Shops like M&S no longer sell British made underwear and it is hard to find underwear that is made in the UK. However there is still some great British made underwear made. Here are a few possibilities (in no particular order) for British made underpants and swimwear:
*Kiniki – http://www.kiniki.com – make very good quality underwear for men and swimwear for men and women at a good price and come highly recommended. They are perhaps most famous for making tan though swimwear. Designed, manufactured and dispatched from their factory in Staffordshire, England. Each and every pair of their mens underwear & mens & womens Tan Through swimwear is made in England. However, currently all their ladies (bamboo) underwear is made in Turkey. Kinki plans that in future their womens underwear will once again be made in their factory in England, so keep an eye out for that. The Bolin razors they sell are made in England. However the socks, bags and suncare cream they sell are foreign made.
Samantha Sage swimwear is made in England. “Ever since the company was created in 1999 Samantha Sage has been proud to manufacture all her swimwear and coverups in England.” Swimsuits, bikinis and cover-ups for women, girls and teens; swim shorts for men and boys – https://samanthasage.com
Auria London ladies swimwear (bikinis and swimsuits) is all made made in England. The fabric used comes from an Italian company Aquafil who manufacture in Italy, Germany, Slovenia, Croatia, UK, the USA, Thailand and China. I’m not sure where the fabric this company use is manufactured – http://www.auria-london.com
Betty Blue’s Loungewear is made in Britain. “Glamorous” and “alluring” are tow words the company use to describe their lounge wear and sleepwear for women – http://bettybluesloungewear.com/loungewear/
Britwear Enterprise was established in July 2007 in Leicester. Britwear sell British made thermal underwear for men and women, men’s wooly hats, fingerless gloves, ladies tops, etc. They have a Made in Britain section on their website and they say on their website “Whenever possible Britwear aims to support British manufacturing. We have identified a wide range of factories here in the UK. We work with UK manufacturers that offer premium quality garments at reasonable prices. Value for money is key when sourcing garments from factories based here in Britain”. Britwear also have an Amazon shop and an eBay shop – https://britwear.co.uk/magento/
Hamilton and Hare do a small range of men’s made in England boxer shorts and also sell a pair of made in England socks. Made in England items are labelled as such against individual products on their website. Their other underwear and clothing is all foreign made – https://www.hamiltonandhare.com
Avaj men’s underwear is made in the UK. Avaj say “The entire clothing and grooming product ranges are 100% designed and manufactured within the UK, and in fact this is true of 99% of the avaj product range.” Briefs, vests, lounge pants, hooded robes, dressing gowns. Male Grooming & Skincare by avaj – exfoliating scrubs, moisturisers, beard shampoos and conditioners, etc. Accessories – Washbags, weekend bags, top hats, bow ties, pocket squares. Homeware – Tea light holders, candles, a bath-salt bowl and scoop, a cake stand, a fruit box, trays and a champagne store – http://www.avaj.co.uk
http://cockandbullmenswear.co.uk – reasonably priced cotton boxer shorts for men – their website boxer shorts and more are available at London Sunday UpMarket where they have a stall. Cock and Bull menswear is 100% made in the UK.*
I bought some light blue made in the UK boxer shorts in Jacksons of Reading today – possibly old stock? It says on the MGQ (or possibly MCQ) styled by Somax on the label. 35% cotton, 65% polyester. Nice boxer shorts but I am not sure if they are still made in the UK.
Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing (WISC) shirts are mostly made in Great Britain, using fabric milled abroad in Europe, buttons made in Italy, interlinings made in France and ribbon made in Britain. It is good the company provide so much detail about the provenance of their product. They sell British made shirts for women, Italian and British made shirts for men and British made boxer shorts for men. Deceptively, the words “Made in Britain” on the front page of their website does not seem to mean that all their products are made in Britain! – http://www.wisconline.co.uk
bum-chums (ACM Trading Ltd.) mens cotton underwear is made in the UK. They also make swimming trunks and mens vests.
http://burtonwode.com/product/classic-baby-blue/ – mens boxer shorts. Burtonwode print and make all their underwear in England.
http://www.sirplus.co.uk/products/boxers,53442019?sizeidx=0&nocache=232519 – ladies boxer shorts.
http://www.madeinbritainltd.com/unjaboshsla.html – Union Jack boxer shorts.
http://www.sulis.co.uk/silk/Mens-silk-shorts.html – silk boxer shorts, silk briefs, traditional pyjamas, robes, thermal underwear, and silk vests.
http://www.sulis.co.uk/silk/Silk-Lingerie.html – silk lingerie and nightwear for women.
Sulis say on their website “Designed and made in Britain” and break this statement down a bit further saying “We design and manufacture nearly all our garments on our own premises here in the UK.” Prices are not outlandish – http://www.sulis.co.uk
http://www.fusion4clothes.co.uk/fine-check-big-mens-boxer-shorts-4xl-xxxxl-54-to-56-waist-made-in-england-p-446.html – larger sized boxer shorts for men.
http://www.emmawillis.com/collection/accessories/boxer-shorts/cPath/17_29 – luxury boxer shorts, nightwear and swimming trunks for men (and women).
http://www.focx.co.uk – women’s boxer shorts.
http://www.sizedwell.co.uk/store/shopexd.asp?id=122 – boxer shorts for the larger man.
http://store.turnbullandasser.co.uk/Boxer_Shorts/View_all_Boxer_Shorts – premium men’s boxers.
Kinky Knickers – Made in Britain with authentic Nottingham lace, ‘Kinky Knickers’ by Mary Portas were featured in Channel 4’s Mary’s Bottom Line – available at M&S, John Lewis, House of Fraser and Boots. The packaging and fabric is from abroad but at least they are being made in the UK, at the Headen and Quarmby site in Middleton on the outskirts of Manchester I understand. The factory, founded in 1935, had moved production abroad to make it more competitive – but now skilled local machinists are back working at the site thanks to this project. As far as I know production is continuing in the UK. I assume the rest of Headen and Quarmby products are made abroad. See this article – http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/the-next-brief-mary-portas-wants-685639
British Thermals (R.S.T. International Ltd) – Thermal underwear for men, women and children manufactured in Leicester (England, UK) – note you need to select the British made thermals – some of the products they sell are not British made. This company also make the Octave brand which includes some British made thermal underwear for men, women and children (as well as foreign made products. RST International primarily sells to trade customers and you may be able to find their products in shops and elsewhere online – http://www.britishthermals.com – http://www.octave-collection.com
Aertex is a trademark for a loosely woven cotton fabric that is used to make shirts and underwear. This cellular (mesh) woven cotton fabric came into being in 1888 when the Cellular Clothing Co was formed. The Cellular Clothing Co had their own mill in Lancashire and clothing manufacturing units in Nottinghamshire and Aertex became well known as a fabric used in military clothes, sports clothes, school sportswear and vests. It was also manufactured by other companies. Whilst Aertex was manufactured in England, at some point UK manufacture stopped, perhaps under the ownership of Coats Viyella in the late 1980s or early 1990s. A modern company, Ellis Franks, Aertex Limited, appears to have purchased the name from Coats Viyella in around 2003 but there is no indication on their website that the fabric or any garments produced from the fabric are still made in the UK. There is a notice that Ellis Franks went into liquidation in 2015 (thank you Rob for pointing this out) but the company does appear to have kept going.
http://www.palmunderwear.co.uk/index.php – Palm Underwear (Manchester Hosiery) – Thermals, underwear, vests (singlets), long-johns, pants, briefs, traditional undershirts, trunks, t-shirts and hosiery for all age groups; men, women and children – All their products are manufactured in England – suppliers are listed via the mail order tab, or try Fogey Unlimited! (http://www.fogeyunlimited.co.uk) or Williams Bazaar Ltd (http://www.wegotitall.co.uk) or Classic British Styles or just search online or look on eBay. They were also available at Woods of Morecambe, but sadly according to their website “Woods of Morecambe Limited has ceased to trade”. Manchester Hosiery trades under the brand names Palm, White Swan, Guardian and High Cross. Owned by a company in Hong Kong these days.
