An introduction from Shackleton Co-Founders, Ian Holdcroft and Martin Brooks.
“It is in our nature to explore, to reach out into the unknown.” – Ernest Shackleton
A century ago, during the Heroic Age of Exploration, courageous men underwent unimaginable hardship to extend the limits of the known world: for science, for country and for honour. Sir Ernest Shackleton remains the most enduring figure of this age.
He based his life on four values: optimism, patience, idealism and courage.
Shackleton led three British expeditions to Antarctica between 1908 and 1922, the most renowned being the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition from 1914 to 1917, widely regarded as one of the most extraordinary stories of courage and survival against the odds. His ship, Endurance, was trapped and crushed by pack ice in the Weddell Sea, leaving the 28-man crew stranded on drifting ice. For months on end, the crew suffered on the ice, until one day Shackleton and five others made a break for South Georgia in a 23ft rowing boat, some 800 miles away over the treacherous Southern Ocean. He returned, 137 days after leaving, to rescue his men.
He was a remarkable leader, able to inspire others to achieve and believe the seemingly impossible, and his optimism was relentless. But he was not reckless. Nicknamed ‘Old Cautious’ by his men, Shackleton was known for weighing up the options in every situation – the wellbeing of his crew meant more to him than success and fame, as demonstrated during his 1907 Nimrod Expedition, when he turned back less than 100 nautical miles short of the South Pole and eternal glory.
Shackleton believed that courage was a trait that lived within everyone, but that it expressed itself differently in every individual. The fact that he was able to draw out the courageous spirit of his crew is testament to his own confidence in his ability to lead. The world continues to marvel at his bravery and character to this day. On a more personal level, he has inspired us both to reach further in our professional lives and personal adventures on land and sea.
We [Founders Ian and Martin] met in 2014 and soon discovered a mutual attraction to both the Heroic Age and to living modern life to the full. Outside of our professional careers, Ian had a passion for endurance sports and testing his limits in mountain and desert ultra-marathons. Martin had a lifelong obsession with the sea and long-distance sailing. Conversations connecting the past with the present led to the idea of building a modern British brand inspired by Sir Ernest. Both of us knew that we wanted to build something with a bedrock of real substance and we soon realised that, at its core, the purpose of our business should be to inspire people to live more courageous lives. We all know it: when we have the courage to overcome our fears, to step into the unknown, that’s when we feel truly alive.
Living this mantra, we quit our sensible jobs in finance and marketing and embarked on a mission to build a world-class company, worthy of The Boss’ great name. We adopted the nine-pointed star from Shackleton’s gravestone as our guiding light – a reminder to live courageously every day. Some days, that’s making tough decisions at work, on others it’s making sure we escape our desks and head out.
We’re on a mission - we’d love for you to join us.
Ian Holdcroft and Martin Brooks
OUR STORY SO FAR...
Ian Holdcroft and Martin Brooks launch Shackleton, backed by the Hon. Alexandra Shackleton
The first Shackleton Endurance Parka is developed, now synonymous with the brand and polar exploration
We develop the Shackleton Explorer Jacket for Aldo Kane's descent into Mount Nyiragongo volcano in the Democratic Republic of Congo
Apparel sponsor to Scott Sears’ record-breaking South Pole expedition
Expedition partner and official apparel supplier to Louis Rudd’s 56-day solo crossing of Antarctica
Sponsor to Adaptive Grand Slam’s Everest climb
Partnership with Antarctic expedition specialists Polar Latitudes to develop the Legacy Jacket
We develop the world’s first extreme-weather photographer’s jacket, the Frank Hurley, in partnership with Leica Camera AG
Ian Holdcroft, Shackleton Co-Founder, rows 2800 miles across the Atlantic Ocean with Felix Five
We open a seasonal pop-up store in Mayfair, London
Our Endurance Parka is awarded ‘Best Winter Jacket 2020’, beating brands including Canada Goose, The North Face and Patagonia
Shackleton named 'Brand of Tomorrow' by Walpole, the British luxury brands association
We open a new store at 11 King's Road, London, featuring a perfect replica of the 23ft lifeboat J. Caird
We partner with NGO Blue Marine Foundation to launch the Antarctic Protector Parka and support the mission to see the designation of four million square kilometres of marine protected areas (MPAs) in the Antarctic
We launch the inaugural Antarctica Now, a seven-day online festival featuring leading experts on all things Antarctica