Admin

My Google+

Your chance to WIN not one, but four pairs of British Boxers classic cut shorts worth £88.

British Boxers

British Boxers classic cut shorts

British Boxers are offering one lucky reader the chance to WIN four pairs of their classic cut boxer shorts. The boxer shorts are made in England using the finest shirting weight cottons and have a slight sheen, making them super-soft to wear as well as looking great.

The story behind British Boxers is that Founder and Owner Deborah Price is the Great-great-great-Grandaughter of Jem Mace, the First World heavyweight boxing champion. Deborah was a nightwear and underwear buyer who wanted the control of having her own business. When a factory close to her home set up a production line, the planets appeared to align and British Boxers was born.

Now in its fourth year the brand are going from strength to strength and expanding their ranges all the time. To celebrate this they are offering one of our lucky readers the chance to WIN FOUR pairs of British Boxers in a range of colours. The winner can choose the size they require between Small and XX-Large.

To be in with a chance of winning just answer this simple question:

What is the name of the first World Heavyweight Boxer who is related to founder, Deborah?

  • Closing date: 1st November 2017 – Entries received after the closing date will not be included in the prize draw.

    *Competition is only open to UK residents. See our terms and conditions for full details.

To find out more about British Boxers click here or visit them at www.britishboxers.com

Your chance to WIN a pair of tickets for our Make it British Forum in our Facebook competition

Do you want to join us in Manchester on 2nd November for a day of inspiring talks about making in the UK?

We’ve got a pair of tickets to giveaway to one lucky person this week.

To be in with a chance to win all you need to do is: 1. Like the above post on Facebook 2. Comment on the Facebook post with the reason why you think the event would benefit you 3. Tell your friends to be on standby in case you win the ticket!

T&Cs: Closes on 9th October 2017 at 2pm. Winner will be chosen by the Make it British team and notified by Facebook Messenger. For full T&Cs visit This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.

To find out more about the event visit: http://bit.ly/2xKpL0f

Good luck 🍀

 

Your chance to win a pair of leather and suede Whisper Boots, the bestsellers from Hotter.

Hotter are the UK’s biggest shoe manufacturer, making over 2.2 million pairs of shoes per year in their UK factory. If you are not already a fan the chances are you will know someone who is!

Originally founded in 1959 as a slipper manufacturer, Hotter now offer a collection of stylish women’s and men’s shoes with features including supersoft and breathable leathers, lightweight and flexible soles.

Hotter are offering one lucky reader the chance to WIN a pair of Whisper boots in our latest competition.

Whisper is a timeless classic boot made from luxurious leather and suede. The premium faux fur lining will keep your feet nice and warm this winter and the dual fastening zips allow for an easy to slip-on silhouette.  Whisper boots work well with skirts or trousers for a sophisticated yet practical look.

To be in with a chance of winning just answer this simple question:

What year was Hotter originally founded in?

  • Closing date: 24th October 2017 – Entries received after the closing date will not be included in the prize draw.

    *Competition is only open to UK residents. See our terms and conditions for full details.

To find out more about Hotter click here or visit www.hotter.com

The ultimate guide to British knitwear brands – all made in the UK

British knitwear is world-renowned. It’s no wonder – the mechanical knitting machine was invented in England and the oldest operating factory in the world is owned by a knitwear manufacturer – John Smedley.

When it comes to quality, British knitwear can’t be beaten. Whether it’s menswear, womenswear or childrenswear; hand or machine knitted; cashmere, wool or cotton; heritage brand or start-up; there’s a British knit for everyone.

If you’re looking for the best British knitwear brands, you’ll love our ultimate list. Presented in alphabetical order…

&Daughter

and daughter british knitwear brandLuxury women’s knitwear & accessories made in Scotland & Ireland. Aran knit & cable wool jumpers, cardigans and hand-finished cashmere.

Ally Bee

Ally Bee British knitwear

Ally Bee 

Ally Bee makes beautiful sustainable knitwear, adopting a ‘cradle to cradle’ commitment to fashion. They seek out natural fibres with care for the land and animal welfare and adopt the cleanest processing and dying.

Barrie 

barrie knitwear

Barrie

An historic manufacturer of premium cashmere, established in the Scottish Borders in 1903. Barrie Knitwear is renowned for its outstanding, traditional expertise.

The Beehive Brand

The Beehive Brand

The Beehive Brand

A new soulful British knitwear brand, sharing the story of Beehives woollen heritage and knitting pattern archives from industrial Britain since 1785.  The Beehive Brand is located in the market town of Darlington within the North East of England, where they explore and celebrate the community and industry of all things craft, the spirit of soul and the industrial era.

British Christmas Jumpers

British Christmas Jumpers

British Christmas Jumpers

At Make it British we love a Christmas Jumper and British Christmas Jumpers offer a huge range of designs, all made in the UK of course!

Brora

British British knitwear brand

Brora

Brora are known for their luxury, Scottish cashmere knitwear.

Collingwood-Norris

Collingwood Norris British knitwear brand

Collingwood-Norris

Knitted jumpers and accessories for men and women, designed and made in their small studio in the Scottish Borders. Using the finest lambswool, each scarf, hat, wrap, and jumper is individually knitted by Flora in her studio.

Cooking Apple

Cooking Apple knitwear

Cooking Apple

Traditional yet wearable clothes for children and adults. Cooking Apple designs are inspired by forgotten patterns and styles, which are then knitted up in beautiful colours. Each piece is hand-knitted in the Cotswolds by a small team.

Eleven Everything

Eleven Everything knitwear

Eleven Everything

Eleven Everything creates luxury fashion knitwear designed in London, knitted in Britain and completed with foiling and hand finishing back in London in an east end artisan studio.

Esk

Esk British Knitwear

Esk

Esk combine style and luxury in their knitwear. They make and mill everything in Scotland under the same roof and source their yarns with care and integrity, trying to use the small but rich seam of spinners in Britain.

Fanclub

Fanclub British knitwear

Fanclub

Fanclub is a London based knitwear brand. Yarns are sourced from Britain’s premium suppliers, spun in England and Scotland.

Genevieve Sweeney

Genevieve Sweeney British knitwear

Genevieve Sweeney

Marrying contemporary design with exceptional hand finishes, Genevieve Sweeney makes her eponymous brand entirely in the UK.

Glenbrae

Glenbrae British knitwear

Glenbrae

With a heritage born in the mill town of Slaithwaite, Huddersfield, and a reputation renowned the world over, Glenbrae’s history is rich in developing technical yarns.

Glencroft

Glencroft Countrywear

Glencroft

Richard Sexton & Co is a family run British clothing company based in Clapham, in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales. Since 1987 they have been supplying wholesale with their quality ‘Glencroft’ brand which includes some beautiful knitwear pieces.

Glenevan Mill

Glenevan mill British cashmere knitwear

Glenevan Mill

Since its foundation in 1978 on the hills of the Scottish Borders, Glenevan Mill has been producing exclusive handmade Cashmere knitwear for its discerning clientele around the world.

Harley of Scotland

Harley of Scotland

Harley of Scotland have produced quality knitwear for 87 years. Their ideas and inspiration,  eclectic blends of the highest quality fibres, textures and patterns, and pairing their traditional techniques with highly sophisticated technology ensures the perfect balance between old and new.

Hawick Knitwear

Hawick Knitwear

Hawick Knitwear

Hawick has long been a mill town with a successful textile industry, supplying the world with the best knitwear available. Hawick Knitwear is at the heart of the industry and can trace its history of manufacturing back to 1874.

John Smedley

John Smedley knitwear

John Smedley

Established in 1784, John Smedley are the oldest manufacturing factory in the world, crafting beautiful, high quality garments that are designed to last, made in Britain and distributed the world over.

Johnstons of Elgin

Johnstons of Elgin cashmere knitwear

Johnstons of Elgin

Founded in 1797, the Johnstons knitting mill in Hawick, has a team of highly skilled designers and craftspeople working together to create their wonderful knitwear.

Last of England

Last of England knitwear

Last of England

Last Of England is a clothing brand which is led by design. Last Of England takes stylistic inspiration from the past to create items that will endure in the future and use the manufacturing talents of British industry.

Leith Clothing

Leith clothing sweater

Leith Clothing

Leith clothing is a British menswear brand whose range includes cable knit jumpers crafted on the Shetland islands using 100% Shetland wool from the Jamiesons mill – a company who have been supplying yarn since the 1890s.

Oubas Knitwear

Oubas knitwear

Oubas Knitwear

Oubas Knitwear create beautiful and timeless knitted pieces from natural fibres. Oubas values made in Britain; drawing on the rich history that surrounds them to bring contemporary products with high end craftsmanship.

Paul James Knitwear

Paul James Knitwear

Paul James

Paul James is a luxury, Leicestershire-based knitwear manufacturer. They take yarns from all over the world and knit them into stylish, functional garments that are made to last.

Peregrine

Peregrine British knitwear

Peregrine

Peregrine is an English Heritage clothing brand with British Heritage Merino wool jumpers and cardigans.

Plum of London

Plum of London British knitwear

Plum of London

Luxury knitwear brand Plum of London makes its entire range within these shores meaning that they can support local, highly-skilled industries whilst keeping their carbon footprint to a minimum!

