Made in Britain: flying the flag for UK brands

Isaac Mostovicz writes that luxury names like Burberry are British not only by brand ...

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A recent article in the Sunday Times writes that manufacturing is on the rise in the UK, particularly when it comes to the creation of luxury goods. It reports that a number of high-end fashion houses are using not only British materials to create these goods but are also using UK factories to manufacture them.

British success story Burberry hand-makes its trench coasts in Castleford, Yorkshire. Pringle, the Scottish knitwear retailer, creates its goods in a factory in Hawick, Scotland. And it’s not just UK brands that are sourcing and manufacturing in the British Isles – even the European and American fashion houses such as Chanel, Prada and Ralph Lauren manufacture their own cashmere, tweeds and shoes in the UK.

 

As provenance becomes less of a marketing term and more of an intrinsic demand for affluent consumers, the appeal of manufacture in the UK becomes obvious. Buying a British-made product is seen as akin to buying a quality investment piece, with lasting appeal.

 

Says James Eden, managing director of English outerwear brand Cooper & Stollbrand: “People want more understated, credible garments that are steeped in authenticity.”

 

Sustainability is also a key factor of “buying British.” There are no ethical concerns for either manufacturers or consumers around UK labour laws as with lesser economically developed countries; all goods are created under EU labour directives. And of course, the amount fashion miles within the supply chain are significantly reduced compared to manufacture in the Far East.

 

There are a number of factors that influence consumers’ buying choices – at Janus Thinking, these consumers are separated into two categories; Lambda and Theta.

For a Lambda, the provenance of British goods would be the key attraction – knowing that they are purchasing a product with an impressive history embedded within it. For a Theta, the appeal would come from the high-end brand and the well-known cachet of “buying British” amongst their social group.

 

All of this would mean little without significant demand for products that are “Made in Britain;” however – Burberry’s recent financial results indicate that their appeal is not only widespread, but looks likely to continue.

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