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We give you the top 20 British scarves and soft accessories, perfect for Mother’s Day

With the help of our friends at Instagram, we have selected for you a list of British-made soft accessories including silk, cashmere and a little bit of velvet!

Arati Devasher

Arati Devasher British silk

Arati Devasher British made silk scarves

Individually dyed and hand painted silk scarves from Arati Devasher.

Agnes Ashe

Agnes Ashe British made silk scarves

Agnes Ashe British made silk scarves

Unique ornate hand painted silk scarves from Agnes Ashe.

Bianca Elgar

Bianca Elgar British silk accessories

Bianca Elgar British silk accessories

Bianca Elgar luxury silk scarves, all made in Britain with fun and colourful designs.

Furious Goose

Furious Goose British accessories

Furious Goose

Furious Goose Silk Squares & Scarves Home of fine accessories, pocket squares, foulards and luxury gifts for those who dare to be different.

Geoff Stocker 

Geoff Stocker British silk pocket squares

Geoff Stocker British silk pocket squares

Geoff Stocker provide digitally designed and printed silk accessories for men although, as our competition winner demonstrates, they look pretty fabulous on women too!

Glendinning Designs

Glendinning Designs British scarves

Glendinning Designs

Canadian/Scottish artist and designer Gail Glendinning has created a beautiful 100% silk, British scarf collection.

Helen Moore

Helen Moore faux fur scarf

Helen Moore faux fur scarf

Helen Moore is a premier brand for hand finished faux fur products using the softest and most luxurious fabric available. Her gorgeous range includes scarves, stoles, wraps ad muffs.

Leona Lengyel

Leona Lengyel British accessories

Leona Lengyel

Leona Lengyel transforms her beautiful hand painted designs onto luxurious silk scarves. The UK accessories label creates high quality scarves.

Mondo Magna

Mondo Magna British silk squares

Mondo Magna British silk squares

Mondo Magna started with a collection of men’s silk pocket squares but a ladies collection is coming soon….watch this space!

Mouse to Minx

Mouse to Minx British accessories

Mouse to Minx

Mouse to Minx designs and makes textiles in the UK from which a range of fashion, accessory and home products are manufactured, including these very British scarves.

Nonamu

Nonamu British accessories

Nonamu London based accessories label

Nonamu is a London-based accessories label founded by award-winning Malaysian designer. She infuses femininity and fun into every design.

Romor Designs

Romor Designs British accessories

Romor Designs hand dyed silk accessories

Romor Designs indio and natural dyed shibori textiles – lampshades, throws, cushions, tableware, scarves and bags.

Ruth Dent

Ruth Dent British silk accessories

Ruth Dent silk scarves

Limited edition scarves created from Ruth’s original artwork: bold and expressive abstracts inspired by music, literature, poetry and live performance.

Taisir Gibreel

Taisir Gibreel luxury silk scarves

Taisir Gibreel luxury silk scarves

Taisir Gibreel is one of the UK’s most exciting up-and-coming textile designers making gorgeous silk accessories and dresses.

Turtle Doves

Turtle Doves British accessories

Turtle Doves velvet accessory

Turtle Doves is a Shropshire based company specialising in hand-made recycled cashmere and silk accessories.

Wallace Sewell

Wallace Sewell British scarves

Wallace Sewell silk and cashmere scarf

A highly individual woven textile design studio established in 1990 by Harriet Wallace-Jones and Emma Sewell, creating innovative woven fabrics exploiting industrial techniques. We love this silk and cashmere scarf!

Zana Prints

Zana Prints made in UK silk scarves

Zana Prints made in UK silk scarves

Zana Prints offer gorgeous silk scarves and the premium range scarves are limited edition designed and printed in England on the finest silks available.

Age of Reason

Age of Reason British accessories

Age of Reason

Age of Reason make fun, beautiful silk scarves, made ethically with an emphasis on quality and sustainability. Age of Reason work with seamstresses and printers in the UK.

David Watson

David Watson British made silk scarves

David Watson British scarves

The silk scarves and pocket squares are 100% silk twill made in England with hand rolled hems, so you can rest assured they will last the test of time.

Jo Gordon Knitwear

Jo Gordon Scottish knitwear

Jo Gordon Knitwear

Although Jo Gordon offers knitwear we have included them in this as they offer a fabulous range of scarves, loops, shawls and head-scarfs, all in gorgeous colours and knitted in Scotland.

Louise Gardiner Embroidery

Lou Gardiner British Embroidery

Lou Gardiner Embroidery

British artist and designer producing unique one off pieces of contemporary embroidery to commission. Louise’s silk scarves are printed in Macclesfield, near to her Cheshire studio.

Niki Fulton

Niki Fulton British accessories

Niki Fulton scarves and neckties

Niki Fulton creates and makes an extensive range of neck accessories in various fabrics, all designed, printed and stitched in Great Britain!

Valentina Karellas

Valentine Karellas British neck accessories

Valentine Karellas British neck accessories

Valentina Karellas use surplus yarn from large factories that would otherwise have gone to waste. The result is that each item is a lifelong-lasting, entirely unique London original. Again, although knitted not silk we have included them for their very original range neck accessories and collars, like Ebury collar above.

If you know of any other brands making British scarves – printed in the UK, of course, please let us know in the comments below.

Talks at this year’s Meet the Manufacturer event will explore ‘Partnerships, Production and Provenance’ in UK manufacturing.

Will you be joining us for our free drop-in seminars at this year’s Meet the Manufacturer?

MTM Speaker Montage

Meet the Manufacturer speakers include Harriet Wallace-Jones and Emma Sewell, Joan Johnston, Hal Watts and Kate and Graham Holbrook.

At this year’s Meet the Manufacturer event Make it British will be hosting free to attend, drop in seminars which will provide the perfect opportunity to explore all aspects of the industry.  We have an inspiring line up of speakers who will be offering advice for manufacturers, designers and buyers, based on their real-life experiences.

Speakers already confirmed for this year’s talks include:

  • Hal Watts of Unmade and Simon Cotton of Johnstons of Elgin who will illustrate how a partnership between one of the UK’s most innovative manufacturers with one of the oldest is good for business.
  • Harriet Wallace-Jones and Emma Sewell from textile studio Wallace Sewell, who’ve been in partnership since graduating from the Royal College of Art in 1990, will be sharing the secrets of ‘building a good partnership with your manufacturer’.
  • Husband and wife team, Kate and Graham Holbrook from Turtle Doves will advise on ‘How to make a million with an old sewing machine and a design idea’.
  • Joan Johnston has for over 25 years been engaged in both creative and commercial roles within British luxury textiles and will discuss the importance of using provenance to engage the consumer from a national and global perspective.
  • Law firm Potter Clarkson, will be covering the hot topic of ‘Intellectual property in the fashion and textile industry’.

All seminars are drop-in this year, so visitors can attend as many talks as they like.

Registering in advance is free and will save you a £20 entrance fee on the door.

Meet the Manufacturer is a trade show organised by Make it British. It is the only sourcing event exclusively showcasing British manufacturers and producers. 24 – 25 May 2017, The Old Truman Brewery, London. E1

Click here to find out more.

This weeks Facebook Live covered making everything from babywear to scarves, and we also talked a little bit about British-made shoes and our event in May.

Make it British Live Q&A 16th March 2017

Live Q&A 16th March 2017This week we talked about:British-made shoe brands – Find the ultimate list of British-made shoe brands here https://makeitbritish.co.uk/top-ten/british-made-shoe-brands/A good shoe factory in London is Staff Shoes:Tel: 0771 4959891 – Jackinfo@staffashoes.co.uk Contact: Jack SavvaBabywear Manufacturers – Speak to Jane and Mel at Team Tots in Nottingham:Tel: 01733 717653www.teamtotsclothing.co.ukLoungewear Manufacturers -Jeptex – Nigel / Tel: 07954 588709Headen & Quarmby – David / 0161 643 2576.Speakers for our trade show will be announced over the next few weeks. If you're on our newsletter you will not only get details of the speakers you'll also get to hear about all of the exhibitors too! Sign up here – http://meetthemanufacturer.co.uk/newsletter/New Make it British members this week – Taylor KentSon of ZeusOriginal BluesJack-it-bag, LondonArati Devasher : Painted Silk AccessoriesJoin us every Thursday at 1pm – and if you have a question for next week and are too shy to ask it live then leave it in the comments below…

Posted by Make it British on Thursday, 16 March 2017

Live Q&A 16th March 2017

This week we talked about:

British-made shoe brands – Find the ultimate list of British-made shoe brands here A good shoe factory in London is Staff Shoes: Tel: 0771 4959891 – Jack info@staffashoes.co.uk Contact: Jack Savva

Babywear Manufacturers – Speak to Jane and Mel at Team Tots in Nottingham: Tel: 01733 717653 www.teamtotsclothing.co.uk

Loungewear Manufacturers – Jeptex – Nigel / Tel: 07954 588709 Headen & Quarmby – David / 0161 643 2576.

Meet the Manufacturer

Speakers for our trade show will be announced over the next few weeks. If you’re on our newsletter you will not only get details of the speakers you’ll also get to hear about all of the exhibitors too! Sign up here New Make it British members this week Taylor Kent Son of Zeus Original Blues Jack-it-bag, London Arati Devasher : Painted Silk Accessories

Join us every Thursday at 1pm – and if you have a question for next week and are too shy to ask it live then leave it in the comments below…

Top 30 British-made shoe brands

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From heels to brogues, sandals to work boots, we bring you our top 30 British-made shoe brands.

We’ve compiled the ultimate list of British-made shoe brands, including everything from baby shoes to work boots, occasion heals to casual trainers.

This was a tricky list to compile as there are many brands who give the impression they are UK made but on further investigation are not really. This lovely bunch all make either all of their shoes in the UK or feature a Made in the UK collection, which are of course the ones we are focusing on.

This collection of British-made shoe brands is work in progress, so we would love your comments on any others that you think should be added to the list!

Deeasjer

Deeasjer British shoes

Deeasjer

Deeasjer’s bespoke luxury shoes are hand-made in London, designed with passion and are unique to you. Deeasjer’s shoes are tailor-made to match your personality.

Sanders 

Sanders British Shoes

Sanders

Sanders & Sanders Ltd. (or Sander Bros. as it was first named) was established in 1873 by Brothers William and Thomas Sanders of Rushden, Northamptonshire.

Shoes by Shaherazad

Shoes by Sheharazad

Shoes by Sheharazad

18 Hour Heels. Luxury handcrafted leather shoes and accessories, made in England. Supporting women around the world via Global Giving.

Yull

Designer shoe brand Yull offer a fantastic range of ladies shoes and boots for any occasion. Hand made in Britain.

Joseph Cheaney & Sons

Joseph Cheaney British shoes

Joseph Cheaney

Crockett & Jones

Crockett and Jones British shoes

Crockett and Jones

Crockett & Jones, makers of English men’s and women’s handmade shoes & footwear, was founded in 1879 in Northampton, specialising in the manufacture of Goodyear welted footwear.

Marion Ayonote

Marion Ayonote British shoes

Marion Ayonote

Peacock hues, vertiginous heels, exotic materials and arresting silhouettes…. to own a Marion Ayonote couture creation is to step into a world of sophistication and exquisite attention to detail.

Eyato

Eyato British made shoes

Eyato

Eyato is the design inspiration of Atiti – the creative entrepreneur who has a passion, love and eye for beautiful accessories. Eyato shoes are lovingly handmade in England.

Sargasso & Grey

Sargasso British shoes

Sargasso Shoes

At Sargasso & Grey the focus is to create luxurious shoes in a more comfortable fit, without having to compromise on style and elegance.

Walsh

Walsh British trainers

Walsh Casual British trainers

Since 1961 Norman Walsh UK have been making Performance, Casual, Fell Running, footwear.

NPS Solovair

NPS Solovair British shoes

NPS Solovair

British Shoemakers since 1881 situated in Wollaston, Northamptonshire the heart and sole of England’s shoe industry.

Tricker’s

Tricker's British shoes

Tricker’s

Tricker’s boots and shoes for Men combine traditional durability, practicality and sturdiness with a degree of understated elegance.