Ramnation

Ramnation British knitwear

Ramnation

As well as making very nice knitwear, Ramnation are passionate about provenance and supply chain, insisting that their wool is British, their dyes natural and non-toxic, a Cornish mill and a factory in Nottinghamshire.

Richmond Knitwear

Richmond British Knitwear

Richmond Knitwear

Richmond Knitwear is country, cricket, work and schoolwear knitted by Crystal Knitwear since 1990.

Ross Barr

Ross Bar

Ross Barr is a Menswear Fashion, Lifestyle and Heritage brand that champions the craftsmanship and quality of British Manufacturing.

Shackleton 

Shackleton

British clothing authentically made and inspired by Antarctic explorer Ernest Shackleton. Range includes merino jumpers knitted in Hawick.

The Tailor Retailored

The Tailor Retailored

Designer men’s luxury Scottish cashmere knitwear combining modern fits and design with traditional artisanal construction.

Turtle Doves

Turtle Doves British Knitwear

Turtle Doves

Nestled in the heart of Shropshire the Turtle Doves team specialises in turning pre-loved cashmere jumpers into practical and gorgeously soft new accessories.

Unmade

Unmade British knitwear

Unmade

UMd is an experimental fashion label from the team behind Unmade. Everything produced by UMd is powered by Unmade technology, made to order and unique to the customer. UMd works in collaboration with other innovative global brands, reflecting Unmade’s desire to transform fashion by working with the industry.

Valentina Karellas

Valentina Karellas knitwear

Valentina Karellas

At Valentina Karellas every piece of knitwear is one-of-a kind. Valentina uses surplus yarn from large factories that would otherwise have gone to waste. The result: each piece of knitwear is a lifelong-lasting, entirely unique London original.

Verisimilitude

Verisimilitude Scottish knitwear

Verisimilitude

Based in the Outer Hebrides, Verisimilitude source Scottish wool for all of their knitwear and use its natural tone and grain to create uniqueness for each piece that they produce.

We are Rushworth

We are Rushworth British knitwear

We are Rushworth

We are Rushworth are a Scottish borders based clothing label started in 2012. All of their knitwear is made in Scotland.

William Lockie

William Lockie Scottish knitwear

William Lockie

William Lockie is one of the oldest family run luxury knitwear businesses based in the Scottish Borders. They specialise in knitwear made from natural fibres such as Cashmere, Camelhair, Merino, Geelong & Lambswool using traditional techniques that have been passed down for generations.

Wonderers

Wonderers British knitwear for kids

Wonderers

Wonderers makes knitwear for 3 to 10 year olds. All Wonderers knits are made in the UK using 100% natural fibres.

Please leave a comment below if you enjoyed this article about British Knitwear. You can also see which Make it British members make knitwear in our directory here

Click here to subscribe

Closing Date 28th September 2017

Your chance to WIN a classic leather Inca Tote bag from LellieBag worth £1000.

Inca Tote by LellieBag

Inca Leather Tote Bag by LellieBag

LellieBag offers bespoke custom made leather bags and products made within Great Britain. Their range includes handbags, man bags, satchels, iPad and tablet cases and small leather goods.

This your chance to WIN the classic Inca Leather Tote bag in grape, from the LellieBag Autumn/Winter collection.

The Inca boasts an elegant structure with the unmistakable signature of a quality, British accessory.

Hand-made in the United Kingdom from beautiful leather, this stylish accessory is hand-stitched, easy to carry and readily slips over the shoulder.  The luxury waterproofed lined interior is large enough to comfortably hold an iPad or slim A4 folio and features a generous zipped internal pouch with the signature leather tab to securely accommodate a purse, keys, smartphone and makeup essentials.

To be in with a chance of winning just answer this simple question:

Which fruit lends its name to the colour of this bag?

Competition now closed

To find out more about LellieBag click here or visit them at www.lelliebag.com

We interview Olga Rumble, founder of British luxury skincare brand, The Rose Tree.

Olga Rumble; The Rose Tree; skin care; organic

Olga Rumble, founder and owner of The Rose Tree

The Rose Tree offers customers organic skincare products made with high quality natural organic ingredients. The Rose Tree’s award winning products all have aromatherapy benefits as well as being amazing for the skin, no small achievement for a lady who had no prior experience in skincare!

We chat to Rose Tree founder, Olga Rumble, about how she started her business by accident and how she has grown it to become a well-loved, award winning, luxury brand.

Olga, can you tell us about how The Rose Tree was launched and your background prior to starting the brand?

I actually started the brand by accident. I had a real corporate job, doing project management for IT departments. After leaving my permanent role at The Yellow Pages in Reading, I was contracting in London for the likes of News International, BBC and O2.

As much as I liked the roles, the commute got the better of me and I decided I didn’t want to do this forever. I took time out and recharged my batteries. I had been feeling stressed and as a result I was suffering from eczema.

I have always been interested in aromatherapy and as one of four girls I’d always made potions to try out on my sisters. I was also fed up with using the standard recommended creams for eczema prone skin which were often ineffective and full of undesirable ingredients.

Now with some time to myself, and with irritated skin, I decided to follow this up and did some courses on soap-making and skincare. Feedback from my family and friends about how good my products were made the decision that this could become a business.

How long did it take between having the initial idea to actually trading as The Rose Tree?

It took me two years from the time I left my corporate life to launching The Rose Tree. In that time, I studied hard, went on courses and thought about the products I wanted to offer. I was interested in natural products, plants, aromatherapy and botanical ingredients. I wanted to offer products using the best ingredients possible, that would nurture the skin. I had to work with a chemist to assess my formulations as this is a legal requirement within Europe. There are a lot of health and safety processes that you have to work through when creating anything to do with skincare. Once my formulations were in place I then had to start to source my ingredients.

The Rose Tree; organic; skincare; bath products; natural oils; natural butters

The Rose Tree offers a range of skincare and bath products using quality natural ingredients from British suppliers

Can you tell us about the natural ingredients you choose and why?

I use organic ingredients from certified suppliers so that I can account for the traceability of my ingredients. Some of my favourite ingredients include rosehip oil for facial oils, and rose essential oil and rose petals for bath and shower oils. Rose is obviously significant as it features in the name of the brand and is an iconic British flower, but it’s also beautiful to use in skincare products.

I use lots of other natural butters and oils too, such as calendula infused oil for soothing irritated skin. Lots of bath products on the market won’t use these valuable ingredients in bath products, only using them in the skincare products, but I will use it in the bath oils too as I see the value in it and want to make my products as effective as they can be.

I choose to source all of my ingredients in Britain or, for things that can’t be produced here or don’t originate from the UK in their original form, from British suppliers. For example, I use UK suppliers for my rose products but a lot of the roses are actually grown in places like Turkey, where the climate is more predictable.

natural oils; natural butters; organic; skincare; The Rose Tree; rose petal

Olga uses natural oils and butters to create her skincare range

You make and source everything in the UK, what challenges do you face with this?

Finding suppliers to build a relationship with and that you can trust. If you google shea butter you will find that you can buy it anywhere but, what is hard to account for, is the traceability and the ethnicity of it. It’s hard to find suppliers who are happy to share that information with you. In this instance I use a supplier in the UK who sources shea butter from a women’s community project in Ghana and the supplier can provide me with specific information about the group so I can be confident in the quality of the ingredient and how ethically it has been sourced.

What are the advantages of using UK suppliers?

UK suppliers are perhaps a little bit more expensive than suppliers overseas but it matters to the brand to use UK suppliers and it allows me to have a close relationship with them offering transparency and confidence that their claims are genuine. With items like essential oils I can guarantee that they are good quality, and that the concentrate of the oil is the maximum.

I would be wary of using suppliers from outside of the UK incase the oils I receive are diluted or mixed with other ingredients. I want the purest ingredients and often use cold pressed oils that have been processed as little as possible. My UK suppliers source me ingredients that I know are pure.

How did you test the effectiveness of the products when you first started the brand?

When I started creating products I hadn’t planned on it becoming a business so they were tested on willing family and friends to start with. But, along the way, I’ve become more business savvy and have started using market research. I get feedback from customers via questionnaires, but particularly through social media.

I’ve found Facebook, Twitter and Instagram best for engaging with our customers. These social media platforms offer the chance for the brand to create a community of users and I can talk to them as a group or one to one and build a relationship with them.

Who is the main target market for The Rose Tree?

Women in their 30s and 40s, who are mums and busy career women. We’re not targeting the people that are seduced by an 18 year old model on the packaging; but those who want a good quality, effective skincare routine that will only take two minutes out of their day, but that has a therapeutic benefit as well – a little bit of luxury in a very hectic day.

Stress is the biggest complaint amongst women in the workplace in their 30s and 40s. This stress, lack of time for themselves, age and hormones can all affect skin condition. So I offer products for customers with many needs for example sensitive skin, dry skin/oily/combination skin, those prone to breakouts and also dryness.

I wrote a blog piece on the subject of stress in women which you can read here.

The Rose Tree; organic; skincare; luxury; treat; therapeutic

The Rose Tree’s products offer effective skincare as well as being a luxurious treat

How do you promote your brand to this audience?

Marketing, google analytics and SEO have all been a steep learning curve but I’ve found that social media platforms definitely help with promotion and driving traffic to the website. As does the blog, and I’m blogging on a more regular basis now.

