AMG Group brings together a family of trusted brands focused on enjoying the great outdoors.
We own Vango, Force Ten, Black’s of Greenock, Lichfield and Mitco. We are the global licensee for Anatom and Teko, and the UK distributor for Rossignol, Trangia and Wayfayrer. Our roots go back to 1847, crafting ship sails on the River Clyde.
Thomas Black found that our tough fabrics made strong tents, and as outdoor pursuits became popular, our tents became icons of the outdoors lifestyle.
We’ve learnt a thing or two since then and today we make over 2,000 products and reach 50 countries.
We pioneered inflatable tents and caravan awnings, establishing AirBeam® as the market leader of air tents and vehicle awnings.
With our lightweight, technical tents and rucksacks, we are the recommended equipment supplier to the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme.
We continue to keep learning and growing. We strive to continue to innovate great products and build strong partnerships, and in every area of our business, we are always looking for the next opportunity.
Through the years
Andrew Mitchell & Co. was founded. Based on the River Clyde, near Glasgow, the original business of the company was developing fabrics for the thriving shipping industry.
Black’s of Greenock was established. Sail fabric and stitching techniques proved to be ideal for the construction for strong tents. Black’s of Greenock now has a long history in making durable canvas tents for Scouts, Guides, and many other youth organisations.
Led by the Moodie family, Andrew Mitchell & Co. acquired the tentmaker James McIlwraith & Co. based in Govan, Glasgow.
It became apparent that some customers were struggling to read, write and pronounce ‘McIlwraith & Co’. Keen to not let this issue affect the popularity of the tents, Alastair Moodie Snr scrambled the letters of ‘Govan’ and came up with ‘Vango’.
Hamish Hamilton and Alastair Moodie Snr sketched a new tent design on the back of a Capstan cigarette packet. This became the basis for the Vango Force Ten Classic. It was the first use of an integrated flysheet and ‘A’ pole as part of the tent – making it easier to get in and out, while at the same time maximising stability.
The company explored the ski market with Vango skiwear, UK distribution of Blizzard skis, Kastinger ski boots and Salomon bindings. During this collaboration Salomon became the leading wintersports brand in the UK.
Vango Force Ten Tents were used by Chris Bonington and Doug Scott on the British South West Face Everest Expedition. The tents went on to be used on many other Himalayan expeditions throughout the seventies and eighties.
Vango was bought by Black’s & Edgington Plc, owners of Black’s of Greenock and Millets.
Following a reorganisation, the Moodie family were able to reacquire Vango, Black’s of Greenock and Andrew Mitchell. Vango continued its innovations, with Alastair Jnr. developing and patenting the Quattro mummy shaped sleeping bag.
The Tension Band System® was developed in co-operation with Aarn Tate. A wind stabilisation mechanism for hoop tents, it continues to be an integral part of Vango tent design to this day.
AMG Group were appointed as the sole UK distributors for Rossignol. Now in its third decade, the AMG Rossignol partnership continues to thrive.
Vango developed and launched ProTex® waterproof and breathable fabrics. Designed for performance outdoor clothing and equipment.
Deckers Corporation appointed AMG Group as the UK distributor of Teva, Simple and UGG Australia footwear. The partnership was an overwhelming success and the Group enjoyed distributing the brands for eight, highly successful, years.
Vango connected with Shelterbox, a disaster relief agency providing emergency supplies, including Vango tents to victims of natural disasters. Vango continues to develop tentage for these very demanding and varied environments. ShelterBox has provided emergency aid for well over 1 million people in the past 10 years.
Vango began working directly with the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, designing tents and equipment for expedition use. Encouraging the next generation to enjoy and explore the great outdoors is core to the Vango values.
Vango AirBeam® technology was launched and revolutionised family camping. After 12 years in development, the technology was ready. Inflatable tubes replace traditional poles, allowing large tents to be pitched incredibly quickly. Within a couple of years, the technology was rolled out into caravan and motorhome awnings.
After decades of being an informal favourite amongst Scouts, The Scout Association chose Vango to be their official partner for camping equipment.
AMG Group acquired the licensing rights to the Anatom Footwear and Teko socks. Technical outdoor brands, born and tested in Scotland.