“Britain was once a manufacturing colossus, renowned for its world-class clothing industry. But today, most fashion is manufactured cheaply abroad and, across the UK, vast, bustling factories and skilled manufacturers have simply ceased operation. So when and why did we stop buying British? In Mary’s Bottom Line, Mary Portas wants to boost the UK clothing industry by starting her own production line to manufacture a key staple in any woman’s wardrobe – knickers.
So for this three-part Channel 4 series, Mary heads to Middleton near Manchester, where past generations used to thrive on a booming manufacturing industry, but these days many factories are closed and unemployment is rife. Mary will recruit eight apprentices, get them trained up, and start a knickers production line.
Mary is re-opening the sewing room floor at a factory owned by British nightwear manufacturers Headen and Quarmby. It was one of 11 thriving textile factories in Middleton, now it is the only one that remains. Established in 1935, the factory used to employ 60 machinists and produced thousands of items a week before competition from cheap imports forced the Company to send production abroad.
But can she really make pants cost-effectively? Can she find a retailer prepared to stock her knickers and, crucially, can she convince shoppers to pay a bit more for a British made product? Or is it really the end of the line for the UK’s textiles heritage?”
We have always been told that one person can change the world and this program showed me that it’s true. Although Mary Portas may be well connected and has many years in the fashion industry behind her, she is still just one person with an idea. Mary puts her heart and soul into trying to rebuild this industry and helping the local people come back to work. I was surprised how touched I was as I watched the program. We are rightfully becoming more and more aware of where our food is produced. So many of us make a conscious effort t to support British farmers who treat animals with respect, but we don’t always seem to give ourselves the same respect. It has become accepted, almost a joke, that all our clothes labels state “made in China”. We have forgotten about the industries that Britain used to thrive on.
You can watch the series now at http://www.channel4.com/programmes/marys-bottom-line/4od
I am proud to be British, and try to make a conscious effort to support us Brits. I know times are hard at the moment as threats of another recession loom and every penny counts, but becoming aware of how we, little us, can affect so much is a wonderful thing to realise; we really do have the power to change things. Maybe we are not able to set up something on the same scale as Mary but we can choose where we spend our money and what we talk about. Hypnotherapy, CBT & NLP can help you to have the confidence in your convictions.