Labels, labels, labels..

As the jeans finally gave in today the hunt for some new ones has intensified rather dramatically.  My next discovery is that there is no requirement for any non-food item to disclose where it was made unless the retailer wants it.

This means that sourcing true British clothes could be more tricky than I thought and the likelihood of  having to settle for just a British brand is growing.

I am busy researching some independent brands as well as looking at some of the more well known high street brands and will let you know how I get on. One thing I am starting to notice is that many of the items that are designed and made in Britain are more designer items and are not really everyday items for everyday people. This is only an initial observation but one that seems to keep cropping up. I’m hoping that I can find somewhere that is more mainstream and a little more appropriate for a getting close to 30 year old as I’m afraid uber trendy is not really my style.

Plenty of hunting still to do and looking forward to the start of a very exciting New Year!

– Emily


  1. First let me say that I love the idea for the website and will be very interested in watching how you progress.
    Regarding most products made in Britain being ‘designer brands’ – in terms of clothing and footwear, there are several reasons for this. As follows;

    1. When large retailers stopped manufacturing in the UK in the ’90s factories those that did manage to survive did so by scaling back dramatically. Now most clothing manufacturers that are left in the UK are small relative to their Far Eastern counterparts, and are currently unable to make lots of large orders that high street retailers place. This may change in the future as they grow again, but expansion will be slow due to the lack of skilled machinists available.

    2. ‘Everyday items’, as you call them, are now very much sold on price in the UK, rather than quality. Hence most retailers look to make a product for the lowest cost possible in order to compete with other retailers for your hard earned cash. This usually means compromising on quality and sourcing products from low labour cost countries. Years ago the average worker would spend 2 weeks salary on a winter coat (Made in Britain) that would last them years. Nowadays they would rather buy a coat every winter and then throw it away- blame it on ‘fast-fashion’ and the Primark effect. 🙁

    3. If by ‘everyday items’ you mean products bought on the high street – these items are subject to a huge mark up from their original manufacturing price. A dress you buy in Debenhams for £30 would’ve been made for less than £5. On top of that would be added duty, shipping (from China or India), packaging costs and then the store’s own mark up. If you buy directly from smaller less well-known companies then a much larger percentage of the price you pay will have gone towards manufacturing costs and fabric, meaning that you get much better value for money.

    4. The designers that make in Britain should be suported, as they were the ones that stuck with the British factories during the downturn. If it wasn’t for them we would have no manufacturing at all in this country. Please support them. Not all of their products are outlandish and way-out!

    Regarding your current search for a pair of UK made jeans – I know if Hiut* and Fallow Denim. Both of made from very high quality denim so would last you a lifetime, but the styling on both is quite masculine and may not be what you are after. I look forward to seeing if you find any others.

    *Interesting fact about Hiut* jeans – most of their machinists have been re-deployed into manufacturing having once made jeans for a large M&S factory in the town of Cardigan where Hiut are based. The factory closed down in the ’90s when M&S took their business abroad and the ladies were all made redundant. Would you buy your jeans from M&S again after you know that??

    • Thank you so much for being the first comment on the site. I have used yours extensively and found some great British products I would never have known about without it.

      You are absolutely right about the reasons for the cost and it does all make total sense. I have a wool coat that was my Mum’s that as you say was extremely expensive for her but has now lasted nearly 40 years and all it needs is for me to replace the lining which is not difficult. That is my benchmark of quality and another one of my reasons for wanting to go wholeheartedly into buying British as it is then an investment.

      I must admit that it is very heart warming to know that there are some people who stick by the trained machinists and build up the British economy again. However, I’m afraid that being somewhat curvy means that male jeans really wouldn’t look right on me so Huit and Fallow are out.

      I will carry on searching and am now considering making some jeans to make them as truly British as possible but with the return to work on the horizon they may take a while to get finished.

      A very Happy New Year to you.

      – Emily

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