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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

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