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A husband and wife team who run an ethical outdoor lifestyle brand have secured a six-figure investment from The North West Fund for Venture Capital, managed by Enterprise Ventures, and private investors.

Millican was founded in 2009 by Jorrit and Nicky Forbes-Jorritsma and is based in Keswick in the Lake District. The company creates premium bags and accessories for outdoor living and travel and is known for its functional designs, sustainable materials and timeless style.

Founders of Millican Jorrit (left) and Nicky Forbes-Jorritsma (right) at Borrowdale cave

Millican founders Jorrit (left) and Nicky Forbes-Jorritsma (right) at Borrowdale cave

Since its launch, it has become a respected active lifestyle brand, and sells through a network of distributors in Northern Europe and Japan. In the past 12 months, Millican has also launched a number of collaborations with leading brands including menswear label Universal Works and Fujifilm’s X-Series premium cameras.

The brand is named after the original outdoorsman, Millican Dalton. This self-styled ‘Professor of Adventure’ and Lake District legend lived in a Borrowdale cave near Keswick in the early 1900s.

His values and life story inspired Jorrit and Nicky to create an active lifestyle brand, at a time when more consumers are looking for high quality, authentic and sustainable brand experiences.

In launching Millican, the couple combined their passion for outdoor travel with their extensive brand management experience gained with leading consumer and FMCG brands including Kangol, Gill, Gordon’s and Hennessy. Millican currently employs four people in Keswick.

The North West Fund for Venture Capital, which is financed jointly by the European Regional Development Fund and the European Investment Bank, is investing in the business alongside private investors.

Doug Stellman of Enterprise Ventures, which manages The Fund, said: “Nicky and Jorrit have built a strong brand which appeals to adventurous, eco-friendly travellers worldwide. The company will use the funding to develop several new product ranges and continue its expansion into new markets.”

Jorrit Jorritsma of Millican said: “We’re delighted to partner with The North West Fund for Venture Capital, alongside our private investors. The additional funding will allow us to expand beyond the foundations we’ve built in the first four years, launch an exciting new collection later this year and look for new wholesale partners in North America, Asia and Europe.”