I tend not to advertise in magazines as it’s a very expensive promotion route, but I do market on the back of awards the brand has won. Awards are a great way of validating the quality of the brand.

Which single decision have you made which has had a significant benefit on the success of your brand?

I think probably to ask for help.  As an entrepreneur, it can be very isolating working on your own, and no matter what you do, there are never enough hours in the day to get everything done.  I came from a position where I found asking for help very difficult, but now accept that to be successful and build a strong business, that means seeking help from others.  I work with a mentor who has proved invaluable (and kept me sane). I work with a DIT advisor who is helping with our international expansion, and a number of different marketing specialists who help with our marketing strategy and SEO.

Have you made any mistakes which you have learnt from during the process?

Yes, lots of mistakes! Had I approached this endeavor as a business in the first place I’d have thought about customer demographics, products, marketing etc. in the first instance. Because of the route it’s taken, the brand has won awards without planning out these details, so perhaps I haven’t been able to utilise these successes as effectively as I may have done.

One issue I encountered was with a new supplier providing bottles, but the tops didn’t fit! It took a lot of negotiation and persuasion to rectify as the supplier had provided the bottles from existing stock and the tops from a new line. I now know that bottles and tops are ordered as separate items and do not necessary match up! But you only learn these things through experience.

What would be your key tips for someone passionate about starting their own beauty brand?

For me it’s been an amazing journey and I’m hoping this is just the beginning for The Rose Tree. My advice would be to do your homework; think what do you want to achieve; who is your customer; what they want; the products they need; the price point and where you will sell it. Create a solid business plan first as preparation beforehand is time well spent. Doing it the way I did caused unnecessary stress and hassle!

You need to be aware that the business side takes over and leaves you less time for the bits you enjoy. I thought it would be all about doing the nice bits that I love, but as an entrepreneur, especially in the beginning before you can outsource, there are so many things you need to do yourself.

What is next for The Rose Tree?

I’m exploring export opportunities with a lot of interest from beauty retailers who want a piece of British Beauty.

And I’m working on a few new products too…that’s my favourite part of the job!

Your chance to WIN a child’s coat from The Great British Baby Company worth £220

The Great British Baby Company

The Great British Baby Company

The Great British Baby Company are offering one lucky reader the chance to win their choice of children’s coat – either from their girl’s Bloomsbury range or their boy’s Pimlico range.

The Great British Baby Company

The girl’s Bloomsbury range

The Great British Baby Company creates luxury clothing for young children, using the finest British materials and craftsmanship. It is an award winning brand that has received acclaim from the childrenswear industry for its eco credentials and commitment to British manufacturing. It currently holds the title of My Baba’s Eco Brand of Autumn/Winter 2017-18.

The Great British Baby Company

The boy’s Pimlico range

For boys and girls from 9 months through to 6 years, its pieces combine the modern and the traditional, honouring Britain’s heritage whilst celebrating the vibrancy of youth.

The Great British Baby Company are offering one of our lucky readers the chance to win a coat of their choice from either the girl’s Bloomsbury or the boy’s Pimlico ranges.

To be in with a chance of winning just answer this easy question:

The Great British Baby Company makes coats for children from 9 months to how old?

Competition now closed

To find out more about The Great British Baby Company click here or visit them at www.greatbritishbabycompany.com

 

 

Your chance to WIN a bottle of the brand new craft gin – Hidden Curiosities

Hidden Curiosities craft gin

Hidden Curiosities artisan gin

Hidden Curiosities is a small batch artisan gin which has been meticulously handcrafted with twenty intriguing botanicals.

This complex gin features the spices of five distinctive peppercorns and green cardamom, balanced out with bright citrus fruits; including Japanese yuzu, pink grapefruit, bergamot and lime. These botanicals are softened with a sweet burst of white mulberries, finished off with the delicate floral notes of violet and lavender.

Hidden Curiosities Gin was created by Cravat Club director Jenny, who after extensive research sampling nigh on 100 different craft gins over the course of a year, dedicated her time and passion to developing a unique recipe with a very distinctive character.

Hidden Curiosities craft gin

Hidden Curiosities: Jenny recommends serving her gin with a handful of pink peppercorns and green cardamom pods for a completely unique and incredible drinking experience.

Working very closely with a local, renowned distillery in the Surrey Hills, who carried the right expertise for this exciting new project, Jenny was able to perfect and fine-tune her recipe in order to produce the specific result she had in mind. Using their magnificent hand-built 350 litre copper still, charismatically powered by a wood fired steam boiler, her first batch of Hidden Curiosities gin was born.

Jenny is offering one lucky reader the chance to win a bottle of Hidden Curiosities by answering this simple question:

Hidden Curiosities is crafted with how many botanicals?

Competition now closed

To find out more about Hidden Curiosities click here.

 

Tanya Dimitrova is a garment manufacturer based in London. Her studio provides pattern cutting, sampling and garment production for designers and high street retailers, with orders as low as one piece. We caught up with Tanya to find out more about her business.

Tanya Dimitrova London

Tanya Dimitrova with one of the wedding gowns she designed and made

Tanya, can you tell us a little about your background?

I started making clothes at the age of 16 when my mum, teacher by day, tailor by night, nurtured my love for fashion and helped me develop my pattern cutting and tailoring skills.  This soon developed into a full-time position and I started accepting bespoke tailoring orders from private clients. This often included making bridal gowns and grooms wear for friends’ weddings.

On my arrival to the UK I studied at the London College of Fashion and further developed high-end garment manufacturing skills, whilst also working in the pattern cutting department at Karen Millen.

garment manufacturer Tanya Dimitrova

You manufacture garments for other people’s brands as well as for your own brand, Lluks London. Which came first?

It all started back in the 2000’s in a tiny studio in my flat with only one sewing machine and a cutting table. Today, we produce over 80 garments a week and our capacity is expanding as we are looking to hire more machinists. While I am the driving force, my manufacturing studio is supported by a highly skilled team of ten.

The same team helped me develop my own ready to wear collection, Lluks London, launched in early 2017. Our Lluks London showroom is a great addition to the premises as we now offer bespoke tailoring and bridal services to private clients interested in bespoke and unique pieces.

garment manufacturer Tanya Dimitrova London

The Tanya Dimitrova studio in North West London

What drove you to launch your own brand? And can you tell us a bit about the inspiration behind it?

I have always wanted to see smiles on client’s faces when they wear clothes I made. Manufacturing garments for designers meant I would very rarely meet the person wearing it.

We started advertising in local directories and soon discovered that there was the potential for the opening of a bespoke tailoring showroom where private clients could try on the ready-to-wear range or have their own ideas brought to life.

The inspiration behind the brand’s name, Lluks, comes from my love for skulls’ drawings. This word is simply spelt backwards and colours associated with skulls are reflected in my debut ready-to-wear collection.

The Opulent Coat by Tanya Dimitrova

The Opulent Coat by Tanya Dimitrova

What advice would you give designers who say it’s too expensive to make in the UK?

There are always pros and cons associated with manufacturing in the UK and abroad. While blue chip companies look for larger capacity factories, which the UK rarely has, it is an ideal starting point for smaller brands.

Being able to manufacture in the UK means greater control over the product testing process. Speaking one language helps to foster a better understanding of what the designer expects to find in a finished product.

We often get contacted by designers who initially sought to manufacture outside the UK, and it took them a year to realise that in the long term, it is better to be able to speak to a local manufacturer face to face, than book costly tickets to outsource in the Far East. Or spend hundreds of pounds on back-and-forth postage fees for incorrectly produced garments.

What is the minimum order you would take from a start up brand?

We accept orders from as little as one garment. This allows us and the client to get a feel of how our working relationship could develop in the future, and whether or not we are a good fit for each other. Our production MOQ (minimum order quantity) is equal to 5 pieces per style.

You are very good at using social media. What tips would you give other manufacturers looking to promote themselves in this way? 

Social media is often underestimated by garment manufacturers. It is important to remember that most start-up brands look for inspiration nowhere else but social media channels. We assess, analyse and strategically develop our campaigns before investing. For us, it’s more about ‘How to make the most of social media’ rather than considering this a complete waste of money.

How do you think Brexit will affect your garment manufacturing business?

After the Brexit vote we have struggled to hire highly skilled staff. Most of our team have been trained in the EU and their contribution to UK garment manufacturing is enormous.

It would be useful to see graduates from sewing and pattern cutting courses coming into manufacturing. Unfortunately, almost all applications we receive today are from young designers or merchandise managers.

If you could give any tips to a manufacturer considering starting their own brand, what would it be?

Starting your own brand along with an already existing manufacturing business to look after is not easy. This turns into a 24/7 occupation and is very demanding. You may need to reconsider some aspects of your manufacturing business in order to find time for the more creative side of things. Memorising a deadline for a manufacturing client is easier than handling an appointments calendar for both private and trade clients. In today’s world, let technology become your best friend and think carefully before launching your own brand as it comes with its own challenges.

You can find out more about Tanya Dimitrova and her garment manufacturing services here.

Summer holidays are here and we have all the British-made beach accessories you need to make any beach paradise.

With the kids off school and many businesses enjoying a bit of down time, August is the most popular month for  people to take their summer holidays. Whether you are hitting a UK beach, or somewhere further afield, we have everything you need to make your day at the beach comfortable, stylish and fun filled!

