Words: Chekii Harling


We’ve teamed up with the heritage lifestyle label to launch the first Barbour repair ‘factory' outside of South Shields, as we help close the loop on waste.

Exclusive: The new Barbour Factory at Selfridges

Words: Chekii Harling


We’ve teamed up with the heritage lifestyle label to launch the first Barbour repair ‘factory' outside of South Shields, as we help close the loop on waste.

As part of our Project Earth commitment to championing new repair and retail models, we’ve collaborated with Barbour to launch a one-of-kind space at Selfridges London. The new Selfridges x Barbour destination will be home to bespoke embroidery, re-waxing and repair services, as well as the latest AW20 Barbour collection and exclusive-to-Selfridges Barbour Re-Loved collectables (including jackets featuring war veteran badges and personal poems), available both in store and online. Read on to discover the story behind the brand, why repair is so important to Barbour, and our tips on how to extend the life of your wax jacket.


The Barbour Factory is a personal highlight of mine from the launch of Project Earth. They have wholeheartedly embraced the circular economy through the Barbour Re-Loved range and the re-waxing and repair services available at Selfridges. 

– Jack Cassidy (Head of Menswear Buying, Selfridges)

In conversation with…Barbour’s Director of Menswear, Footwear & Accessories...

To celebrate this unique collaboration, we caught up with Barbour’s Design Director, Ian Bergin, to discuss fusing practicality and style, sourcing the rare Barbour Re-Loved collectables, and why we’ll never fall out of love with the iconic wax jacket.


Where do you source the materials used to create Barbour’s iconic wax jackets and where are the pieces manufactured?

Our basic cotton is sourced globally from a number of high-quality mills and we’re proud to be members of the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI). All our waxed cotton is sourced through BCI, which is then waxed and dyed in Dundee, Scotland. The heavy zips and studs are all sourced internationally, and our jacket linings are wax-resistant cottons in our exclusive trademark tartan. Our traditional wax jackets are made by hand in our own factory in South Shields in the north-east of England.

How do you preserve the label’s heritage while remaining modern?

We’re fortunate to have an archive that goes back to 1910. As a design team, we can use our past to define our future to ensure that our products are both authentic and relevant. We consistently sense-check our archive, design heritage and the principles with which we create products at Barbour.
We are also lucky because the core elements of our DNA – wax, quilt, tartan, cord and brass metalware – are very forgiving in how you can play with them, while still looking like a Barbour product. We find that if we ‘stick to our knitting’ in terms of our designs, our customer is very accepting and excited by new shapes and directions.


What does Barbour stand for to you?

Barbour has become a national icon of sorts; the no-nonsense pragmatism behind our products and our family-run business is reassuring and attractive. At its heart, you have to go back to our catalogues over the last century and the phrase ‘The best British brand for the worst British weather’. I’ve always loved that statement. There is a directness and brevity to it, which is something of a lost art form these days.


Older, pre-worn jackets have the wear and tear and patina of experiences and adventures written into them. That’s why people love our products.

– Ian Bergin (Director of Menswear, Footwear & Accessories, Barbour)

At the Selfridges x Barbour Factory, you can purchase Barbour’s ‘Re-Loved’ collectables collection – how did you come to acquire these pieces, and what do you love about them? 

The Barbour Re-Loved collectables were all garnered through our Re-Loved programme, in which customers can trade a jacket that they no longer want in return for a contribution to a brand-new one. There are, of course, a great variety of styles, ages and repair states that the jackets arrive in. We sort through these and divide them into classic and contemporary styles, clean them, and then re-wax and repair the jackets we need to.
Older, pre-worn jackets have the wear and tear and patina of experiences and adventures written into them. That’s why people love our products: they tell the stories of past lives and very much become a part of their history.


Want to know more about how to look after your Barbour jacket but can’t make it to the store?
Fear not: here’s how to revitalise your wax jacket from the comfort of your own home.


Using cold water and a sponge, give the outside of the jacket a wipe down. Avoid using hot water or any kind of soap, and don’t put it in the washing machine – it will remove the wax coating permanently.


Take a tin of Barbour Wax Thornproof dressing, remove the lid and stand the tin in a container of water hot enough to soften the wax. It should take approximately 20 minutes to melt the wax into a liquid consistency.


Use an old cloth or sponge to work the melted wax into the jacket, paying particular attention to seams, creases and dry patches. Next: wipe off any excess wax and remember to keep the wax tin in hot water to keep it soft.


If the wax begins to harden, top the container up with a splash of hot water. Keep the wax away from the corduroy collar, the lining of the jacket and the insides of its pockets.


To get an extra-smooth finish, blow the jacket with a hairdryer to even the spread of wax. Hang the jacket to dry overnight in a warm place away from other items of clothing and home furnishings. And you’re done!

The Selfridges x Barbour Factory is just one example of how Barbour consistently encourages wearers to treasure, repair and restore their wax jackets. Why is this so important to the brand? 

Our founder, John Barbour, wrote about ‘coming to handgrips’ with our customers – ie: a fair handshake. We have always been an inclusive brand and one that provides a good value proposition. These principles of quality, durability and practicality allied with a sense of style and relevance are at the heart of what we are about. We want our jackets and all our products to stand the test of time as they are a continuing advertisement of our skill, craft and commitment to quality.


What advice would you give to wearers wishing to keep their Barbour jacket in great condition for as long as possible? 

Re-wax your jacket annually, if you wear it regularly. Don’t dry it near a radiator when it’s damp. Never put it in the washing machine!
That’s it! Just enjoy it and use if for what it’s meant for: to keep you warm and dry in the great British lottery that is our weather.


‘The best British brand for the worst British weather.’
I’ve always loved that statement.

– Ian Bergin (Director of Menswear, Footwear & Accessories, Barbour)

Barbour at Selfridges

Head to the Barbour Factory on 1 at Selfridges London for professional re-waxing, repairs and embroidery services. Here you can also explore the latest from AW20 and the Re-Loved and collectable collections available in store and online. From jackets featuring war veteran badges to personal poems, this is an opportunity to own a piece of pre-loved history.

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