10 reasons for giving British made gifts this Christmas:
- Helping preserve the future of British manufacturing and craftsmanship.
- You know where what you are buying is coming from.
- You are preserving and creating jobs for British workers.
- You are bestowing a gift that does not have a massive carbon footprint.
- It gives you the chance to buy something of quality that will last.
- You are encouraging others to buy British.
- You are helping people to realise that we do still make many wonderful things in the UK.
- You are being patriotic.
- British factories have ethical hygienic production, fair wages & decent working conditions.
- You are helping ensure future security of supply.
Manufacturing in the UK allows companies to control supply, guarantee quality, offer flexibility and to be ethical and environmentally sound. Please support UK industry by buying British.
I’m afraid that you are simply making excuses if you say that you can’t find anything UK made – It has never been easier to find products made in Britain and they don’t have to be expensive. Don’t just rely on the High Street (although I encourage you to buy British made gifts you find in High Street shops); use the internet to research UK made gifts.
You’ll have to be careful to check the provenance of your gifts; there’s a tendency amongst many firms to claim British heritage in a way that misleadingly implies manufacture in the UK.
Anything manufactured Britain, for example any the items listed on this website or elsewhere, will make a good present. Here are some further suggestions of where you might get British made gifts this Christmas (in no particular order):
Kutuu make a range of gifts, mostly in pewter. They say on their website “Our range is designed and made by us here in the UK” but it would be advisable to check with them directly where something you might want is made before buying. Keyrings, pocket tokens, bookmarks, charms, plant sets and more. Items are available from their website and in some small gift shops –
Classic Leather Fobs make their re-production classic leather key fobs (keyrings) with vitreous enamel badges in England. The enamels used are made in Birmingham. The leather keyfob to which the badge is attached is made from English leather. The splitrings used are produced in the UK. I don’t know where the thread used is sourced from. These handmade key rings cover pretty much all the classic and modern British and foreign marques, such as Mini, Austin, MG, Cobra, Jaguar, Daimler, Alvis, Wolseley, Triumph, Morris, Bedford, Vauxhall, Volvo, Toyota, Oldsmobile, Land Rover and many many more and are ideal keyrings for your car or motorcycle. They also sell some new old stock vintage keyrings and reconditioned vintage keyrings from manufacturers such as Manhattan Windsor of Birmingham – who were the most prolific keyring manufacturer of all – most of whom, like Manhattan Windsor, have long since stopped trading. They will also restore old keyrings. They cannot restore damage to the enamel of the badge of old keyrings but recommend this specialist work can be carried out by Pamela David enamelsin North Devon. – http://classicleatherfobs.co.uk
http://www.emmelinesimpson.co.uk – contemporary gifts celebrating British cities such as Oxford, London, Bristol and Bath. All items are made in Britain. Made in the UK coasters, tea towels, mugs, placemats, tea pots, calendars, notecards, etc. Note though that Emmeline Simpson mugs are imported from China then decorated in England.
