In response to this question I saw on trip advisor – where is the “Best place for affordable souvenirs made in England”?
Wherever you travel in the world, please make the effort to buy locally made souvenirs and support local people. At the very least make sure you buy a gift that is actually made in the country you are visiting.
In the UK for example, pretty much any souvenir shop sells tat that is made in China. You’ll be out for the day in Windsor and buy a fridge magnet with a Union Flag on it. Look carefully and on the back it will say made in China. Please don’t buy things like this. When you travel you should buy locally made gifts and I would encourage tourists and others in the UK to do the same when looking for presents.
My personal pet hate is anything with a Union Flag on it or anything celebrating events like the Queen’s Golden Jubilee that is made abroad. If it has a Union Flag on it, then it ought to be made in Britain! If it has a picture of the Queen, then it should be made in Britain or the Commonwealth! If you are buying such products, please check they are British made.
My site lists plenty of gifts that that are made in the UK. Please have a look around.
There are physical (and online) shops, like Things British, that only sell gifts and souvenirs that are made in the UK but non at Britain’s ports and airports that I am aware of. There are some local shops only selling British, like Buford Woodcraft. Jail Dornoch at Inverness Airport is one of the few gift shops at a British airport that does sell quite a few British made items but still alongside much that is foreign made. There are gift shops who sell a good range of British made gifts (alongside Chinese made tat), such as some of the museum gift shops – The London Transport Museum shop, and the National Trust shops for example. Herdy of the Lake District have a good range of British made gifts including coasters, table mats, greetings cards, scarves, flat caps, cufflinks, wool, mugs, bags, etc; other Herdy items are foreign made. Halligan Raby produce gifts and stationery. Much of their business is in producing personalised licensed ranges from popular children’s characters such as Thomas & Friends, Peter Rabbit and Paddington Bear, but they also supply football clubs, theme parks, clubs, and tourist attractions and they tell us on their website “Everything we do is manufactured in the UK which gives us hands-on control and also a fast response to re-order requests.” Trade only.
On the web there are sites selling only British made such as Things British (selling only British made gifts, and supporting British designer-makers), Made in These Isles (selling British made clothes, accessories, homeware, beauty products, furniture, lifestyle products, etc; all products are “produced from within the geographical region of the British Isles”), The Great British Exchange (trade only; they source new British made products and sell them to retailers), The Great British Home (selling gifts, and homeware made in the UK), From Britain with Love (Scandinavian inspired homeware, accessories and gifts made in Britain), Pickle (“All of our products are made in the UK” they tell us – throws, picnic rugs, kitchen ware, vases, children’s shoes, toys, cards, jewellery, Christmas decorations and so on), and DreamGB (selling British made gifts and everyday products) that only sell gifts that are made in the UK and others like Made Closer, Handmade GB, Make The Most Of, Victoria Eggs and Not on the High Street and many others that clearly label country of origin and sell some British made gifts. Aerende sell a variety of items for the home such as candles, soap, chopping boards, ceramics, clothes horses, wicker baskets, divert covers, cushions, and, founded in 2016, they say “All of our products are created in the UK by people facing social challenges.”
Sir Gordon Bennett is a new website in 2019 selling British manufactured items. They sell for example – Acme whistles, Banton Frameworks sunglasses, Kent brushes, The Original Satchel Store satchels, Halcyon motorcycle goggles, Ajoto pens, Corgi socks, Thomas Ferguson Irish Linen tea towels, Richmond kettles, Nutscene Twines, Tolly McRae blankets and picnic rugs, Clarke Tinwhistles, Risdon & Risdon aprons, Bedfordshire Beard Co shave and beard oils, the ‘With Love Project’ book, Fox Umbrellas, Dick Winters underwear, Wentworth pewter tankards and hip flasks, Hoxton Mini Press books, Farmers Hand, feet and body lotions, Thomas Flinn and Co (musical) saws, RRB Photobooks, Chester Jeffries gloves, StolenForm vases and dishes, Droyt’s soap, Silvine notebooks, Haeckels of Margate seaweed based skincare, Debrett’s books, Unison Colour Soft Pastels, St Eval Candle Company candles, Kokomelt post-gym skincare and ointments, and Stamford Notebooks. Great website this – https://www.sirgordonbennett.com
There are gift manufacturing companies too like Custom Works (trade only; they manufacture more than 50 product lines here in their factory in Bo’ness, Scotland, with everything else they sell being imported). There are many more companies making gift items in the UK too of course.
Whatever you are buying presents please think about where they are made and buying British.
To wrap your gifts and for cards and things to go with them, please click here for more info.