Carrything

Carrything British made beach accessory

Carrything

Forget making three trips from the car/hotel to the beach, with Carrything you can transport your towels, goggles, buckets and spades all in one go. This little beauty happens to be just as useful for the shopping too!

Charlie Noble

Charlie Noble beach accessories

Charlie Noble

Never before did a game of bat and ball on the beach look so sophisticated! And with the bag being a thing of beauty in itself, this is the ultimate beach indulgence!

Hemingsworth

Hemmingsworth

Hemingsworth

The swimwear label for men that looks as smart on the beach as it does in the pool bar. Quality English fashion, impeccably crafted and designed.

Hotter

Hotter beach shoes

Hotter

Hotter shoes give you great British design and quality with their stylish and comfortable range of footwear for men and women. An extensive range of sandals means they will be sure to have the perfect pair for the beach, the promenade and your evening out.

The Beach Towel Clip

The Beach Towel Clip

The Beach Towel Clip

100% British-made and available in a choice of colours, The Beach Towel clip is the solution to the age old problem of chasing your clean towel around a sandy beach. A holiday game-changer!

Sunwiser

Sunwiser

Sunwiser

Hats and visors by Sunwiser are made in Poole, Dorset with most of their fabrics being sourced form the UK too. They offer a terrific range of colours and  styles and offer you protection from the sun without interfering with your game, book or paddle!

Holland Street

Holland Street

Holland Street

Every holiday warrants one little treat, one piece of glamour and luxury that will make you feel good for the whole trip. Look no further. Silk kaftans from Holland Street are handmade in Britain and are utterly beautiful!

JuJu Footwear

JuJu Footwear

JuJu Footwear

Creators of the original British jelly shoes, JuJu jellies have been proudly made in England for over 25 years using traditional manufacturing methods in their Northampton factory. Who doesn’t associate jelly shoes with summer holidays!?

Mill Products

Mill Products

Mill Products

Mill products produce a range of plastic goods in their UK factory, including traditional bucket and spade sets. An absolute beach must-have for any family!

robyn & willow

Robyn & Willow

robyn & willow

robyn & willow is a women’s luxury lifestyle label founded by British designers Elizabeth Talbot and Kaydia Torrell. All their designs are proudly made in England and covers everything you need for a holiday taking you from exotic to urban locations.

 

Southsea Deckchairs

Southsea Deckchairs

Southsea Deckchairs

A trip to the beach wouldn’t be the same without reclining in a traditional deckchair and if you are visiting a UK seafront there is a good chance these guys will have supplied the chairs you see there! Portsmouth based and the UK’s leading supplier of deckchairs, take a look for fabulous colours, designs and even branded chairs.

Click here to subscribe

How a lightbulb moment on a windy beach became a thriving business for The Beach Towel Clip inventor – Jonathan Meare.

Frustrated that his beach towel kept blowing away in the wind, former property professional Jonathan Meare came up with a solution – The Beach Towel Clip.

Now his invention is used all over the world, and every single Beach Towel Clip is manufactured in Britain.

Here he tells us his story…

Jonathan Meare Beach Towel Clip

Jonathan Meare – inventor of the Beach Towel Clip

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and why you started making The Beach Towel Clip? 

I took voluntary redundancy in 2008 and with time on my hands I ended up sat on Talamanca Beach in Ibiza. Frustrated by my towel blowing away or moving every time I went for a dip in the sea, I came up with an idea to hold it down. I put eyelets in the four corners of the towel and used metal tent pegs to hold it flat. This worked a treat until the pegs went rusty in the sand!

On a return visit to the same beach a couple mentioned they had seen my idea and copied it with their own beach towel.

Once I got back to the UK I registered the idea of a product designed to hold a beach towel down with the OHIM (Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market).  I then came up with ideas for a clip as it was easier than getting towel manufacturers to start putting holes in their towels!

beach towel clip

The Beach Towel Clip in action

What assistance did you have with launching the business?

I was assisted by a product development company in Manchester called Lucid. They told me something called Innovation Vouchers that I could apply for from the North West Development Agency. I used this funding to help pay for the R&D (research & development), prototyping and design work needed to develop the product.

Post launch I was also assisted by the Government’s UKTI who helped me get the clips into retailers in over 30 countries worldwide.

How many versions of the design did you have to test before coming up with the final clip?

The first design was printed on a 3D printer. After a few tweaks it was reprinted and then it was perfect. We tested the first prototypes on a very soggy Porthmadog beach in North Wales.

The Beach Towel Clip

Can you tell us a bit about how you found your UK manufacturer? And why you chose them to work with?

I went out to tender to companies around the world. Then narrowed it down to several UK companies. Following factory visits I chose FMT (Form Mould and Tooling) in Suffolk, who were both competitive and able to provide a good service.

They have been a great company to deal with and I would highly recommend them.

Why is it important for you to manufacture your clips in the UK?

Making in the UK gives me complete control of the manufacturing process. Plus I have great pride in the Made in Britain stamp on the clips.

'Making in the UK gives me complete control of the manufacturing process' @JDM_DesignsClick To Tweet

What have been some of your best moments since launching the product?

I’ve appeared on BBC Radio, represented the Federation of Small Businesses in Brussels, and been invited to Buckingham Palace and The Houses of Parliament.

It’s also great to have people say that they’ve seen my product in shops in Brazil or Canada, or to walk past people using them on the beach.

The Beach Towel Clip

 

Do you have plans to expand the range into other holiday accessories, or even home accessories?

Not at the moment. For now we are working on developing new colours for the Beach Towel Clip and also branded versions that companies can use for promotional purposes.

Final fun fact, where is your holiday destination of choice?

Ibiza – back on Talamanca beach watching those without beach towel clips chase their towels down the beach!!

You can find out more about The Beach Towel Clip here or at thebeachtowelclip.com

Click here to find out more about becoming a Make it British Member.

English sparkling wine is one of our favourite summer tipples here at Make it British. So we’ve decided to create a list to help you enjoy it too! Here’s our Top 10 of English sparkling wines…

According to the English Wine Producers there are over 500 commercial vineyards in the UK and 133 wineries. 66% of the wine produced in England is sparkling.

English sparkling wine is fantastic – if you haven’t tried it you really should. It easily matches the quality of that produced in Champagne. In fact, in the last 16 years English sparkling wines have won more awards than any other countries!

Even the French are getting in on the act – Champagne brand Taitinger have invested in a Kent vineyard, the first Grand Marque Champagne house to do so in the UK.

I’m sure we’ll be adding to this list as we try out more English sparkling wines ☺️

If you have one to recommend please do leave a suggestion in the comments at the bottom of the post. Enjoy!

Camel Valley

Camel Valley have been producing award-winning, world-class wines in a beautiful corner of Cornwall since 1989. Their flagship sparkling Cornwall Brut is a fresh and fruity fizz.

Chapel Down

Chapel Down English Sparkling Wine

Chapel Down English Sparkling Wine

Chapel Down are a leading winemaker in Tenterden, Kent.They have a great selection of sparkling wine including those from their Kit’s Coty vineyard on the North Downs of Kent.

Denbies

Denbies English Sparkling Wine

Denbies English Sparkling Wine

The Denbies Estate, based in Dorking, Surrey, has been family owned and run since 1984 and is the biggest single wine estate in the UK. They offer a range of sparkling wines including their Demi-Sec, Sparkling Rose and Greenfields.

Digby 

Digby English Sparkling Wine

Digby English Sparkling Wine

Digby maintain long-term relationships with the best vineyards across English wine country (typically Kent, Sussex and Hampshire) to ensure a supply of only the finest quality berries. This diversity allows them to achieve their hallmark richness of flavour and texture.

Greyfriars

Greyfriars English Sparkling Wine

Greyfriars English Sparkling Wine

Greyfriars was originally planted in 1989 in Surrey’s Hog’s Back, and has been producing great grapes and wines for over 20 years.

Gusbourne 

The original Gusbourne Estate in Appledore, Kent dates back to 1410. They offer three sparking wines including an English Rose.

Lyme Bay Winery

Lyme Bay English Sparkling Wine

Lyme Bay

The Lyme Bay Winery is a small, dedicated West Country company passionate about producing delicious, award-winning English Wines in Devon’s beautiful Axe Valley. Their English Sparking wine is a fruit-driven sparkling wine that displays refreshing lemon and green apple notes

Nyetimber

Nyetimber English Sparkling Wine

Nyetimber English Sparkling Wine

For over 25 years the Nyetimber Vineyard has had a single aim: to make the finest English sparkling wine, one to rival the very best in the world, including Champagne.

Ridgeview

Ridgeview English Sparkling Wine

Ridgeview English Sparkling Wine

Ridgeview is a family company dedicated to the production of the highest quality sparkling wine using traditional sparkling grape varieties and methods. Devotion to the vineyards and winemaking has resulted in Ridgeview being the proud winners of numerous international sparkling wine trophies.

Three Choirs

Three Choirs English Sparkling Wine

Three Choirs English Sparkling Wine

Three Choirs make award winning English wine from their Gloucestershire vineyards. Our sparkling wine of choice at Meet the Manufacturer 2017. We can vouch for how well this goes down!