Freed

Freed of London

Freed of London

Freed of London is the world’s leading designer and manufacturer of professional dance shoes. With an extensive history dating back to 1929, Freed of London shoes are hand crafted in the UK and today the Freed of London portfolio includes dance apparel, bridal and fashion collections.

Van Dal

Van Dal British shoes

Van Dal Shoes

Van Dal make stylish, wide fitting and comfortable ladies shoes and boots, like these lovely Cobalt suede courts, made in the UK.

New Balance

New Balance British trainers

New Balance

The popular trainer brand have a great range of Made in the UK trainers, including these orange leather ones!

Hotter

Hotter British shoes

Hotter British footwear

Hotter offer great British design and quality with their stylish and comfortable range of footwear for men and women.

The Little Shoemaker

The Little Shoemaker made in England

The Little Shoemaker

Hand made shoes for little people. Made in England with love.

Alfred Sargent

Alfred Sargent

Alfred Sargent

Alfred Sargent shoes have been synonymous with quality English shoemaking since 1899, working out of the same premises in Rushden, Northamptonshire, in the heart of the world renowned English shoemaking region.

 

Church’s

Church's British footwear

Church’s boots

Church’s original footwear is a leading brand in elegance and an iconic British brand. Starting out in Northampton, with two Royal visits over the years and a wealth of history, the brand remains a sought after and popular choice of British shoe.

Chapter 2 shoes 

Chapter 2 shoes

Chapter 2 shoes

Chapter 2 shoes was created by Fay after the birth of her second child. All of their shoes are crafted by hand in their own workshop in the English countryside by Fay’s husband Tom.

Amy & Ivor

Amy & Ivor British shoes

Amy & Ivor

Amy & Ivor is a small British brand handcrafting baby and toddler moccasins. Handmade in England and seriously cute!

Gina

Gina British Shoes

Gina

The world famous Gina shoe is loved by women and celebrities across the globe. The brand started in 1954 and still manufactures their beautiful shoes in London.

Vevian Shoes

Vevian British shoes

Vevian handmade children’s shoes

Vevian shoes are handmade in the UK using the softest leather. They are designed to be memorable shoes that you will treasure long after your child has out grown them.

Molly & Pickles

Molly & Pickles British shoes

Molly & Pickles

Handcrafted pre-walking baby shoes made with love in England.

Mudlark & Co.

Mudlark & Co. British shoes

Mudlark & Co.

Mudlark & Co were born within the Borough of Tower Hamlets, one of the original Mudlarking districts of London. Mudlark is the name given to a person that searches for objects along the foreshore of the River Thames. They are a family run firm making beautifully crafted leather sandals, all of the components that go into making them are sourced in the UK.

Carréducker

Carreducker British shoes

Carreducker

Carréducker are passionate about craftsmanship, design and style. Their shoes are imbued with these qualities, whether they are bespoke or ready-to-wear. Their workshops are both in Central London – at Gieves & Hawkes on Savile Row, Mayfair and Cockpit Arts, in Bloomsbury.

John Rushton Shoes

John Rushton British shoes

John Rushton Shoes

John Rushton is an independent retailer specialising in men’s high quality  leather footwear. John Rushton’s own brand features classic and traditional styles with John Rushton’s personal design and colour treatments.

Grenson Shoes

Grenson Shoes

Grenson Shoes

Founded in 1866 by William Green in Northamptonshire, Grenson celebrated their 100th anniversary last year and the brand goes from strength to strength.

Tim Little

Tim Little British shoes

Tim Little

As well as designing his own brand, Tim Little, Tim is also the Owner and Creative Director of Grenson. Tim Little make all of their Goodyear Welted shoes here in England, although they go further afield to Florence for some of their other styles.

Northampton Sneaker Company

Northampton Sneakers

Northampton Sneakers

Luxury English Sneakers – Handcrafted in Britain.

Modern English

Modern English made shoes

Modern English

Contemporary clothes, shoes and accessories, traditionally handmade by English craftsmen & women.

Chatham Made in Britain Shoes

Chatham have a well established pedigree in footwear and their new Made In Britain collection represents the best of British design and manufacturing. The shoes are UK Made in their Exeter Factory.

William Lennon

William Lennon British work boots

William Lennon

William Lennon & Co. are England’s last working boot maker.

Edward Green

Edward Green British shoes

Edward Green

Edward Green established his shoemaking workshop in Northampton in 1890. His name soon became synonymous with the finest English Goodyear welted footwear.

R.E.W Reynolds

R.E.W Reynolds British cycling shoes

R.E.W Reynolds

Manufacturer of English bench-made leather cycling shoes.

Joseph Azagury

Joseph Azagury

Joseph Azagury

The Joseph Azagury collection of women’s footwear is recognised as one of the UK ‘s leading footwear brands. His exquisite designs are hand made in London, using the finest quality materials.

Loake

Loake British Shoemakers

Loake Shoemakers

Loake classic English shoemakers since 1880. Popular styles include brogues, oxfords, moccasins.

 

 

 

Top 20 British home textiles brands

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If your home is in need of an update, look no further than this, our Top 20 British home textiles brands.

We have some fabulous British home textiles brands already as members of Make it British. Thanks to our friends at Instagram we have discovered a few more too! We hope you enjoy the list and find some new accessories to add to your home.

Adriana Homewares

Adriana Homeware

Adriana Homeware woven textiles.

Adriana Homewares is a Yorkshire based woven textile design and manufacturer. All their fabrics are designed on a traditional hand loom by founder Adriana, influenced by her expertise in colour theory and mathematics of weave.

Ally Bee

Ally Bee natural British yarns

Ally Bee crafted from natural British yarns, like this Alpaca throw.

Ally Bee Knitwear is crafted from natural, British-sourced yarns and is committed to sustainable fair production. From British alpaca fleece sourced from smallholdings in the south of England, through to expert hand-finishing in a small knitwear factory in the Scottish Borders, a very British story is woven into every Ally Bee piece.

Autumn Down

Autumn Down

Autumn Down are a soft furnishings manufacturer established in London.

Autumn Down has been manufacturing soft furnishings for over 25 years. Manufacturing cushions, throws, bench seats, outdoor seating, pet products, children’s products, wash bags, kitchen products and many bespoke items made from fabrics for UK’s many product designers, interior designers, hoteliers and pet businesses and retail businesses both large and small.

Claire Gaudion

Claire Gaudion British textile design

Claire Gaudion British textile design studio creating homeware and fabrics.

Claire Gaudion is a Contemporary British textile design studio specialising in homeware and fabric collections, and bespoke products for residential and contract projects.

Demerara’s Quilts

Patchwork Quilts by Demerara

Traditional Handmade Patchwork Quilts by Demerara

Traditional Handmade Patchwork Quilts by Demerara including Patchwork Bedding and Vintage Patchwork Quilts.

FelinFach Handmade Textiles

FelinFach Handmade Textiles

FerlinFach traditionally woven Welsh blankets and throws.

FelinFach is a Welsh company based at a 200 year old former flour mill in Pembrokeshire, Wales in the UK. FelinFach designs and makes handmade cushions, throws, bedding and other soft furnishings.

Laura’s Loom

Laura's Loom British wool

Laura’s Loom elegant British wool blankets.

From elegant British wool blankets to cushion covers and glorious British wool yarns to make your own projects — you will find them all at Laura’s Loom, where Laura designs and creates woven fabrics.

By Lisa Watson

By Lisa Watson British quilts

Lisa Watson distinctly British quilts

By Lisa Watson is a distinctly British collection of quilts, cushions & more for your home.

Mitre Linen

Mitre Linen

Mitre Linen offer luxury linen for personal and commercial use.

With its vast range of linen items for use in all area of modern life, Mitre has established itself as a leading name within the linen supply industry. Mitre products are an excellent choice for modern interior design; helping to incorporate a striking style into the decor of any modern home .

Abraham Moon & Sons

Abraham Moon British textiles

Bronte by Moon

Bronte by Moon is Abraham Moon & Sons’ official brand of beautiful woollen home and fashion accessories including throws, cushions, baby blankets and scarves.

One Nine Eight Five

ONE NINE EIGHT FIVE British homeware brand

ONE NINE EIGHT FIVE British homeware brand

Established in 2016, ONE NINE EIGHT FIVE is a London-based British homeware brand that specialises in print, interior textiles and up-cycled furniture.

Peter Reed

Peter Reed luxury bed linen

Peter Reed manufacture luxury bed linen in Lancashire

Peter Reed manufacture luxury bed linen in Lancashire and hold the Royal Warrant as suppliers of bedding to HRH the Queen.

Rose B. Brown

Rose B. Brown is a British knitwear label

Rose B. Brown is a British knitwear label specialising in unique homeware

Rose B. Brown is a high end British knitwear label specialising in stylish, well-crafted winter accessories and unique homeware.

The Throw Company

The Throw Company British made faux fur

The Throw Company British made faux fur

Established for 27 years The Throw Company offers the world’s largest range of luxury Faux Fur products all made in their UK studio.

Wallace Sewell

Wallace Sewell design studio

Wallace Sewell, highly individual woven textile design studio established in 1990

Established in 1990 by Harriet Wallace-Jones and Emma Sewell, creating innovative woven fabrics exploiting industrial techniques. They work closely with the textile industry in Great Britain to produce pieces ranging from scarves to furnishing products, which sell worldwide.

20th Century Cloth

20th Century Cloth

20th Century Cloth mid-century inspired textiles

The home of Mid Century inspired fabrics and accessories, 20th Century Cloth are soon launching a range of interior fabrics and homewares.

Coco & Wolf

Coco & Wolf handmade in Somerset

Coco & Wolf Liberty print handmade in Somerset

Coco & Wolf is a contemporary and luxury Liberty print lifestyle brand. They sell beautiful, luxury clothing and homeware, all handmade in their Somerset based design studio.

Couva Coffee Couture

Couva Coffee Couture British made

Couva Coffee Couture home products for coffee connoisseurs

Keeps coffee hotter for longer and brightens up your kitchen when used for your cafetiere! Proudly designed and made in Britain.

Emma Hardicker

Emma Hardicker in Birmingham

Emma Hardicker prints designed and silkscreen printed in Birmingham

Emma Hardicker prints are designed and silkscreen printed in the old Bird’s Custard factory in Birmingham.

Imogen Heath

Imogen Heath Design

Imogen Heath Design

Imogen Heath is a UK designer who specialises in creating beautiful decorative fabrics and surface patterns for residential and commercial interiors. All designs and products are created in Imogen’s studio before being produced either by hand or in British mills.

Mairi Helena

Mairi Helena

Mairi Helena contemporary fabrics and furnishings

Mairi Helena is a luxury textile design label creating contemporary Scottish soft furnishings for interiors as well as fashion accessories.

Melin Tregwynt

Melin Tregwynt

Melin Tregwynt

Blankets, throws, cushions and upholstery all made from Melin Tregwynt fabrics woven in Wales.

Rapture and Wright

Rapture and Wright Cotswold fabrics.

Rapture and Wright hand printed fabrics made in the Cotswolds.

At the heart of the business is the workshop, one of the few remaining handprint studios in the UK. This is where their designs become fabrics and wallpapers through small scale, artisan production.

Wilful North

Wilful North handmade in Britain.

Wilful North silk accessories handmade in Britain.

Luxury silk accessories and a new range of gorgeous velvet cushions, made in the UK.

 

 

 

Mums that Make it British

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Press Release: Mums that Make it British

Make it British team

L-R: Caroline North (events sales director), Lauren Walker (membership manager), Kate Hills (founder), Rosie McFarlane (PR manager)

Around 54,000 new mothers lose their jobs each year, according to an Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) report.  It was statistics like this that prompted Kate Hills, a mother of two young children herself, to employ an army of mums to support her when she launched her own business six years ago. 

What began as a blog written at her kitchen table has now become a thriving business for Kate who is the founder of Make it British, the campaign to help promote UK manufacturing and British-made brands, bringing together the best of British designers, buyers, retailers and manufacturers.  After 20 years of working as a designer and buyer for brands such as Burberry and M&S, Kate left in 2011 to set up her own business and spend more time with her children.

Kate explains: “The blog began as a bit of ‘light relief’ to keep my hand in with the fashion and textile industry while I was studying for an MA in internet marketing.  Through writing the entries, I began visiting different businesses around the UK and discovered some fabulous products that are still made in Britain.  It struck a chord that if we wanted to keep these skills alive, we had to support the makers in Britain that still had these precious skills, otherwise we’d lose them forever.”

