Has Bottom Line kick started British Manufacturing?

The last of the three part series Mary’s Bottom Line airs tonight and at Skillset we have been glued to it. The series features eight people from Greater Manchester who undertake the Skillset fashion and textiles Apprenticeship as part of Mary’s drive to produce and sell British made underwear.

So has it worked?

The response on social media has been immense and, in the main, positive.

Comments from the Channel 4 homepage

Comments from the Channel 4 homepage

Positive-4The first programme inspired people to check their own garment labels to see where their clothes were made, as well as starting the hashtag #MakeItBritish.

The positive response to the first programme resulted in Kinky Knickers stock selling out fast with the manufacturers Headen & Quarmby, resulting in furious work to restock and cater to the demand.

headenBy episode 2 people had started to receive their Kinky Knickers, and everyone wanted to share their delight!

got-knickers-2Alongside the positive reaction have been a number of people keen to point out those who have been making it British for quite some time.

highlight1highlight2The use of hashtags like #MarysBottomLine, #BottomLine and #MakeItBritsh have helped to draw a bigger spotlight on existing British lingerie brands like Who made your Pants, Tallulah Love and Ayten Gasson. It would be interesting to know if their sales have gone up whilst the show has aired.

At Skillset we are already hearing reports of other British manufacturers keen to start recruiting Apprentices and bring their manufacture back from overseas, and hope to share more information on them soon.

So has Mary’s Bottom Line kick started British Manufacturing? We think Yes! However, it will be keeping the pressure up to buy British that is key.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments.

28 comments to Has Bottom Line kick started British Manufacturing?

  • Marian Taylor


  • Audrey

    I’ve been watching the show and think what Mary has done is fantastic. I will definitely buy some of these when stocks are readily available. Very disappointed to see people cashing in on the shortage of stock and selling them on ebay for up to £40 :-(

  • JESS gray

    The bottom line a fantastic program, what an eye opener about the textile industry. I work in textile manufacturing, we produce the most amazing quality product that’s then shipped abroad. They shut our factory in 2004 after they decided to move all production to china to save on money, but as saving the £££ they also lost the quality that only our weaving could produce. All jobs were lost the machines shut down that was it no hope. Then roughly 6 months later we received the call……..phone the staff start up the machines, china cannot produce the same quality, we’re back in business. 2012 were stronger than ever orders booming new projects all looking positive. So every time a put a “MADE IN ENGLAND ” stamp on I do feel proud that we can produce this quality. Just goes to show there is hope in this industry I believe that a day will come when more textile manufacturing is back in Britain. I shall be purchasing a lovely pair of kinky knickers when I can get hold of some they are just fabulous. I hope kinky knickers is a start of good things to come to the this country. After all British is best !!!

  • Sa

    Your are an inspiration to us all, I’m gonna deff get some for my girlfriend. When are you going to do boxers??? This is going to be the start of something big. You really have made my day an made me aprcaite what I have. Good luck x x x

  • Jane

    I think it is wonderful what you are doing. Here is another idea you might like! How about a National Manufacturing company to make uniforms for the NHS, Police, Fire Service etc.? Most NHS uniform is being shipped in from Lithuania, and it takes 8 to 12 weeks to get here. Wouldn’t it be good to see the whole of the NHS as an example wear the same uniform, going back to a specific style to the relavant role they play. How often do you visit a hospital these days and find it hard to distinguish who is actually a nurse of doctor, with uniforms varying from one authority to another. And when they are made they should be available from their own logistics on the usual weekly order.

  • Its been great watching the program and I fully back the make it in Britain campaign but people also need to support British companies. Why buy it from the big International chains? Why not buy it from a local British company. Make jobs in Britain and keep jobs in Britain.

  • We have been beating the drum for British farm products for over 50 years. It is only now that we think the message is being heard. We always know where goods have been produced and try to buy British, though often we despair. We do hope you can maintain production, shall be following your progress, maybe a touch anxiously, but we think your kinky knickers are lovely, as are the people who produce them. Best of luck.
    The Knight family, Knaptoft, Leicestershire

  • Susan

    Brilliant idea.
    Went on Selfridges site, put ‘Kinky Knickers’ in their search box and not recognised by them.

  • Hi Mary – I really enjoy the programme about Kinky Knickers and what you are doing for the people in Middleton and obviously your contacts and strengths to get the product to market is to be admired.
    However have you thought that the small independants do not have access to the range and I am sure that they would be able to sell the range through and be able to compete with the multiples.
    I am a small independant wholesaler based in the South Wales Valleys and we have 10 agents selling accessories throughout the UK and Ireland and I am sure we would be able to sell Kinky Knickers to our customer base.
    We also have stands at Spring Fair, Moda and Autumn Fair where a great amount of business is generated – perhaps something to consider in the future as we are all in this together. Best Regards John Morrisroe

  • Jamie

    Any plans to start making Kinky Pants for the Gents so we can support UK Manufacturing too?

