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Barbour: 125 years of family history

Barbour 125th anniversary

125 years in business

From small beginnings selling oilskins to mariners in South Shields, north-east England, in 1894, Barbour has grown into a global lifestyle brand that is sold in more than 40 countries. Yet the family-owned brand – Dame Margaret Barbour is chairman and her daughter, Helen, is vice-chairman – remains true to its founding principles.

“At our heart we have some values that never change – quality, attention to detail, fitness for purpose, classic style and longevity – all of which never go out of fashion,” says managing director Steve Buck.

To mark its anniversary, Barbour last month launched the Icons Re-Engineered collection: 15 key men’s and women’s jacket styles from its archive, such as the Bedale, Beaufort and Durham, which have been updated for 2019.

Barbour ad from 1928

Barbour ad from 1928

The brand has also collaborated with film director and producer Sir Ridley Scott, who originates from South Shields, on a “director’s jacket”, which will be available in early September. A short film on the history of the brand has been produced by the director’s Ridley Scott Creative Group. 

Buck says Barbour is “well set” for future growth and is constantly evolving to meet changing consumer expectations – most recently the demand for sustainable fashion. The brand has trialled a promotion whereby a customer can exchange an old jacket for a discount, and Barbour refurbishes it and sells it on at no profit.

“We will continue to listen to our customers and try new things around our unchanging core,” concludes Buck.


Barbour's 125th anniversary film

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