The campaign began to gather momentum as more and more businesses contacted Kate via the blog, wanting to connect with UK manufacturers.  As a result, Meet the Manufacturer was launched in 2014 – a trade show, conference and workshops exclusively for UK manufacturers that would bring together designers, buyers and retailers with UK manufacturers.

Kate felt so passionately about the Make it British cause that she invested all her life savings in the event.  But she’d never run an event before.  So, when she was let down by a potential business partner at the last minute, she was devastated.  She had a choice – to either pull the plug on the idea and lose the money, or gather the right team around her to get it off the ground, and quick.  She chose the latter and hasn’t looked back!

Says Kate: “The Make it British mission is to ‘help you make it British’, with the emphasis on help.  I needed people who were good listeners, calm in a crisis, hard workers and flexible.  People like me – mums!”

Kate now employs a team of five who are all mums that she’s met through other mums, toddler groups or internet sites, such as Digital Mums.  They have 13 children between them and are all trying to combine being a stay at home mum with being a working mother, juggling family life with work.  And the formula is proving successful.  They bring together a raft of skills, including event management, PR, sales and marketing to create a highly efficient, flexible and fun-loving team.

Kate adds: “Everyone puts in the hours, the work gets done and we still have time to go to the sports days, the Christmas concerts and to juggle around school holidays and sick children.  In fact, we used to have a 21-year old working on the team, but since he’s left I’ve got a mum who does his job in half the amount of time and gets twice as much done! Many of the businesses that contact Make it British are also run by mums and so it helps that our team can really empathise with them.” 

Take Tiffany Rose for example, award-winning designer maternity dresses, made in Britain and launched by mum, Tiffany London, who happens to live round the corner to Kate.  Or the All-in-One Company, started by Kate Dawson when she was unable to find sleepsuits for her own children on the High Street.  Kate Dawson is now an avid supporter of Make it British.

Says Tiffany: “We employ 17 women at Tiffany Rose, several of whom are mums and in the last two years we’ve seen four of our senior team members go on maternity leave.  Whilst losing valuable team members for several months can be tricky for any business, they have all returned to us after their leave and we are thrilled that the business can benefit from such commitment, growing knowledge and experience that our working mums offer. Being a mum myself I can appreciate the challenges of juggling work life with motherhood and so we try to be flexible wherever possible, which in turn creates a lot of goodwill and appreciation from the team.  If we were able to set up a crèche at our HQ then I would seriously consider it!”

Tiffany and Kate, along with the Make it British team will all be at the next Meet the Manufacturer event, which takes place on 24 and 25 May 2107 at The Truman Brewery, London.  The two-day event includes a trade show, with over 150 exhibitors, and a series of workshops and seminars.

For more information contact Rosie McFarlane press(at)makeitbritish.co.uk

The founder of luxury British bag brand Mirelle on why her parents background in the textiles industry has driven her to only make in the UK

British bag brand Mirelle

Mirelle Bags designed in Wiltshire and manufactured in Manchester.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and why you started up Mirelle?

​I started Mirelle after working abroad for many years as a private luxury goods buyer. I came back to London in a daze. What I learnt in the years of working in this sector was that many high end brands were not being honest about where their products were being made. There was a legal loophole that brands could adopt where their products could be made abroad and then finished in another country. So many accessories would be labelled as ‘Made in …’ but in actuality this was not the case.

I have always loved handbags. Being born and brought up in Camden, London I was surrounded by quirky fashion. It was always fascinating seeing how things were made and put together. Maybe this is why I ended up studying engineering in university.

My bags are all made 100% in England. We want to be able to provide opportunities for people to learn tangible skills like pattern cutting, machining and sewing that has been lost when the manufacturing industry shifted from the UK to the Far East and Asia.

I used to watch my mother, who worked as a seamstress, work tirelessly creating beautiful pieces for big brands. Seeing her lose her job as brands were offshoring their textiles was an upsetting period in our lives. The move of the manufacturing world left many families out of pocket and we, as a country, lost valuable skills.

I want to do my bit to make sure that our skills are never lost and we can be proud about ‘Made in Britain’. I hope to achieve this with Mirelle.

Mirelle British bags

Mirelle clasps being made

How did you go about launching the brand and who did you seek help from?

​Launching a brand can be a scary step for anyone. I was lucky enough to receive help from the Prince’s Trust. I enrolled on the Enterprise Programme in 2012 and things took off from there. You have to attend an intensive one week course to find out the reality about how hard it will be to start up a business and being self employed.

It took me a year exactly from when I enrolled on the course to launch my brand. I had to go through a ‘Dragon’s Den’ type process to convince successful entrepreneurs why my business needed the funds and why I could succeed, it was a scary experience. I passed the launch panel and from there was given a mentor who has been the most amazing  throughout this process, he has been my rock.

The Prince’s Trust is definitely an organisation I am proud to be associated with and I hope that one day I could go back and tell my journey to eager young entrepreneurs and become a mentor/ambassador for The Prince’s Trust.

Mirelle British bags

Mirelle bags currenly stick to one design but come in a great range of textiles, leather and colours

What have been your biggest challenges in starting the brand?

There were many, many challenges I faced when I started up. The most difficult thing was having no one believe in you. ​The second, convincing factories in the UK to believe in your product. I had many factories not willing to work with me but that led to me to MPLG and the rest is history.

The third biggest challenge was cash flow. Starting any business is tough but starting a handbag business is very difficult. The cost of producing the bags with a limited budget and then waiting for stockists to pay the bill was excruciating. When you are starting off you want to be accommodating to stockists but at the same time not allow yourself to devalue the brand.

I was extremely lucky that my bag was reviewed by a very influential Swedish blogger ‘Caroline Blomst of Caroline’s Mode‘ and from there I was approached by Strom (Stockist in Denmark) and a few other online retailers.

There were many days, weeks and months when I struggled and wanted to give up but then you look at the work that has been put in and the people and team around you and you push forward and look to the future.

Mirelle British bags

Sparkles in progress

Why was it important for you to make your bags in the UK?

​I have always been a big advocate for ‘Made in Britain’. From a personal point of view when factories started closing in the mid 80’s, early 90’s it affected my family. Both my parents worked in the textiles industry and it was their only source of income. My mother was a seamstress and was one of the many stay-at-home mums who used to have bundles of cut patterns sent to them, from well known designer brands, and she would sew the pieces together. There was a time when she was sewing intricate pieces painstakingly throughout the night as she had 200 pieces which needed to be picked up the next morning. ​

When companies moved their manufacturing from Britain to countries where labour was cheap it was the end to a rich history of British manufacturing. It is very important that I stick to my roots and even though it is expensive to manufacture bags in England it is worth every penny.

Can you tell us a bit about where the bags are made and where your materials are sourced from?

​All our bags are made in the UK. I have partnered up with MPLG a fantastic leathergoods manufacturer in Manchester who brings all my bags to life. I work closely with the team in the factory to make sure each bag is 100% perfect before being shipped off to clients. The wonderful thing about working with a factory in the UK is that the quality control can be closely monitored. The level of craftsmanship is ​superior (the head pattern cutter is 70 years old and her talent is unquestionable) and we have a shorter lead time and the factory can focus on quality and lower quantities.

Our bags have a secret code and embossing within the bag (hidden) so we can track each bag back to when it was made and as a mark of authenticity.

Mirelle British bags

Bags have a secret code and embossing within the bag to track each bag back to when it was made and as a mark of authenticity.

What inspires your designs?

​I didn’t study fashion or design so for me the process is really different. I don’t think about the new collection in the methodical sense. My inspiration normally comes from experiences, for example I spent a few days in the Scottish Highlands and fell in love with the colours and textures of the country and when I came back I produced some bags made from tweed, cashmere and tartan. ​

Who wears a Mirelle bag? What kind of Woman does your brand appeal to?

​The lovely thing about the Mirelle bag is that it can appeal to any age group and demographic, you can be a quirky dresser to someone who is a conservative dresser there is always something in my collection that would suit.

The bag currently only comes in one design, the classic shoulder bag. We have recently added a mini size to the collection to provide more choice. The bags come in a variety of fabrics and leather, and all of our fabrics are from Scotland, England and Northern Ireland.

Mirelle British brand

Shaheda enjoys being able to oversee the whole process when you manufacture close to home.

What’s next in the pipeline for Mirelle? 

​We are currently working on rebuilding our website and the new collection with our ML clasp. Working alongside the factory and suppliers to test whether the clasp will be suitable for the fabrics chosen was quite a long process. We are looking forward to showcasing the new bags in the Brand Hall of the Make it British Meet the Manufacturer show in May. Our new collection will showcase a lot of colour, textures and embroidery.

Lastly, tell us something we didn’t know about Mirelle?

​The Mirelle studio is based in Wiltshire and anyone who comes for a visit will be greeted by my chickens who are incredibly spoilt and tame. Every member of my team loves animals, therefore it is very important that all the leather we use for the bags are bi-products of the meat industry. We do not believe in the killing of animals for fashion.

The Mirelle website will launch in May.  If you want to be amongst the first to see the bags come and visit Mirelle at the Meet the Manufacturer Brand hall on the 24th and 25th May 2017!

Top 25 British Gin Brands

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We like a G&T, so it is with great pleasure we bring you the Top 25 British gin brands

“For the past 300 years the British have been making and drinking gins of varying quantities and qualities, but they have never been so deliciously diverse as they are today”. Gin Glorious Gin, Olivia Williams.

It turns out our friends at Instagram like their Gin as much as us, so with their help we put together this list and discovered some new brands that we will be trying!

Blackwoods Gin

Blackwoods Gin

Blackwoods Gin with botanicals from the Shetland Islands

The worlds only vintage gin, with hand picked botanicals from the Shetland Islands.

Bloom Gin

BLOOM Gin

BLOOM Gin

BLOOM Gin Master Distiller, Joanne Moore is an internationally-revered expert in the industry and has worked at the G&J Distillery since 1996.

The Botanist Gin

The Botanist Gin

The Botanist Gin

The Botanist Gin is a progressive exploration of the botanical heritage of the Isle of Islay.

Campfire Gin

Campfire Gin

Campfire Gin from the Puddingstone Distillery

Campfire Gin is the first product from the Puddingstone Distillery in Hertfordshire and it is produced in small batches.

Eden Mill

Eden Mill Gin

Eden Mill St. Andrews

Scotland’s first brewery and distillery, Eden Mill produce beer, whiskey and this beautiful looking gin.

Edinburgh Gin

Edinburgh Gin

Edinburgh Gin is made in their city centre distillery

A premium range of Scottish gins and gin liqueurs, made in their city centre distillery, which can be visited for a tour!

Fishers Gin

Fishers Gin

Fishers Gin

Fishers is an artisan British gin distilled on the Suffolk coast that uses rare botanicals to create a gin as pure and wild as the sea.

Hendrick’s Gin

Hendrick's Gin

Hendrick’s Gin

Hendrick’s Gin has a gloriously peculiar flavour, infused with rose & cucumber in their Scottish distillery.

Isle of Barra Distillers

Barra British Gin

Isle of Barra Gin

Isle of Barra distillers capture the essence of this beautiful island and bottle it to share between friends.

Isle of Harris Gin

Isle of Harris Gin

Isle of Harris Gin

The creation of this distillery in Tarbert is driven by a deep love of the beauty of the place and its people.

Kirkjuvagr Orkney Gin

Kirkjuvagr Orkney Gin

Kirkjuvagr Orkney Gin

Reflecting the boldness of their Norse ancestors, Kirkjuvagr is a hand-crafted Orkney gin for the modern, discerning gin enthusiast.

Kirsty’s Gin

Kirstys Gin

Kirsty’s Gin by Arbikie

Kirsty’s Gin is the second to be released by Arbikie Distillery. Their Gin is distilled using honey and wheat farmed at Arbikie along with carefully selected botanicals chosen by our Master Distiller, Kirsty Black.

Little Bird

Little Bird Gin

Little Bird London Dry

Lovingly distilled in small batches in London. After much taste testing, feedback, fun and frivolity, Team Little Bird Gin and friends hit upon the recipe for a new London Dry Gin.

