SAMS news room

Ocean-inspired tartan to celebrate the ‘SAMS Clan’

SAMS Director Prof Nicholas Owens models the new SAMS Ocean Explorer tartan
SAMS Director Prof Nicholas Owens models the new SAMS Ocean Explorer tartan

SAMS, the oldest independent marine science institute in Scotland, will launch its newly registered tartan at this year’s Oban Winter Festival.

The SAMS Ocean Explorer tartan has been created to celebrate the beauty of our seas and the important historical and ongoing discoveries made by marine scientists in Scotland.

It was designed by Jessica Giannotti, in collaboration with Dr Anuschka Miller, head of communications at SAMS. Jessica is a graduate of SAMS’ BSc Marine Science, who runs her own textiles and fashion company, Crùbag, which is based on site at SAMS in Dunstaffnage.

The tartan will be officially launched at the winter festival’s Sustainable Ocean Fashion event, in Crùbag’s studio on Thursday, November 24, from 4pm. The event will also mark the unveiling of Crùbag’s new Climate Change Collection, a range of clothing and textiles designed to highlight the beauty of our planet and the ongoing climate crisis.

Anuschka said: “SAMS has evolved over the past 138 years to mean different things to different people, although the core mission of what we do has remained: to better understand the marine environment.

“The SAMS tartan will reflect that diversity of identity, while promoting our main purpose. It also celebrates that our global research is rooted in Scotland and allows our friends and collaborators across the world to express their pride of being part of the SAMS Clan.”

Founded as a research station in 1884 in Edinburgh by Sir John Murray, the SAMS of today is a research institute, a registered charity, a partner of UHI and an enterprise company all in one. With a new development and fundraising initiative encouraging others to become part of the SAMS mission for sustainable and healthy oceans, the tartan will also celebrate the institute’s partnerships and supporters as a part of ‘Clan SAMS’. 

The tartan’s dominant medium blue represents the global ocean, while the light blue stands for clean water and air. The white symbolises Scotland’s connection with, and SAMS’ research expertise in, the Arctic while the yellow represents biodiversity and oceanographic technologies. The purple recognises SAMS’ deep commitment to the community, to education and to the founding partnership with UHI, while the bright green stands for SAMS’ mission for a sustainable ocean future where human society is in harmony with nature.

Jessica said: “Crùbag envisions a better, more connected world where humans are not separate from nature, but part of the ecosystem. This collaboration is very close to our heart and home.

“With SAMS' wearable tartan pieces, everyone is invited to become part of the SAMS Clan. By wearing and sharing the story behind the design, our customers are our ocean ambassadors—educating, inspiring others around them and helping fund important environmental science.”

The tartan was beautifully woven by The House of Edgar, part of Macnaughton Holdings Ltd. Various SAMS Ocean Explorer tartan garments will be available for purchase from the Crùbag studio and at the Oban Winter Festival Christmas Market in the Corran Halls on Saturday November 26. Thereafter, purchases can be made from the Crùbag website.