Click here to subscribe 

We took our Facebook Live to Wimbledon Village, to interview designer Joseph Azagury in his shop and to find out more about why he decided to reshore his footwear manufacturing

Joseph Azagury has been making designer women’s shoes for over 25 years and has, in the last four years, taken the step of re-shoring his manufacturing to the UK.

We interviewed him live on Facebook and spoke to him about his decision to reshore his production and set up his own UK atelier. What did he see as the benefits of bringing his production back to Britain? And what were the challenges?

Read a transcription of the interview below.

Joseph, would you mind giving anyone that isn’t familiar with Joseph Azagury, a description of your business?

We design and manufacture ladies shoes, which we have been doing now for 25 years. The style and look of the shoes is modern classic footwear. We try and get to the top end of the market. It’s aimed for a customer between 25 to 45 and upwards.

You created these lovely pink shoes specially for Wimbledon tennis fortnight, because obviously being in the village you’re right in the heart of it aren’t you?

Yes we started doing a special item for the Wimbledon tournament last year, and they proved to be really popular.

Last year we just produced one sample as a window display to be part of the whole atmosphere of Wimbledon, but they proved to be so popular that this year we decided to do a small limited production run of the shoes for Wimbledon, and again they proved very popular.

We have decided that every year from now on we’re going to do a special item for the Wimbledon tournament.

Strawberry Kiss: limited edition for the Wimbledon Tennis 2017

Strawberry Kiss: limited edition for the Wimbledon Tennis 2017

A few years ago you reshored your footwear manufacturing back to the UK,  where were you making before that?

We were producing everything in Italy. It is supposed to be the capital of shoemaking and I suppose for the level of footwear that we were wanting to produce there was no other option at the time.

What was your motivation to bring the production back to the UK a few years ago?

It was something that I’d always wanted to do.  I’d studied at Cordwainers College, which is now part of the London College of Fashion. My whole education was here, so I’d always felt that I wanted to do something here.

About four years ago we noticed there was a distinct change in Italy. The product was becoming more expensive to produce; there were quite a few factories closing down around us; and I felt that put us in a pretty precarious position. We were subcontracted to other factories so our whole business was reliant on those factories. We didn’t have total control.  So we decided that we would scale back a bit, and try and set up some UK manufacturing.

People said we were mad, but I felt it was something that was possible, and so we started in a slow way. We’re slowly getting bigger and it’s proving to be quite successful.

So you have your own premises where you make shoes yourself, and that’s nearby to the shop isn’t it?

That’s right,  plus we also use a lot of outsourced workers, and so we’re gradually building a team around us. Eventually we would like to have everything in-house, and produce everything in one spot.

Joseph Azagury British made raffia shoes

So one of the motivations was to have total control over the business?

That’s right, and it also gives us a lot of flexibility. For example, with somebody who’s looking for a pair of shoes but they want it made up in a different colour, or with a slight alteration to the pattern, we can provide that kind of service.

People said you were mad when you decided to re-shore your manufacturing, what would you say has been the biggest challenge you faced in doing so?

The biggest challenge was actually finding people who could do the work, and we’re still looking for people, so if anybody’s out there and they’re involved in the shoe business, contact us…

What would you say is the biggest benefit so far?

We get more control over the whole operation and our costs have dramatically reduced, which is surprising.  It’s actually much more economical to do it this way, producing by hand in this country. We still import all the leathers and components and things from Italy, because those people aren’t available in the UK anymore. Overall, the whole operation has worked really well.

What would you say to another brand that’s currently making their items offshore,  if they’re thinking about doing the same thing? 

Look into it, maybe it’s not suited to every industry, but I don’t see why it shouldn’t be. Study it well, and if you feel it’s possible then take the plunge.

I think a lot of the time people are scared to manufacture in the UK because people just don’t do it anymore.

Mandy champagne & clutch by Joseph Azagury

Mandy champagne & clutch by Joseph Azagury

At the moment reshoring is quite topical as Clark’s are opening a very large shoe factory in the UK. Do you think more shoe brands will follow suit and start manufacturing here?

Well I hope so because once the factories are in place you will start getting the people producing the components for the shoe industry in this country, and find the leather suppliers based in this country too. You’ll have the whole offer. Everything could be 100% British made.

At the moment we have to get the leathers them from Italy, but if the suppliers were here we would use them.

Do you think that if we have more footwear manufacturing here then more young people will learn the crafts associated with making shoes?

Yes, but I think our whole industry is changing as well. We have to be realistic that technology is taking over. I think the traditional cobbler sitting over a stool, with nails in his teeth, will die out. That’s the same with everything, you have to accept it.

For us there’s a limit to the way we manufacture the shoes and the quantities that we can produce at the moment.

Slowly we will have to start introducing technology, so the people coming into the industry I suspect will be more technologists than shoemakers.

Kathryn Black Suede: elegant but practical heels by Joseph Azagury

Kathryn Black Suede: elegant but practical heels by Joseph Azagury

How many pairs of shoes would you say you’re making here a month at the moment?

We produce approximately 50 pairs a week.

That seems quite a lot when you’re doing it all yourself? 

Well the thing is, the way we’ve set it up is that it’s a handmade operation, but with the mentality of a production line. We’ve combined the two, and that enables us to produce a lot more than a traditional handmade shoe.

Is there a particular style that you manufacturer here at the moment?

We produce everything from our strawberry kiss shoes to knee length boots to simple little kitten heel classics. We can produce anything that takes our fancy.

You’ve been in this industry for a very long time, with a shop in Knightsbridge before the shop in Wimbledon. Are you happy in Wimbledon?

Oh, extremely happy, it really is an ideal location for us.

Do you make any white label shoes for brands?

That’s something that we don’t do at the moment, but it’s something that we would be happy to look at for the future, once we’ve got a larger production space.

Do you make any children’s shoes?

No, it’s something we’ve never done.

Would you go down that road or will you stick to what you do best?

I think at the moment we have to stick to what we do best. Trying to deviate at the moment would just take away our focus from what we’re currently doing. Who knows, maybe in the future – anything’s possible.

Olivia sand suede, perfect smart/casual footwear

Olivia sand suede, perfect smart/casual footwear

 

And for a business like Joseph Azagury it seems like anything could be possible!

To find out more about Joseph Azagury click here or visit him at www.josephazagury.co.uk

If you have a business that makes in the UK and would like to find out more about how you can become a member and feature on the site click here for more details about joining.

 

 

The Make it British guide to British-made cycle clothing and accessories – updated for 2017

When we started the Make it British blog in 2011 we ran an article about British-made cycle clothing and accessories. Back then such items were difficult to find.

Thankfully there has been a big increase in quality cycle-wear made in the UK and with cycling becoming all the more popular we thought it was time for an update.

Thanks to our friends on Instagram we have also learned about a few more brands to add to the list, enjoy!

Alpkit

Alpkit British-made bike packing

Alpkit British-made bike packing

Based on the edge of the Peak District, Alpkit have their own small factory making duffles, packs and bike packing bags.

BEE Clothing

Bee Outwear British-made cycling clothes

Bee Outwear British-made cycling clothes

Outerwear and shirting all handmade in East London. BEE have a strong affinity with city cycling, often featuring reflective strips, back pockets, advanced waterproofing and a little give and stretch for greater pedalling comfort.

Bike Nicks

Bike Nicks British-made cycle clothing

Bike Nicks British-made cycle clothing

Bike nicks are padded cycle undies especially for women!

Carradice

Carradice British-made cycle bags

Carradice British-made cycle bags

Carradice bicycle bags have been designed and hand made in Nelson, Lancashire since 1932.

Findra

Findra British-made cycle clothing

Findra British-made cycle clothing

Performance clothing and bike wear for women, made in Scotland.

Force GB

Force GB British-made cycle clothing

Force GB British-made cycle clothing

Force GB have been producing performance sportswear in the UK for more than 30 years.

GRN Sportswear

GRN Sportswear British-made cycle clothing

GRN Sportswear British-made cycle clothing

Ethically-made sportswear and cycle clothing sustainably manufactured in Britain.

Hackney GT

Hackney GT made in England

Hackney GT made in England

Back in 2011 they were a one man show. Hackney GT was created by cycling nut and devout weekend racer Russ Jones. It all started with a single one-off jersey design made for his music production company, and that was the start of this fabulous brand.

Impsport

Impsport British-made cycle clothing

Impsport British-made cycle clothing

Impsport specialise in custom cycling clothing, triathlon clothing & athletics clothing. They are UK based and manufacture for over 300 clubs, teams and organisations.

Mamnick

Mamnick British-made cycle socks

Mamnick British-made cycle socks

Made in England, the Mamnick lite socks are perfect for cycling.

No Such Thing Clothing

No Such Thing British-made cycle clothing

No Such Thing British-made cycle clothing

A fashion brand for women who ride. Based in London, the collection is manufactured there too (with just one exception, the technical tailored jackets).

Ride with Wolves

Ride with Wolves British-made cycle clothing

Ride with Wolves British-made cycle clothing

Hand screen-printed reflective ethical clothing from South East London, perfect for cycling.

R.E.W Reynolds

R.E.W Reynolds British-made cycle shoes

R.E.W Reynolds British-made cycle shoes

Classic Bench-made English cycling shoes, made in Northampton since 1921.

