HRH The Prince of Wales visited the Barbour factory in South Shields last week to celebrate 100 years of sustainability and re-waxing jackets for a century, and to open the heritage brand’s new Wax for Life workshop.
His Royal Highness was welcomed to Barbour by the Lord Lieutenant of Tyne and Wear, Susan Winfield and chairman, Dame Margaret Barbour and taken on a tour of the new Wax for Life workshop where he learnt about Barbour’s sustainability initiatives, including the re-waxing and repairs services.
He was shown how to re-wax a jacket by Neil Travis, and even had a go himself, as well as talk to machinist Julie-Ann Shevill who repairs and restores customers jackets.
Prince Charles also viewed the 1921 Barbour catalogue where the re-waxing and repairs service was first referenced, one hundred years ago, and viewed Barbour’s oldest jacket, affectionately called Uncle Harry’s jacket after the gentleman.
Barbour notes that re-waxing has become more important than ever as customers look to make sustainable choices, and extending the life of a wax jacket is “one of the most effective ways of minimising its impact on the environment”. Each year Barbour re-waxes more than 60,000 jackets globally.
His Royal Highness also discovered more about Barbour Re-Loved, the recycling/upcycling programme introduced in 2020 whereby customers can return Barbour jackets that they no longer need in return for a voucher towards a new one. The old jacket is cleaned, repaired and re-waxed ready to go to a new home thus extending the life of the garment.
Commenting on the royal visit, Dame Margaret Barbour said in a statement: “It was an honour to welcome His Royal Highness back to Barbour, twenty-seven years after his first visit in 1994. Our Wax for Life Workshop is a new space that brings together all of our sustainable wax initiatives into one place and we were delighted to show His Royal Highness around the space and update him on our plans and continuing commitment to sustainability.
|If a Barbour wax jacket is re-waxed at least once a year with regular use, it can last a very long time and be handed down to future generations, making it a very sustainable choice of jacket.”
The opening follows on from Barbour’s new Christmas campaign featuring Paddington Bear launched earlier this month highlighting the re-waxing process.
Barbour is a family-owned 5th generation brand established 127 years ago and currently holds three Royal Warrants, the late HRH The Duke of Edinburgh awarded in 1974, HM The Queen in 1982 and HRH The Prince of Wales in 1987. The British brand is sold in more than 55 countries worldwide including the UK, Germany, Italy, Spain, France, Japan and the US.