Blog: Leonie BarrieStars back Burberry Challenge

Leonie Barrie | 11 December 2006

It’s anyone’s guess how long Burberry will be able to weather the storm surrounding plans to close its factory in Wales. But as more and more high profile figures lend their support to a campaign to keep production of the quintessential British fashion label in the UK, it must be becoming increasingly difficult for the company to abandon its roots.

The GMB union’s Burberry Celebrity Challenge has galvanised a host of Welsh ‘stars’ – well, anyone connected to Wales – into action. Names include actors Rhys Ifans and Ioan Gruffudd (who appears in Burberry’s current ad campaign), singer Charlotte Church, the Prince of Wales, and even the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams. who is Welsh. And in a further bid to raise awareness of the shuttering of the factory in the Welsh valleys and the loss of 300 jobs, Burberry workers are set to picket the firm’s Bond Street store in the run-up to Christmas.

Welsh Secretary Peter Hain seems to have hit the nail on the head with his observation that: “Burberry’s international success is based firmly in its 150-year-old roots in Britain. How is it possible for such an iconic British brand to be manufactured anywhere other than Britain?” The company, meanwhile, argues that it makes trench coats at two factories in Yorkshire.


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