right, why we wouldn’t use black and why optimism had to shine out of this,” she recalled. 

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Staff work away in the Great Scot offices

It didn’t take long for the design, described by Scotland’s Culture Secretary as “beautiful”, to be put up on the Great Scot website for pre-order – and Page McCoy says the buyers were there immediately. 

“What I’m taken by is how many people are buying, for instance, a scarf, and they’re making statements like ‘don’t bother about sending it to me, can you just donate the scarf as well’?” she told The National. “The kindness coming from people … it gives you goosebumps.” 

And as well as the orders and donations – the website now has a system where customers can give any amount of cash directly to the DEC – Page McCoy says there has been an “outpouring” of supportive messages from Ukraine, all across Europe, America and all around the world. 

It would be the business founder’s dream for President Zelenskyy to see and wear the tartan demonstrating Scotland’s solidarity with his country, she said. 

“I’m going to send a kilt to President Zelenskyy, I’m sending him a kilt,” she insisted.  

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addresses MPs in the House of Commons

“See the first kilt that comes through, it’s going to President Zelenskyy. I said if I’ve got to strap it to my back with an AK47 I’ll take it myself.  

“The integrity of that man. He is … talk about an honourable Scot! My God, I’ll put a kilt on him. My personal target is to walk in to that man and say let me do up your kilt, son.” 

The Ukraine Forever tartan, which has been registered with the Scottish Tartans Authority, is now available to pre-order on the Great Scot website and products will be sent out to customers in the coming weeks. There’s no limit on how long the product will be on sale for, Page McCoy said. 

“I won’t stop, it’ll be on our website for as long as you want,” she explained. “We’ll just keep weaving and cutting and sewing, that’s what we’re going to do.”