Charlotte Metcalf is the Editor of Great British Brands and the co-presenter of Break Out Culture, a weekly podcast with former Minister of Culture, Lord Vaizey. She is also a film-maker, author and journalist. Every week she’ll be reporting on cultural events, exhibitions, fairs and publications that are of interest to the communities of craftsmen we represent and celebrate, with a particular focus on goldsmiths and silversmiths.
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For British manufacturers, making in Britain has increasingly become a guarantee of excellence
Earlier this month, as the editor of the annual publication Great British Brands, I was privileged to co-host a glamorous evening for 350 people at Tramp to celebrate our 2023 Awards for excellence. Our judges were Jamila Saidi, Global Head of Digital Commerce, Retail and Luxury at the Department for International Trade, Dylan Jones, well-known cultural polymath and former editor of GQ, Jamie Gill, fashion and luxury advisor and Executive Director of Roksanda and Caroline Rush, CEO of the British Fashion Council, who presented the awards. It was a joy to see British brand representatives having so much fun having experienced an extraordinary well-document amount of recent upheaval.
Despite the multiple challenges all British brands have faced, being quintessentially British is more of an asset than ever, as our event amply demonstrated. Witness the everlasting appeal of a Savile Row suit or a pair of gentlemen’s shoes, renowned the world over for their robust reliability. While Northampton is famous for its shoe factories, John Smedley, which won our award for Championing Craftship, is still manufacturing where it started in the world’s oldest factory in Derbyshire. This continuity has served to underpin confidence and pride in the brand’s mission, defined well over 200 years ago, to design and produce the world’s finest knitwear.