Moss Bros has joined a growing list of men’s formalwear retailers offering suits made from British cloth under its Moss Bespoke sub-brand from this week.
Moss Bespoke has introduced a range of wool fabrics woven by Alfred Brown worsted mills in Bramley, Leeds, at its flagship near Liverpool Street station in London and at shop-in-shops in the Moss store in Canary Wharf and the Savoy Taylors Guild store in King Street, Manchester. It is advertised under the slogan ‘Wool Britannia’.
Simon Sowden, senior buyer at Moss Bros, said: “Our customers have been asking for British-made cloths since we opened our flagship store in Blomfield Street [in the City of London] in June 2010. We had [previously] sourced our fabrics from suppliers in the Far East, but in the City customers wanted more robust, traditional, heavier-weight cloths from 320 grams to 340 grams and the high street doesn’t tend to offer that.”
The made-to-measure suits will cost between £400 to £500 and take six to eight weeks to make.
Roger McArdle, sales director at Alfred Brown, said the launch was part of a growing trend for British-made materials which started at the tail-end of the recession.
McArdle said: “About 18 months ago we saw an upturn in productivity so we invested £650,000 last year in new looms. Things were going well and that gave us confidence to go ahead with a second investment of £650,000 in a couple of weeks.
“Since the recession hit, people have wanted to support UK manufacturing and buy British products.”
The growth in business at Alfred Brown reflects the ambitions of the Drapers’ Save Our Skills [SOS] campaign, which launched in March to help safeguard making skills in the UK.
McArdle added that the trend was having a knock-on effect on sales globally. “We are getting back business we lost to China three years ago. And there has been a return to European manufacturing which is good for UK mills.”