Buy British | Buy British Campaign |
Buy British. It just rolls of the tongue dosen’t it? It’s been the slogan of quite a few National campaigns throughout the years, with different governments trying to encourage the British population to Make it British made and Buy British to support the economy and keep people in jobs. We think we need another Buy British Campaign and really get the support of the nation behind it. Now with the power of social media we could actually have a successful Buy British campaign with your help.
How you can help support the Buy British Campaign!
I'm Backing Britain 1968 - British Campaign
Back in 1968, Britain was in the economic doldrums. Then five young female typists working at Colt Ventilation and Heating Ltd in Surbiton, made a New Year’s resolution. To work an extra half an hour a day without any extra pay. This statement was quickly picked up by the press and the movement had begun. Other companies also started to announce that their employees would also be extra for no extra pay. Then Harold Wilson, the then Prime Minister gave his backing. Suddenly a media storm erupted and the secretaries were at the centre of it. Before you knew it, hastily made “I’m Back Britain T-shirts, mugs and badges were being made….in Portugal…
The patriotic enthusiasm of Britain had fed into the anxieties of the nation about the state of the country’s decline, due to badly trained and poorly motivated employees. However, the trade unions however were not impressed. especially with people coming in without being paid overtime.
By early March of 1968, the movement was past its peak. Bruce Forsyth had a song out that sold a few copies, and by the second half of the year, the secretaries were only coming into work early a few times.
So after more than 50 years, can the nation get behind a Buy British campaign, and get a movement together to encourage people to be proud and do their bit to buy more British products?
More than ever, with Brexit, Covid-19 and the current UK recession, we really really do need it…
"Nothing is made in Britain anymore"!
I bet you have heard people say ” Britain dosen’t make anything anymore ” That’s clearly not true, but you can see where they are coming from. Once big names in manufacturing have either disappeared or been taken over by companies in other countries. Some businesses make out like they are British made when in reality they are only designed in Britain. They are then made abroad, or just finished off in this country. Normally if a company makes their products in Britain then they will clearly say so on the product or website.
If you see the words, British Designed, it was probably made somewhere else. To find out more about a company and the products it makes, scroll down the website page and click on the about us link. This will usually tell you the company history, where they source their materials and all about their manufacturing of the products. If it is still unclear where the product is made then you can always email them to be sure.
Buy British...How do you know if it's Made in Britain?
How do you find British made products? For many, it’s just a matter of typing into Google, search terms such as British made shoes or Womenswear Made in Britain for example. But this can bring up a whole load of websites that sell men’s clothes that aren’t Made in Britain. This is time consuming, and can get frustrating when you are mislead into thinking an item is made in this country. So why not bookmark our British Business Directory and check out some of the best British made products? Also, make sure you check the About us page on a website. This may tell you where the products are made. And if in doubt, just email or call them. Don’t make the mistake of ordering first only to find a “Made in China” label attached.
Find Made in Great Britain products
The reason why Made in Great Britain was to help people find British made products easier and encourage them to Buy British more often. In the British Business Directory we put together categories of 100% British made items. You can shop for British made Menswear, British Beauty and Skincare, Sports and Outdoors and more. And then you will be confident that you know exactly where it was made.
It’s not an exclusive list of all British made As a business, we promote companies and manufacturers in the directory who decide to advertise with Made in Great Britain. But we also put them in one place as well as writing Best of British blog posts about some of our favourite British and UK brands. So if you want quick access to British and UK made products, just bookmark Made in Great Britain and our British Business Directory. New businesses are added all the time so be sure to keep checking back. You can also find The Made in Great Britain blog here.
British Brands are not always made in Britain
If someone wanted to Buy British and asked you to name some truly British made products brands, you may be forgiven for naming some of the following. They may make some of their lines here and may have at one time made entirely in this country, but they are not always a 100% exclusively Made in UK brand now.