Classic British Styles sell mostly British made underwear for men and women and are well worth a look. British made mens underwear (from companies like High Cross, Guardian, etc – see above), British made ladies nightshirts, British made camisoles, and British made ladies underwear – http://www.classicbritishstyles.co.uk
http://www.luxluxltd.com – women’s thermal underwear and nightwear made in England.
VERITY Truly British say on their twitter tagline “Luxury limited edition attire and exclusive homeware collections. Truly British- Made in Great Britain.” They say on their website “The ethos of the company is simple; quality British made clothing made from quality British fabrics.” No country of origin information is given against individual products on their website, so I would check before buying. Ladies neck-wraps, corsets, and waistcoats, plus cushions, AGA Chef’s Pads, oven gloves, and aprons – http://www.veritytrulybritish.co.uk
I’m not sure what happened to Meridian, which was best known for its underwear and knitwear, but it seems they were taken over by Courtauld’s and possibly the factory was closed down. I can’t find much information on the company on the internet, but it seems they have gone.
Pendeen vests used to be made in the UK, but I am not sure if this is still the case. I wrote to ask them if they still manufactured in the UK on 18th January 2015, but they have not responded. Sadly Pendeen production moved from Leicester to the Indian subcontinent a few years ago it seems (thank you to @veganline for the information).
Sunspel underwear is generally made in Portugal or Turkey these days. They do give country of origin information on their website if you click on ‘style and fabric’.
Sub Zero Technology Ltd. manufacture thermal underwear, thermal baselayers, thermal midlayers, merino wool base layers, and childrens’ thermal underwear in England at their Leicester factory. Not everything they sell is made in England, but mostly they do label which items are UK made on their website so you can easily find their UK made stuff. If it does not say made in the UK then it is probably made abroad. Available at the Sub Zero online store – http://www.subzerostore.co.uk
DAP Squared, a wholesale supply company (an importer, not a manufacturer) intend to sell British made Boxer shorts from August 2013. I’ll update if I find out more. Links below. As they say on their website “Buying British Boxers means that you are helping us fight for British manufacturing providing British jobs and regenerating our towns and cities”. These are now available and look fab.
British Boxers, founded in 2013, say on their website that they want “to produce as much as possible in the UK”. They sell British made men’s boxer shorts and socks (the socks are made for them by Pantherella in Leicester) and polo shirts. They also sell British made women’s socks, again made for them by Pantherella. However, their men’s trunks, robes, pyjamas, nightshirts, and hoodies are foreign made, as are their kids pyjamas and women’s robes, pyjamas, nightshirts, briefs, and slippers – http://www.british-boxers.com
Daniel Jenkins sells a range of British made mens boxer shorts under their Purposeful Activity label. These ‘Marlowe’ boxers are constructed in London using British made fabrics, buttons, and labels [ http://www.danieljenkins.co.uk/index.php?dispatch=news.view&news_id=61 ]. Their Purposeful Activity range of jacket and shirts are also made in the UK.
Bosom Galore lingerie is designed & manufactured within Great Britain. Luxury, UK manufactured lingerie & nightwear in small band and large cup sizes, from 26E. Launching autumn 2014 – http://bosomgalore.com
Red Box Lingerie have a made in Britain ladies lingerie section on their website.
Udeshi boxers are made in London.
