Barbour is a brand that is quintessentially British. From its beginnings in the Market Place of South Shields, to today with the base of operations still in South Shields. Barbour has reached the point of cultural importance that many people refer to any waxed jacket as a Barbour jacket.
Barbour first put themselves on the radar of many when they were chosen to produce weatherproof, durable clothing for the military, with the ‘Ursula’ jacket being used by the Submarine Service during the Second World War. Barbour was already popular with the sailors and dockers of the North East as they had been providing them with garments suited to protect them from the often harsh conditions of the North Sea.
Barbour have also got a longstanding relationship with the Royal Family. In 1974 Barbour received their first Royal Warrant from the Duke of Edinburgh and ever since have supplied Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles. Each Barbour jacket is still handmade in the UK by a total of 36 people all with a specific and essential role. The factory produces around 140,000 jackets each year, 13,000 Barbour jackets are also repaired every year in the same factory.
Barbour has made a number of appearances in pop culture. Perhaps the most obvious collaboration to have never happened did happen in 2012 when James Bond was seen sporting a Barbour jacket in the film Skyfall.
During Glastonbury 2007, due to the bad weather, many artists were seen sporting Barbour jackets of their own, including Alex Turner of the Arctic Monkeys.
Barbour’s most famous fan without a doubt is the king of cool himself, Steve McQueen. McQueen had a love of motorbikes and often chose to wear a Barbour jacket when riding. To honour their most famous and original celebrity fan Barbour launched a Steve McQueen collection in 2011 and it remains a huge collection of Barbour International to this day.
At Washed we often get in vintage and preloved Barbour jackets, amongst other Barbour garments. With the high quality of materials used and the expert craftsmanship that is put in to the production of a single Barbour jacket it goes without saying that they’re made the last a lifetime (if not more). With that being the case all it normally takes is an eye for jackets which have been well maintained and a fresh coat of wax to make these jackets ready for another owner.