Scottish social start-up story lives on through Aberdeen design, print and digital specialist

Aberdeen-headquartered design, print and digital expert XIC has announced its takeover of the production of the SQUAD scarf, a multifunctional accessory used in sports and outdoor pursuits, developed in 2016 by Scotland-wide social start-up Social Stuff Ltd.

The acquisition follows managing director Collette Norval’s decision to relocate to her home city of Glasgow to welcome her first child later this year. And XIC, having worked closely with Social Stuff in the manufacture of SQUAD scarves over the past few years, were a natural fit to continue what she started.

Duncan Skinner, chairman of Social Stuff Ltd, said: “Following Collette’s exciting personal news and a subsequent internal strategy, we felt it was the right time to move the business on. After three successful years of trading and growing the SQUAD brand, we’re delighted to be handing over the reins to a local company with a great reputation for quality and service. We’re confident the team at XIC will continue to provide a fantastic product to new and existing SQUAD customers. To have them retain the charitable aspect of the product is fantastic, too, as it was important for us to know the social ethos our business was built on would continue.”

XIC, which will now produce the SQUAD scarf from its purpose-built design and production facility on the south side of Aberdeen, is passionate about maintaining the product’s social impact philosophy.

Managing director, Murray Alexander, explains: “It’s a product we’ve always enjoyed being around and it’s been a pleasure to watch it develop over the last few years. Now, it’s about continuation – the SQUAD story must live on. We’ll absolutely be upholding the SQUAD ethos and, for every scarf we produce, part of the sale will be donated to The Skinner Charitable Trust for reinvestment in their continued philanthropic work.

“We’ll be maintaining the current client base – but also looking to grow into new markets, such as the corporate sector. We’ve been looking to diversify our offering at XIC for quite some time and SQUAD provides an ideal opportunity to focus on a completely different product and work across a variety of new sectors.”

Collette Norval, Social Stuff’s managing director, adds: “The idea behind SQUAD was simple – to create a product that would appeal to sports fans and participants around the globe, whilst being versatile, practical and affordable. We wanted to create a product with a purpose to allow fans to wear their SQUAD with pride knowing that they were also supporting the work we do as a social impact business.”

“I’ve had an amazing experience as a young start-up founder building the Social Stuff business. To have taken our SQUAD product from idea to reality has been incredible. I’m extremely proud of what we’ve achieved in the last few years, working with some of the country’s biggest sports clubs and corporate organisations. Now, I’m excited to see where SQUAD will go from here – and, of course, I’ll continue to support from the sidelines!”

Left to right: Candice Tickle (SQUAD), Jason Moir (XIC), Murray Alexander, Duncan Skinner, Collette Norval

Left to right: Candice Tickle (SQUAD), Jason Moir (XIC), Murray Alexander, Duncan Skinner, Collette Norval

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