Founded in 1894 in South Shields in the North East of England, Barbour continues to be globally renowned for its iconic waxed jackets. But for over 20 years, they have branched out from their countrywear roots into a global lifestyle brand sold in over 55 countries worldwide. Men’s, women’s and children’s collections now include shirts, dresses, knitwear, footwear, accessories and even designs for dogs.
In 2021, Barbour celebrated a centenary of re-waxing, representing 100 years of sustainability. Originally known as re-oiling, it was in 1921 that Malcolm Barbour, the second generation of the family, began offering customers this chance to extend the lives of their jackets. This philosophy and belief in making products that last has been passed down through the Barbour family and remains central to their ethos. Extending the life of a wax jacket is one of the most effective ways of minimising that jacket’s impact on the environment, so today re-waxing is more important than ever, as more customers look to make responsible choices. If a regularly used Barbour jacket is re-waxed at least once a year, it can last long enough to be handed down through generations. Customers can re-wax their jacket at home or return it to one of Barbour’s customer services departments across the globe. Over 100,000 tins of wax are sold annually and over 60,000 jackets are returned to Barbour for re-waxing or repair.
Introduced in 2019, Wax for Life, the name that brings together Barbour’s unique wax services, goes from strength to strength. It includes Barbour Re-Loved, an upcycle/recycle programme, allowing customers to return any unwanted Barbour in return for a voucher to go towards a new one. The returned jackets are re-waxed, repaired and restored, so they can be re-loved in a new home. Wax for Life stations are found in Selfridges in London and Birmingham and will continue to be rolled out globally throughout 2022, with Nordstrom and Orvis in the US and Hirmer in Germany.
Collaborations continue to excite Barbour’s customers. Barbour x ALEXACHUNG is still flourishing and there is a new womenswear collaboration with British interiors company, House of Hackney, fusing Barbour’s heritage with selected and distinctive House of Hackney prints. The new Modern Heritage womenswear collection is a blend of smart casual styles for customers spending more time at home for work and leisure. Outerwear and practical outdoor clothing remain at the heart of all Barbour’s collections, reflecting the trend for staycations and enjoying the Barbour Way of Life, spending time outdoors with friends and family.
Through The Barbour Foundation, Chairman Dame Margaret Barbour continues to give back supporting charitable causes, cultural and community projects and women’s groups, primarily in the North East of England. During the pandemic, the Foundation donated £1m to the Crisis, Recovery and Renaissance Fundraising Campaign to help Sage Gateshead, the renowned classical music venue. Other organisations supported include Maggie’s Cancer Charity, Newcastle University’s Future Fund and The Prince’s Trust Cheryl’s Trust Centre in Newcastle. Since its inception in 1988, the Foundation has donated £26 million, a heroic contribution towards the local community.