Can you feel it? There’s a distinct swell in our pride in all things British. Something is definitely in the air. Whether it is the upcoming Queen’s Diamond Jubilee or the Olympics I’m not sure, but there is definitely something happening. Even good old Marks and Spencer are proudly flying the flag in their new summer TV ad. Have you seen it? They’ve signed up Gary Barlow to sing Here Comes The Sun Now that might not be the most apt song given today’s major snowfalls, but you can’t deny the spirit behind it.
It could be a long time yet before Britain pulls itself out of the financial mire it is in, but there is a real optimism in the air, like we have all collectively decided to pull the country up by its boot-straps and make it great again.
The best way that we can do that is to support British manufacturing and British creative talent. Mary Portas has hit the nail right on the head. We have a wonderful textiles heritage, particularly in Oldham and the surrounding mill towns. It is a crying shame that the industry is all but gone, lost to cheap overseas manufacturing. Mary, champion of the British High Street, has rightly decided that this is a travesty and a tragedy and she is leading the way in doing something about it. She has brought jobs to a troubled area of Middleton and come up with a great product, Kinky Knickers, a product 100% made in Britain.
Kinky Knickers launched in several retailers last week and they are already like gold dust. Interest in them has no doubt been stirred up by the Channel 4 series, Mary’s Bottom Line, but more than that she seems to have hit a patriotic chord with Britain’s women. I love the fact Mary Portas is doing so much to support British manufacturing, but I also love the product and especially its glamorous vintage style packaging.
Vintage is huge right now. It makes us all nostalgic for better times. Why do you think Jude and I love it so much? Well, there is the glamour too of course. We all love a bit of glamour.
There is a massive amount of creative talent in this country and it needs to be supported. More than that, there’s a massive amount of creative talent in this area. Lots and lots of small businesses, independent designers and makers. Supporting local businesses has long been a passion of mine, after all I have one and so does my husband.
There will never be a better time than 2012 to promote all things British. The eyes of the world are upon us this year and we can all do our bit. I know finance, or lack of it, is a key issue for many people, but if you can support a British business, or better yet a local one, then please consider doing so. Just think of the difference we could make.
At Lipgloss and Lenses we are trying to do our bit to promote British creative talent by organising a Vintage and Handmade Fair to mark the Jubilee weekend in Saddleworth. It will be held at Uppermill Civic Hall on Sunday 3rd June and will feature stalls from a number of renowned designer makers, local creative businesses and vintage sellers, plus a vintage tea room.
You can read more about the fair and other events happening that weekend on www.saddleworthvintage.co.uk. Please support us in supporting local manufacturing. Anyway, it’ll be fun
With many thanks to our beautiful model, Charlie, who gamely posed for us in nothing but a Union Jack so that I could get on my soap box.
Hair and makeup: Lisa Marie Gee
Jewellery: Samantha Mills
Photography: Jude Gidney