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Bringing British back into fashion

Bringing British back into fashion

London Fashion Week may have been and gone but it’s left us in no doubt that British designers have made their mark on the industry. But what about British manufacturing? Sir Philip Green has recently commented on the importance of nurturing production talent as well as design talent while Mary Portas is on a quest to revive the industry in her Channel 4 series.

But while British manufacturing may have been brought to the forefront by the retail gurus, there are a number of fashion labels who are already manufacturing here in the UK, fully aware of their carbon footprint and the importance of keeping Britain in fashion. One such label is Jane & Marilyn (www.janeandmarilyn.co.uk).

The British label, which specialises in the 50s silhouette, has already launched its first collection and is preparing to launch its second – The Silk Collection – this month.  All ten dresses from the original collection plus the seven dresses and cropped jacket from the new collection are made in the UK.  Most of the cloth is also produced here too.  What’s more, The Silk Collection features a stunning purple, pink and green jacquard silk for one of the designs that has been woven in the UK exclusively for the brand.

From left to right, Jane & Marilyn’s Katherine, Rita and Suzy designs

“Supporting UK industry is extremely important to us, which is why our dresses are made here and most of our fabric is sourced here. We believe these values matter to our customers too,” comments designer Jane Foddy.

“We’re delighted to be able to continue our policy of supporting UK business with our new collection. We have excellent manufacturers and produce superb quality cloth in this country, so we can offer customers both a luxury product and the satisfaction of knowing it was produced here.”

The main sticking point with UK manufacturing has been the high cost associated with it, but Foddy argues that it’s all relevant. “China may have been cheaper in the past, but when you factor in the cost of shipping pieces round the world and the time-to-market, the overall cost doesn’t differ that much.  In addition, we’re able to oversee the production process at each stage and assess the quality before the garments reach the customer. With China becoming more expensive, the opportunity for UK manufacturing has certainly opened up.”

With the fashion industry accounting for 1.7% of UK GDP and the opportunity for it to remain competitive in the global market, it seems Britain could be coming back into fashion in more ways than one.