  • Simon

    Went to support this worthy proposition and buy my wife a pair for Easter, House of Fraser in Manchester was out of stock, the fabulous team in the Mary Portas franchise area were even prepared to post a pair out to me, rural Lincolnshire not really having any suppliers! However House of Fraser wanted to charge me £7.50 postage. Shameful!!! Needless to say I left disappointed, sort them out Mary!!

  • Karen

    Just a thought, as your stocks are low and concerned about employing more staff on a permanaent basis, why not see if you are able to get some voluntary support from experienced personnel. This may be a way of getting their skills up to date (and quickly for you) and if the orders continue as they have been, there may be the opportunity of a permanent role for them? There are lots of school levers / unemployed people that would happily try work experience even to enable them to get a reference for a permanent role – this could help them break a cycle – even if packing the knickers in boxes! I know of a someone recenlty that worked for a month free of charge to gain work experience and is now permanently employed.

    I think what you have achieved is fantastic and will be emailing all my friends to buy at least one pair of kinky knicks!

    Long may it continue!

  • Claire

    I think what your doing is fantastic and very exciting. as a fashion designer i know the difficulties involved in having goods made in the Far East. I would love nothing more than manufacturing to come back to the UK. Just one question though….if Kinky Knickers are in such great demand and your stockists are having to wait for more stock…..why do you still only have seven machinists?

  • Michele

    Just watched all 3 programmes – what a fantastic concept and result. Places like Middleton that have had the heart ripped out of their communities deserve good things and this should be the start of something great for them. It raises awareness of the dire situation that people face on a daily basis and puts humanity into the story as we hear how it has changed lives. Some people just need a helping hand and this has definitely provided them with that. Let’s hope there is a snowball effect as it grows. I have just tried to buy some knickers and everywhere is sold out! Fantastic news – keep up the great work guys… your knickers are needed! Rule Britannia!

  • Tess

    So good to see these youngsters making the Kinky Knickers get a chance to work – we need more of this. I hope Kinky Knickers expands it’s range of goods – I would certainly buy them.

  • Janet

    Wonderful programme, you could not watch this series and not be moved.
    I was in Manchester yesterday asking in the shops when and how I could get my hands on a pair of Kinky Knickers. All the shops waiting for orders to arrive said they have been sold already.

    Will the factory hire more of these young people to make them and keep the interest alive. Such a lot of good will come from this programme – Well done Mary and the team for what you have achieved.

  • Justine

    Absolutely loved the show! Try and watch anything Mary does as I’m right behind her and totally agre with all her causes. This show brought a tear of pride to my eye, overwhelming sense of pride for those apprentices. Xcr xclt xclt, and I want a pair and can’t get a pair! More stock in next weekso I’ll just have to wait, well done Middleton.

  • Martin

    The ones I ordered for my wife arrived today. Thanks very much Mary ;)

  • Mandy Boswell

    Mary Portas you need not to be “advising government” you need to be in the government and running things. Can we start a campaign?

    Mary Portas for Prime Minister!

  • Carole Parnaby-King

    I have loved the three pairs that I have bought so much that I have just ordered another 7 pairs.

    Keep sewing guys and girls as they are lovely!

  • Sharon

    I loved the programmes and applaud what you are doing but I haven’t been able to purchase any Kinky Knickers anywhere :(
    Fingers crossed they continue to be popular and hopefully I will manage to get hold of a pair eventually. Very disappointed in those that are trying to cash in on ebay, other people could have bought those knickers and could be enjoying wearing them, right now!

  • claire

    The prgoramme was fab, what a great idea! well done mary! I think £10 a pair is a tad more than i would normally spend but I will happily spend it when its all going back into our country! and keeping british people in work. They are such a fab fit, easily the best pair of undies I have ever purchased! I shall be re ordeing more straight away! As to the comments above I just purchased mine online from asos, they still had some instock, so give them a try! Could recommend them any more :) I hope kinky knickers extendes its range … I would definately purchase if they did
    Just wondering will there be a follow up show to tell us how its all going??

  • Sharon

    I’ve now managed to get some and they are so comfortable, will be getting more when I can find more stocks either on line or nearby. I so hope that interest doesn’t peter out and that they come up with more designs in the future too. I’ve see on other message boards, blogs that men would like them to produce boxers, so how about it Mary can you do some union jack boxers for our boys? :)

  • tony w

    I am trying to buy some of these kinky knickers for my wife and i was advised by a shop assistant that they are only available on line is this true?

    • Prettyinpink2

      Hi Tony

      I have managed to get some by going on the boots site on the kinky knickers of your choice and as they are out of stock you can ask them to email you when they are selling them back on line. Do make sure you order the right size, small is a 10-12, medium is 14-16.

  • Sharon

    Tony W it is difficult as the stock update page has not been “updated” for weeks and weeks now, I have tried to contact Mary Portas to find out what is going on but have not yet had a reply if you go to http://www.maryportas.com/news/2012/03/29/kinky-knickers-stock-update/ this is supposed to be the stock update section of the Mary Portas website, hopefully something will appear here eventually saying where they are in stock. I am still checking daily as even though I have now managed to purchase 2 pairs from ASOS I am still after more for myself and as presents. If I managed to get any further information I will post it here :)

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