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I have just looked inside a label of a cotton/linen cardigan I bought this season at Brora, who pride themselves on being a British company. The cardigan was made in China. My cashmere from Brora is made in Scotland but I feel slightly peeved that I have paid £79 for an item I believed to be of British manufacture which is why I support this brand. If I wanted to buy a Chinese made cardigan I would have paid a fraction of the price and bought one elsewhere. One from previous years has a nice cut-out detail across the shoulder and pearly buttons and yet this year's has no cut-out and plain buttons. Methinks they are cutting costs but still charging the same. Has anyone else noticed a difference in Brora (non cashmere) quality?
I think they say that the cashmere is Scottish, and it is still all made at their factory in brora. I have spoken to someone there as they reconditioned something for me. So I believe that bit!
But on non cashmere they are sort of silent. I emailed them about production of their clothes a couple of times, and never heard back. So I drew the adverse conclusion. Maybe wrongly, but if they are going to say proudly british, and then not not reply from their otherwise excellent customer service, it's difficult to give them the benefit of the doubt ....
Labour costs must be between 10 and 20 times cheaper in Asia than England so I didn't think any clothes, other than Mary Portas' knickers, were made in England, but a MNer did link a while back to a website selling fairly ordinary cotton dresses for £300+ and the reason for the price was that they were made in England. I think of Gap & J Crew as being very American but just assumed their stuff is made in Asia & checked a sweater & it is. Ditto clothes I've bought from French companies. Haven't noticed any drop in quality in the few bits I buy from Brora each year. Got a cotton dressing gown in this year's sale & its made of the most beautiful fabric. Its plainly labelled as made in India & I thought all their clothes show where they are made.
I bought a cashmere V neck this season which has a made in Scotland label, and I understand their tweed is also produced in England. The cotton cardi as originally stated says 'China' in the label and on inspection a shetland cardigan from last winter is of Eastern European origin. It's sad that a brand that purports to be British is being a little coy about it's manufacture, as Brillenbar has discovered. I wonder whether any Brora employees may be able to shed some light?
Thanks, Zazie. Never heard of either of those brands before. Trousers seem to be polyester on Closet London but they do have some cotton skirts & dresses. Can anyone recommend some other small internet only brands made in UK?
Thanks, Topaz. Skirt from Made in London looked useful for work but it is both polyester & dry clean only so a double whammy negative for me. Thought The Fold or Finery might have some UK made clothes but think most "british" fashion companies do just do the designing here.British Fashion Council's website is a particularly useless source of information but found a website called www.stillmadeinbritain.co.uk which lists a load of clothing brands so there are still some out there.
M&S have a Made in Britain range & occasionally it has really nice things I bought a fabulous quality & stylish linen jacket that cost £149 earlier in the summer from there.
Why don't you complain to Brora? Most people would expect they only sell British made clothes, and if no one complains they will continue to pull the wool over eyes, as it were.
Thing is we are now so used to such cheap clothes, that it is hard to pay a higher price even if that is what would have been a sensible price twenty years ago relative to other things. I try to buy British but don't always, and as a result have so many more clothes than I used to. It's daft really and this year I will try to buy less so I can fit things in the wardrobe!
Thanks Bearleigh - odd that I forgot about M&S but just been to their website & they obviously don't think their made in UK stuff is a bonus to use for marketing - I had to go through the fashion listing to find it. They had some lovely shoes last year. Bought a couple of things in Brora sale as presents yesterday & couldn't see anything that implied that their non-cashmere stuff is made in UK so not clear why a complaint is justified. I think Jaeger are possibly a bit economical with the truth - their website actually refers to Made in GB tailoring etc, but the shirts I got in their sale are made in Lithuania. Somewhat disappointed that the stillmadeinbritain website has so little in the way of asian clothes as I am sure there are plenty of asian manufacturers in UK.