http://www.campbellcole.co.uk – men’s accessories made in England. One of my favourite items is the beautiful made in England key wrap.*
Beautiful adult or children’s aprons from http://www.thesundaygirlcompany.co.uk
Mamnick. Gifts, clothing, cycle stuff for men (and women). Shirts, t-shirts, socks, jackets, shoes, pocket squares, a foul weather wallet / pouch, penknives, hip flasks, and other Sheffield Steel items such as a chip fork, money clip, card holder, cycling trouser clip (with a hole to attach it to your key ring when not in use), bracelets, key rings, etc. Products manufactured in the UK and Japan. Available from their website and they also have a shop in Tokyo. Country of origin is clearly labelled on their website. Also Mamnick 42.21 steel road summer or winter steel road bicycle frames are handmade in Derbyshire, England, using Reynolds 531 lightweight tubing. Some Mamnick products are also, sold by Campbell Cole. Mamnick 42.21 frames are also available at Vernon Barker Cycles. There’s a fascinating interview with Thom Barnett of Mamnick here – http://www.mamnick.com
Raw Leather Workshop – James Bradshaw (of British Family fame) hand makes rugged leather accessories in Britain and they are available from Folksy – http://www.rawleather.co.uk. You can also find other great British made gifts at Folksy – http://folksy.com*
Britain’s last-remaining volume teddy bear manufacturer, Merrythought, has been handmaking the quintessential English teddy bear in Shropshire for over 80 years. For example this lovely Shrewsbury bear would make a great present – http://www.merrythought.co.uk
Reefer Sails products are all designed and manufactured in England and will make great Christmas gifts, for example their children’s crabbing kits in a recycled sailcloth carry bag or for adults perhaps one of their smartphone cases – http://www.reefersails.com
Vinnie & D sell a wonderful selection items by individual designers and contemporary artists all based in Great Britain and most of their products are made in Great Britain too and many will make great gifts. Gifts, home furnishings, jewellery ,art, stationery and produce. If it does not say something is made in Britain on this site, then it probably is not, so do check before buying – http://www.vinnieandd.com
If you’ve got plenty of cash to spare (which you probably haven’t!) or for your business, how about a made in Britain jukebox from http://www.classicjukeboxes.co.uk. For more musical things please see https://ukmade.wordpress.com/2012/11/02/organs/
http://www.zpm.com – wash bags, shower caps, pencil cases, baby bibs, etc. made in the UK. Please note that some of their items, such as their shopper bags, are foreign made. Look for the words Made in Britain to get British made.*
http://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/northerngoodsco?ref=l2-shopheader-name – paracord key clips made England.
A UK made toaster by Rowlett Rutland perhaps.
Or a UK made television from Cello – http://www.celloelectronics.com
http://www.madecloser.co.uk has a great range of British made items to choose from.
http://www.notonthehighstreet.com – lots of gifts quite a few of which are made in the UK – look for the words made in Britain or filter to find made in Britain.*
http://www.jojoaccessories.co.uk – made in England headbands, Union Jack flag bags, pencil cases, purses and cushions, etc. Also at the fabulous London Sunday UpMarket every Sunday, and on notonthehighstreet.*
http://www.anorakonline.co.uk/search/britain – Anorak sell a few British made things – cushions, coasters, pencil cases, purses, picnic blankets, placemats, was bags, tote bags, laundry bags, jotter pads, etc.*
http://www.waitrose.com/shop/HeaderSearchCmd?searchTerm=dutchy&defaultSearch=GR&search=#_ – Dutchy British produced foodstuffs, drinks and mugs at Waitrose.
http://www.britishchristmasjumpers.com – Christmas themed jumpers made in Britain or Christmas themed clothing from Josery (with designs that can be removed after Christmas) – http://www.josery.com/mens_christmas_jumpers.html
http://ohyo.me – A made in England Ohyo collapsible water bottle would make a useful gift.
How about some darts or even a dartboard from Harrows Darts. Harrows Darts is the world’s leading and most widely distributed darts brand and the only darts brand maintaining production in England. If buying Harrows darts accessories and such items please check these are UK made, as I am not sure – http://www.harrows-darts.com*
Retriever Sports (Pentathlon, Amazon, and Elkadart brands) darts, dart flights, dart barrels, dart shafts and dart accessories are all produced at their factory in England. You can ask them for your nearest stockist or your can find their products online –http://www.retrieversports.com
There is a possibility that some Target darts are made in the UK, as I have read on the net that they have production facilities in China and the UK. I have written to the company to clarify this, as their About and FAQ parts of their website do not work. The photograph on this website shows a packet of Target darts as having been made in China, so do check before buying.
Winmau darts and dart boards are apparently made in Kenya. They do not giving any information about country of manufacture on their website. Winmau are owned by Nodor who also do not give any information about country of manufacture on their website and presumably all their manufacturing is also abroad. Unicorn darts and dart boards are apparently made in China.
Made in England wooden toys by Croglin Designs.
Talisker is the only single-malt whisky made in Skye and would make a good present for someone. Available in Tescos.
Or what about a lovely made in England soap related gift from Lush.
