The Importance of Buying BritishBy Angela Marshall, 10th May 2011
The Royal Wedding was a great example of how well the British do pageantry and celebrations but it also showcased the strengths of many of our industries, particularly in fashion. From the designer of the wedding dress, the embroidery, the fabrics, the wedding ring and jewellery, to the tailoring of the two Princes Army outfits, which were made by the renowned coat and uniform makers Kashket & Partners Ltd in London. So much of the work that went into these has a long history in the UK.
With all the various problems happening in the world, the costs of oil, materials and freight going up and even labour charges increasing in the Far East, the UK is gain looking increasingly attractive for retailers to source clothing manufactured here in the UK. The quality of overseas goods is also becoming a greater issue.
We, as consumers, also need to be supportive of buying British and should choose British items where possible.
- The standard and quality of clothes made in the UK is extremely high. Items for a particular clothing brand are likely to be of a consistent standard size, rather than the variation we often find with those manufactured in the Far East.
- We need to ensure the expertise of our pattern cutters, trained machinists, plus specialist skills such as embroidery and tailoring are not lost.
- Obviously the more of home made products we buy will generate more work and jobs for the people in this country and, therefore, will be better for the UK economy.
Sir Philip Green’, of Arcadia group (BHS and Topshop, ) at the Retail Week conference came out in support of a return to British manufacturing, stating the time is right to examine opportunities to re-open UK factories and that Arcadia will try to bring more production to British shores. Clarks Originals has joined forces with the Scottish manufacturer Thistle & Broom to produce a limited-edition women’s desert boot for autumn 2011.
Draper’s magazine also launched an SOS campaign earlier in the year to help bring back grass-roots dressmaking skills, such as for students at the University for the Creative Art’s (UCA) through the Hand Embroidery foundation degree that was delivered by the Royal School of Needlework (RSN) at Hampton Court Palace. Unknowing to them, they worked to create the bespoke lace used on Kate Middleton’s wedding dress, veil and footwear, which was designed by Alexander McQueen creative director Sarah Burton. Hopefully this will give a great boost
in people being interested in learning this skill.