The History of Barbour

5 Men Sitting on Vintage Motorcycles wearing Classic Barbour Wax Jackets

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Barbour

Barbour is a British brand that has a rich history dating back to 1894. The company was founded by John Barbour in South Shields, England, as a small business that supplied oilcloth for ships and fishing boats. In the early 1900s, the company began to produce clothing, initially making heavy-duty, waterproof clothing for sailors and fishermen.

In the 1920s, Barbour began to produce waxed cotton jackets, which became its signature product and a mainstay of its collection. The Barbour waxed cotton jacket was specifically designed to be breathable and waterproof, making it ideal for outdoor activities like hunting and fishing. The jacket quickly gained popularity among country people, who required practical clothing that could withstand the British weather.

Throughout the 20th century, Barbour continued to innovate and evolve, expanding its offerings to include a wider range of clothing, such as sweaters, shirts, and trousers. In the 1980s and 1990s, the brand started to gain popularity beyond the UK, becoming a global brand with a strong reputation for high-quality, durable, and stylish clothing.

In the 21st century, Barbour has expanded its reach even further, opening stores and stockists all over the world. The company continues to innovate and evolve, introducing new designs, colours and materials, such as quilted and technical fabrics. Barbour also offers a variety of styles for women, children and even dogs. As well as seasonal collections with different colours and limited-edition styles.

Who Owns Barbour?

Barbour is currently a privately owned company. The current Chairman and owner of Barbour is Helen Barbour, she is the daughter of the company’s founder and represents the fifth generation of the Barbour family to lead the company. The business has been owned and run by the Barbour family since its inception in 1894, and has expanded over the years to become one of the most well-known and respected brands in the world of outdoor and country clothing.

The brand remains committed to its heritage and traditional craftsmanship, while continuing to innovate and evolve to meet the changing needs of its customers.

Who Wears Barbour?

Barbour clothing and accessories are worn by a wide range of people, due to its combination of practicality, durability and style. The brand’s waxed cotton jackets, in particular, have a strong association with country and outdoor wear and are popular among people who engage in outdoor activities such as hunting, fishing and riding.

In addition to its traditional customer base, Barbour has also become increasingly popular in urban and fashion-forward settings, The brand has also been embraced by fashion-conscious customers looking for stylish clothing that is both practical and long-lasting.

Which Celebrities Wear Barbour?

Many celebrities have been spotted wearing Barbour clothing and accessories. The brand’s reputation for quality and durability, as well as its association with country and outdoor wear, has made it popular among a wide range of celebrities.

Some examples of celebrities who have been spotted wearing Barbour include:

  • The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton and Prince William. They have been seen wearing Barbour on many occasions, particularly on their countryside engagements.
  • Actors such as Steve McQueen, who was known for his love of motorcycles, and Samuel L. Jackson, have been spotted wearing Barbour International leather jackets.
  • Musicians like Paul Weller, Arctic Monkeys, and Kaiser Chiefs have also been seen wearing Barbour clothing.
  • Other celebrities such as David Beckham, Kate Moss, and Alexa Chung have also been spotted wearing Barbour clothing, showing the versatility of the brand.
  • Barbour’s reputation for quality, durability and style, as well as its iconic waxed cotton jackets, has made it a favourite among celebrities and people from all backgrounds who are looking for clothing that can withstand any weather conditions, but also look stylish and fashionable.

Is Barbour and Barbour International the Same?

Barbour and Barbour International are not the same.

Barbour is the main brand, it was founded in 1894, and is known for producing high-quality, durable, and stylish clothing and accessories, including its iconic waxed cotton jackets. The brand has a rich history and heritage and it’s associated with country and outdoor wear, it has a wide range of collections for men, women and children.

Barbour International is a sub-brand of Barbour, which was launched in 1936. It’s geared towards the motorcycle market, but it is more directed to urban and fashion-forward styles. It’s inspired by the brand’s rich history in motorcycling and its association with icons such as Steve McQueen. The collection is focused on leather jackets, and other biker-inspired clothing and accessories.

Should I Buy a Barbour or Barbour International?

Whether you should buy a Barbour or a Barbour International jacket depends on your personal preferences and needs. Both brands are produced by the same company and offer high-quality clothing, but they have different styles and designs that cater to different types of customers.

A Barbour jacket is known for its classic, timeless style, and its waxed cotton construction that provides excellent protection from the elements. Barbour jackets are ideal for country and outdoor wear, and they have a wide range of styles that can suit different needs, such as the Beaufort, Bedale, Border, and other styles, which are suitable for different weather conditions and lifestyles.

Barbour International, on the other hand, is more focused on the motorcycle market and it’s geared towards urban and fashion-forward styles. The collection is focused on leather jackets and other biker-inspired clothing and accessories. It’s characterised by a more edgy and fashion-forward look, with a focus on biker-inspired designs and details.

