Department store vows to back best of British

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Debenhams is to boost its use of British manufacturers to help revitalise the economy, it has announced.

The department store chain has called on suppliers to “proactively get in touch” to allow it to stock more clothing and homeware made in the UK.

It is to launch a new brand called Made by Great Britons and will display the wares with a prominent Union flag label to emphasise the origin.

Debenhams group trading director Suzanne Harlow said: “The fantastic support for the Jubilee and the Olympics this year shows how passionate we all are about championing the best of British.

“We have some of the best clothing manufacturers in the world, and we want to see their products in our stores. As we’re proud of where they’re produced, our new brand will appear on anything we source from the UK.

“We’re calling on new manufacturers to come forward. If you’ve got innovative, exciting garments and an excellent standard of factory, then we want to hear from you.”

Business secretary Vince Cable, who has backed schemes to resurrect the UK textile industry, said: “There is a growing momentum behind bringing back substantial parts of the textile industry to the UK. It was an industry that almost died in Britain, although there are some high-quality specialist firms that have survived.

“I am now picking up that the economics of the industry are changing, and very much welcome the initiatives of the big retailers to start sourcing in the UK where possible.”

Ms Harlow said: “Speed to market is crucial for us as our fashion ranges are inspired by the latest catwalk trends. This means we need to turn our designs into production as quickly as possible.

“It makes sense for us to use manufacturers nearer to home whenever we can rather than shipping in products from the other side of the world. We hope this move will bolster a revival of the UK clothing industry.”