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Fake it British – the worst example yet?

High Street retailer is caught mis-labeling product as Made in England  – an attempt to confuse or a genuine mistake?

Fake it BritishRecently I put a call out to our followers on Twitter for a research project that I am doing. I was looking for some good examples of products that the public might think were made in Britain, when they are actually made abroad. Some worrying cases came back, including the Royal Doulton bulldog with a Union Jack on its back, shown below, that was produced as a collectors item for the movie Skyfall, but was actually made in Indonesia.

But the most-shocking example was spotted by an eagle eyed chap called Dan Howarth. He sent us a photo he had taken of a men’s tweed jacket with a lovely made in England woven label sewn prominently into the back neck. However, when he looked inside he found a printed label that said that it was made in Bangladesh.

Was this a genuine mistake? Or an attempt to mislead the public into buying British? Were they referring to the fabric with the Made in England label? Maybe yes, but still not acceptable.

Now, having worked in the garment trade in the past I know how easy it could be for someone to type an incorrect code into an order form which can then cause the wrong labels to be sent to a factory. However, in this instance where the mis-labelled garment has actually made its way onto the shop floor, it would have meant that no one else spotted the error along the way – not the label manufacturer sending Made in Bangladesh labels to a UK factory, not the machinist stitching it into the garment, nor the person at the retailer’s head office who is supposed to check these things before it is allowed to go out to stores.

Royal Doulton BulldogI won’t name and shame the retailer (although if you look very closely you can see their website address on the label at the very bottom of the picture), but I will say that they are a very well-known high street retailer that should have known better.

So what do you think? Is this an attempt to fool the public? or is it a genuine mistake? Or maybe it is now acceptable to label a garment as made in England, when in fact it’s not?

If you think that this sort of thing is wrong, please sign our petition for a standardised Made in Britain logo. The link is here on the HM Government website*.

*And don’t forget to follow the link in the confirmation email that they send you, otherwise your vote won’t count.

 

Comments

31 Comments

  1. Edward Henson on March 17, 2013 at 10:03 am

    Thats terrible. If it was spotted then it was just overlooked!

  2. gloria muir on March 17, 2013 at 10:44 am

    I am and always have been a fighter for the rights of animals even though age etc means its now armchair fighting Please can you help on this one ,,,,Of course with the recent news coverage of the killing of elephants and China being the biggest culprit I do not want to buy any thing Chinese I dont want to play any part in the lining of the pockets of these monsters But when you look at many labels it has, ex. “Packed in Surrey for B&M stores .and that is all ,I have asked staff if they knew if it originally came from China and they say they dont know How can I get the right answers …Is there a law that it should say where it was manufactured if not how can we tell please

    • Paula loves vintage 45 on March 23, 2013 at 3:56 pm

      Hello Gloria, I to amalso on a quest not to buy Made in China or any other loathsome Far East countries products for the same animal welfare issues. They are becoming all too powerful and I do not want to line the Chinese fat cats pockets any further whether directly or indirectly. Nor do I want to give hand over my money (so they build even bigger profits) to British companies and their shareholders by not manufacturing in the UK, taking away well needed jobs, careers and any hope to our school and university leavers….

      I picked up on The Truly British Family campaign in January but didn’t start truly following their lead until February after viewing atrocious acts off cruelty to cats & dogs in China on a YouTube clip…This was posted to my Facebook Page by another, I did not go searching for this hideous & barbaq trade in animal fur for some kind of sadistic kick.

      I will be following this sites with added interest from now on…Please keep up this great work. Britain needs you…I ‘m sending my partner, family & friends crazy with banging on about buying Made in Britain goods and checking labels..

    • Paula vintage 45 on March 23, 2013 at 4:10 pm

      Hello Gloria,
      I to am on a quest not to buy Made in China or any other loathsome Far East countries products for the same animal welfare issues. They are becoming all too powerful and I do not want to line the Chinese fat cats pockets any further whether directly or indirectly. Nor do I want to hand over my money (so they build even bigger profits) to British companies and their shareholders by not manufacturing in the UK, taking away well needed jobs, careers and any hope to our school and university leavers….

      I picked up on The Truly British Family campaign in January but didn’t truly start following their lead until February after viewing atrocious acts off cruelty to cats & dogs in China on a YouTube clip…This was posted to my Facebook Page by another, I did not go searching for this hideous & barbaric trade in animal fur for some kind of sadistic kick.

      I shall be following this website with added interest from now on…Please keep up this great work. Britain needs you…I ‘m sending my partner, family & friends crazy with banging on about buying Made in Britain goods and checking labels..