- Barbour – Founded in 1894 and home to the iconic wax jacket, Barbour may be one of the first names off your tongue when asked about a British made clothing brand. And although they still make jackets in their South Shields factory, some of their other jackets are made in places such as Portugal, Bulgaria and Turkey.
- Dr Martens – With it’s headquarters based in the Northamptonshire, and an iconic symbol of the 1970’s and 80’s punk movement, many people insist on the quality and style of a Dr Martens shoe or boot. Unfortunately only a small percentage are still Made in England with many now made in China and Thailand. It’s easy to spot which ones are Made in Britain. Just look inside the tongue of the boot or shoe and notice the not so attractive stamp of Made in Thailand.
- New Balance – New Balance were founded in Boston USA. Yes they do make 30% of their trainers in Frimley, England, but most are made in the USA, so be sure you check they are from the Made in UK range before buying.
- Burberry – Founded in 1856 in Basingstoke, Hampshire this very British brand produced outerwear for explorers to the military. The iconic Burberry check is a trademarked design. They still manufacture in the UK, but also in China, India, USA and Europe.
- Clarks Shoes – Steeped in history, Clarks shoes were founded way back in 1826 in Somerset. Well known for their comfort and practicality, Clarks were worn by British army officers in World War 2. Their shoes are now made in China, India, Brazil and Vietnam after their British factory closed. ( update, Clarks now announce that as from early next year, they will be making shoes in their new state of the art facility in Somerset. Please check before buying as Clarks keep changing where they now manufacture.
- These are just a few fashion and shoe brands that many people will quote as being, Made in UK or Great Britain. If you really want to find British made, then either do your research first or bookmark our website and British Business Directory.
British owned is not the same as British made
There are no exact rules for how much of a product needs to be made in this country before adding the Made in Britain stamp. But if you go by the 1968 trade descriptions act, “Goods shall have been deemed to have been manufactured or produced in the country they last underwent a treatment or process resulting in a substantial change “
So its not about a certain percentage, it’s about substantial changes being made. Having a product designed in Britain is not enough to display the name, neither is just supplying the parts. It also does not matter whether company is British owned or not.
Companies on our Made in Great Britain website manufacture in Britain. A few may also make a couple of products elsewhere but that is stated on their website. There may be cases where a company uses raw materials from other countries such as Italian leather for example. It is quite alright to purchase textiles or materials required for making a product from overseas. But there must be a substantial change to the end product in the final processes to display the country of origin. As a rule, we at Made in Great Britain only want to show businesses who actually make, design and produce British made products.
Try your best to Buy British and support our economy
As we all know, situations change. At the time of writing this article, we are still living in the so called, “new normal” and feeling the effects of the Coronavirus Covid-19 outbreak. To add to that, which was inevitable the UK economy has now entered recession. It is even more important than ever to support UK companies, manufacturers, and independent businesses that make their products here. Many British businesses will suffer during this period. Some will continue and some will flourish. British manufacturers have started to make face masks and coverings with off cut materials, just to help with their turnover. But ultimately some will close and we could lose skilled craftspeople in the process.
We must support these businesses as best we can through this difficult period. Whether it’s an item of clothing, a piece of bespoke furniture, a new bicycle or gardening equipment. If we try to just make it British made, it could make all the difference to businesses, small and large. Yes you may have to pay a little extra or in some cases a lot extra. But as we mentioned earlier in this post, you get what you pay for.
Think how you feel when you own something, Made in Britain, Made in UK or Made in England. Surely that feels 100% greater than seeing Made in China or Turkey for example. You can be sure of where the materials were sourced and that the workers were paid a fair wage. You also know that the quality will be superior. We need to get away from this throwaway society and buy quality British goods that are built to last and can be passed on or re-sold.
So lets all get behind the Buy British concept, and invest a little more time and if we can, money, and help boost the economy. And when we do come out of the other side, after Brexit, Covid-19 and the recession, let’s not just forget them and then go back to buying cheap imports, fast fashion, inferior quality and un-ethical, un-sustainable products from around the world. You can also join our Buy British Campaign Facebook group here.