Why authenticity is important to us

…and why Make it British is not affiliated with any other ‘made in Britain’ campaigns…

Make it British campaign authenticI was recently contacted by a web developer, prospecting for some business. His pitch was that he’d been through the code on the Make it British site and found the name of a developer who was not based in the UK. How could I shout about UK skills and making in Britain when I was using someone offshore to build my website? he said.
The truth is that the Make it British website IS built in the UK, by a lovely chap based in Horsham, and the web hosting company is also British. Their web servers are in the UK too.

I believe 100% that you have to practice what you preach. The web hosting company that I use is definitely more expensive than a lot of the offshore ones, but they provide a quality service, and I would be stupid to host a site called Make it British in the US!

[ctt template=”1″ link=”r2e92″ via=”no” ]”I believe 100% that you have to practice what you preach” Kate Hills, @makeitbritish[/ctt]

The same goes for what I wear.

Now I’m not saying that everything I own is made in Britain. For a start, some things you just can’t buy here. Women’s heeled boots for instance.
But I would certainly never dream of appearing at an event or on a video where I am representing Make it British without wearing clothes that are from some of the wonderful British-made brands that I want to support.

How could I call myself a fan of all things British-made if I didn’t then put my money where my mouth is. That would be very hypocritical!

Yes it is sometimes more expensive to buy something made in the UK, but I opt for timeless pieces that I know will last. I’ve got John Smedley knitwear in my wardrobe that I bought with my first pay cheque when I worked at Marks and Spencer in 1997 and it is still going strong.

I started Make it British in 2011 because I had a passion to save UK manufacturing, born out of a love for people making things and a desire to continue that tradition in the UK.

When I set Make it British up most people thought I was mad as they thought UK manufacturing was on its last legs. How are you ever going to make any money out of doing that? They said. Well the truth is I don’t make much, but I believe in good karma, and that one day I will reap what I sow. Plus I get a warm fuzzy feeling when I hear about factories expanding or new ones opening up!

Over the last few years I have watched as more ‘made in Britain’ sites have launched. The more the merrier I say, the more people championing the cause the better, but what does concern me is the integrity of them all. Some I know are great and I fully support them, but sometimes I wonder what the motivations of some of these people are? And how authentically they support the made in Britain cause, or whether they are just jumping on the bandwagon to try and make a quick buck? Do they host their sites in the UK? Or in the States where it is cheaper?

If they sell their members ‘made in Britain’ labels, are they printing them in the UK? Or in China?

It concerns me because this is something I am passionate about, and also because my company Make it British sometimes gets confused with other sites and campaigns whose integrity I cannot be responsible for.

You may have heard of the Buy British campaign of the 1960’s? It was going really well and backed by some high profile figures such as Rupert Murdoch. But then it was discovered that the T-shirts they had made with ‘I’m Backing British’ on to support the cause we’re actually made in Portugal, and the whole thing crumbled. Their lack of authenticity made the whole campaign worthless. Is that about to happen again?

Made in Britain Campaign holographic labels are printed overseas
Since writing this article the Made in Britain Campaign have confirmed to us that the holographic labels shown in the above photograph, which they have been distributing and selling to their members, were not printed in the UK

So who was the mystery foreign developer whose name appeared in the code of our site? Well, it was actually a generic plug in that we had installed which was developed overseas, because we use WordPress to build part of the site on. As soon as I find a British alternative for these I will swap them over, because that is how I roll….

Make it British would like to take this opportunity to point out that it’s organisation and director are in no way affiliated or connected to the Made in Britain Campaign or any other website promoting ‘made in Britain’.

10 thoughts on “Why authenticity is important to us”

  1. Hard to find a free server in the UK at the moment, and if a web site has no great income or traffic then the free ones hosted at Kiel, Germany are quite good. I wouldn’t grudge anyone using a free web site to promote UK products. In contrast, MadeinGB have a rather expensive looking web site and a £100+VAT membership fee.

    I think that any scheme promoting UK products has to be very thrifty, and that the first Stoves.co.uk logo was a great idea – free to download for anyone who met the conditions, with no admin costs for them and no membership fees for users. It’s a pity they moved-on to something more expensive

  2. I actually live in the USA, but I am very disturbed what clothing they offer here. I am not rich and cannot go to Europe on shopping trips. So, there is a huge problem. The rags people wear here often bother my skin. And therefore I have been looking to the UK. I am from Germany but no luck there. I hope that some good clothing stores will mail to the US. Even underwear, I like panties with leg and in cotton, but have not found anything decent.
    Therefore I have been looking to the UK, I hope to find some stores for lingery, nightwear and some other wear.

    Thank you. Good Night. Em

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