Meanwhile, as the Olympic torch makes its way to Beijing (is it there yet?) the sight of the Tibetan protesters may make some of us think twice about buying Chinese-made clothes. the US has a made in America label, we have no such thing. One journalist set out to kit herself out in British clothes, and discovered it can only be done at the high end:
But how to buy non-Chinese sourced products when labelling regulations have become so lax? The answer is, you can't - not if you're shopping the high street. I set myself the task of researching the radical, hard-to-find alternative: a top-to-toe shopping list of fashion products made in a little country with a democratic political system, a minimum wage and iron employment laws. I speak, of course, of the exotic UK. And as it turns out, pockets of high-end, great quality, brilliantly designed manufacture still exist here.
A shining example is Margaret Howell, whose Wigmore Street shop (a haven of civilised English aesthetics) sells British-made white shirts which are the closest to the ideal that I've discovered. For fine summer sweaters, there's John Smedley, whose Sea Island cotton knits are made in Matlock, Derbyshire. Meanwhile, 65 per cent of Mulberry's bags are handmade in its Somerset factory.
Young British designers are also finding ways to craft at least part of their collections in Britain. Johnston's of Elgin makes all of Christopher Kane's cashmeres, including this summer's smash-hit biker jacket. The original Mackintosh (also Scottish) produces Erdem's raincoats, and Marios Schwab achieves the architecture of his sculptural designs in London factories.
For shoes, there's Georgina Goodman's Made in Mayfair collection. To complete a 100 per cent British-made wardrobe, it's even possible to find underwear. Buttress & Snatch, a vintage-haberdashery-trimmed collection swings a tag that reads "Handmade in Hackney by Honest, Hardworking Girls".