Shutt Velo Rapide

Shutt British-made cycle jerseys

Shutt British-made cycle jerseys

Based in Oxfordshire, all Shutt products are designed in Great Britain. Many of their jersey ranges are handmade in Leicestershire.

Sockmine

Sockmine British-made cycle socks

Sockmine British-made cycle socks

Born from Roy Lowe and Sons in 2013, SockMine is a brand of highly technical socks manufactured in north Nottinghamshire, here in Great Britain.

Trakke

Trakke British-made cycle accessories

Trakke British-made cycle accessories

High quality British-made bags. Inspired by vintage mountaineering equipment and handmade in Scotland.

Velobici

Velobici British-made cycle clothes and accessories

Velobici British-made cycle clothes and accessories

Velobici is an English company that produce all of their garments and accessories in their hometown of Leicester.

Velocity 

Velocity British cyclewear

Velocity British cyclewear

Great British urban cyclewear. All clothes designed and manufactured in London.

Vel-Oh

Vel-Oh handmade bags

Vel-Oh handmade bags

Born in London, currently made in Ireland, Vel-Oh is a cycling couture brand that redefines the nature of how we commute in style.

  Click here to subscribe 

Athleisure – clothing that takes you from the gym to the street – is on the rise. But which brands are making it in the UK? Here’s our guide to athleisure gear that’s made in Britain

We put a call out on Instagram for gym and sportswear brands that are made in the UK. Given the growing popularity of this trend it was surprising that there was little to choose from. We’d love to find more, so if you have any suggestions please let us know in the comments at the bottom of this post.

AIM Athleisure

AIM Athleisure made in Britain AIM brings the worlds of fashion and gym together. They use the highest quality fabrics to create a look and everything is manufactured in the UK. They also offer a personalisation service to make your gym gear truly personal.

Bags of Love

Bags of Love British-made leggings

Bags of Love British-made leggings

Bags of Love make personalised products of all types including these leggings. Perfect for making a statement in the gym and made in the UK, of course. Just upload your own print of photo, choose the fabric,  length and thread colour and you have your own unique pair of leggings for the gym

Bosom Buddies Sportswear

Bosom Buddies Sportswear

Bosom Buddies Sportswear

Women’s British-made sportswear brand designed by a fitness instructor and manufactured in the UK.

State of Mind

State of Mind Active wear made in BritainA sports and swimwear brand for women in sizes 14 to 28. All made in the UK, naturally.

Katz Dancewear

Katz UK-made Dancewear

Katz UK-made Dancewear

Katz Dancewear, as a leading manufacturer of dancewear in the UK, provides a comprehensive range of shoes, garments, accessories and gifts for dancers of all ages.

Contrado UK

Contrado UK British-made personalised fitness wear

Contrado UK British-made personalised fitness wear

Contrado work with creatives to turn their ideas into products, including fitness wear. Everything they make is printed and handmade in London.

Gossypium

Gossypium yoga and activewear made in the UK

Voted the top ethical sportswear brand by Ethical Consumer, Gossypium  have been producing British-made yoga and activewear from organic cotton since 1998.

Josery

Josery athletic tees, made in Nottingham

Josery athletic tees, made in Nottingham

Josery is a UK manufacturer and brand that produce all of their garments in the UK. They both knit the fabric and make the garments, including these athletic tees.

Sockmine

Sockmine UK performance socks

Sockmine UK performance socks

Technical sports socks made in Britain, for every activity imaginable!

Walsh

Walsh Casual British-made sports footwear

Walsh Casual British-made sports footwear

Since 1961 Norman Walsh UK have been making performance, casual, fell running, footwear. They  are the only British-owned and manufactured sports footwear brand left in the UK.

Fehr Trade

Fehr Trade digital sewing patterns for activewear

Fehr Trade digital sewing patterns for activewear

Fehr Trade gives you the option to have activewear, not only made in Britain, but made by you! They sell a variety of digital sewing patterns for activewear. Why not make your own?

Think we’ve missed something out? or got an idea for another Top 10 feature that we could run? We’d love to hear your ideas…

Click here to subscribe 

Closing Date 9th August 2017

Your chance to WIN the Tranquil Turquoise Silver Charm Bracelet from ANNIE HAAK Designs, worth £255.

Tranquil Turquoise Silver Charm Bracelet by Annie Haak

Tranquil Turquoise Silver Charm Bracelet by Annie Haak

ANNIE HAAK Designs create a beautiful range of silver and gold  bracelets, necklaces, rings and stacks, from their dedicated production, administrative and marketing head quarters in Petersfield, Hampshire.

Annie started her business from the kitchen table of her cottage back in 2009 and has overseen her fledging venture as it has become a thriving organisation that now employs more than 20 people. The brand has become the height of jewellery cool and now produces handmade pieces for customers around the world.

ANNIE HAAK Designs are now offering one lucky reader the chance to WIN the gorgeous Tranquil Turquoise Silver Charm Bracelet which is worth £255.

The bracelet is features five bracelets hand-threaded with calming cracked-effect turquoise beads, nestled between a variety of gorgeous Sterling silver beads and spacers, complete with a mix of charms inspired by summer.

To be in with a chance of winning the bracelet all you have to do is answer this simple question:

From the table of which room did Annie Haak start her jewellery business?

Competition now closed

For more information about Annie Haak visit her here or at www.anniehaakdesigns.co.uk

As far as events go, they don’t come much more British than the Wimbledon Tennis Championships. If you’re struggling for what to wear to such a British event, then surely you should start with something made in Britain? Read on for inspiration…

The Wimbledon Tennis Championships, held annually at the 42 acre site in Wimbledon, date back to 1877.  They’re attended by nearly half a million people, who consume 28,000kg of fresh strawberries between them!

Famous for not only the tennis, but also the people watching. If you’re lucky enough to have a ticket but are wondering what to wear, we’ve got you covered.

Here’s the ultimate list of what to wear to Wimbledon…and everything is made in Britain…

Womenswear to wear at Wimbledon

Clockwise from top left: Ince Umbrella, Walter and Herbert sunglasses, Biba and Rose pendant, VVA handbag, Alie Street dress, Yull Shoes

Start with a poppy print dress by Judy Murray favourite Alie Street. Accessorise with a pair of baby blue Kensington shoes by Yull and a silver Dahlia Tote from VVA Handbags and a turquoise pendant necklace from Biba and Rose. If you’re lucky enough it will be sunny, in which case you’ll need a pair of Taylor sunglasses from Walter & Herbert. But just in case of showers make sure to take a ladies solid stick umbrella from Ince Umbrellas.


What to wear to Wimbledon: For Men

Men what to wear Wimbledon

L to R: Johnstons of Elgin scarf, Banton Frameworks sunglasses, Teddy Edward shirt, Hemingsworth shorts, Chatham Footwear boat shoes, Lawrence and Foster linen cap

Since you can now wear shorts to Wimbledon, except in the Royal Box, you might like to wear a pair by new British brand Hemingsworth. Team with a grandad shirt by Teddy Edward and a Merino scarf from Johnston’s of Elgin at Private White V.C. Accessorise with a pair of boat shoes from the made in Britain collection at Chatham Footwear and a linen cap from Yorkshire hatters Lawrence and Foster. And don’t forget your sunnies…these are from Bantom Frameworks.


You might also like to take…

What you need to take to Wimbledon

Clockwise from top left: Folksglove picninc rug, J Price tennis ball, Strawberries and Pimms

A picnic rug from Folksglove will always come in handy when sitting down to tuck into some strawberries washed down with a glass of Pimms. And did you know that we still make tennis balls in the UK? Price of Bath have been making tennis balls in England since the late 1930’s and are now the only remaining tennis ball manufacturer in the Western world. Check out their website for the amazing different colours and personalised tennis balls that they make.

All the sunny weather in the UK recently has turned our attention to buying some British-made sunglasses. Read on to find out which sunglasses are made in Britain and by whom…

British-made Sunglasses

Top 10 British-made Sunglasses

We’d also like to give a special mention to eyewear designer Brian McGinn who gave us a pretty comprehensive low down on how to find some of these British-made sunglass brands.

According to Brian McGinn: “There are incredibly few British-made sunglasses brands, there are vastly more British brands producing in Asia and Europe. There are probably more craftsmen/women that will make you a bespoke frame… The UK has a solid stable of eyewear designers, freelance and in-house, working with the biggest of marques and littlest of independents.

Banton Frame Works

Banton Frameworks was born from a passion for design and manufacture. They were inspired by the UK’s manufacturing past, which was renowned for producing high quality goods that could last you a lifetime.

Barrow and Flux

Barrow and Flux

Barrow and Flux

Barrow & Flux, at its core, is a collaboration between Justin Barrow and Christian Flux. Together they handmake wooden framed glasses in England.

Bonafide MC Ginn

Bonafide MC Ginn

Bonafide MC Ginn

Eyewear design studio in London with some designs, like these, made here.

Edward Gucewicz

Mr Edward Gucewicz

Mr Edward Gucewicz

Gucewicz Eyewear is made in horn, camel bone, mammoth tusk and steel and made in London.

Magneteyes

Magneteyes

Magneteyes

Magneteyes make optical quality eco friendly magnetically connected eyewear. Designed in London Made in England

Moat House 

Moat House

Moat House

Genuinely Handcrafted Wooden Sunglasses by Moat House. Made in England from sustainable exotic hardwoods.