Masons Yorkshire Gin

Masons Yorkshire Gin

Masons Yorkshire Gin

The first gin distilled in Yorkshire, made with traditional slow distillation methods and pure Yorkshire water.

Opihr

Opihr Gin

Opihr gin

Despite its Oriental Spices, Opihr is made at the oldest distillery in England, where gin has been traditionally distilled since 1761.

Orkney Gin Company

Orkney Gin Company

Orkney Gin Company

Premium artisan gin from this  family run business, based in Orkney.

Pinkster Gin

Pinkster Gin

Pinkster Gin

Pinkster Gin was created by frustrated accountant Stephen, who no longer could drink beer or wine. Distilled by G&J Distillers then finished with raspberries at Pinkster’s Cambridge base.

Portobello Road Gin

Portobello Road Gin

Portobello Road Gin

A timeless and inherently British London dry gin.

Silent Pool

Silent Pool Gin

Silent Pool Distillers

With the unique location on the Duke of Northumberland’s Albury Estate, a group of dilapidated farm buildings on the banks of the legendary Silent Pool has been transformed to become the home of the Silent Pool Distillers.

Sipsmith

Sipsmith Gin

Sipsmith Gin

Sipsmith started in 2009, in a tiny workshop in Hammersmith, London. Two childhood friends, Fairfax and Sam, had an unwavering belief in things well made so they set up London’s first traditional copper distillery since 1820.

Thomas Dakin

Thomas Dakin

Thomas Dakin

A Juniper-led Gin, which will be handcrafted in a new artisanal distillery in the centre of Manchester; the first gin to be distilled in this great northern English city.

Tiger Gin

Tiger Gin from Shropshire

Tiger Gin from Shropshire

Created by Shropshire lad JJ Lawrence and distilled at the Shropshire Gin Company, this brand had to fight for it’s name, but only Tiger Gin would do.

Tarquin’s Gin

Tarquin's Gin from the Southwestern Distillery

Tarquin’s Gin from the Southwestern Distillery

Tarquin’s Gin from the Southwestern Distillery, handcrafted in Cornwall.

Trevethan

Trevethan Cornish Gin

Trevethan Cornish Gin

Handcrafted Cornish Gin since 1929.

Two Birds

Two Birds Spirits from Leicestershire.

Two Birds Spirits from Leicestershire.

Two Birds Spirits was founded in 2013, in the quaint British countryside town of Market Harborough, Leicestershire.

Warner Edwards

Warner Edwards artisan Gins

Warner Edwards artisan Gins

Warner Edwards are craft distillers making artisan gin from their 200 year old barn, on Falls Farm in the picturesque village of Harrington, Northamptonshire.

Anno 

Anno Dry Gin

Anno Kent dry gin.

Anno Distillers are artisanal spirits producers based in Kent, Near Maidstone. Patience, their stunning copper-pot still, works her magic and transforms carefully selected natural ingredients into Anno Kent Dry Gin.

Blue Bottle

Blue Bottle Gin

Blue Bottle Gin distilled in Guernsey

Blue Bottle is the epitome of boutique distilled Gin. Each batch is meticulously crafted in their copper still at the Three Fingers Distillery on Guernsey.

Brighton Gin

Brighton Gin

Brighton Gin

Created by five Brighton residents, Brighton Gin is distilled with oranges, limes and milk thistle and truly captures the spirit of this famous city.

Brockmans 

Brockmans

Brockmans Gin

Brockmans was created by a group of experienced and devoted friends who wanted to create a gin Like No Other.

Hayman’s Gin

Hayman's Gin

Hayman’s Gin

The only family of original English gin makers still distilling today, Hayman’s make award-winning English gin the original way. Their ginealogy dates back over 150 years.

Loch Ness

Lochness Gin

Loch Ness Gin

A husband and wife team with a passion for premium quality gin. Loch Ness produce rare Scottish Highland gin at their ancestral home.

Maiden

Maiden Gin

The Maiden Distillery

The distillery, perched above the historic, county town of Maidstone, produces a premium gin that has been hand-crafted on site, giving customers the assurance that they are enjoying truly artisan spirit.

Plymouth Gin

Plymouth Gin

Plymouth Gin

The journey of Plymouth Gin is synonymous with the British Royal Navy, its sailors and ships. But its not just the choice of seafaring pioneers, but also bartenders around the world.

Sibling

Sibling gin

Sibling triple distilled gin.

Sibling Triple Distilled Gin is produced from start to finish in Cheltenham, from a base spirit that is also produced in-house at the Sibling Distillery.

Strathearn Distillery 

Strathearn Distillery Gin

Strathearn Distillery Gin

Strathearn Distillery, near the village of Methven in Perthshire, is probably Scotland’s smallest distillery. They produce a range of spirits including a range of premium gins.

 

 

Your chance to WIN a personalised pair of Spring Red Socks from Genevieve Sweeney in our latest Instagram competition

Simply go to this post on our Instagram page and follow the instructions to enter the competition. You will need an Instagram account to take part

Closing date: 3rd March 2017 at 9pm– 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.

Closing date 27th March 2017

Your chance to WIN the Georgia crossbody leather handbag from contemporary British label, C.Nicol.

WIN a C. Nicol British Handbag

The Georgia by C. Nicol retails at £287.50.

C.Nicol is a contemporary British accessories label creating luxury leather handbags.  C.Nicol are giving you the chance to WIN the fabulous Georgia bag, worth £287.50, in this competition!

Led by founder and designer, Cathleen Nicol, the collections comprise clean, classic shapes with an emphasis on using the finest materials.

Each bag is hand-cut, sewn and finished in London. The lining artwork is printed in London and changes seasonally, commissioned from British and international illustrators, graphic designers and artists.

WIN the C.Nicol Georgia bag, made in Britain

The versatile Georgia can be worn crossbody, on the shoulder or as a clutch.

The Georgia bag is made from Tan and Navy leather and comes with an elegant silver chain so it can be used across the body or as a clutch. It will add sophistication to every outfit!

For your chance to WIN the Georgia bag just answer this simple question:

What does the C in C.Nicol stand for?

  • Closing date: 27th March 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 C.Nicol click here or visit them at www.cnicol.com

 

Top 50 British-made Bags

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A definitive list of the top 50 British-made bags.

Thanks to our friends on Instagram we’ve put together a list of British-made bag brands for every occasion (and size). This was intended to be a top twenty, but with this much choice and such great quality, we couldn’t leave any out!

Carpet Bags

Carpet Bags British made Bags

Carpet Bags richly coloured bags

Carpet Bags produce a wide range of beautiful and practical bags, individually made by crafts people in England.

Chapman Bags

Chapman British made Bags

Classic, strong, beautiful Chapman bags.

Originally a manufacturer of fishing and shooting bags, John Chapman makes hand crafted canvas, leather and tweed bags for travel, leisure, business and sporting activities, in Carlisle, Cumbria.

C. Nicol

C.Nicol British made bags

C.Nicol luxury leather bags

C.Nicol is a contemporary British accessories label creating luxury leather handbags.  The collections comprise clean, classic shapes with an emphasis on using the finest materials.

Elytra England

Elytra England British Bags

Elytra England handcrafted contemporary bags

Originally an entomologist, Elytra England was founded by designer/maker Justine Weyman, who handcrafts each item from her workshop in Frome, Somerset.

Emma Cornes

Emma Cornes British bags

Emma Cornes beautiful bags from British wool

Emma Cornes bags are made in England, either in Cheshire or the West Midlands, with woollen tweeds from the colours and patterns of Great Britain.

Eyato London

Eyato London British Bags

Eyato London based, distinctive handbags.

London based luxury handmade label producing high-end fashion accessories, available to order in a range of finishes (leathers, fabrics, precious metals, gems and crystals).

Grace Gordon

Grace Gordon British bags

Grace Gordon makes classic beautiful and sophisticated bags.

Grace Gordon offers a versatile and elegant range to make a foundation for the perfect luxury wardrobe.

Hanson of London

Hanson of London British Bags

Hanson of London traditional leather craftsmanship

Hanson of London is an independently owned luxury goods brand which delivers a contemporary take on traditional leather craftsmanship with a focus on elegant design and the finest natural materials.

Isabella Queen

Isabella Queen British bags

Isabella Queen luxury bags with elegant structure.

British-based luxury brand offering quality leather accessories handcrafted in London. Their bags are elegant structures with stylish flair.

Jane Hopkinson Bags

Jane Hopkinson British Bags

Jane Hopkinson offers beautiful leather bags for every occasion

Jane Hopkinson offers an extensive range of luxury leather handbags to suit your every need.

Jardine of London

Jardine of London British Luxury Bags.

Jardine of London British Luxury Bags.

Jardine of London make gorgeous classic bags loved by women across the world and a fair few celebs too!

Lellie Bags

Lellie British Bags

Lellie Bags bespoke leather bags and products are handmade in Great Britain. Their luxury leather goods are handcrafted, hand-finished and some items also include hand stitching.

Lisa Lemon Bags

Lisa Lemon British Bags

Lisa Lemon hands free bags

Lisa Lemon create stylish bags and accessories which free-up the owner to travel light, have their hands free and provide peace of mind that possessions are being taken care of.

M. Hulot

M. Hulot British bags

M. Hulot leather with a utilitarian approach.

A bag and accessories label, created for the customer that enjoys leather that actually looks like leather, and a lo-fi, utilitarian approach.

Mann and Moon

Mann & Moon British Bags

Mann and Moon a brand for discerning dogs and their owners

Mann and Moon collections are designed for dogs and their owners to enable them to seamlessly transition between country, coast and city with style when wearing our distinctive and practical accessories.

Rachel Orme

Rachel Orme bags are functional with a timeless quality

Rachel Orme is passionate about producing the finest accessories: everything is made by hand in London using the finest quality materials including Italian leathers and Liberty fabrics.

St Leonards

St Leonards British Bags

St Leonards bags made in London and St Leonards on Sea

With a unisex, pared down ethos “K” (founder of St Leonards) is slowly building her customer base. Training interns and employing local people is how she gets things done.

Steve Harkin

Steven Harkin British Bags

Steve Harkin contemporary bags with a retro twist

Steven Harkin makes and designs contemporary leather bags with a retro twist for women and men, who have a strong sense of individualism.

Susie Faulks

Susie Faulks British Brands

Susie Faulks limited edition oilcloth bags

Susie Faulks’ textiles are printed, coated and then manufactured into unique limited edition designer oilcloth bags. Fully lined with extra pockets and details they are entirely made in England totally free from all animal products.

Tea Green

Tea Green British bags

Tea Green designs contemporary bags and purses

Tea Green offers a contemporary and individual collection of handbags, purses and more. Based in Somerset, England.

Hettie

Hettie British bags

Hettie British made accessories inspired by classic traditional fabrics.

British made accessories inspired by classic traditional fabrics. Hettie is family run all Hettie products are made using Moon fabrics.

The Leather Satchel Co.

The Leather Satchel Co. British Bags

The Leather Satchel Co. bags are made by British master craftsman

The Leather Satchel Co. make bags and accessories using the Hanshaws method (heavy equestrian styled leather and classic raw edge leather-work.)

What Daisy Did

What Daisy Did Bags

What Daisy Did

What Daisy Did is an ethical and sustainable fashion label making leather and canvas bags.

VVA Handbags

VVA British bags

VVA premium handbags for functionality and individualism

A premium handbag brand that allows individuality and function in handbags that are both beautiful and timeless.

Billy Tannery

Billy Tannery British Bags

Billy Tannery

Billy Tannery is the first entirely British kid leather brand. They produce premium vegetable tanned kid leather in their own micro-tannery near Northampton.

Branco 

Branco London British Bags

Branco London

Accessories for the modern human, concentrating on longevity rather than fast paced disposable fashion.

Charlotte Elizabeth

Charlotte Elizabeth British Bags

Charlotte Elizabeth

A lady’s handbag should be the best part of their outfit,  every Charlotte Elizabeth product is sourced and stitched in Great Britain and uses the finest British leather, brassware and craftsmen.

Code

Code Leather British Bags

Code Leather

Award winning contemporary leather bags, made by hand in Leicester.

Equi-Scuto

Equi-Scuto British Bag

Equi-Scuto

Designers and creators of the finest leather equestrian boots and leather handbags for clients worldwide.

