Saturday 4 April 2020

Shopping Locally

Not local.
It must be possible for even people on modest salaries to avoid buying products made thousands of miles away, let alone in noxious regimes. At the moment I am chafing at the distance and dangerous locale of the nearest polski sklep, for our giant Tesco does not have instant ┼╝urek after all.  However I have finally ordered good British rye grain from eBay, so although we may not have any ┼╝urek on Easter Sunday, we will have a proper one sometime before Pentecost.

I am saddened by how long it took me to give up looking for rye flour and start looking for rye grain. Really, I was once considered a rock star in my old theologate. Weep, weep.

At my old theologate we used to talk about the balance between fidelity and inclusivity, which generally meant how to make people feel welcome without throwing the tenets of orthodox Latin Christianity under the bus. But I am not as interested in inclusivity right now as the exclusivity of geographical place (which may include diverse kinds of people, the ones who actually live there, e.g. the Central European shopkeeper on our road), which I am sure the UK government would applaud since they are keen on us all staying close to home for three months.

Well, let us see what companies produce household goods made in Scotland, England, Wales, Ireland and Norway. I was going to look at France, but it turns out that Norway is closer to Scotland than France.  I will update this list as I go along. It may take some time. It may also take some getting used to prices. Totalitarian regimes tend not to pay factory workers very much and the savings are passed along to us.

Here, by the way, is a shortcut to Scottish manufacturers.

Other useful links are Make it British and Still Made in Britain.  The UK Made blog seems to have fallen dormant, but it has some useful links.


If a resident of Scotland swear off fast fashion, sticks to a budget in all other aspects of her life and keeps an eye out for bargains, there is really no excuse not to buy her wool clothing from Scottish manufacturers like Brora, Lochcarron, and Walker Slater (or finding their labels secondhand at eBay). Okay, dire poverty is an excuse.

Ginger Marmalade in England is ticking a lot of boxes for me.

I'm also in love with the current collection of Justine Tabak.

But what about cotton underthings? Well, for nightclothes there is PJ Pan in the Highlands and for pants there is Unibu in Cumbria. Silk things can be got from Ayton Gasson in Brighton, but closer to home there is (don't click if you're a modest chap) Mischke Lingerie in Edinburgh.

Really, from what I'm seeing here is that Britons don't really need to go beyond Britain to get anything made of textiles. We're good at textiles.


Hylands Electrical says that these items were made in Britain.

Lighting, lamps and headphones at Made to Last.

Dualit does kitchen appliances which appear to be made in Britain. I'm intrigued.

April 6 update on Dualit: They kindly and quickly responded to my query, and their Vario, Combi, AWS and Newton Classic toasters are "hand assembled" in England. Unfortunately, their kettles, blenders and food processors (products in which I personally am more interested right now), are made in China.

I wrote back to say I would happily pay more for products not made in the PRC.

Houseware and Homeware

Yester Home has some cool stuff. So does Made to Last.

Local Meat and Poultry  

For the Lothians, I can highly recommend Findlays of Portobello.

I will continue as I go along and as I need to buy things (like a spice grinder) although I suspect one could go crazy trying to Buy British (and Norwegian) all the time. In the end, I may have to rely on Germany. Yes, the USA is the top manufacturer after (or now before?) China, but it is still a long way away.


Good news! Both Tanqueray gin and Gordon's gin are now distilled in Fife.  

UPDATE: Top Irish imports.  Now for some names! Avoca; MAYBE the ecologically friendly Irish computer manufacturer Iameco;


  1. I've been trying to buy local since the 1990s here in the USA. (Although I wasn't in the streets, I was one of those protesting globalization way back when.) And I can tell you that eventually you give up and just start buying things used, either because it can't be found or because it's just too expensive. After a time you start compromising -- my compromise was I'll buy from far away if the far away has moderately decent labor laws. Right now my rule is "anywhere but China, but the closer the better."

    So it's decades now my family and friends have considered me a sad case of obsession. It's another one of those things that now that everyone can see I was right all along still not a soul has come forward to say "gee, you were right!"

    Finally, it's your yard and you can do as you like but I have to mention dandelion coffee, dandelion greens, and dandelion wine. You're obsessively rooting out food?

    Great admiration for you from Tennessee. Keep on keeping on!

    Kathy Johnson

    1. Thanks, Kathy! I did try some dandelion greens, but they were very bitter. I seem to have two different kinds of dandelions, too. I'm very new about this gardening business. Still, I have time to change my mind because I have half a brown bin full of dandelions and their roots and the Council (i.e. local government) is not coming around to empty it any time soon.

    2. P.S. You were absolutely right!

  2. Yes, they're bitter. Mix with other, sweeter greens.

    Thank you for saying I was right. You're the first!

    An old crazy Christian,

    Kathy Johnson