Proud ‘Sanddancers’ can now show off their birthplace as a new clothing brand celebrates South Shields

A new clothing brand is celebrating South Shields with a range of garments inspired by the seaside town.

Sand Dancer Clothing, which launched in October is encouraging people to be proud of where they come from, while also raising funds for charity.

The term ‘Sand dancer’ is a colloquialism used to describe those who come from the town of South Shields, although its origins are somewhat disputed.

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The clothing range which includes T-shirts, sweatshirts and canvas tote bags is available to buy from The Word in South Shields, with £1 from every sale going to Cancer Research UK.

Andy Campbell with Lavender Lasses Cancer Research fundraiser Hilary Jago. A percentage is going to charity from the sale of Sanddancer design clothing brand on sale at The Word, South Shields.

The brand is the brainchild of local clothing designer Andy Campbell, who has over three decades of experience in the industry.

Dad-of-two, Andy, was a former menswear designer for the South Shields-based clothing supplier, Visage Imports which folded in 2013, before working in Manchester and Hong Kong.

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He later returned to his beloved hometown in South Tyneside and in 2017 branched out on his own.

“I’ve been thinking about the term ‘Sand dancer’ as regional colloquialism a lot over the years, and wanted to do something with it,” said the 51-year-old.

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Andy Campbell with his Sanddancer design clothing brand on sale at The Word, South Shields.

“In 2015 I registered the brand but nothing ever came of it. Then two years later I started my own company because I wanted to do my own designs.

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“I approached The Word about a month ago and they really liked it. They support local authors and crafts people, so why wouldn’t they support a local designer?”

He continued: “It’s early days but it’s had a really good reaction, it’s far surpassed my expectations.

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“There’s a lot of local people and expats who are buying them as gifts. Young and old alike are interested, it’s been popular across the board.”

Andy Campbell's Sanddancer design clothing brand on sale at The Word, South Shields
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Andy sees the brand as an opportunity to promote South Shields further afield and is looking at other areas to expand into.

“The brand speaks for itself, it’s about being proud to be a Sand dancer, so I hope its doing something good for the region,” he continued.

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“We’re trying to involve the local skate park and surf school.

“We want to link up with like-minded people who are proud to be from the area.”

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Find @SanddancerClothing on Facebook or at