Wear­ing the runes

One T-shirt made ear­lier this year has led to the birth of a new Som­er­set cloth­ing com­pany


here did you get that T-shirt?” The ques­tion was con­stantly asked of Zed Phoenix when he was work­ing be­hind the bar at the George & Pil­grim ho­tel in Glas­ton­bury.

As it hap­pens, he’d de­signed the T-shirt him­self, but af­ter so many con­stant re­quests he and his part­ner Laura An­der­son came up with the idea of print­ing 50 more shirts.

As quickly as they were pro­duced, they sold out.

“So then we got a li­cence and started sell­ing them in the street over the sum­mer.”

What be­gan as one item of cloth­ing, made by Zed be­cause he’d “wanted to buy a

‘I never dreamed for one sec­ond that we’d end up with a cloth­ing com­pany’

Glas­ton­bury T-shirt and couldn’t find one”, quickly es­ca­lated.

The cou­ple made more de­signs, started print­ing on other size and style shirts and hood­ies, and ended up with a suc­cess­ful com­pany, Glas­ton­bury Orig­i­nal, sup­ply­ing cloth­ing to the town’s tourist in­for­ma­tion cen­tre.

Their ini­tial de­sign, which fea­tures Glas­ton­bury Tor sur­rounded by a set of runes, holds a per­sonal sig­nif­i­cance for Zed. The rune mark­ings sym­bol­ise good luck and for­tune in life’s jour­ney, a mes­sage which film­maker Zed held dear when, be­fore ar­riv­ing in Glas­ton­bury and while liv­ing in Lon­don, he’d em­barked on a hitch­hik­ing mis­sion to In­dia.

He con­fesses that he knew noth­ing about Glas­ton­bury but trav­elled to the town on the sug­ges­tion of a stranger. He re­calls sit­ting hav­ing a cof­fee in the Blue Note café, won­der­ing what to do next, when a fel­low cus­tomer men­tioned a room where he could stay – and shortly af­ter walk­ing into the George & Pil­grim, he was of­fered a job.

It seemed ev­ery­thing was head­ing in the right di­rec­tion and he quickly fell in love with the town.

He then met Laura who had grown up lo­cally, left to work in the food in­dus­try in a prod­uct de­vel­op­ment role be­fore re­turn­ing to her roots to fol­low a long held de­sire to work in hor­ti­cul­ture – work­ing in a florists and do­ing a floristry course.

True to their rune mes­sage, the cou­ple both love ad­ven­ture and travel, but are cur­rently busy work­ing on their Glas­ton­bury cloth­ing de­signs which are sell­ing out as fast as they can make them.

“You can’t plan this,” re­flects Zed. “I’d had an in­cred­i­ble ex­pe­ri­ence com­ing here. I’m proud to be in Glas­ton­bury and I’d just wanted a T-shirt that said that. It’s some­thing very, very sim­ple. I never dreamed for one sec­ond that we’d end up with a cloth­ing com­pany!” glas­ton­bury­o­rig­i­nal.co.uk

ABOVE:Laura An­der­son and Zed Phoenix of Glas­ton­bury Orig­i­nal

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