    • Sue Bowman on September 4, 2016 at 7:42 pm

      I absolutely agree with you Gloria. The Chinese make he I’ll with their treatment of humans and animals. They are little more than savages. I was disgusted when looking at all the clothes in Joules and Kath Kitson to see they are made in China. Surely this great country of ours can turn out clothes as well as the Chinese?

      • anne richardson on February 11, 2018 at 11:59 am

        I absolutely agree with both of you.
        I will not line the pockets of murderers and torturers.

  3. Anthony on March 17, 2013 at 7:37 pm

    bet the government will charge for the use of it though , call me cynical. They really dont care about British business

    • Joe on May 2, 2014 at 6:06 pm

      Spot on, Anthony!

  4. Onehot Mama on March 17, 2013 at 8:10 pm

    I have worked for a company in the past who does exactly the same, and apparentley it’s not illegal !!! As long as some process is done in the UK then they can claim it’s made in the UK even just sewing buttons on or sewing a bit of trim on………

  5. Steve Longden on March 18, 2013 at 3:54 pm

    Crikey – even if you give this very large high street retailer the benefit of the doubt, surely to avoid confusion with the customer they should identify what process is “made in England” and what is “made in Bangladesh”. Is it time for a recipe list now like food?
    Fabric –
    Trims –
    Assembly –

  6. Joshua Murray on March 19, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    It seems to me that this is a classic case of where the material is from a British mill, and then to cut both wholesale and retail costs, this retailer – I can’t make out who has pretty much wasted its potential by sending it to be glued and assembled in Bangladesh. This is pretty much the usual practice for most retailers, including higher end names like Paul Smith, Hackett and Burberry,
    It is my opinion that ‘Made in Britain’ is a branding that should only be allowed on garments constructed in the UK.

    • Kathleem Smith on April 3, 2013 at 9:26 am

      The workers in Bangladesh are paid very little and have no unions , rights or health and safety .Often children work . The goods have quality control either .
      When shipped back the firm put a very western price on them to covere cargo costs and the stuff that they must bin due to no control .You then pay for goods shoddily made and in conditions neither you nor your children would accept . You are keeping the rather sordid process going .

  7. Tom on March 19, 2013 at 2:00 pm

    I suspect they were trying to say that the fabric itself is woven in Britain – most of the big High St chains are currently cashing in on the trend for homegrown tweeds etc. – but the fact is this garment was manufactured overseas so the label is completely misleading and D*b*nh*ms deserves a telling off.

  8. Edward Henson on March 20, 2013 at 10:15 am

    Perhaps the Made in England tag is British and its just the rest if the garment thats foreign made!

    I know its not funny but if you dont laugh you will cry.

  9. sarah on April 4, 2013 at 6:52 am

    You should go into joules, they have ‘the best of british’ everywhere on their CHINESE made garments!!!, i could only find one thing in the whole shop that was actually manufactured in Britain.

  10. Michael on April 4, 2013 at 9:56 am

    It’s deceptive and misleading conduct! The goverment doesn’t care as long as they get their cut. They have no principles or manufacturing vision. The opposition is exactly the same!

    Make It British is a great blow tourch to apply to their nether regions and a support for those who care about British manufacturing.

  11. Woody on April 4, 2013 at 10:53 am

    This is perhaps the reason why a ‘British’ label should mean “Made ENTIRELY in Britain”. It’s been going on for decades where just the buttons are sewn on or it’s ironed and packaged and they claim it is made, sometimes and more honestly ‘finished’, in Britain. They should rule out all confusion ‘Made in Britain’ means entriely that. The importer/manufacturer of that jacket should have their tape measure cut into shreds and their sketching pencil broken in two, in public, on the high street!

  12. Jill Goodman on April 4, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    Some while ago I spotted a jacket made from Harris Tweed in Edinburgh Woollen Mill, that was labelled made in China. I assume the fabric was shipped out to China and the completed garments shipped back. It really makes no sense especially when a thriving clothing industry has been decimated in the name of profit. P.s the Bible says ” The love of money is the root of evil.” which I think sums up the modern world, everything is short term and often with the view of making a quick buck no matter who it hurts.

    • Anon on May 14, 2013 at 8:29 pm

      I know exactly the company you are referring to and their garments are terrible!
      However I know of another company that manufactures Harris Tweed garments in Portugal. They have tried some UK manufacturing and unfortunately the quality was not acceptable; Lining ripped, sizing and pattern cutting was not consistent to name a few. It’s a real shame as I know they would love to manufacture in the UK.

  13. CAROL WEAVER on December 31, 2013 at 8:31 am

    I can relate to the shock of finding that this garment was not made in Britain. I ordered a Border Fine Arts figure as a gift, which I presumed to be made in Langholm, just across the border, along with Lilliput Lane. However, as beautiful as the figure of a sparrowhawk was, I was shocked to see it labelled ‘Made in China’. It was returned.

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