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UK labels make the difference at Linnet

Mainstream womenswear indie Linnet in Oakham, Rutland, has vowed to support UK designers and manufacturers by specialising in homegrown labels.

The 630 sq ft shop, which opened on Mill Street at the end of August, stocks German womenswear brand Betty Barclay as its anchor brand, but has also sourced pieces from 10 small to medium-sized UK brands including Lochcarron Knitwear, ethical brand Frank & Faith and shirts from Katherine Partis.

Linnet owner Christine Payne said she wanted the store to bring UK-manufactured products to a wider market.

“We wanted to offer something slightly different and I’ve always bought local clothing when visiting Scotland, but I’ve never seen it anywhere else,” she said.

Payne also works with individuals such as Scottish knitwear designer Bill Baber - who does not generally sell at wholesale but creates one-off pieces - Maggie Lord, a Scottish jewellery maker and Joanne Eddon, who makes silk scarves and is based in Lancashire.

“It is important to put together a choice. While I may not be making the industry mark-up [profit margin], it helps to bring people in,” she said.

Payne described Linnet’s offer as embodying “classics with a twist” and said she wanted to cater to a broad age range, especially those over 70, who she believes are largely ignored.

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