Why British manufacturing is declining.

Why British manufacturing is declining.

Moray Luke a British fashion house manufacturing  bags made in England, a rarity in a service economy Britain. This is why British manufacture is in decline.

The question we get most frequently is why is British manufacturing integral to the Moray Luke brand?   British manufacturing once boasted a long-standing tradition, it's now fading as the UK transitions into a service economy. What happened?

 Prior to the Industrial Revolution, making cloth was slow, involving manual spinning and weaving. The spinning jenny, invented by James Hargreaves in 1764, and Eli Whitney's cotton gin in 1793 revolutionised yarn production and cleaned cotton efficiently, increasing output. Additionally, the Industrial Revolution saw a shift from human and animal power to steam and other forms of energy, further transforming manufacturing processes. The 20th century ushered in world wars, that while were devastating to human life,  summoned the might of British factories. Steel, textiles, and innovation fueled the war effort. A post war Britain was given an economic boom, and given a reputation for manufacturing excellence.

 Yet, as the late 20th century began lots changed across the economic landscape. The roots of deindustrialisation took hold, and a subtle but powerful transition was underway. Globalisation, technology, and shifting consumer demands signalled a new direction. The UK, a former manufacturing powerhouse, began to change into a service-oriented nation. Finance, technology, and creative industries soon became the winners of the UK's economy. London's financial district emerged as a global hub, and the digital revolution birthed a new era.

 When developing the brand, traceability was so important. Effects of Brexit and the lessons of the Covid 19 pandemic underscored a need for British domestic manufacturing. While Britain has a longstanding tradition of craftsmanship, it is currently on the decline. Making our bags in the UK,  using Scottish Salmon skin with as many British materials as we can afford is pivotal to our brand despite it incuring us higher costs.

Questions we ask are,  what will a new age of manufacturing look like for the UK? These questions have yet to be answered but as a small fashion house, I hope Moray Luke’s British made products can contribute. We aspire to grow our small fashion house to breathe new life into the UK manufacturing sector. 

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Moray — Founder & Designer

I am a young designer and  owner of an eponymous label, Moray Luke which makes bags inspired by my seafaring Celtic heritage and shows at London and Paris fashion week every season. I write about the many fashion weeks I do and my love of history and how it intertwines with high fashion.