BEHIND BUY BRITISH DAY
HAVE you ever wondered how much of what you buy is grown or made in Britain?
With manufacturing costs high in England it can often be cheaper and more convenient to buy products made abroad.
Joe Pidgeon, cofounder of Best of Britannia, acknowledges that buying local is not cheap, and that if that is your only motivation as a consumer, you may be better off looking elsewhere.
“But if you are looking for something that’s well made, considered, something with a design element to it and you know where it is made, ethically, sustainably and with environmental considerations, then consider buying British,” he said.
“If you are spending money in Britain on British produce, that can only be good for all.”
Joe argues that whilst there has been a decline in traditional, heavy industry, such as steel mining, ship building and so on, there has been a resurgence of more carefully produced items, such as footwear and clothing and an explosion of new British brands.
Made in Britain’s John Pearce agrees. “Research has shown that provenance is creeping up the list of priorities for buyers,” he said.
“People have lots of different reasons for buying local, including sustainability.
“Another reason I hear a lot is that you are far more likely to be able to phone up the company if you need any assistance. A lot of our members have a customer support centre just yards from their factory floor, so you know they’ll be able to look after you.”
There is still some heavy industry left, like car manufacturing by Mini in nearby Oxford, but it now has a reputation for quality and refinement unlike the notoriety of the British car industry of yesteryear.
The British food and drink industry too has grown, with British sparkling wine in particular becoming vastly popular, much to the chagrin of the Champagne houses of France.
British clothing is also greatly popular worldwide. Not only do the world’s eyes focus on London several times a year with it’s various fashion weeks, but British tailoring and shoemakers are considered the ultimate of refinement, luxury and quality.
Best of Britannia London will be a three day celebration of the very best British products. Manufacturers from across the country will be taking part, with industries raging from cosmetics and fashion to food and drink. The festival runs from Friday to Sunday at Victoria House in Bloomsbury Square.
Showcase: Last year’s Best of British event