Ferian

Ferian British Bags

Ferian

Ferian bags are made in the West Midlands of England using hand-worked saddlery techniques that established the factory’s reputation in the 1800s.

Hands of Tym

Hands of Tym British Bags

Hands of Tym

Hands of Tym is a Luxury Leather goods operation focusing on ‘one by one’ humanised manufacture. Every piece unique and handmade in Banbury, Oxfordshire.

Honey and Toast London

Honey and Toast British brand

Honey and Toast

A range of leather accessories designed to meet the high expectations of both children and parents. Each piece in the Honey & Toast collection has been designed and carefully developed to be of the highest, enduring quality, in order to grow with your child.

Jade Rhone

Jade Rhone British bags

Jade Rhone

Jade Rhone is a London-based designer + maker, developing and producing handcrafted products using personally hand selected vegetable tanned leathers.

Launer London

Launer London British Bags

Launer London

Launer London has the best of British craftsmanship woven into history. This heritage, combined with a reputation for meticulous quality and refined style, has seen Launer awarded the Royal Warrant to Her Majesty The Queen for handbags and small leather goods.

The Little Clutch Bag Company

Little Clutch Bag Company British Bags

Little Clutch Bag Company

The Little Clutch Bag Company manufacture women’s clutch bags using the very best materials manufactured in the UK, all products are manufactured in England.

Modren

Modren British Bags

Modren

Modren handcrafted Harris Tweed bags from the Outer Hebrides, Scotland.

Marie Louise Maternity

Marie Louise Maternity British Bags

Marie Louise Maternity

Marie Louise Maternity is a British brand founded by senior midwife Marie Louise providing environmentally responsible pre-packed versatile baby changing bags.

Mimi 

Mimi Berry British Bags

Mimi Berry

Mimi is the contemporary London accessories brand founded by Mimi Berry. The brand grew from a simple stall in Spitalfields Market and is now an established fashion presence on the international accessories scene.

Mimi Eden Accessories

Mimi Eden Accessories British Bags

Mimi Eden Accessories

Handmade handbags and accessories made from the finest quality leathers and natural materials. Crafted by hand, made in England and inspired by nature.

Mirelle London

Mirelle London British Bags

Mirelle London

Mirelle London is a luxury accessories label  based in London, Wiltshire and Manchester.  Mirelle London bags are handmade lovingly in Manchester by expert artisans, making each bag completely unique.

Oliv Backpacks

Oliv Backbags British Bags

Oliv Backbags

Waxed canvas backpacks, handmade in Lonon.

Red Meg

Red Meg British Bags

Red Meg

Designed in the Cotswolds, Created in London, Sold and Worn Worldwide, the RedMeg range of beautiful hand made leather handbags.

Rural Kind

Rural Kind British Bag

Rural Kind

Simple, functional and durable carry goods for everyday adventuring. Waxed canvas bags, leather wallets and accessories designed and handmade in the hills of Wales.

Susannah Hunter

Susannah Hunter British Bag

Susannah Hunter

Susannah Hunter leather appliqué handbags are coveted by discerning women all over the world. Their products are designed and handmade by a small highly-skilled team in Susannah’s atelier in Bloomsbury, London.

Teal

Teal British Bags

Teal

Teal – Practical bags and accessories made in Britain using leather and canvas.

 

 

Your chance to WIN a fabulous high neck swimming costume, in a choice of four colours, from luxury swimwear brand TODIVEFOR.

TODIVEFOR luxury Swimwear

TODIVEFOR Resort Collection costume in Golden Sands

Bored of winter? Already planning your summer escape? Well, we have teamed up with luxury swimwear designers TODIVEFOR to offer you the chance to WIN one of these fabulous high neck bathing suits from their Resort Collection. The swimming costumes retails at £85.00 but one could be yours absolutely free, if you enter this competition!

TODIVEFOR swimming costume in Blue Lagoon

The costume also comes in Blue Lagoon and has a pretty back detail.

TODIVEFOR reflects a love of the ocean. Their collections are inspired by diving in Thailand, The Maldives, Borneo and Belize, to name a few. Their designs look beautiful on the beach and under the sea. TODIVEFOR may be inspired by ocean adventures in far off lands but their collections are designed and made in Britain.

TODIVEFOR costume in Paradise Island

The costume also comes in Paradise Island, a stunning shade of pink.

TODIVEFOR are offering our readers the chance to WIN one of these swimming costumes in their choice of size and colour. The sizes range from XS to XL and their are four colour options: Blue Lagoon (blue), Ocean Springs (light blue), Paradise Island (pink) and Golden Sands (yellow).

The costumes are made from fantastic quality material and fully lined so they offer great support and are flattering for all shapes. They even offer UV protection too.

For your chance to WIN just answer this simple question:

Name one of the destinations which helped inspire the TODIVEFOR collections?

Competition now closed

For more information about TODIVEFOR click here or visit them at www.todivefor.com

20 of the best British beauty brands

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Here at Make it British HQ we love a good beauty product, and of course it has to be a British made beauty find! We have rounded up for you our top 20 British beauty brands.

Thanks to our friends on Instagram we’ve put together a list of British-made beauty brands including everything from face creams, bath oils, serums and even make-up! Enjoy.

The Rose Tree

The Rose Tree organic beauty products

The Rose Tree

The Rose Tree offers beautiful, luxury, organic products made for real women with busy lives. They look pretty wonderful on your dressing table too!

Seascape

Seascape body beauty products

Seascape

Seascape natural bath and body products all feature ingredients sourced from products on the beautiful island of Jersey in the Channel Islands.

Angela Langford Skincare

Angela Langford Skincare and beauty

Angela Langford Skincare

Five years on from launching, Angela now helps hundreds of women with their skincare choices offering them personalised solutions using the finest ingredients.

Bee Good

Bee Good natural beauty products

Bee Good

Award-winning naturally-focused skincare, made by beautiful British bees. Contains honey, beeswax and propolis. We love these tasty lip balms!

Conscious Skincare

Conscious Skincare British beauty brand

Conscious Skincare

Natural Organic Skin Care lovingly made in Wales by Conscious Skincare. Award winning. Cruelty free. Suitable for Acne, Eczema, Psoriasis and Rosacea.

Filberts of Dorset

Filbert's of Dorset natural beauty brand

Filbert’s of Dorset

Bringing beeswax goodness to your everyday living. Born from the needs of the outdoors, Filberts of Dorset makes functional beeswax products with a quirky sense of fun.

Rose May The Handmade Gift Shop

Rose May Handmade beauty products

Rose May Handmade

Rose-May is a shop that only sells items that have been handmade in the UK. They stock a wide range of collectors bears, soaps, body products and gifts. Tracey the shop owner makes the collectors bears.

Seams

Seams Hand Cream beauty products

Seams Hand Cream

SEAMS fast-drying hand cream seals moisture deep into your skin, not on top. It’s secret ‘dry’ formula melts into skin in just sixty seconds.

The Personal Barber

The Personal Barber Subscription Box

The Personal Barber

Every month you’ll receive their hand-picked choices of the best shaving products available, right to your door.

Watermans

Hair Growth Shampoo For Women‎ & Men – Watermans shampoo and conditioner helps your hair grow faster, thicker longer faster. Makes your hair look in beautiful.

Clarity Cleanse

Clarity Cleanse British made beauty oil

Clarity Cleanse

Eco-Luxe skincare for men and women from health journey specialists, Clairty Cleanse. As well as plans and juices, Clairy Cleanse offer you revolutionary skincare made with plant based oils.

Elemental Herbology

Elemental Herbology British beauty brand

Elemental Herbology

Elemental Herbology products are brimming with nutrients, indulgent to use, and deliver amazing results. And are passionate about making in England. Thumbs up all round!

Eve of St. Agnes

Eve of St. Agnes British beauty brand

Eve of St. Agnes

St. Agnes was the patron saint of purity, the perfect name then for a brand who chooses natural, pure ingredients and essential oils.

Lola’s Apothecary

Lola's Apothecary British beauty brand

Lola’s Apothecary

Lovingly handmade products from a picturesque cattle farm in Devon. These products don’t just look pretty, but have won wide acclaim from customers and press alike, for their effective skincare.

Make Skincare

Make Skincare British Beauty brand

Make Skincare

Make Skincare products are hand-blended in Somerset and packed full of natural active ingredients. They use a range of exotic oils, vitamins and plant extracts which are safe enough to eat.

Nathalie Bond Organics

Nathalie Bond British beauty brand

Nathalie Bond

Simple, botanical, natural skincare and candles, handmade with the finest certified organic ingredients and pure essential oils in the UK.

Neal’s Yard Remedies

Neal's Yard British beauty brand

Neal’s Yard

Since opening their first shop in 1981, Neal’s Yard has become a well known place to go for organic health and beauty products. Their products are made at their Eco Factory in Dorset and are hand crafted with love.

Skin & Tonic

Skin & Tonic British beauty brand

Skin & Tonic

Skin & Tonic create certified organic, sustainable skincare and use no more than 7 ingredients because they believe less really is more. Products are handmade in their Hackney workshop.

Tropic

Tropic British Beauty brand

Tropic

Tropic take care of every element of their business from their Surrey Beauty Kitchen and warehouse. They offer a range of skincare, body care and even make-up, all boasting the purest naturally derived ingredients and are free from harmful toxic chemicals.

If you are looking for more British beauty brands check out the health and beauty category in our directory.

10 of the best British-made Valentines gifts

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With the 14th February just around the corner, we have put together a list of gorgeous British-made Valentine’s gifts.

Thanks to our friends on Instagram we’ve put together a list of the best British Valentine’s gifts, to help you avoid the typical high street buys! Every single one of these products is made in Britain….and we’re adding more and more as we find them. Cupid would be proud…

Ayten Gasson

Ayten Gasson

Luxury silk lingerie and nightwear, designed and handmade in this Brighton boutique.

Bows of London

Bows of London

Bows of London produce hand-sewn, crystallised, super sparkly hair bows for cheerleaders worldwide!

Bush Boo Baby and Kids

Bush Boo Baby and Kids

Bush Boo Baby offers fun , colourful clothing and accessories with a traditional quirky twist. This apron is a lovely idea for your little Valentine!

Charlotte Elizabeth

Charlotte Elizabeth

Every lady’s handbag by Charlotte Elizabeth is sourced and stitched in Great Britain. This will earn you serious Brownie points!

Eliza Eliza

Eliza Eliza

Beautiful, sustainable organic hemp and cotton pouches, what girl doesn’t love a pouch?

Estee Moscow

Ester Moscow

Personalised gifts hand sewn by Estee Moscow. It’s a bag, its sparkly, she will love it!

Jackie Loves Clogs

Jackie Loves Clogs

Footwear designer and maker making contemporary hand crafted clogs and these lovely leather hearts.

Mimi Eden Accessories

Mimi Den Accessories

Mimi Eden produce beautifully handcrafted pieces using the finest quality leather and natural materials from their studio in Yorkshire.

The Throw Company

The Throw Company

The Throw Company produce the highest quality most realistic, life-like faux furs. All our products are Designed and Hand Made with loving care in their UK Studio.

Valentina Karellas

Valentina Karellas

A sustainable approach to urban chic. Valentina Karellas.com offers knitwear that is one-of-a kind. They use surplus yarn from large factories that would otherwise have gone to waste.

British Wool – From sheep to loom

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Find out how wool is processed from fleece to fabric and why using British wool is important, as we chat to Laura Rosenzweig, the founder of Laura’s Loom

Laura Rosenzweig, founder of Laura’s Loom.

Laura, can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you first learnt to weave? I first learned to weave in the US, over 20 years ago now. Weaving was something I had always wanted to have a go at. When I had the chance to sit down at a loom for the first time I was completely hooked.

I grew up in Goole in the old West Riding of Yorkshire, England’s most inland port on the River Ouse. My granny taught me to knit and my dad was artistic but there are no professional artists or weavers in my family. I still have my first bit of cardboard weaving made at primary school and I clearly remember visiting an old decrepit weaving mill somewhere in Lancashire when I was on holiday.