In summary, if you’re looking for a classic, timeless, and high-quality jacket that’s designed for country and outdoor wear, a Barbour jacket is probably the best choice for you. But if you’re looking for something that’s more fashion-forward, urban and with a biker-inspired style, then a Barbour International jacket may be a better fit for you.

Where is Barbour Made?

Barbour jackets and clothing are made in the United Kingdom. The company was founded in 1894 in South Shields, England and it still has its head office and production facility in the same location. The company’s main factory is located in Simonside, South Shields, where the company’s core collection of waxed cotton jackets is produced.

Barbour has a commitment to quality and traditional craftsmanship, and it’s one of the few remaining companies that still manufacture clothing in the United Kingdom. They source their materials from British suppliers as much as possible and make sure they meet the highest standards. The brand also has a number of retail locations and stockists all over the world, making its products available to customers in many different countries.

In addition to its main production facility in South Shields, Barbour also has some of its clothing lines produced in other countries. For example, some knitwear is made in Scotland, Portugal or Romania.

The company ensures that all the products that bear the Barbour name meet their high standards of quality, durability and style, regardless of where they are produced.

Is Barbour a Luxury Brand?

Barbour is considered a luxury brand due to its high-quality craftsmanship, attention to detail, and use of premium materials. The brand is renowned for producing durable and long-lasting clothing that is designed to withstand harsh weather conditions. Barbour’s products are made to last, and are often passed down through generations.

Barbour’s pricing point is on the higher end of the spectrum, which also positions them as a luxury brand. The brand prides itself on the quality of its products and the craftsmanship behind them, which justifies the higher prices. They are made with premium materials and advanced technologies, which makes them last longer and look better. Barbour also produces limited-edition collections, which elevates the exclusivity of the brand.

Additionally, the brand’s reputation, heritage, and the fact that it’s a family-owned business, also contribute to the luxury brand. Barbour is also known for having a Royal Warrant from the British royal family, which adds to the brand’s prestige and luxury status.

Is Barbour a ‘Good’ Brand?

Barbour is considered a good brand by many customers and experts in the fashion and outdoor industry. The brand has a reputation for producing high-quality, durable, and stylish clothing and accessories, including its iconic waxed cotton jackets.

Barbour’s commitment to quality and traditional craftsmanship is one of the reasons it is considered a good brand, they use a range of traditional and modern techniques to produce their jackets, ensuring that each piece meets the company’s high standards for quality and durability. Barbour’s waxed cotton jackets are particularly well-regarded for their durability and weather-resistance. The company’s commitment to quality and durability is evident in the products that they produce.

Barbour’s reputation for style is also well-established. The brand has a wide range of styles and designs that cater to different types of customers, and it’s not uncommon to see people wearing Barbour clothing in both country and urban settings. Barbour’s clothing is not just practical, but it’s also stylish, which is why it appeals to a wide range of people.

In summary, Barbour is considered a good brand by many customers and experts in the fashion and outdoor industry. The brand’s commitment to quality and traditional craftsmanship, its reputation and heritage, and its stylish and versatile designs contribute to its status as not just a good brand but a great brand.

Is Barbour an Ethical Brand?

Barbour has made efforts to improve its ethical practices, but like any company, there are some aspects of the brand that may not align with certain consumers’ values or expectations.

The company has made a commitment to sustainability and ethical sourcing, and it has implemented policies to ensure that its products are produced responsibly and with respect for the environment and the rights of workers. The company has a code of conduct for suppliers, which lays out the company’s expectations for environmental and labour practices. They also have a CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) report that indicates the company is committed to fair trade, working conditions and social responsibility.

Barbour also has a code of conduct for animal welfare, ensuring that no fur or feather products are used on their clothing, and they are committed to use only synthetic materials or those coming from sustainable sources.

Additionally, they have implemented recycling programs, use of renewable energy in the company’s operations and they also have a program of reducing the carbon footprint.

A Legacy of Quality and Craftsmanship

The history of Barbour is a story of a family-owned business that has stood the test of time. From its humble beginnings as a small business selling oilcloth in the 19th century, Barbour has grown to become a global brand known for its high-quality, durable and stylish outerwear. The company’s commitment to quality and craftsmanship has remained a constant throughout its history, and this has helped to ensure that Barbour has remained a popular choice among outdoor enthusiasts for over a century.

Despite the challenges it has faced over the years, Barbour has remained true to its roots and continues to produce clothing that is both functional and fashionable. With a strong heritage and a reputation for excellence, it is clear that the legacy of Barbour will continue for many years to come.

Click here to take a look at our huge range of Barbour coats, jackets, accessories and more.