5 British coat brands – all still made in the UK

Mackintosh - British RainwearThe British weather – we are all obsessed about it, so no wonder we have always been so good at making rainwear. In fact, there are still a lot of manufacturers making great British outerwear. Here are five of those brands that excel in making great coats to keep you dry in a downpour.

  • Mackintosh – A name so synonymous with rainwear that even the abbreviation of their brand name has come to mean raincoat. Named after Charles Macintosh, a Scottish chemist who invented a waterproof cloth in 1823 by spreading natural rubber between two fabrics, the Mackintosh was used as the British army coat for both the 1st and 2nd World Wars. Despite a shaky time in the mid-1990’s when the factory in Cumbernauld near Glasgow was nearly closed, the Scottish company is still making it’s raincoats in Britain today. It’s revival in fortunes can be attributed to a young entrepreneur called Daniel Dunko, who had trained as an apprentice on the Mackintosh factory floor, and saw the potential for reviving the company as a British luxury brand. Since then the firm has not looked back, and now has a flagship store on Mount Street in Mayfair, as well as a tie up with Kitsune in Paris.
  • Aquascutum – Making raincoats in England since 1853, it was King Edward VII’s patronage of the company which led to Aquascutum obtaining favour with the British Royal family and a royal warrant in 1897. Today 16% of Aquascutum’s product is still made in the UK in their factory in Corby, Northamptonshire.
  • Lavenham – Named after the town of the same name in Suffolk in which the company was founded, Lavenham’s quilted jackets, traditionally loved by Sloane Ranger types and the Japanese, have recently found favour with a much cooler crowd, thanks to collaborations with Paul Smith and Liberty. The brand stays as true to it’s British heritage as possible by sourcing nearly all of the fabrics that it uses from British suppliers.
  • Baracuta – Where would a piece about British outerwear be without mentioning the Harrington jacket? Created by Baracuta in England in 1937, the G9, as the model is known, was made famous by Elvis when he wore it in the 1958 movie King Creole. It then went on to be adopted as the coat of choice by mods in the 1960’s. The check-lined jacket is proudly still made in England.
  • Private White VC – Thanks to the thoroughly enjoyable Channel 4 documentary called Made in England, in which it’s factory was featured, Private White VC is a new British brand that makes fantastic outerwear. Named after Jack White, who was general manager and owner of the Cooper & Stollbrand Salford factory in which the label is made, a Private White coat is well worth investing in.

12 thoughts on “5 British coat brands – all still made in the UK”

  1. Unless something has changed since I last bought one – which admittedly was about two years ago – surely Barbour deserve a mention?

  2. Hi Lewis

    You are entirely right, as I also myself remembered this morning when I saw my friend in her fine Barbour jacket with the Union Jack lining.
    I think Barbour deserve a post all to themselves now, don’t you?

  3. I don’t think a post dedicated to Barbour would go amiss. They’ve had a pretty interesting recent history; it’s funny to think that only a couple of years ago there was talk of them either moving all production abroad (I’m aware that they make some stuff overseas) or going bankrupt.

    My favourite jacket is a Barbour international which I bought to ease my 60s Belstaff into semi-retirement when it started to look a bit tired. The international is a beautifully made jacket and, when compared to Barbours of various vintages – all of which have been aquired from innumerable jumble sales – the quality is up there with the best of them. I spent all winter wearing it in and it kept me warm and dry even in the worst conditions. It’s probably one of the few jackets I could get away with wearing to chainsaw down a tree, pluck a pheasant and then going out to a resturant and i never ever wished I could change anything about it. It’s a completely practical jacket and I’m very upset that the weather is too nice to wear it, though thankfully it’s been raining for the past two days so I’ve managed to get it out.

    The barbour was very affordable, around £200 if i remember correctly, which was far less than the Italian made Belstaff which is not at all comparable with an old one. it’s still a reasonably well made jacket, only now that it’s become a fashion item the materials have got a lot thinner and as soon as you have one in hand you can tell it’s not designed to last the lifetime of hardwork that my beloved old one was.

    1. Dear Lewis
      I love this story of your old Barbour – a garment that has stood the test of time and has a story to tell.
      It is exactly this passion for beautifully-crafted British products that Make it British wants to capture.
      If you, or any of our other readers, have any more beloved British items that you would like to share with us, please do!

  4. Pingback: British Clothing Icon: The Lewis Leathers Universal Racer - Make it British

  5. Adam Davidson

    Only some of the wax cotton Barbour jackets are still made in the UK and none of the un-waxed jackets are made here, and none of the clothing. It may be a lot of the waxed jackets or just a few, I’ve asked them and they are suspiciously vague. If it is lots they should be clearer and shout about it, but I suspect it hey are avoiding doing so in order to keep their options open going forward. Pity as they are great jackets. As far as I know all of Knutsford jackets are made in the UK see link. https://m.coggles.com/jackets-clothing/men/clothing/knutsford-men-s-made-in-england-nylon-shooting-jacket-brown/11099443.html?affil=thggpsad&switchcurrency=GBP&shippingcountry=GB&gclid=CKrtorfkmtQCFam87QodHVwP2w&gclsrc=aw.ds&dclid=CPGttbfkmtQCFS8f0wod6SALaA&variation=11099446

    1. The waxed fabric is processed in Dundee Scotland and then returned to Northumberland for manufacture. Greg Wallace did a programme on the Barbour manufacturing recently

    1. That’s a very good suggestion Matt.
      This article is a few years out of date now so we will definitely work on an update that we will be publishing in September when everyone is thinking about purchasing a new winter coat.

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