London Fashion Week is always a welcome reminder to check in with British brands and see what's new on the scene. Outside of the designers featured in the BFC show space, "Made in Britain" designers and makers have long been most commonly associated with the tailors of Savile Row.
As LFW continues to celebrate "positive fashion" (fashion with diversity, craftsmanship, and sustainability are at its core), it feels like a perfect time to discover and celebrate smaller, independent brands working in London and across the country. Searching far and wide, thanks to Instagram and the communities within it, we found a number of "micro" and emerging brands that are redefining what "Made in Britain" really means.
Micro-brands, of which France-based Maison Cléo is a great example of, are increasingly popular as the slow fashion movement gains traction, and consumers continue to search for unique items and to also question how their clothes are being made. Micro-brand garments are often handmade, sustainable, locally designed and seen as an affordable alternative to fast fashion.
These qualities make the shopping experience that much more romantic. Designers use Instagram to make the production process transparent, posting behind-the-scenes imagery in IG Stories and replying to customisations and commissions in DMs. It's fabulous then, that these smaller independent labels are popping everywhere across the UK. Often led by women, these niche little startups are forging a new future for British fashion and your wardrobe. From knits and linen classics to jewellery and statement pieces, keep scrolling to discover the new British brands we know you'll love.
We're big fans of Olivia Rose the Label, the made-to-order brand by Olivia Rose Havelock. Her smocked pieces with puffed-sleeves—handmade in Edinburgh—are so flattering and work for any fashion moment from brunch to a night out.
Pronounced "fay-dra," Phaedra is a sustainable one-person operation, a woman named Deva from Norwich. The colour palette reflects the English countryside—the grey-blues of the sea and green of the fields—while the simple shapes make them perfect everyday pieces.
Simple, beautifully crafted pieces are at the core of Ragtrade, the Brighton-based brand by Sammi Bennett. It exclusively uses linen and Tencel, two of the most breathable and sustainably sound fabrics.
From European linens to woven Indian cottons, Ren London's neutral-toned pieces are so heavenly. Manufactured by a small, women-led team in North London, star pieces range from simple linen button-downs to a puff-sleeved olive wrap dress.
Miss Crofton's ever-so-delicate pieces feel like vintage lingerie at its best, but really, they're handmade anew in Hackney. From sheer bras and undies to dreamy floral-print tops and bikinis, there's so much to love.
With a focus on reducing waste at the core of their brand, Neoss London uses deadstock neoprenes and corduroys to create innovative shapes in its designs. Its most recent addition, the Lap Bag, is so cool. It also owns inNEOSS, an e-commerce platform that brings independent designers together.
Ottowin Footwear, founded by Lucy Lloyd and Oliver Cross, is handmade in small batches in Bristol. The styles are traditional and made to last. The woven sandals in nude might be our favourites, as they go with everything.
Designed in London, and soon to be stocked on Selfridges, don't snooze on Elliss. Loved by fashion stars like Reese Blutstein and Alyssa Coscarelli, the dreamy recycled hemp and bamboo-fabric pieces feature cropped photo prints of faces, hands and signs to such a cool effect.
Birdsong works with skilled women workers who face barriers in employment across the UK to ensure they are paid a fair living wage. Their sustainable basics include a navy floral jumpsuit, taupe handwoven workwear trousers, bamboo bras and scrunchies. So much fun!
Henri, based in London, first launched in 2016 as a simple shirts brand and was inspired by the Devon coastline. Designer Henrietta is committed to "growing Henri so that more rural communities and more disadvantage women may find dignified and meaningful employment within the Henri supply chain."
Handmade in Scotland, Isle of Shee offers sweet pieces in vintage prints and shapes, like pinafores and dungaree skirts. Designers Laurie and Lulu work hard to ensure a low impact on the environment, using all-natural fabrics in their quirky pieces.
As the founders of The Slow Fashion Show, Devon-based Kalkidan and Vidmantas opened Sancho's as a place to offer an alternative to fast fashion and a way to support other small-batch designers. Their own-brand pinafores come in various hues and are perfect for slipping on and running out the door.
Polly Collins makes "moons" according to her Instagram bio. Based in Bristol, the jewellery designer and silversmith's moon-faced rings can be spotted across Instagram, but her brass and eco-silver rings are not to be missed.
Producing on demand in a factory outside East London, The Acey has a mission to design "with women and their lives in mind" with every aspect of the business, from fabrics to buttons. Simple in aesthetic, the pieces are designed to be worn season after season and endure in their timelessness.
This brand doesn't have an e-store just yet, but keep an eye on Bower, who hand-makes plant-dyed silk dresses. Yes, plants, roses and peonies are the ingredients that make up the clothes. Wear a bouquet? Yes, please.
Eilidh Weir and her team of seamstresses work out a studio in central Scotland to produce All That Is Braw, a collection of "home family classics" that range from tunics to wall hangings to DIY flannel sleepwear kits.
We're big fans of Fruity Booty, the intimates label founded by Hattie Tennant & Minna Bunting in 2017, here at Who What Wear due to their sustainable design approach and inclusive models. The brand's new "crème de la crème" collection features clothing made in London, too!
Launched in 2014, Ally Bee began by crafting knitwear from bespoke British alpaca yarns in a small spinning mill in Dorset. As the brand has grown, she's been working with various natural fibre yarns to offer cosy handmade knits.
With the complete life cycle of a garment at the centre of the brand, Rahka's pieces are a mix of seasonless, contemporary pieces featuring voluminous silhouettes, bright colours and excellent buttoning.