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If you’re looking to track down the British fashion brands that manufacture in the UK, it can be surprisingly difficult – which is why we’ve created this definitive guide to the best British labels that are made on home turf. Creating traceable supply chains and keeping things local are key to making the fashion industry more sustainable, so there’s never been a better time to shop British. From the late Queen’s favourite handbag brand to dresses handcrafted in London, these are the finest fashion labels made in the UK.
When it comes to British fashion brands that manufacture in the UK, Launer comes right at the top of the list. Founded in the 1940s, the brand started out with humble beginnings in a Soho workshop before being awarded a Royal Warrant in 1968. The late Queen was rarely seen without a trusty Launer bag by her side, accompanying her on state visits as well as to sit on the front row of London Fashion Week in 2018.
Now Queen Camilla is carrying on the tradition, and is often spotted with a Launer bag for formal events. Today, the brand is the second-best non concession handbag seller in Selfridges and has remained true to its roots and British heritage, with every single one of its fine leather goods handmade in the same factory in the West Midlands.
This Camden-based slow fashion label, founded by actor and jewellery designer Clara Francis and PR and home seamstress Tania Hindmarch, specialises in nostalgic, one-off designs made using Liberty prints and heritage end-of-stock fabrics. Each of their pieces is hand-crafted by skilled seamstresses in and around London, while their woollens are hand-knitted by a team of home knitters – including the founders’ mums.
Tania Midi Dress
Clara midi dress
Prudence Midi Dress
As well as manufacturing in the UK, the label aims wherever possible to work with other female-led businesses and suppliers, thereby supporting women in a still predominantly male-led industry. As part of their sustainable philosophy, they also work with London-based clothing repair platform Sojo to offer alterations and patch-ups on well-loved pieces.
London-based, Canadian-British designer Edeline Lee launched her eponymous label in 2014 and quickly became known for her forward-thinking pieces, which are tailored to fit a wide range of body types. Her precision cuts and use of hand-made details have earnt her a legion of loyal fans, with everyone from Olivia Colman and Helen Mirren to Alicia Vikander and Gemma Chan having worn her designs.
All of the label’s pieces are made by hand in England, using fabrics woven in Italy and France – including one signature fabric that is wrinkle-resistant. Keep an eye out for her at the next London Fashion Week, where she’s become known for her immersive and performative shows.
Johnstons of Elgin
This B-Corp brand was first established in 1797 and remains the UK’s largest producer of luxury cashmere and fine woollens. The family-run business operates one of the last few remaining vertical mills in the UK and sources the very best natural fibres and technologies, working with expert craftspeople whose skills have been passed down through the generations.
Johnstons of Elgin
Johnstons of Elgin
Johnstons of Elgin
All of their knitted pieces are brought to life in their Hawick mill and the emphasis here is firmly on quality. The attention to detail is truly meticulous: knitting one sweater with an intricate Intarsia design can take up to 16 hours, while as many as 37 people can be involved in the production of one of their scarves, throws or jumpers.
When Hannah Cawley first founded her label in 2017, her vision was to create utilitarian wardrobe staples with a feminine twist – now her trans-seasonal garments are stocked at Matches, while you’ll find her refined homeware pieces and ceramics in the Conran Shop.
Whale Cord Blazer
Her sweeping shift dresses and flowing blouses have become firm favourites with those who appreciate fine British craftsmanship and manufacturing, with each of her pieces individually hand-cut and made in London. The label creates two collections a year using responsibly sourced, natural materials, including cotton, linen, wool and sheepskin, which are sourced from traditional mills in England, Ireland and Portugal.
Founded by sisters Rosie van Cutsem and Lucia Ruck Keene in 2013, Troy London is known for its elevated country classics, from coats and shirts to knitwear and accessories, beloved by the likes of Poppy Delevingne, Jacquetta Wheeler and the Princess of Wales. Working with the highest quality materials, all of their garments are designed and manufactured in the UK, made by mills and craftspeople across the country.
The Heathland Coat
Stock Shirt in Green
The Fairweather Parka
As well as keeping things local when it comes to manufacturing, the British fashion brand is continually striving to improve their environmental impact and offers all of their customers the option to offset their carbon footprint with each purchase, in a bid to be as sustainable as possible.
Heritage brand John Smedley is the oldest continuously operating manufacturer in the world, having been producing fine gauge knitwear from their Lea Mills, Derbyshire factory since 1784. Known for crafting their pieces from the finest fibres of extra fine merino wool, sea island cotton and other luxury blends, the British fashion brand also prides itself on having one of the largest knitted garment archives in the world.
Thanks to its long and storied history, they’ve accrued more than a few famous fans over the decades, including Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, The Beatles and Kate Winslet. They’ve also collaborated with numerous top fashion designers to champion British manufacturing, including Vivienne Westwood, Paul Smith and Holly Fulton.
First founded in 1860, British fashion brand Sunspel is best known for its luxe t-shirts, which are made by a 30-strong team from their Long Eaton factory – if you want to know just how unusual that is, today they’re the only brand made in the UK who produce t-shirts in their own factory. But it’s not just t-shirts; the brand also crafts all of their cashmere sweaters in Scotland, footwear in Northampton and belts in Rutland.
Boat Neck T-Shirt
Boy Fit T-Shirt
For their AW23 collection, the brand launched a new herringbone coat and twin pocket jacket made using undyed British wool from Marling and Evans, a mill founded in Huddersfield in 1782, as well as a range of jumpers that are made from farm to finish within 150 miles of their Long Eaton factory.