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Made in Britain

July 30, 2020

The Made in Britain mark: what is it, will it grow my business, and how do I qualify?

By: Peter Gregory

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If you’re manufacturing goods in the UK, you should apply for the Made in Britain mark! We’ve been Made in Britain accredited since 2014 (see footnote 1) and it’s had a really positive impact on our business.

The Made in Britain mark stands for quality, value, safety and high standards …and any fashion or apparels business in the UK can apply to use it. 

In this article, we’ll explain how the accreditation works, why it’s so important to label goods as Made in Britain, and how you can get your own business listed as an official Made in Britain business!

What is the Made in Britain logo?

Made in Britain is an internationally-recognised registered trademark which promotes and acknowledges the very best of British manufacturing. Made in Britain can appear on any UK-made goods, from fabrics to foods and farm machinery.

More than a thousand British manufacturers use the Made In Britain mark. There’s no limit on business size; small-scale fashion startups use it, as do big brands like Vauxhall, Wren Kitchens, Tarmac and Mr Trotter. (see footnote 2). The mark holder just needs to manufacture in the UK, pass a rigorous accreditation process and obey a strict code of conduct.

British Quality is World-Renowned 

For those of us living in the UK, it’s easy to forget the power of Britain’s reputation on the global stage. There’s a huge amount of goodwill for British-made goods overseas, especially in the fashion industry. 

We have an exceptional reputation for design and manufacture, and we punch well above our weight when it comes to things like Manufacturing, Innovation, Dynamism and Design (see footnote 3 ). We did some research, and we found that, most of the time, the UK is in the top 10 global rankings.

Accrediting your apparel or fashion business 

If you want to use the Made in Britain trademark on your goods and marketing material, you first have to pass a rigorous accreditation process. The quality, value and safety of your garments is closely examined, and your business needs to show that it treats its employees fairly and is environmentally responsible. If your application is accepted, you then need to commit to a code of conduct (see footnote 4) and pay a small annual membership fee. 

Even if you import raw materials from overseas, you can still be certified as ‘Made in Britain’. As long as the imported components undergo a “substantial and transformative change” in Great Britain as part of the manufacturing process, and as long as “100% of labour/human resource that made the finished product was in Britain at the time the product was first offered for sale,” you are eligible to apply. 

You can see the application form for yourself, and find out more information, on the Made in Britain website: madeinbritain.org/apply

What’s the value of having Made in Britain on your garments?

The Made in Britain logo is especially helpful if you’re a new fashion brand. You’re not limited to using the logo on garment labels — you can use it on your website and letterhead, too. There are three different logo alignments, so your accreditation will fit in even the tightest spaces. 

  • There’s also a member directory which can help open doors and win PR for your business. We know that fashion buyers and journalists both regularly check the directory for new British brands (see footnote 5), so the directory alone has value if you’re a newcomer to the fashion and apparel trade. 
  • The Made in Britain team do offer member benefits for their 1,000+ member businesses (trade discounts, training sessions, regular emails and so on). If you’re a new business, these added benefits can be especially helpful. 
  • Above all, the Made in Britain mark is a sign of quality. When you add a Made in Britain label to your work, you’re not relying on intangible feelings about ‘what Britishness means’  to your buyer. You’re proving that your garments meet clear minimum standards of quality, value and safety. 

Does Made in Britain help you grow sales?

Based on our experience, the Made in Britain mark definitely has a positive impact on sales. When we became accredited in 2014, we found that international customers were reassured by the mark. UK customers liked it too; they saw it as proof that they could rely on goods being shipped in the quickest, most environmentally-friendly way.

We use looms in south west Wales, so our UK customers will never have any problems with label shipments getting held up at customs. We can tell you that over the phone, of course, but the Made in Britain logo proves it!

Made in Britain is a trademark used by manufacturers, but it’s trusted by people right through the whole supply chain. In the fashion and apparel sectors, distributors like to see the Made in Britain logo on email signatures and letterhead because it’s a clear sign that your business is meeting certain standards and can be trusted to deliver. Retailers like to see it because it proves that the garments they’re going to put on their racks are high quality. Shoppers are reassured when they see it on swing tags and labels, because it stands for safety and value, too.

If your goods are Made in Britain, you should tell the world!

Even in the current climate, with our recent departure from the EU and coronavirus putting pressure on the UK economy, our country’s reputation on the global stage remains strong.

We owe it to ourselves to make the most of Britain’s reputation, and keep producing the best possible products we can. The way we see it, we’re holding ourselves to a very high standard of quality anyway, so why not shout it from the rooftops? 

We have been Made in Britain accredited since the summer of 2014, and based on our experience, it’s worth the effort to apply. We were surprised by just how positive the reaction was when we signed up … and we think you will be,  too. 

Oh, and if you want a ‘Made in Britain’ label, you know who to call!

– Pete


Footnote 1:

You can see our directory listing at the link below:

Footnote 2:

You can see the directory listings for Vauxhall, Wren Kitchens, Tarmac and Mr Trotter at the links below: 

Footnote 3:

We’ve taken rankings for the “Great Britain has a Great Reputation” web story from the following sources:
Dynamism and Innovation rankings: World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Report 2018
World Design Rankings: “China ranked as number 1 among the 106 represented countries, followed by United States of America, Japan, Italy, Great Britain, Hong Kong, Turkey…” http://www.worlddesignrankings.com/#rankings 
Statistica ‘Made in Country Index’ 2017: https://www.statista.com/page/Made-In-Country-Index
Brookings Institute Global Manufacturing Scorecard: “The top ranked nations in overall manufacturing environment were the United Kingdom and Switzerland (both with 78 points out of 100) … We found these nations performed well due to their policies, cost considerations, workforce investments, and infrastructure.” Read the full report here

Footnote 4:

A summary of the Code of Conduct can be found at the link below: https://www.madeinbritain.org/about/the-code-of-conduct

Footnote 5:

“We encourage buyers, specifiers and consumers to use the directory as the procurement site for British-made goods.” … “Journalists look to Made in Britain to know who is making what in Britain.” Quotes taken directly from https://www.madeinbritain.org/about/made-in-britain

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