My other interests and choices led me into the world of land use planning and environmental protection and this is what I focused on in my early career until I moved abroad. Moving to another country with a young family and no job, I started to weave more and more. By the time we moved again, to the UK, I had decided to focus all my energy on Laura’s Loom and started to build my business out of my hobby.

You use a lot of local wool, can you tell me more about that? Here in the Yorkshire Dales we are surrounded by sheep. They are mostly hill and mountain breeds, hardy animals with hardy fleece. All wool is good wool in my eyes, but each fleece type has certain uses – if it’s good for carpets it’s not necessarily going to be good in a scarf! It seemed wasteful to me to be always buying in yarn from abroad for my weaving when there was so much raw material right on my doorstep.

Instead of buying in yarns that weren’t quite right I decided to make my own. Looking around my home in the Dales I started to think about what breed might suit my purposes. Most farmers around here have a small flock of Bluefaced Leicesters. They are bred with the native Swaledale to produce a hybrid called the North of England Mule. The resulting cross has good meat, good wool, and is a hardy animal reliably producing two lambs each year.

I chose to work initially with Bluefaced Leicester wool because it is a fine, long-staple, semi-lustrous fleece and can be spun to a fine count. It’s not as itchy as some other wools so it is good for scarves as well as blankets. In fact, when it’s worsted spun instead of woollen spun it can be one of the smoothest fibres available anywhere.

Bluefaced Leicester Sheep

For those who don’t know, can you talk us through the whole process that you undertake from fleece to fabric? I collect my fleece from local farms after it has been sheared in late summer. It is usually rolled up in big bags called wool sacks. I then set to work on each fleece individually. I don’t grade my fleece, which involves dividing the fleece into different qualities of wool, but I skirt them which involves spreading the fleece out on a flat surface and carefully removing the daggings (aka poo), all the vegetation that might be trapped in the fleece (straw, briars, leaves, etc) and anything else you might find such as bits of string and wire. Any parts of the fleece that are heavily matted or felted are taken off as well. Then the fleece is rolled back up again and stored in a clean bag.

The fleece is then sent to the scouring plant. I use Haworths Scouring in Bradford. Here the fleece is washed and dried in a series of giant washing machines and tumble dryers. It is important to me that the fleece stays as natural as possible so I don’t use bleach or any other harsh chemicals on my fleece. This means that you might get the odd bit of straw left in but at least it’s clean straw!

The next stage is spinning. I work mostly with Lightowlers Spinners in Meltham just outside Huddersfield. Here my fleece is blended and carded ready for woollen spinning. Nothing is added other than necessary oils for the spinning machines. The size (count) of the yarn and the twist needs to be considered ahead of time – I produce fine woollen singles yarn suitable for weaving scarves and blankets. Occasionally I might have it plyed to produce a thicker loftier yarn suitable for knitting as well as weaving.

Spinning

From the spinner the yarn then heads off to the dyer if I am interested in adding colour to it. I work with Ettrick Dyers in Selkirk. I will supply colour swatches and they will test my yarn to see if those colours are achievable. BFL fleece is quite creamy in contrast to the brighter white you might find in a Shetland yarn. Creating pastels from a creamy base is difficult so it’s a good job I prefer rich deep colours!

After dyeing the yarn is ready for weaving. I weave sample fabric swatches at home on my own loom, designing with the yarn to see how it works best. I like simple designs and subtle colours. Once I have worked out what I want I will discuss this with the weaving company who will weave up several hundred metres of cloth for me. I work mostly with Drove Weaving in the Scottish Borders. If I don’t give them the right instructions I won’t get the fabric I want so I have had to learn the language of powerloom weaving which is quite different from the language of handweaving I learned 20 years ago!

After weaving there is one more process to get to the final fabric and that is cloth finishing. All of my fabrics are sent to Schofields Dyers and Finishers in Galashiels. Here the cloth is washed (known as fulling for woollen cloths) to both tighten and soften the quality of the woven fabric. It is then dried on a tentering machine where it is stretched to shape and fringes will be twisted into place if required. Then the individual blankets and scarves are cut and folded and are ready to come back to me for quality control, labelling and packaging.

With the amount of fleece I collect I am able to produce one ‘collection’ of throws and scarves each year. Any remaining yarn is knitted into socks at J. Alex Swift in Leicestershire, or is sold on for others to weave with it.

Tell us a bit about the people you work with during the process, the farmers, spinners, dyers, weavers and knitters. How do you find the right people to work with? I found my people through word of mouth – a farmer who introduced me to other farmers; a weaver who introduced me to a spinner who introduced me to a scourer and suggested a dyer; a weaver who introduced me to a cloth finisher and took me up there to meet them. It was a steep learning curve in the beginning – you might give a scourer 100kg of raw greasy fleece but you only get 50% back if you’re lucky because the rest is actually not wool at all, it is dirt, grease and moisture!

There’s a lot to learn and the only way to learn it is by asking questions and learning the correct terms so there’s no room for mis-understanding. A handweaver can make changes on the loom on the fly, but you can’t do that so easily on a powerloom. It’s a fascinating world out there, taking a craft skill and turning it into an industrial process, even on the small scale that I do it and I am constantly in awe of the people who work in these industries. Their knowledge is a treasure-trove.

Laura has been working with a local couple in Dentdale who raise Alpacas.

You do everything locally, from sourcing your fleece through to weaving, what value do you feel keeping it local adds to your brand? People increasingly like to know where their food and clothes come from and who made them, what processes have they gone through to be made. Being able to point out the sheep on the hillside from where I get my wool is of great interest to the customers who visit my workshop. Telling people about the area where I live and how I am using a local resource is important to me. It helps the farmers, the community and me and it gives my customers, many of whom are visitors to the area, a taste of the place to take home with them.

For customers from further afield, they like to know that my product is an honest one and that I am trying to do something to give back to my community. What I do is a tiny drop in the ocean and most people won’t hear the splash but it matters to me. It is particularly gratifying that all of the farmers I work with value the work that I do. They all share in my success and are fascinated to see and learn about what happens to their wool when it leaves the farm.

They are no longer burning or burying the fleece now that they are getting more value for the hard work that goes into looking after their sheep.

Your passion for wool and weaving is so clear. Can you tell us what Made in Britain means to you and why it is important for your brand? I have tried to keep things as local as possible but have had to learn that sometimes you need to go further afield to get specialist skills as they’re not all on the doorstep. But keeping it British is not a problem at all – we have all the skills I need for my business right here and if we don’t use them they will quickly be gone.

Many of the companies I work with struggle to find and keep young people. The pay is not great, the work can be dirty and noisy, there are times when jobs are flooding in and there are not enough hands to do them all, and then the work falls off a cliff edge because of global market swings and people are out of work or on short hours.

British industry relies on work coming in from elsewhere but it also needs a strong and healthy home-grown market. We make great things here in Britain and I believe British-made goods have a level of quality that is renowned worldwide.

And we couldn’t agree more!

To find out more about Laura’s Loom click here or visit www.laurasloom.com

Here’s this week’s transcript of our ‘Ask Kate’ Q&A, which went out live on Facebook on Thursday 2nd February.

‘Ask Kate’ is your chance to pick the brains of Make it British founder Kate Hills on anything to do with buying British or UK manufacturing.

Join us every Thursday at 1pm on the Make it British Facebook Page .

**Sorry for the video quality this week – but at least it was the right way round this time. Still learning how to work this Facebook Live thing!**

We had some interesting questions last week and some things which I couldn’t answer at the time so I going to cover them  today.  We’re also going to be covering questions you can ask a manufacturer if you’re going to visit them for a first time, we’ll be putting a special call out to those people that are based in North London that might want to join a new group, we’ve got an update on denim manufacturers following on from last week, and we’re going to introduce you to some of the new members of Make It British.  What was the other thing Lauren, we’ve got one other thing at the end?

Here’s a very subtle clue, it’s dog related, so it’s something for all the dog lovers out there.

**Cue Lauren coming in with Poppy the dog**

You’ll have to wait to find out what that’s all about at the end…

Questions to ask a UK manufacturer

So the first thing I want to cover today is something that someone asked last week about what questions can you ask if you want to start working with a UK manufacturer. Now I actually sat down and had a big think about this and I’ve typed up 12 questions because I think there’s quite a few things that you can ask.  You can find the full list of questions to ask a UK manufacturer here. I’ve also done you a handy print-off PDF that you can print out so when you’re on the phone to that manufacturer or going to visit them you can tick them off as you go along.

But one thing I want to stress here really is that I think it is really important to go and visit a manufacturer, that’s the real advantage of working with them if they’re in the UK.  I would say use those questions to ring some manufacturers up, ring as many as you can possibly find, ask them some of the key questions such as what are your minimum order quantities and who else do you work with, so you can gauge an idea of whether they are the right manufacturer for you potentially.

Pick out two or three that you like the sound of on the phone and that meet your criteria, and then go and see them, that’s really important, and you can ask these questions to them face-to-face.


Getting buyer feedback on new prototypes

While we’re on the subject of product development, someone else contacted us via the live chat on our website this week to say that they’ve launched a new company and have developed a prototype, and they want to find out how they can get feedback on their prototype.

Should they come to a trade show and ask the exhibitors? Should they send it to buyers? 

Now I used to be a buyer and I would say that most buyers are very busy and they may not have the time to give you feedback. So I would say that one of the best things to do before you approach these buyers is to get feedback from the sort of people that are your target customers. Create a focus group. For instance, if you’re creating a product for children go to a parents’ group and ask the parents there for feedback on your product.  

I also think that social feedback is a great way of sort of justifying whether a product is right for your market. Get out there with an Instagram account or a Facebook account or even post something in our Buy British Facebook community and ask members for their feedback; it’s a great way of getting feedback from people who aren’t necessarily your friends or your family because they are going to say they like it whether you think they’re being honest or not.

And finally I also think that crowd funding is good too. So many people now are launching brands or new products on some sort of crowd funding platform such as Kickstarter. It really is a really good way of justifying whether there is a market for the product that you’re developing.

One thing I would say is don’t go to a trade fair with your product and expect an exhibitor at the trade show, who might be a potential manufacturer for you, to answer questions there and then about your product. They don’t usually have the time to do that. At our show we have 5,000 visitors and the exhibitors there really just want to take business cards and catch up with you afterwards and taking a product along may not be the best way of getting constructive feedback.


Muswell Hill Creatives Group

Just want to give a shout out to something interesting that came through in our Buy British Community from a lady called Rachael who runs the Muswell Hill Creatives. Rachael is looking for any creative people that are working with their own business and making things in the North London area to join the Muswell Hill Creatives Group – a fantastic group of makers in the North London area. (There should be this sort of thing all over the country).

If you live in North London, you make things and you are interested in joining the Muswell Hill Creatives you can find out more on their website here.


New Make it British Members

We have all sorts of businesses that make in the UK on the Make It British website and I just to give you an idea of the variety of different companies that you can find there. So far in the last couple of weeks we’ve been joined by: Barnes and Moore Leatherworks who make beautiful leather products, Geoff Stocker who makes fantastic men’s accessories in silk, furniture company Forest Sofa, Elgar Shirts making traditional British nightshirts, Rutland Plastics who do injection moulded plastics, more furniture from the English Bed Company, and Fazane Fox who has an apparel production business – so if you’re looking to develop clothing in the UK get in touch with Fazane.


Update on British-woven denim

Elizabeth Rees has just popped in to remind me of the denim question we had last week – “is there anyone making denim in the UK?”. I mentioned the London Cloth Company, and I knew there was another company and I’ve remembered who it is, I’ve done some research and they’re called the Bysshe Partnership. They have woven some fantastic indigo died cloths in Lancashire. Not true denim cloth, but they’re really beautiful fabrics. So check them out.


British-made dog brands

Right, now we’re going to tell you all why we’ve got Poppy the dog in today. Lauren do you want to come and tell us why Poppy’s here?

Poppy’s with us today because we have added a compilation of the best British dog accessory brands on the Make it British website- and you can find everything from collars, bandanas, jumpers, snuffle mats, treats. Everything you need for your dog.

All made in the UK.

There’s nearly 50 dog brands added already and you can find the list of the best British made dog accessories brands here.


I think we’re kind of coming to the end of today’s Ask Kate Q&. Don’t forget –  if you want to also keep up with what we’re doing at Make It British please do join our newsletter or join us on the Make it British Facebook page every Thursday at 1pm for our Facebook live Q&A.

