Debenhams announced it is helping to boost the economy by ramping up its use of British manufacturers.
The retailer is calling on UK suppliers to proactively get in touch so that it can bolster its domestic production, in a move that will help revitalise the UK clothing industry.
Debenhams will stock more clothing and homeware made exclusively in the UK – with a Union Jack label displayed prominently to emphasise the origin and a new bespoke brand, called “Made by Great Britons”.
Debenhams already has a strong history of working with the best British designers, with its infamous ‘Designers at Debenhams’ range including well-known names like Julien Macdonald, Henry Holland, Jenny Packham, Matthew Williamson and Jasper Conran.
Said Debenhams’ Group Trading director Suzanne Harlow: “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."
Debenhams currently uses manufacturers all over the world, including the Far East, Asia, Africa and Europe.
The news comes in the month that the secretary of state for business, innovation and skills Vince Cable promised government support to breathe new life into UK textile manufacturing.
Vince Cable says: “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.”
Suzanne Harlow added: "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 look forward to UK manufacturers getting in touch and hope this move will bolster a revival of the UK clothing industry.”