Barbour: The Heritage & Lifestyle Brand Celebrates 130 Years
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Barbour: The Heritage & Lifestyle Brand Celebrates 130 Years

Barbour is a Great British Brand 2024

Barbour is an entry in our Great British Brands 2024 book. 

Barbour: Great British Brand 2024

A couple in a hay field dressed in Barbour clothing

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‘Highlights of last year included the anniversary of the Beaufort wax jacket, which I introduced 40 years ago. To celebrate, we introduced an extremely popular limited-edition version. We also collaborated with key partners like Palm Angels, Ganni, Maison Kitsuné, Baracuta and CP Company, all offering exciting, different interpretations on our brand.

As part of our commitment to preserve the British countryside, we partnered with the National Trust on its Plant a Tree Appeal, matching funding donations up to £50,000 to help achieve its goal of planting 20 million trees by 2030.

Our Wax for Life initiative continues to go from strength to strength. To date we’ve cleaned, re-waxed and repaired over 73,000 jackets globally and sold over 100,000 tins of wax for home use. In collaboration with Gucci Continuum, we took Barbour Re-Loved jackets and Gucci deadstock and created unique collectable pieces at our South Shields factory.

To cement our core message, that extending the life of your garment reduces its impact on the environment, our 2023 Christmas campaign with Shaun the Sheep focused on an engaging tale of repairs and re-waxing.

We’ve always prided ourselves on our personal service and will never lose this. While there are many positive aspects to AI, like all new technologies, I believe it should be regarded with caution and only used where there are clear benefits. In 2024, we will be celebrating another milestone – it will be 130 years since John Barbour established the company in 1894. In the early part of the year, we launch our new ‘It’s in our Nature’ site as part of, where we will share information about Barbour’s values, sustainability initiatives and commitments.

We remain true to our founding principles of quality, durability, attention to detail and being fit for purpose. Our customers trust us to keep producing responsible, quality products made to last at a fair price.’

Dame Margaret Barbour, Chair

A woman sat on a rock wearing Barbour clothing

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Five Proudest Moments

  1. John Barbour founds the brand in 1894, in South Shields, selling oilskins to mariners and farmers.
  2. Dame Margaret Barbour becomes Chair in 1973 and continues to lead the company, which today is sold in over 55 countries worldwide.
  3. In the early 1980s, Dame Margaret designs the Bedale, Beaufort and Border jackets, making Barbour a household name.
  4. The Barbour Trust (now Barbour Foundation) is established in 1988 to support charitable causes. To date over £27m has been donated
  5. In 2020 Barbour introduces Wax for Life to extend the life of a Barbour jacket.

What I’ve Learnt…

  • You cannot run a successful business alone – it’s about surrounding yourself with good people.
  • The importance of listening and adapting to customers changing needs – empathy is a powerful tool in retail.
  • The importance of strong financial management and exercising good housekeeping. I eschew debt and have always insisted on the company being cash rich.
A man and woman lying on grass

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Simonside, South Shields, Tyne & Wear, NE34 9PD

+44 (0)191 455 4444