While British fashion is known worldwide, 100% British-manufactured clothing can be harder to find. Despite UK brands receiving global acclaim, around 90% of the clothes we wear now come from abroad. However, is 2014 going to be the year that “fashion comes home”?
The tide is gradually changing, and has been for the last couple of years. The UK fashion industry is worth an estimated £21 billion and, as a result, has driven interest in how we can keep more of that value here on our soil.
While we can’t always compete on price, we can compete on quality. Tom Lutwyche, a Savile Row tailor, was recently quoted as saying: “the companies that survived and continue to manufacture in the UK are the Rolls Royces rather than the British Leylands of this world”.
Perhaps it’s that we’ve become more patriotic after the Olympics and Jubilee a couple of years back, but it seems that there’s a growing demand for exclusive British manufactured clothing. Most notably, luxury, high-end brands have seen a spike as people search for the ‘Made in Britain’ tag. Once again, we’ve become respected by both Britons and foreigners alike, who appreciate our heritage and skilled craftsmanship. Anya Hindmarch claims that “Made in Britain has a cachet again. It’s a shorthand for a certain kind of luxury”.
Brands like Mulberry (who have reinvested £2 million into its Somerset factory) and Barbour (who have been making garments in their Tyne and Wear factory since 1894) are classic examples. In fact, MD of Barbour Steve Buck, has said that the inspiration for their jackets comes from our rich British history and heritage.
Here at V & V, Britishness is in our DNA. With support from key members of the fashion and apparel community, we are manufacturing more and more of our garments here in the UK. Our fabulous Jersey Cowl Dresses (which come in coral and bright blue) are all made in Britain. And we’ll also be making an appearance at this month’s Made in Britain trade show. We like to think our British-manufactured clothes are the Rolls Royce of fashion… try them and see for yourself.