Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Unibu: Men's Underwear Made in Cumbria

If you're going to wear underwear (and I hope you are) then why not choose British-made? I recently came across a Cumbrian-based brand making in the UK: Unibu (link below). I've been wearing some of their products, which are well-made and comfortable. To find out more, I spoke to the business's founder, Shirley Crisp.

GF: Hello Shirley, please introduce yourself. 

SC: Hi, my name is Shirley Crisp, I live in Windermere, Cumbria which is a amazing place to live. We've just been made a World Heritage Site, so not the first place you may think of when thinking about underwear manufacturing. I'm married with three teenage children, one is off at uni. so I don't think he would like me calling him a child! I've lived here in The Lakes all my life, why would you move?

Shirley at Number 10 Downing Street
GF: Agreed; it's a beautiful part of the country. Your business is based there - tell us more about it.

SC: My parents have been in business as long as I can remember, so going into business came to me like learning to walk. I opened my own lingerie shop in Windermere in 2007 specialising in a vast size range. I was on one of my many buying trips and noticed hardly anything in the industry was made in Britain. As a passionate Made In Britain supporter, I started to look into the viability of producing a 100% British made underwear company. After many many months of looking into different suppliers Unibu was born. I wanted to make sure that everything I produced was actually Made In Britain! I know other companies still buy cloth and components from abroad, but I wanted to be different. If I was going to build a British brand I wanted it to be all British.

GF: So you started with women's clothing. How did you come to offer men's underwear?

SC: Yes; having a lingerie shop you need to cater for both ladies and gents. Speaking to hundreds of men, waiting patiently for their partners to try something on, I got good feedback about what men like and what to look for in gents' underwear. Like women, they too had a list of things they didn't like, or found uncomfortable. I'd never thought about men's underwear in this way before, so I knew when I launched my brand I wanted the gents had to be there too. When thinking of 'lingerie' we think lace, sexy, ladies, gifts but when you say 'men's underwear' you tend to think of something more practical - but why shouldn't it be exciting, bright, comfort, quality, stylish and British?!

GF: How and where are the men's products made?

SC: All of Unibu's products are Made In Britain. I keep it close to my chest the exact location, as it took months to find a manufacture who has the correct machinery, can produce a quality product and keep up with production -  no easy task. Who knows, though, maybe one day Unibu may have its own production line! The one thing I can guarantee is that all our products will always be Made In Britain.

GF: Where do you see the business going next?

SC: I want to keep building on what I'm already doing, keeping the very strong ethos of Unibu, its roots and core values. Customer service is key to me, I strive for excellence: only when our customers are happy do I feel I've done my job well. I'm always keen to find new retailers to help offer the brand around the country. I had a amazing visit last December to number 10 Downing Street after being listed as the Top 100 Small Business, so another visit would be nice!

GF: Many thanks, Shirley. Readers can click on Unibu for more information and to buy.

This is an unsponsored post.

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