How about a British made adult or child bicycle or tricycle from http://www.pashley.co.uk – for more British made bikes and cycling equipment please see – https://ukmade.wordpress.com/2012/09/26/bicycles/
http://limandalimanda.co.uk – Coastal & nautical themed home accessories and gifts ~ cushions, tide clocks, notice boards, chalk boards, key rings, and Christmas decorations. All their products are made and designed in North Yorkshire.
Solway Blankets blankets, throws, baby blankets and picnic blankets are made in all made in British mills and would make wonderful gifts for all ages – http://www.solwayblankets.co.uk. For more blankets please see https://ukmade.wordpress.com/category/blankets/
How about a fab pair of British made Union Jack slippers (or any of their designs really) from Triggerfish – for more British made shoes, boots and trainers please see – https://ukmade.wordpress.com/2012/11/12/english-shoes-ten-brands-still-made-in-britain/*
A lovely made in Britain scarf from http://www.miel-b.co.uk*
A made in the UK accessory pouch from http://www.bigxtop.com/product/accessory-pouch
iftys.com – Iftys is an online store that specialises in selling British made luxury products.
Map Marketing Limited have a production facility in Devon and make large printed wall maps, educational tools, postcode maps, digital and bespoke maps, and map gifts, for example a jigsaw puzzle map centred on your home at http://www.mapmarketing.com/map-gifts-best-sellers/customised-map-jigsaw-puzzle_ct295pd299.htm. They do not make everything they sell themselves, so please do check before buying that what you want is actually made in Britain.
Want a gift for your pet? Please see https://ukmade.wordpress.com/category/pet-products/*
https://thingsbritish.co.uk – Gift shops where everything is designed and handcrafted in Great Britain. They have stores in London in Carnaby Street and St Pancras Railway Station and some items are available on their website. I visited the St Pancras store yesterday (8.12.13) and it is filled with reasonably priced wonderful British made gifts. Jewellery, technology cases, mugs, cups and saucers, passport holders, card holders, stationery, greetings cards, scarves, t-shirts, children’s wear, bags, satchels, clothing, luggage labels, coasters, pet accessories, English Handmade Soap, and much more; at affordable prices and all handcrafted in Britain. This is a must visit gift shop for tourists and anyone who lives in the UK.*
Next door to the Things British shop in St Pancras you’ll find a Smart Turnout shop. Quite a few of the items in this menswear shop are British made, for example their cricket caps, some of their jumpers and some of their scarves.
Burford Woodcraft is a shop in Burford in the Cotswolds selling just British made wood products. They have an eclectic and innovative collection of wooden and wood related products such as cabinets, sculptures, bowls and platters, jewellery boxes, desk accessories, kitchenware, notebooks, bookmarks, wooden onions, wooden glasses, greeting cards, games and toys all made in the UK. Selected products are also available from their website. It says at the top of the front page of their website “Quality Products, Handmade in Britain” – http://www.burford-woodcraft.co.uk
How about a handsome British made tie? For example from http://tinaloder.co.uk/ties2013 – entirely made in England ties.
Or how about a made in England silk cravat from http://www.cravat-club.com
According to this article by the Grey Fox in the Guardian, a recent survey found that men prefer underwear to gimmicky gifts. So why not buy your man British made underwear? For example from British Boxers by DAP Squared, Cock and Bull, Burtonwode, Daniel Jenkins, or Kiniki. There’s actually a wide choice out there of British made underwear and swimwear for both men and women – please see https://ukmade.wordpress.com/2012/12/30/pants-and-knickers-british-made-underwear-for-men-and-women/
Or perhaps a British made alpaca scarf from http://www.plumoflondon.com (their entire range of knitwear for men, women and children is British made; the alpaca is sourced from Peru).
How about a made in England box framed memo board / key hanger board by Beautiful and Useful which are available at Things British or via the Beautiful and Useful website – http://www.beautifulanduseful.co.uk*
Or handmade fridge magnet pegs by The Home Made Haven; available at Things British –http://www.etsy.com/shop/TheHomemadeHaven?ref=shop_name_search_sugg*
I hope you find this gift guide enjoyable and useful. There are so many quality British made items and it was difficult to know what to feature in this article. Do have a look around the rest of my site. Thanks.
