Home » Sam Cam in fresh row over snubbing UK fashion factories

Sam Cam in fresh row over snubbing UK fashion factories

A new row has erupted over Lord Cameron’s fashion designer wife Samantha’s ‘shocking’ refusal to make her clothes in Britain.

It threatens to embarrass her husband, who as Foreign Secretary is trying to promote British-made products around the world.

Lady Cameron’s fashion brand Cefinn sells floral dresses and smart trouser suits for up to £500.

But in an apparent snub to Britain’s garment makers, her clothes are produced in factories in China, India and Portugal.

She first upset UK manufacturers four years ago, saying it’s hard to find high-quality factories here. She provoked a second backlash in a recent interview, saying she produces where the fabric comes from, for sustainability reasons.

Lady Cameron’s fashion brand Cefinn sells floral dresses and smart trouser suits for up to £500. But in an apparent snub to Britain’s garment makers, her clothes are produced in factories in China, India and Portugal

Jenny Holloway (pictured), boss of Fashion Enter, said there was 'fantastic expertise' in Britain and using manufacturers closer to home meant 'reducing your carbon footprint and safeguarding jobs'

Jenny Holloway (pictured), boss of Fashion Enter, said there was ‘fantastic expertise’ in Britain and using manufacturers closer to home meant ‘reducing your carbon footprint and safeguarding jobs’

Yesterday her remarks were called ‘shocking’ by Jenny Holloway, one of the top women in UK fashion who owns two factories making 15,000 garments a week for the likes of ASOS and Tesco.

Ms Holloway, boss of Fashion Enter, said there was ‘fantastic expertise’ in Britain and using manufacturers closer to home meant ‘reducing your carbon footprint and safeguarding jobs’.

She added: ‘I challenge Samantha and say please come and see us. How can you demean an entire sector of industry? ‘

Amanda McLaren, whose woollen mill A W Hainsworth is in Pudsey, Yorkshire, dubbed Lady Cameron’s remarks ‘shameful’. Lord Young, patron of mentoring group Fashion Capital, added: ‘I find it astonishing Samantha Cameron says she couldn’t find a British manufacturer. She couldn’t have looked very hard.’

In her original remarks, Lady Cameron said there was not ‘a very established, industrial fashion industry’ in Britain, compared with China.

She said: ‘I think people would assume that if you audited a factory in the UK it would all be perfect because it’s the UK, and if you audited a factory in China then it might not be, but actually that’s not necessarily the case.

Foreign Secretary Lord David Cameron on a recent trip to Mongolia. Sam Cam threatens to embarrass her husband, who as Foreign Secretary is trying to promote British-made products around the world

Foreign Secretary Lord David Cameron on a recent trip to Mongolia. Sam Cam threatens to embarrass her husband, who as Foreign Secretary is trying to promote British-made products around the world

‘If you are working in a country where there is a lot of manufacturing of fashion, you’ll have really high-quality factories, and we just don’t have a big enough industry here to have that spread.’ Two weeks ago, she doubled down on her stance, telling the Guardian: ‘We produce in the region where the fabric comes from, for sustainability reasons. We work with a small number of factories we know. What matters most is that the clothes are beautifully made.’

Cefinn said: ‘These were comments made four years ago and do not reflect Samantha’s views now.

‘She supports UK manufacturing wholeheartedly and Cefinn was part of a recent initiative, in partnership with 10 Downing Street, set up to introduce British fashion and retail businesses to UK-based manufacturers and suppliers.

‘She understands how much this can help Cefinn and is always looking to utilise the skills and craftsmanship that the UK supplies.’