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.
Since the 1970’s there has been a move away from British made. Why? Well the closure of many manufacturers in the 1970’s didn’t help. Big names in manufacturing were bought by overseas companies and moved their production abroad. China emerged as a superpower in making things fast and cheap. In order to compete, British companies began to source their materials and labour from less developed countries. As most of us well know, you get what you pay for.
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.
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.
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.
A few Brands that are no longer 100% Made in Britain
- 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.
- 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.
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 in the midst of the Coronavirus Covid-19 outbreak. Many British businesses will suffer during this period, some will continue and some will flourish. British manufacturers are being asked to turn their production to other areas to help the NHS with PPE for example. 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 start to Make it British!
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