Legwear International are manufacturers and importers of ladies tights, hold ups and stockings. Legwear International have their own UK manufacturing plant. I’m not sure how many of their products or which of their products are made in the UK, so you’ll have to ask them. Available via their website and in stores – http://www.legwearinternational.com
Ussen – According to their website, every Ussen thermal product is manufactured in the United Kingdom, but I am not sure if that means all their products are made in the UK so you’ll have to check. They sell for example thermal tops. Their twitter did say at one point said “Ussen is an Outdoor brand, Based in UK, Born in UK and all MADE IN UK!” so perhaps everything is UK made. Their website also says “Whenever possible we make our products right here in UK, a small amount of our products simply can not be made here.” They also make hats, gloves and t-shirts, etc. Stockists are listed on their website. Only some products on their website show country of origin against them – http://www.ussen.co.uk
Dick Winters “quintessentially British” mens boxer shorts are made in Great Britain. Their underwear factory was established in 1935 and still make quality lingerie and underwear for the UK market. What I like about their website is the clear detailing about their British supply chain, from their factory, to fabric suppliers and label makers – http://www.dickwinters.co.uk
Cahoonas mens underwear is made in Great Britain. Their t-shirts are foreign made (but printed in Scotland) and their mens grooming range might be UK made (you will need to ask). Cahoonas say on their website that “95% of all sportswear in Britain is imported” and they sell a couple of pairs of sports shorts (that look a bit like underwear) and a sports vest (with a plain or tartan pocket on the outside; one size only) that are made in Britain. Cahoohas say on their website “You will notice we go the extra mile sourcing the best British materials too.We use drum spun microfibre made in Nottingham at Rainbow Jersey We also use warp knitted microfibre made by Simplex in Nottingham. We have our labels made in Lancashire. All in all we’re a great little British company” – http://www.cahoonas.co.uk
Equetech sell a range of padded riding underwear for men and women; briefs, boxers, support shorts. 40% of their equestrian clothing products are UK made; search for UK on their site – http://www.equetech.com
House of Meagher, one of my twitter followers, have the twitter tagline “Exquisite luxury lingerie lovingly made in Britain.” That’s all I know – their websiteas of February 2016 is “under construction” houseofmeagher.com
Unibu, another of my twitter followers, have the twitter tagline “Unibu – entirely made in Britain. Proud to design and produce underwear in the UK.” That’s all I know – as of March 2016 they don’t seem to have a website – https://twitter.com/UnibuUnderwear
Pretty Polly / Aristoc ladies tights and Gossard / Berlei ladies underwear were still manufacturing some products in the UK up until May 2016. According to Wikipedia Petty Polly and Aristoc, as of 2013, were still manufacturing 90% of their products in the UK. However, Derbyshire based Courtaulds / CTC (now owned by Hong Kong company PD Enterprise Ltd), which made Pretty Polly and Aristoc tights, as well as private label lingerie, formal and casual wear, jackets and coats for UK and international stores, went into administration at the end of May 2016. Their websites still seem to be trading, but I have not heard any further updates as of 22nd July 2016 and I do not know if any UK production continues. As far as I know the staff have mostly if not all been made redundant, so I assume not. That would seem to be the last gasp of the former mighty Courtaulds.
I A Samples (Intimate Apparel Samples) is a small sample development unit specialising in lingerie, swimwear, corsetry and lounge-wear. They work with companies to design and make lingerie garments, providing samples which they can then produce themselves for a company wanting smaller numbers or outsource to factories overseas – https://intimateapparelsamples.com
Bike Nicks are padded cycle undies especially for women. Their “range includes 2 cycle styles: a knicker and a thong and 3 sizes made from stylish moisture wicking fabrics with padding that protects against chaffing” and they are “Designed to be worn like your regular undies”. “The garments are made in Carmarthen, Brecon Beacons, Wales”. “Bike nicks is a British company established in 2015” – http://www.bikenicks.com
For British made t-shirts, please see my article on British made clothing generally.
Do you know of any other suppliers of British made underwear?
British made boxer shorts, British made pants, British made underwear, British made lingerie, British made panties, British made briefs, British made swimwear, British made trunks – UK made underwear – Made in England – Underwear made in the UK.