Also please buy British made Christmas decorations, wrapping paper and Christmas cards, for example at:
Happy & Glorious sell British made Christmas tree decorations, as well as lots of other British made gift items. Everything on the Happy & Glorious site is made in the UK – http://www.happyglorious.co.uk*
Victoria Armstrong ceramics and stationery all made in England. Much of it is dog themed. It says on their website “Using traditional, hand-made methods, our dog-themed, ceramics are made in Stoke on Trent in the heart of the Staffordshire Potteries. Our mugs and jugs are made from the best Cornish clay and our Christmas baubles from the finest English Bone China. Our stationery collection is made in Wiltshire and Kent and uses high quality, responsibly sourced board which is FSC approved” – http://www.victoriaarmstrong.co.uk
ChristmasTimeUK sell an artificial pencil Christmas tree at http://www.christmastimeuk.com/display_details.php?category=&cat=1&code=011-19359&type=&brand=
You can also get a British grown real Christmas tree easily, but do check where it is grown, that the trees on the farm are sustainably managed and consider a tree with roots so you can plant it in the garden after Christmas.
All of the green gables products are made in Britain, such as their Christmas cards and gift wrap.
Nancy & Betty Studio sell a range of British made greetings cards, gift wrap, notelets, and Christmas crackers. They say on their website “All of our goods are proudly made in Great Britain, including the envelopes and presentation boxes”. Available from their website, in various well known stores and elsewhere online for example at Unique and Unity – http://www.nancyandbetty.com
Why not tie up your Christmas presents with Twool sustainable twine (and re-use it later).*
You can get British made Christmas crackers from Simply Crackers, the only company I know of making Christmas crackers in the UK. Simply Crackers is the trading name of Wheatley of Nottingham who manufacture crackers for all occasions. They say on their website “for your peace of mind ALL our crackers are produced at our Christmas cracker factory in Bottesford, Nottinghamshire, UK” – http://www.simplycrackers.co.uk
You can find British made tinsel at http://www.dreamgb.co.uk/seasonal/christmas-gifts/british-made-tinsel-detail* This quality tinsel is made in Wales by Festive.*
Waitrose (and John Lewis) sell British made wrapping paper, but you’ll have to buy instore as country of origin is not listed on their website.* Marks and Spencer Christmas wrapping paper is made in Britain, but again you’ll have to buy instore as country of origin is not listed on their website.* Sainsbury sell British made wrapping paper; sensibly they do state country of origin online so you can safely buy online or instore.*
Some shops, like House of Fraser and Paperchase, only sell Chinese made Christmas wrapping paper, but you will be able to find British made wrapping paper in most other shops – just check the country of origin on the packaging.
Some Christmas cards, like those from Marks and Spencer, Cancer Research, and Tesco are usually made in China. Some cards do not state country of origin on the back (and we have to assume these are foreign made) but most give country of origin.
Most shops have British made Christmas cards – just check the country of origin on the back of the card. For example, Woodmansterne greetings cards are all designed and printed in England (the RSPB charity Christmas cards I am giving this year are made by Woodmansterne) or Heavenly Creatures by the Almanac Gallery Christmas cards (part of the Great British Card Company) are printed in the UK or Christmas cards by the green gables are made in Britain. Pony Poo Christmas cards are made in the UK (from pony poo!). Emma Burningham Christmas cards and Christmas gift wrap are manufactured in the UK. Oxfam Christmas cards (at least all those I have seen) are made in the UK. Emotional Rescue and On-The-Ceiling personalised cards are all made in the UK and can be purchased online at TheDogsDoodahs.com. Another online company that makes their personalised cards in the UK (in Guernsey) is Moonpig.
For more information on British made cards and suppliers please see:
When buying your diary or calendar for 2014, please buy one that is made in the UK – see https://ukmade.wordpress.com/2012/10/14/british-made-diaries/ for British made diaries and calendars.
If you have more ideas for Christmas gifts, please feel free to leave a comment.
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