Please leave your questions that you want answered in the comments below or talk to us via the chat box in the corner of this website.

Thank you very much for joining me and don’t forget – let’s Make It British, thank you, bye.

They are man’s best friend and we love to accessorise our pooches! We’ve pulled together a list of the best British dog accessories brands

Thanks to our friends on Instagram we’ve put together a list of the best British dog accessories brands out there, and once again we have been overwhelmed with great recommendations so there are far more than ten to choose from! Every single one of these products is made in Britain….and we’re adding more and more as we find them.

Berkeley Dog Beds

Luxury Dog Beds by Berkeley are some of the best! Smart and cosy so the bed looks great in your home and your dog will love it.

Berkeley Dog Beds

Broughton & Co

Fashionable and trend-led leather goods that are built to last and stand the test of time.

Broughton and Co.

Dogatella

Fabulous matching leather accessories for the style conscious dog and owner!

Dogatella

Hector Hartley 

Hector Hartley creates stylish dog bed duvets that are ultra-soft and comfy for your dog to nestle into combined with durable designer fabrics.

Hector Hartley

Pet Mirrors

Pet Mirrors create pet themed acrylic mirrors of various shapes, sizes and colours. They are perfect for brightening up your home or the work place.

Pet Mirrors

The Hettie Company

A family run company making British accessories from British woven wool.

The Hettie Company

Mann + Moon

For the discerning dogs and their owners who want distinctive, stylish and functional accessories for walks and socialising with their best friends.

Mann and Moon

Woof and Meow

Dog accessories from the heart of Scotland, a brand born from a love of design and animals!

Woof and Meow

Beautiful Joe’s 

Beautiful Joe’s ‘Perfectly Behaved’ Liver Treats are hand-made from British free range, ox liver and dogs go crazy for them.

Beautiful Joe’s Dog Treats

Boots and Bones

Unique handmade dog accessories for your four-legged friend, designed and made in Britain.

Boots and Bones dog accessories

Boots and Bones

Hanson of London

Beautiful leather accessories made with traditional saddlery techniques.

Hanson of London dog accessories

Hanson of London

Jolie Dog

Handmade dog coats, tank tops, vests, collars, bags and more from Jolie Dog.

Jolie Dog accessories

Jolie Dog

Made for Mutts

Accessories are made for hounds, pooches, mans best friend, puppy, dog, tail wagger, pedigree, mongrel, canine…not just mutts!

Made for Mutts dog accessories

Made for Mutts

Melissa Simpson 

Beautiful leather dog accessories from Melissa, who is an expert in the production of leathergoods.

Melissa Simpson London dog accessories

Melissa Simpson London

Misheleneous

Hand made gifts for home and hound beautifully modelled by Heidi here…

Misheleneous dog accessories

Misheleneous

 

Redhound for Dogs

Dog coats, jackets and accessories from the brand based in a barn on a beautiful working farm in the heart of the Kent Countryside.

Redhound for Dogs accessories

Redhound for Dogs

Ruffle Snuffle

Ruffle Snuffle rugs made by experienced animal behaviourist Sarah White.

Ruffle Snuffle dog accessories

Ruffle Snuffle

Slumbering Hound

Providing handmade, high quality, bespoke dog cushions, blankets and accessories to make your hound happy.

Slumbering Hound dog accessories

Slumbering Hound

Smart Dog’s Boutique

Beautiful collars, leads, bandanas and coats, to suit all sizes from the smallest Chihuahua to the largest Great Dane.

Smart dogs boutique dog accessories

Smart dogs boutique

Spoilt Little Puppy

Spoilt Little Puppy have created a selection of luxury accessories & necessities for Hounds & their Humans with products they love created by companies in the UK .

Spoilt Little Puppy dog accessories

Spoilt Little Puppy

Storeys and Tails

Hand crafted dog products made in England

Storeys and Tails dog accessories

Storeys and Tails

The Cosy Canine Company

The Cosy Canine Company is a happy hub of handmade dog crate covers, bags and accessories.

The Cosy Canine Company dog accessories

The Cosy Canine Company

Tipp & Tag

The highest quality dog collars and accessories using genuine leather and English brass fittings all made in the UK.

Tipp and Tag dog accessories

Tipp and Tag

Watts in the Box

Brand run by Vicki, an animal technician, her chief knitter and her team of dogs to bring you hand knitted dog jumpers.

Watts in the Box dog accessories

Watts in the Box

Wellybix

Healthy dog treats hand-made with LOVE in picturesque Teesdale, full of natural, wholesome goodness and packed with garden herbs.

Wellybix dog accessories

Wellybix

Alice Foxx

Luxury fashion brand for dogs, made in the U.K.

Alice Foxx

B & V Trading

Quality dog accessories that are both affordable and durable.

B and V Trading

East End Best Friend

Fine handmade canine goods.

East End Best Friend

 

Friday Fox England

A small family business which makes beautiful Witney wool horse blankets and dog coats from its base high on the Lancashire moors.

Friday Fox England

Milgi Coats

Beautiful UK made coats  specially created for greyhounds, lurchers and whippets.

Milgi Coats

Minkeys Tweed

Designs handmade from pure Scottish and Yorkshire tweed.

Minkeys Tweed

Teddy Maximus

The Luxury Pet Brand for Style & Heritage. Designed & Made in England by Fine Craftsman…

Teddy Maximus 

If you know of any other British dog accessories that are made in the UK then please let us know and we will add them to the list. Just add them in the comments below.

12 Questions to ask a UK manufacturer

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So you want to get something made in the UK? Even if you have the experience of developing a product before you might not have visited a factory. 

questions to ask a factory

Choosing a manufacturer is one of the most important decisions you can make in the development of a product, so it’s not something to enter into without a bit of due care and attention.

I always say that it is worth speaking to as many manufacturers as you can over the phone first, and then go and visit two or three to get a feel for the sort of operation they run.

Some of these questions you may want to ask over the phone initially, in order to narrow down your choice, but others, such as those about price, are best approached in a face to face situation.

Here are my top ten tips for questions to ask when you visit a factory for the first time:

What is your minimum order quantity?

This can vary depending on the product, but is one of the key questions to ask a manufacturer from the start. There’s no point going to see a supplier who won’t set up a production line for less than a 2,000 piece order, if you only want to order 20 pieces.

Manufacturers usually have minimum orders to make their production efficient and to avoid the costly stop-starting of machines. Some may bend on their minimums, but this will more than likely command a higher production price in order to make it worth their while.

At this stage it is probably also worth finding out what their price breaks are too. Often, if you just order a few more it will help lower the cost price. So consider whether you are spreading your order across too many low quantity options and if you could consolidate some styles and order more of the key items within the range.

Who else do you manufacture for? This is one of the first questions that I would ask. It gives you an idea of the level that the manufacturer is operating at and the type of businesses that they are used to dealing with. If they start complaining about their other customers though – run a mile. That could be you in 6 months time!

It would also be wise to contact one or two of their previous clients to get a reference…or speak to me and I’ll let you know what feedback I’ve heard.

What are you lead-times?

The time it takes from when you confirm an order and deliver all your raw materials to the factory, to when the order is ready to be shipped. This can vary from product to product. Different times of the year can effect lead-times too.

It is important to know this information and to take it into consideration when you are placing an order. Just because your 500 pieces will only take the factory a week to manufacture does not mean that they will be ready a week after you place the order.

A good factory will plan production weeks and even months in advance in order to keep their workforce busy and not have any down-time. You need to allow for this in your own critical path planning.

I would also allow an extra couple of weeks as contingency too.

questions to ask a manufacturerWhat is the cost for prototyping and sampling?

I don’t know many manufacturers that don’t charge a premium for the time spent making a sample.

Generally the rate is at least double what the production costs will be. Some factories will charge an hourly rate for development time and others will charge a flat fee.

Ask the question early on so that you can factor the development charges into your budget.

What are your payment terms?

UK manufacturers need good cashflow, just like any other business, so they’ll be keen for you to pay within a fixed time frame. Some manufacturers may ask you to pay a deposit upfront, especially if they haven’t worked with you before. And many will require payment before they ship the goods.

I’d always recommend going to see the final production before it is shipped so that you know what you are paying for is what you expected. After all, being able to do this at this stage is one of the advantages of working with a UK manufacturer.

questions to as a UK manufacturerHow many x can you produce a week? If you need to order 5000 pieces of something and the factory can only produce 50 a week, it is going to take them a very long time to make your order. Consider how much you can grow with a factory as your orders get bigger, or whether you might outgrow them too fast.

Will you sign an NDA (non-disclosure agreement)?

The jury is out as to whether an NDA is worth the paper it is written on, in my opinion. I’ve been to factories where they say they have an NDA with a well known designer, and then proceed to show you their next season collection!

I think the main thing here is trust. When you meet this manufacturer do they show you all the exclusive work they are doing for other clients, or do they keep it under wraps?

What audits or industry certifications does your factory comply to? 

An audit is an assessment that is carried out to ascertain a factory’s quality systems and workplace environment. It costs a manufacturer money to have an audit carried out, so some smaller manufacturers may not have had one.  But it’s worth asking the question, and if they haven’t had any audits then it is worth finding out the reason why.

Can I see the factory floor or workroom?

It is so important to see where the magic happens. This is the true indicator of how the manufacturer runs their business.

Is it neat and tidy? Are there organised compartments for things? Do the staff look happy? or harassed? What are they currently working on and what does the quality look like?

questions to ask a UK manufacturerWhat sort of quality control do you have in place?

Whilst you go round the factory this is your chance to find out what quality controls they have in place.

At what stages of the production is the quality checked? Do they have a gold seal sample to refer to as they go along? Is there some sort of final inspection process that takes place before the product is shipped out? What is the lighting like in this area? and does it look well-staffed?

Quality inspection is particularly important in factories making products for children and babies, where something like a broken needle being left in a garment could be a life-threatening situation.

What types of machinery do you have?

Different equipment has different capabilities and it is worth finding out what the factory can do with the machinery it has. There may be something that they are capable of that you haven’t considered but which could drastically improve the production of your product. It may also give you ideas for future development work.

I actually think this is one of the great benefits of visiting a manufacturer – because it gives you product development ideas you might never have dreamed of before.

Who would be managing my account?

You know the score. You go to a business and they put the best sales person in charge of the customer on-boarding. You’re really impressed and decide to give them your order. They then put the junior in charge of your account and everything starts to go a bit skew-whiff!

If you are impressed by the owner when he shows you around then insist that it is him that you communicate with going forward.

I hope that you have found the above helpful. If you think we’ve missed anything out then I would love to hear from you in the comments below.

We’ve also made this into a handy PDF copy for you to print out – just fill in your details below and we’ll email it to you.

Here’s this week’s transcript of our ‘Ask Kate’ Q&A, which went out live on Facebook on Thursday 26th January. Topics covered included kettles made in Britain, dancewear, British yarn and zips

‘Ask Kate’ is your chance to pick the brains of Make it British founder Kate Hills on anything to do with buying British or UK manufacturing.

Join us every Thursday at 1pm on the Make it British Facebook Page .

Simplex Kettles are made in England

Simplex Kettles are made in England

We have got lots of things to talk to you about today, we’ve had quite a few questions come through and we’re going to be covering everything from kettles made in Britain to British yarn and zips.

 If you are reading this and you have a question that you want to ask, either tap in your question into the comments below and we’ll see it and we’ll ask the question as we go along, or if you want to add a question and we can ask it next week please do so via, also via the comments here or in the comments on our website, on the Live Chat on our website, or via one of our social media accounts. 

If you are here and you’ve joined in and you’d like us to give you a shout out then please just type your name in the comments as well and I’ll give you a mention, especially if you manufacture things in the UK.

Today we’ve had questions such as ‘can you still buy kettles made in Britain?’, ‘where can I buy dancewear and unitards that are made in the UK?’, lots of stuff about  and wool, and then finally someone’s asked whether you can still buy zips that are made here.  So I will be answering all of those questions as we go along.

Kettles made in Britain

So firstly onto the kettles question. I’ve had someone contacting me this week, it was either a Mr or Mrs Barker, and they asked, “Can you still buy a kettle that’s made in the UK?”.

