On the eve of Buy British Day we ask the question – Why Buy British?
Saturday 3rd October is Buy British Day. But in a global economy does it matter where we source our clothes? So long as they’re well-made and the workers are paid a fair wage surely that’s all that matters?
Well, yes. And, dependent on your point of view, no.
Beyond basic patriotic instinct. One of the clear arguments for buying British clothing is to ensure the skills required to make the clothes remain in the UK. Another centres around what wine makers would call ‘terroir’ the quintessential local components: the soil, climate and techniques that make a product unique.
You may not think that ‘terroir’ is relevant to clothing. But you’d be surprised.
Take William Lockie for example. The knitwear made in their mill in Hawick is world class. Of exceptional quality.
In part because they reject all but the highest premium raw material – the very finest wool and yarn available. And also because of the extinguished individual skills of the makers. But it is unique – in the most literal sense of the word, meaning unlike anything else, one of a kind – because of the unique environment in which it is made.
William Lockie is a family concern and the heritage, and hundreds of years of collective experience at the William Lockie Mill in Hawick exist nowhere else in the world. Even the soft waters in which every garment is washed during the manufacturing process flow only in the River Teviot.
The Chinese and developing economies haven’t a hope of competing. The turf on the playing field is not level. It’s not even the same turf.
Exemplar of British Manufacturing
It’s not an exaggeration to say William Lockie is an exemplar of British Manufacturing. Not a museum piece or a worthy cause that inspires a patriotic sympathy purchase before the whole business collapses. But a serious business, competing on a world stage, combining the latest technology with traditional hand finishing.
Something of which we should be proud.
Every single arm, front, back, collar and cuff on every one the 3,000 garments made every week is beautifully sewn together by hand.
Established names on Saville Row and the world’s elite fashion houses fight to put their names on William Lockie knitwear. Their knitwear is, as Archie would say, tongue firmly in cheek but utterly sincere:
“The crème de la crème.”
Because it’s the Best
So really, returning to the original question Why Buy British? I guess our answer, certainly in the case of William Lockie, would be Buy British because you will not buy better.
To find out more about the unique heritage of William Lockie read our blog post – William Lockie Knitwear: Scottish Knitwear to be Proud Of.
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