Occles

Occles

Occles

Slimline design with comfort rubber eye pads. Occles eye shades block out 100% of ambient light. They are designed and made in Edinburgh.

 

Premiere Optical

Premiere Optical

Premiere Optical

Hand-made, bespoke glasses made in the UK by experienced craftsmen & women.

Savile Row

Savile Row Sunglasses

Savile Row

All Savile Row glasses have been handmade in London since the 1930’s. They make sunglass clip-ons for most of their frames, like the Panto style above.

Termite Eyewear

Termite

Termite

Termite is a new fashion accessories brand based in London. Offering fun high fashion pieces designed and handmade from recycled wood.

Click here to subscribe 

Award-winning designer Bianca Elgar tells us how she has grown her British brand with a passion for creativity and luxury

Award winning designer, Bianca Elgar

Womenswear designer Bianca Elgar

Bianca, can you give a brief overview of your brand for anyone not familiar with Bianca Elgar? Bianca Elgar is an award-winning capsule wardrobe collection which includes scarves, skirts and dresses along with tops and a soon to be launched collection of versatile statement jewellery. We have a passion for quality clothes and statement accessories that make wearers look and feel good.

Everything we design is inspired by the love for creativity, which shows in our prints – they are like wearable pieces of art. The collections are perfect for a business woman looking for that statement piece to finish a work outfit, and great for lovers of high quality, uniquely luxurious pieces.

How has your brand evolved from when you first launched? From humble beginnings at my kitchen table as a print designer for interiors, via my studio garden shed, to being the scarf brand of choice for leading business women, my love and passion for quality and versatility remains.

My passion is for creating items of ‘wearable art’ that will not only look good and make you feel stylish, but will become part of a treasured capsule wardrobe. The brand has evolved with us now going into jewellery, but the ethos remains the same; good design, high quality, innovative, all made in Britain.

Bodleian reversible bolero jacket

Bodleian reversible bolero jacket by Bianca Elgar

What is the best piece of business advice that you can give to others starting up their own British-made brand? Mistakes are only an issue if you don’t learn from them. In business, as in life, follow your heart and your gut instinct.

What has influenced the directions you have taken with the brand? A love for creativity, quality fashion and life! I love designing; from the concept, right through to the creation and presentation. I’m at my happiest when I’m creating. I have developed the Bianca Elgar brand to allow me to share my passion with others; offering them the ability to create their own style and for that style to remain relevant and unique in the ever-changing fashion world. I would like my pieces to become heirlooms.

What value do you think being British-made gives to your customers?

My customers want a luxurious item and manufacturing in Britain gives them that. Sometimes I find that people outside of the UK seem to value this more than consumers here, who often don’t appreciate the value as much as those overseas, for example in China.

Bianca won the Bronze A’Design award for this dress in the Fashion, Apparel and Garment Design Category 2016-2017

How do you promote your brand? I am a firm believer in collaborating with other brands with a similar ethos and style. In a very uncertain market it is necessary to promote that we are part of the “Made in Britain” brand, whenever we can. We use social media, and direct marketing to tell our story.

You exhibited at our Meet the Manufacturer event this year in the new Brand Hall. How did you find this experience? I felt a sense of belonging, at home amongst people that speak the same Make it British language.

Right at the start of setting up my brand, I received a lot of help from Kate Hills (the founder of Make it British). She inspired me to manufacture my brand in Britain.

I have visited the MTM show over the last four years, it is a lovely way of keeping in touch with manufacturers and to build up good working relationships, which is one of the best things about manufacturing in the UK.

What are the benefits for a brand like yourself in exhibiting at a show like Meet the Manufacturer? I feel that there are many benefits for a brand like ours. Meet the Manufacturer puts our company, and what we create, face to face with customers, prospect and potential suppliers. The main reason for taking part was to generate awareness and ultimately, to make a sale.

There are a very many other opportunities that trade shows bring; we obtain customer feedback, meet the press, find partners and form strategic alliances, provide customer service, identify market trends and find that ideal ‘gap’ in the market!

The three sided skinny scarf by Bianca won the A’Design Silver award in the Fashion and Travel Accessories Design category 2016-2017

What is next for your ever-growing brand? Customers are contacting us directly following our award winning year after much positive press about us in the fashion media. We are so lucky that we have become established as an innovative brand and are now being bought directly by lovers of ‘wearable art’ and the businesswoman looking for that statement piece to set off any business outfit.

We’ll be launching a versatile statement jewellery collection soon. I cant say too much at the moment but it will include multipurpose pieces of jewellery to work with the wider collection. All made in Britain of course!

Where can we find you?

Find me in the Make it British directory here or visit my website at www.biancaelgar.com 

Your chance to WIN a made-to-fit skirt in your choice of linen or wool, from British designer Maquien.

Maquien are offering our winner the choice of two skirts, one being a linen skirt like this, perfect for summer and holidays.

Maquien is an independent British company in the East Riding of Yorkshire, founded by Vonny Law.  Maquien brings you outstanding stylish and practical garments for smart, casual and relaxed wear, in the town, city or country.

Born from the river banks of Scotland, their cloths are sourced solely in Britain, designed and manufactured in England. Maquien offer ready to wear but also bespoke garments and they are offering one lucky reader the chance to win a truly bespoke prize.

The lucky winner can choose between a summer linen skirt or a fine lambswool skirt which will carry you through to the winter months.

Maquien will make for our winner their own skirt in their choice of wool or linen to fit their exact measurements. Linen can be white or natural with contrast panels, and the wool skirt, can be rich blue as shown, or navy.

All you have to do to be in with a chance of winning is answer this simple question:

Where is Maquien based?

Competition now closed

To find out more about Maquien click here or visit them at www.maquien.co.uk 

 

 

 

Your chance to WIN a bespoke full wet shaving kit worth over £50 from The Personal Barber

personal barber

Bespoke Wet shaving kit from The Personal Barber

As our attention this week turns to presents for Dad, The Personal Barber are offering one lucky person a prize that would make any Dad smile, or any man for that matter.

The Personal Barber specialises in premium, bespoke grooming kits for the quality savvy gentleman. Focusing on the benefits of using a single blade, their kits are designed to get you enjoying your daily routine by introducing exciting new brands, scents and unusual products.

The Personal Barber features products from around the world but by far the majority of them are British born. A big part of their ethos is in promoting small businesses which is why a lot of their products are made from independent British brands.

This really is a fabulous prize for any gentleman who likes to take care of himself with quality products.

To be in with a chance of winning just answer this simple question:

The Personal Barber focus on the benefits of using which type of blade?

Competition now closed

To find out more about The Personal Barber click here or visit them at www.thepersonalbarber.com

We bring you our Top 40 of the best British-made men’s accessories made in Britain

With Father’s Day just around the corner we bring you some inspiration with our list of the top 40 British-made Men’s accessories.

Barnes and Moore

Barnes and Moore British-made Father's Day gifts

Barnes and Moore

High quality leather goods and accessories crafted by hand in England.

Bespoke British Pens

Bespoke British Pens British-made Father's Day Gifts

Bespoke British Pens

Crafted by hand at workshops across England, each Bespoke British Pen is an example of British craftsmanship at its finest

Chapman Bags

Chapman Bags British-made Father's Day Gifts

Chapman Bags

Chapman Bags makes hand crafted Men’s and Women’s bags and luggage in canvas, tweed, leather, performance and technical fabrics.

Charlie Noble

Charlie Noble British-made Father's Day Gifts

Charlie Noble

The Charlie Noble is a luxurious, stylish and robust British made bag crafted from Bridge of Weir leather containing traditional handmade bats, balls and boules.

Cherchbi

Cherchbi British-made Father's Day Gifts

Cherchbi

Cherchbi craft modern men’s and women’s bags, leather goods and accessories in a robust, traditional quality using Herdwick wool and British leather.

Cordings 

Cordings of Piccadilly British-made Father's Day Gifts

Cordings of Piccadilly

Cordings of Piccadilly have been selling Brilliantly British clothing for 175 years. Their clients over the years have included the Queen Mother, Wallis Simpson; and they even kitted out Stanley before his expedition to find Dr Livingstone.

Corrymoor Socks

Corrymoor Socks British-made Father's Day Gifts

Corrymoor Socks

Mohair socks made from the Corrymoor flock of organic angora goats. They don’t smell, they don’t shrink and they’re kind to sensitive skin.

Cravat Club

Cravat Club British-made Father's Day Gifts

Cravat Club

Silk Cravats, Ties, Scarves & Pocket Squares. Handcrafted In England.

Croots

Croots British-made Father's Day Gifts

Croots

Quality Leather Gun slips, Cartridge bags, Game bags & Canvas Sporting Luggage. Handmade in England using the finest Leathers & Cotton Canvas.

Dancy’s

Dancy's British-made Father's Day Gifts

Dancy’s

British Bow ties, Ties and Pocket Squares. Skill and craftsmanship  goes into each and every one of their British made products.

DarkStar Leatherworks

DarkStar Leatherworks British-made Father's Day Gifts

DarkStar Leatherworks

Handmade leather accessories that are practical and look good whether at home, the office or on your motorcycle.

EDG London

EDG London British-made Father's Day Gifts

EDG London

Luxury designer British-made cufflinks and fashion accessories. Modelled here by style blogger Grey Fox.