Now the companies that you all think of for kettles, such as Philips, Swan and Morphy Richards; all of those kettle manufacturers have now unfortunately shipped their production overseas, so none of those brands now make in the UK. 

However, there are several companies that do make kettles here. 

The first is Simplex Kettles. They make gorgeous stove top copper kettles, in a Victorian style, and they’re all handmade in England. Absolutely beautiful, so it’s well worth checking them out. 

Netherton Foundry Kettles made in Shropshire

Netherton Foundry Kettles made in Shropshire

There is also a company called Netherton Foundry, who also make stove top kettles in the UK.

And finally, Ghillie Kettles, although technically they’re not the sort of kettle you’d think of to use in your kitchen at home, they’re kettles for camping. You can find them for sale on a fantastic website called Made To Last.

But sadly I couldn’t find any electric kettles that are still made here.

If you know differently, pick up your kettle at home, have a look – does it say Made in England or Made in Britain? Let us know please because I’d love to be proved wrong but currently I don’t think there’s any electric kettles that are made in the UK.


British-made Dancewear

We’ve had a few enquiries recently about where you can buy dancewear and leotards made in Britain.  

Actually, this is one of the industries that there’s still a lot of products manufactured here. 

For a start, there’s a company called First Position who make a lot of their products here, and also Katz Dancewear.

Katz Dancewear is made in Northampton

Katz Dancewear is made in Northampton

There’s also a lot of gymnastics leotards that are made here – including Milano leotards, all made in Preston, and a company called A Star based in Devon. 

So that was Milano, A Star, Katz Dancewear and First Position all sell dance and gym wear that’s made in the UK.  Again if you know of any others please let us know as we’d love to add them to the list.


British Yarn and Wool

Now onto British yarn and wool. 

We had several people ask us where they can buy knitting wool that’s made in the UK. So we did a little bit of research into this and found out about yarn that was spun and/or dyed in the UK. In fact, many of the yarns that we found were actually made from 100% British raw materials too. 

We’ve compiled together a list of all of these British yarn producers, some of which are using British raw materials and some of which use imported materials, but they’re all spinning and dying yarn in the UK.  There’s loads of them…I think we’ve added 25 and I’m sure there’s more to add. 

So if you are looking for knitting yarns that are made here then please look at this article on British yarn.

FACT – the jumper that I’m wearing in the video is by FANCLUB and is made from yarn spun by Z. Hinchliffe in Yorkshire.

Eden Cottage Yarns

Okay, while we’re talking of British yarn I would also like to mention a fantastic podcast called Knit British if you are interested in all things British and yarn. It’s run by a Scottish lady called Louise Scollay, you can find it in the iTunes podcast app. This lady is even more obsessed than me about the origins and provenance of product and she has dedicated her whole podcast to just talking about locally sourced and made yarns, it’s fascinating so look her up – Knit British.

Something else you might be interested in if you are looking for British knitting yarn is a fantastic event called the Edinburgh Yarn Festival, it’s happening in the second weekend in March, held in Edinburgh obviously, and is run by a couple of ladies called Mica and Jo.  They will be showcasing over 100 exhibitors who are small scale producers of yarn, much of which is British yarn. 


British Zip Supplier

Another question we had through today is ‘is there anyone that still makes zips in Britain?”,

I’m pleased to say that yes, there’s one company making zips in the UK – they’re based in Leicester, and they are called Zipex.


Live questions

At the end of our broadcast we also had some questions from people coming through live, here are the responses….

A lady called Catherine is asking for a start-up clothing range what sort of questions should she be asking a potential manufacturer?

That is a really good question, but I think that needs a more in-depth answer so I will get the answers together for this one for our Facebook live which will go out this Thursday 2nd February.  In fact, I know that our Meet the Manufacturer we have quite a few start-ups come along and sometimes they can find it quite intimidating to talk to exhibitors there about what questions they should ask if they’re starting up a new range, so we will make sure we cover that next week. So if you are coming to our Meet the Manufacturer trade show, which is on the 24th and 25th of May, you will have the questions that you can print off and ask the exhibitors while you’re there.

On the subject of the events, someone asked when they can register to attend?

The registration for our trade show will open in a couple of weeks’ time, so please bear with us. But in the meantime, if you want to be notified about when the tickets are available, and it’s completely free to visit, sign up to our event newsletter.

A chap called Stephen asked if  there is anyone in Britain who makes denim or stretch denim?

I think the London Cloth Company actually can weave denim so get in touch with Daniel at London Cloth Company.  And I know normally he weaves woollen fabrics but I’m pretty sure he will do denim, so look him up.  I don’t think there’s currently anyone else but again I will look into this and when we publish this video I’ll write the link to any other denim weaving companies that I find and put those into the comments.

**Stop press – we also found out after the Q&A that Bysshe make denim in the UK**

A lady called Caroline asked for knitted tights and leggings for children, she’s looking for a manufacturer to work with her designs.

One company does spring to mind that makes babywear and that’s Team Tots. They exhibit at our shows so you can come and meet them there, whether they do leggings I’m not sure, I’d have to check. 

A lady called Laura-Anne wrote in and asked for UK manufacturers that will work closely with small start-up companies.

Right, we’ve got this problem solved this year at our Meet the Manufacturer event, because at our trade show this year we are going to have a hall specifically for manufacturers that will make small quantities and work with start-ups. It’s going to be called our Enterprise Hall and more details will be announced on that very very soon, so again get yourself on that event newsletter to make sure you can come along to that. 


 That’s it for this week’s Facebook Live.

If you have a question you want answered please leave it in the comments below and we will try and cover it in next week’s Ask Kate Q&A.

Like our Facebook Page to be notified when we go live!

Closing Date 28th February 2017

Your chance to WIN three packs of either Women’s or Men’s underwear from British underwear specialists Unibu.

Ladies hipsters three pair pack

Unibu offer unique British underwear,  made to exacting standards, entirely in the United Kingdom. Building on years of experience, Shirley Crisp created Unibu to offer great fit and quality, and natural materials for a variety of shapes and sizes. Unibu is made in Britain down to the last thread. That means everything they design, dream, produce, manufacture, sew, stitch and send on its way was found in Britain and manufactured in British factories.

Unibu are offering one lucky reader the chance to WIN not one but THREE packs of either women’s or men’s underwear in their choice of style and size.

Men’s pants by Unibu come in packs of two.

Women’s underwear comes in packs of three, so that will be nine knickers! Whilst men’s underwear comes in packs of two, meaning the lucky winner receives six pants. And with sizes ranging from S to XXL everyone can have  the comfiest undies with a perfect fit!

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

Building on year’s of experience, who created Unibu?

Competition now closed

To find out more about Unibu click here or visit them at www.unibu.co.uk

WIN a cashmere hat from We Are Rushworth

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Your chance to win a cashmere beanie hat in a choice of 5 colours from We Are Rushworth in the first of our Instagram competitions

Closing date 1st February 7pm

Simply go to this post on our Instagram page and follow the instructions to enter the competition. You will need an Instagram account to take part

Closing date: 1st February 2017 at 7pm– 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.

20 of the best British yarn producers

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Where can you buy British yarn? Loads of places! Read on to find out who’s making yarn here. From local farms and hand-dyers, to large mills and commercial spinners, there’s a wealth of British yarn makers producing some amazing quality yarn

British yarn producersFollowing on from a request via the website asking where they could buy British-made hand knitting yarn we put a call out on Instagram for people to recommend companies that make British yarn. We had a fantastic response…it appears that the British yarn scene is thriving.

Our aim was to put together a top of British yarn producers, but there were so many fantastic ones to choose from that we went well over 20. And we’re adding to it all the time! If you know of any others then please mention them in the comments below and we’ll add them to this post.

One thing that we’d like to point out is the distinction between British wool and British-spun yarn. This article covers British spun yarn i.e. the criteria was that the yarn was spun in Britain but might be from fibres that aren’t from the UK. However, the vast majority here, especially from the smaller companies, use local fibres from British sheep or Alpaca. If in doubt, always ask the yarn supplier to give more details about the provenance of their yarn.

I also want to take this opportunity to give a special mention to Louise Scollay. A few years ago Louise set out to knit with only British yarn made from locally sourced fibres. Her passion for UK-made knitting wool led her to set up a great podcast called Knit British – well worth a listen.

Laura’s Loom Laura’s Loom produce fine weaving and knitting yarns in various weights and colours from iconic British sheep breeds including Bluefaced Leicester, Hebridean and Wensleydale.

Lauras loom Yarn

Town End Alpacas

Town End Alpacas produce British alpaca wools  and other UK alpaca blend knitting yarns from their farm in the Lake District.  They buy local fleece where possible and sort and blend the fibres on the farm.

Town End Alpacas

Town End Alpacas

Ardalanish Mill The Ardalanish Mill on the Isle of Mull not only spins its own yarn but also weaves it into beautiful fabrics.

Ardalanish Mill

Black Isle Yarns Natural and sustainable yarns from Scotland.

Black Isle Yarns

Blacker Yarns Blacker Yarns produce a range of beautiful breed specific yarns made exclusively from British sheep, all spun in Cornwall. They are also one of the exhibitors at our Meet the Manufacturer event.

Blacker Yarns

Cambrian Wool 100% Welsh wool spun from the fleece of the of the Welsh Mule.

Cambrian Wool

Cornish Organic Wool 100% organic wool – produced, spun and hand dyed organically with Soil Association certification.

Cornish Organic Wool

Countess Ablaze Yarn-dyer based in Manchester with some stunning coloured wool.

Countess Ablaze

Daughter of a Shepherd 100% British wool from shepherds and producers within the United Kingdom.

Daughter of a Shepherd

Eden Cottage Yarns Beautiful hand-dyed yarns.

Eden Cottage Yarns

Fat Bubba from Mel Porter 100% Merino Fat Bubba wool is hand spun in the UK and is available to buy the via Melanie Porter website.

Fat Bubba from Mel Porter

Garthenor Certified organic knitting yarns from traditional British sheep.

Garthenor

IsleYarns Pure wool from the Isle of Purbeck.

http://isleyarns.co.uk/

Isle Yarns

J.C. Rennie & Co Established in 1798, J.C. Rennie make beautiful woollen yarns for knitters and weavers. They’ll be exhibiting at our Meet the Manufacturer event in May.

J. C. Rennie & Co.

Jamieson & Smith Jamieson & Smith Shetland Wool Brokers purchase Shetland wool from over 700 of Shetland’s crofters and farmers, and transform it into high-quality Shetland yarn.

Jamieson Smith

Jamiesons of Shetland Shetland wool and yarn suppliers.

Jamiesons of Shetland

John Arbon Worsted spun luxury yarns and custom yarns for hand dyers and designers.

Jon Arbon

Kettle Yarn Co. Hand-dyed British yarn from ethical mills.

Kettle Yarn Co.

Knockando Woolmill Historic working district woolmill situated in Knockando, in the Spey valley, Scotland.

Knockando Woolmill

Laxtons Laxtons are specialist manufacturers of worsted and fancy yarns, not for hand knitting a high volume manufacturing. You’ll find them at our Meet the Manufacturer event.

Laxtons

Lily Warne Wool British wool from a Devon farm.

Lily Warne

New Lanark Wool and Textiles New Lanark Wool & Textiles is a small-scale producer of high quality Chunky, Aran, Double Knitting and Organic woollen yarn.

New Lanark Wool and Textiles

R.E. Dickie

Specialising in British and Rare Breeds Wool, manufactured on their premises in Halifax.

R.E . Dickie

The Knitting Goddess The Knitting Goddess is an independent dyer of British knitting yarns, producing hand dyed yarns from British wool.

The Knitting Goddess

Toft Alpaca The Toft Alpaca shop sells British alpaca and luxury 100% wool yarn.

Toft Alpaca

Uist Wool Undyed yarns from the Outer Hebrides.

Uist Wool

West Yorkshire Spinners West Yorkshire Spinner’s yarn is reared, sheared and spun in Britain.

West Yorkshire Spinners

If you’re looking to buy from these British yarn producers you may want visit the Edinburgh Yarn Festival which is happening in March. With over 100 exhibitors, many of which produce 100% British wool, it promises to be a great event for knitters. Find more details about the event here.

There is also an online shop selling exclusively British yarn – find them at www.brityarn.co.uk