Back in the beginning of 2014, I made a resolutions post. Of course, I wasn’t expecting to keep to every single one of those resolutions to the word, especially that health one which I knew was always going to be a stickler for me (managed to get myself diagnosed with IBS last year, so it really didn’t go well!!). But there are a few things I did stick to and do – for example, we kept up with our savings and bought a house in November, and I managed to learn how to use my sewing machine and make several items of clothing. To be honest, I thought I hadn’t done too great with them, but even just having those two completed sounds like an accomplishment now! And there was one other thing I think I’ve made progress with, the material-orientated goal: to get more classic, retro pieces into my wardrobe that I love rather than collecting random things I don’t particularly love, and to buy from more independent British brands.
So this post is all about that (you knew I’d get there at some point, right?): British brands. I’m definitely not averse to buying products from overseas, and I know there are some absolutely amazing brands that are based in other countries, but I’d realised how much I was relying on buying things (especially clothing but other things too) from other places around the world, specifically things manufactured overseas and sold here, when there are plenty of fantastic independent creators and designers struggling to make a wage here because overseas manufacture is cheaper. I wanted to support some of those in the way that I could, by buying their stuff rather than others. Yes, I of course will still purchase things that are manufactured overseas, but I just wanted to make a small effort to buy from a few British and independent brands and support their work too. These are just a few of my favourites who either create, manufacture, sell or work in Britain (and I appreciate that many of these are lingerie brands, sorry!!):
Collectif are just about my favourite clothing brand at the moment. They sell a large range of retro and vintage inspired clothing, with pieces to suit a variety of different shapes and retro styles including a few signature pieces such as their Dolores dress (available as fitted or flared), high waisted trousers, pencil skirts and blouses. They began as a market stall in Camden in 2000, and over the past 15 years have grown to include 4 London stores plus one in Brighton (wish there was one up here, but I’m happy enough that my local vintage shop stocks Collectif!).
(PS: This is an outfit post that didn’t quite make the cut – it’s hard to see from this angle, but the dress had ridden up so didn’t look right at all, only realised afterwards! It’s one of my favourite dresses ever though – even though it’s a bit fancy, I still wear it for work!).
This is a bit of sneaky one because I’m not going to go into full detail of this, not just yet! There will be a post up soon at Big Cup Little Cup featuring Vollers, but I didn’t want to give away too much aside from the gorgeous lookbook we received with this package. Vollers have been going in Portsmouth since 1899 and is now run by Ian Voller, the fourth generation of the family and his wife Corina. Every one of their corsets are made in their Portsmouth factory to an exceptionally high standard. As I said, more on this later, but read more about their history here.
I was recently asked to choose a gorgeous teddy bear from British Teddies and couldn’t say no – have you seen them?! Commemorating all aspects of everything British, they’re perfect for any Anglophile or teddy lover with everything from Shakespeare and Sherlock Holmes to Robin Hood and Princes Catherine. I decided to choose the Florence Nightingale teddy not only because she was cute, but also because I thought she’d be perfect to use to play with my little cousins and one day explain who Florence Nightingale was to them. It was nice to see a teddy representing a woman for her work too, rather than just because she was wearing a fairy princess dress! I am extremely tempted by the Sherlock Holmes teddy though, I have to say!
So I can’t vouch for Effie Butterworth as I haven’t had the chance to see anything in person yet (note the “yet” and keep an eye on Big Cup Little Cup for more one day!), but being a business fairly local to me that’s just started up recently. She’s creating gorgeous historically accurate vintage inspired handmade undergarments that look absolutely amazing and I can’t wait to see them in real life.
I’ve featured these Yull Shoes before on the blog (and I have the full outfit from these pictures coming soon too, also featuring Collectif actually!). Yull were set up in 2011 and work to the phrase: “Style over Fashion” – I like this. They pride themselves on being the one of the only independent shoe brands manufacturing high heels in Britain. I’m desperate to try another pair of these as they’re really comfortable, plus they have that little Union Jack on the sole – so cute!
I’ve featured Bosom Galore in a review at Big Cup Little Cup (so you can probably tell I like lingerie better than anything else based on the amount of times I’m mentioned it compared to anything else during this post!!), but they’re a brand I’m really keen to support. Unlike other lingerie companies, their manufacture is all based in the UK, a simple car journey away to check on stock rather than having to send it back and forth for minor changes thousands of miles away. They create luxury lingerie in a size range that doesn’t often have the opportunity to wear pieces like this. Unfortunately you’ve just missed out on their discounts through their Indiegogo campaign, but I’ve got some inside info that they’ve got some awesome pieces soon to be released including the new Louise.
Do you know of any independent or unique British brands that I might like? I’m noticing a lack of homeware brands in my post, so I’d love to hear of any of those you might like!