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Flying the flag

Posted: 10 February 2012

I had such an overwhelming response (the most that I have ever had!) to ‘Made in Britain’ last week that I decided to continue with the same theme this week, to highlight a few more remarkable British brands.

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When I think of cosmetics, I immediately go straight to France, however on our doorstep is Rimmel London, with a heritage of 175 years. Who can forget their ad campaign with Kate Moss telling us to “Get the London look”? Originally established in London by Frenchman Eugene Rimmel in 1834, Rimmel has become one of the top five cosmetics brands in the world. Product is designed in London and, for the most part, is manufactured in Ashford, Kent. Check out the new eye shadows, in the shape of the Union Jack!

I am not a gun person, but James Purdey & Sons, the pre-eminent gun and rifle maker, has been around for 200 years and, apparently, craft the best rifles and shotguns out of their factory in west London. In addition, most of their tweeds and cashmere are sourced in Britain and they work with local craftsman and tradespeople on the bespoke creation of their hard as well as soft goods.

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My entire house is painted in Farrow & Ball, who I have now learnt make all their paint and wallpaper in Dorset. They export to over 70 countries and are known for their muted ‘knocked back’ British colour palette. They have been on the same site since 1969, when they moved a mile down the road, and have 22 out of 32 units on an industrial site.

Last but definitely not least, I love it when individuals come up with an idea and put their heart and soul into it. Jack Wills, launched in 1999 in Salcombe, Devon, and designing British heritage-inspired goods, is a living, breathing example of that. The company is influenced by the best of British history, culture, sporting and country pursuits. Jack Wills, along with its “elder sister” Aubin & Wills, takes pride in using the finest quality materials and epitomizes what it is to be young and ‘fabulously British’. In addition, it likes to give back, and the firm sponsors an apprentice at Fox Brothers in Somerset, where it buys tens of thousands of metres of cloth a year. Jack Wills manufactures outerwear in the UK, nearly all of its suiting fabric is British made, and it makes shoes in Northampton, bags in Wales and knitwear in Scotland.

Let’s keep the flag flying and let me know if I’ve forgotten any others! moira@thembsgroup.co.uk

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