Elytra England

Elytra England British-made Father's Day Gifts

Elytra England

Handcrafted contemporary leather accessories.

Ettinger

Ettinger British-made Father's Day Gifts

Ettinger

Founded in 1934, Ettinger is one of the finest luxury leather goods manufacturers in Great Britain and the only one with a Royal Warrant to HRH The Prince of Wales.

Furious Goose

Furious Goose British-made Father's Day Gifts

Furious Goose

Home of fine accessories, pocket squares, silk scarves and luxury gifts for those who dare to be different.

Galloway Kemp

Galloway Kemp British-made Father's Day Gifts

Galloway Kemp

Galloway Kemp is a new company designing and handcrafting luxurious bags and accessories utilising many traditional quality materials such as canvas, tweed and leather.

Geoff Stocker

Geoff Stocker British-made Father's Day Gifts

Geoff Stocker

Pocket Squares and other Men’s Accessories designed on computer by Geoff Stocker and digitally printed onto silk in the UK.

Glenalmond Tweed

Glenalmond Tweed British-made Father's Day Gifts

Glenalmond Tweed

Glenalmond Tweed Company provides quality Harris Tweed Clothing and Harris Tweed Products in the UK.

Harry Gaddum

Harry Gaddum British-made Father's Day Gifts

Harry Gaddum

British-made Harry Gaddum smart casual waistcoats, shirts and bow ties for men and ‘mini-me’s’, captures early 20th century elegance with a contemporary twist.

Heistercamp

Heistercamp British-made Father's Day Gifts

Heistercamp

Heistercamp make Handmade Leather Belts, Leather Messenger Bags for Men and Guitar Straps from our workshop in Devon.

Hettie

Hettie British-made Father's Day Gifts

Hettie

Accessories for Dog-Fathers and Kid-Father’s alike!

Holdall & Co.

Holdall & Co British-made Father's Day Gifts

Holdall & Co

British based designer and manufacturer of luxury leather accessories.

Ince Umbrellas

Ince Umbrellas British-made Father's Day Gifts

Ince Umbrellas

Ince offer a bespoke commission manufacturing service and can tailor the design and style of the umbrella to suit your unique specifications.

Marko John’s

Marko John's British-made Father's Day Gifts

Marko John’s

Marko John’s socks are made in England by a family-run business that has been making superior British socks since 1895.

Mondo Magna

Mondo Magna British-made Father's Day Gifts

Mondo Magna

Original and exclusive patterns, printed onto silk, then made into pocket squares with beautiful hand-rolled, hand-stitched hems and fabulous bow-ties.

N’Damus

N'Damus British-made Father's Day Gifts

N’Damus

N’Damus London is an independent luxury British accessories brand making handmade high quality leather goods with classic & distinctive designs for men & women.

NPS Shoes

NPS British-made Father's Day Gifts

NPS

Classic British-made shoes, since 1881.

Ottely

Ottely British-made Father's Day Gifts

Ottely

Ottely is a bespoke leather goods studio hand making fine quality handbags, belts and accessories.

Outline Leather

Outline Leather British-made Father's Day Gifts

Outline Leather

Outline Leather is a brand founded by two cousins to create customisable leather products from the finest materials.

Pantherella

Pantherella British-made Father's Day Gifts

Pantherella

Pantherella quality English socks – Made in England since 1937. The best yarns & signature hand-linked seams create the world’s finest socks.

Roy’s Boys

Roy's Boys British-made Father's Day Gifts

Roy’s Boys

Brilliantly odd, eccentrically British socks. The perfect gift for every trendy Dad.

Sipahi & Co

Sipahi & Co British-made Father's Day Gifts

Sipahi & Co

Eco-luxury leather goods that look amazing.

Skye Weavers

Skye Weavers British-made Father's Day Gifts

Skye Weavers

A small weaving and sewing business based on the Hebridean Isle of Skye. On their bicycle pedal-powered loom they weave a variety of woollen products including scarves, blankets, throws and wraps.

Teddy Edward of Wysall

Teddy Edward British-made Father's Day Gifts

Teddy Edward

Luxury British-made women’s and men’s clothing and accessories.

The Leather Satchel Co

The Leather Satchel British-made Father's Day Gifts

The Leather Satchel

British Made Leather Satchels, Bags and Accessories since 1966.

The Personal Barber

The Personal Barber British-made Father's Day Gifts

The Personal Barber

Hand-picked choices of the best shaving products available, delivered right to your door.

Tura London

Tura British-made Father's Day Gifts

Tura

Tura, The Belts & Leather Accessories Manufacturers.

Tusting

Tusting British-made Father's Day Gifts

Tusting

Tusting British leathergoods have a long heritage sewn into their luxury leather luggage, briefcases, handbags and accessories.

Whitlock Wooden Designs

Whitlock Wooden Designs British-made Father's Day Gifts

Whitlock Wooden Designs

Stunning & Traditional Unique Pens Made By John At Whitlock Wooden Designs.

The Worcestershire Leather Co.

Worcestershire Leather British-made Father's Day Gifts

Worcestershire Leather

The Worcestershire Leather Company provide 30 years expertise in creating Quality Handmade Leather Belts, for men and women

  Click here to subscribe 

Your chance to WIN a fabulous selection of British-made gifts in our prize draw to celebrate Meet the Manufacturer 2017

To celebrate the arrival of the Make it British Brand Hall within our Meet the Manufacturer 2017 event, we have got together with some amazing British Brands to bring you the biggest prize draw we have ever done!

Prizes to be won include a leather handbag from Jardine of London, an amazing pen from Bespoke British Pens, socks from Roy’s Boys, a luxury all-in-one Tiger print pyjama from Camille, a gorgeous jumper from Channel Jumpers, a unicorn dress from Wild Things, a Mathmos Lava Lamp, silk pocket squares from Furious Goose and Geoff Stocker, a cushion from Adriana Homeware, a silk scarf from The Silk Bureau, a complete beauty set from Bee Good, an Alpaca Shawl from Plum of London, jewellery from Quince England and Ronin, silk accessories from Bianca Elgar and Mondo Magna, a T-shirt from Good Joe, a giant bubble kit from Dr. Ziggs, iPad cover from Hettie, union jack cushion and head rest covers from LS Prints, artwork from Ostara London, ribbon from Cole Fabrics, a canvas bag from Bee & Tea, a scarf from Justine Tabak, a Muggi drinks tray and the all important Carrything, to carry it all in!

One lucky person will WIN the whole lot, worth thousands of pounds.

If you want to be in with a chance there are two ways to enter:

  1. Attend the Meet the Manufacturer show and visit the Make it British stand within the Brand Hall. There you can see the prizes displayed and leave a business card at the stand to enter.
  2. If you are not able to make the show you can enter here until 31st May 2017 by answering this simple question:

Which event will the British Brands Prize Draw be displayed at?

Our lucky winner will be revealed on our Facebook LIVE at 1pm 1st June 2017.

Good luck!

Sorry. This form is no longer available.

 

Clothing manufacturers, bag makers, fabric mills, knitwear factories, a wool room and an enterprise room specially for small businesses…find it all at ‘Meet the Manufacturer 2017’

UK manufacturers

Find UK manufacturers at Meet the Manufacturer 2016

One of the questions that I most often get asked is:

‘Where can I find UK manufacturers to make my products, I’ve looked everywhere!?‘.

So in 2014 I set up an event to solve just that problem. A trade show and conference for the UK manufacturing industry called, for want of a better name at the time, Meet the Manufacturer.

uk manufacturer trade show

The inaugural event was in 2014 and featured 56 manufacturers. This year the event will have over 170 suppliers to the UK fashion, textile and homewares industry as well as British brands that produce in Britain.

It is the place to come if you want to find a British manufacturer that can make a product to your specifications. It doesn’t matter whether your orders are large or small, there are different types of manufacturers there for everyone, and for every type of product.UK manufacturers trade show

Part of the reason that I set the show up was because I was amazed at how many people didn’t go and visit manufacturers and meet them face to face. I think this in-person networking is essential if you want to successfully make a product in the UK. I even wrote an article giving 5 good reasons why you should meet your manufacturer face to face – you can read it on our event website or on Linkedin here.

UK manufacturers trade showAlongside the trade show we also hold seminars, with leading industry speakers who can inspire you and help your business to understand the benefits and challenges of making in the UK. See the agenda here.

This year we have even more for you to see with live demonstrations and work shops and the opportunity to Meet the Expert.

As well as the free to attend seminars taking place throughout the show, we are also hosting live workshops and demonstrations in the Sewing Area of the main Manufacturers Hall. Here you will be able to see live millinery, pattern cutting, printing, leather work and of course sewing taking place. For details on the workshops click here.

We are also hosting Meet the Expert sessions this year in our Enterprise Hall. You’ll have the opportunity to meet industry experts and pick their brains on everything from production, marketing, sourcing and of course manufacturing. Click here to find out more.

I look forward to seeing you at the show.

Meet the Manufacturer, 24-25th May, The Old Truman Brewery, London. E1

To find out more about the Meet the Manufacturer trade show and conference and to register for a free trade show pass or to buy a conference ticket visit our event website at:

www.meetthemanufacturer.co.uk

RA Smart Stand

Click here to subscribe