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Alex J.
Alex J., Solicitor
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Experience:  Solicitors 2 years plus PQE
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We are about to launch a footwear product but would appreciate

Resolved Question:

Hi
We are about to launch a footwear product but would appreciate your advise on our wording.
Basically our offices are in Northampton, which is known worldwide for its shoe industry. The Japanese & Chinese love anything made here which is a good market for us. We have had the bases' of our footwear made by a small Portuguese shoemaker, which is of excellent quality (as good as the Italians), but once they arrive here we then finish off the slipper (its an upmarket vintage slipper) here in the UK, as the customer will be allowed to choose the top colour (its a sheepskin fur that is attached to the top, which is sourced & made in Devon).
We have definitely developed it here in the UK & finished it off using our own materials to the customers specification, but can we state that the whole slipper is "made in Britain". It is of great value to have it labelled as manufactured in the UK but Northampton in particular due its world wide appeal. Our office address is in Northampton anyway & the product has a registerd trade marked using the Northampton address.
Can you help me with this please & if possible the correct wording, so I don't mislead or fall foul of any law.
Kind regards
Rob Hill
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi,
Thank you for your question and welcome.
My name is ***** ***** I will assist you.
Using the word "Made in Britain" is a trade description and if it is misleading you are potentially committing an offence under the Trade Description Act 1968.
Saying "Made in Britain" does not mean that every aspect of the manufacture has to be completed in Britain effectively a majority of it has to be done in Britain and the product has to undergo some substantial change in Britain. From what you are saying you actually assemble the shoes here, and the salient parts are either supplied by suppliers or the materials are sourced else where?
I have not seen your manufacturing process but based on what you have described it sounds as if the key aspect of assembling the shoe actually happens in Britain? Is this correct?
Kind regards
AJ
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

The finishing off part done in Britain of applying the top fur, is what makes the product into the desired design, making it unique & recognisable within the market place. The main part, the base wer your foot goes onto including sole & heal, is whats manufactured in Portugal.

Will this make a difference, or can we state on our website for example that the slipper is designed & finished off at our premises in Northampton. The word Northampton is a key word to use for marketing purposes & the customers will know that quality footwear comes from this town.

Please advise

Rob

Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi,
Thank you.
If the part that you complete does make the product unrecognisable then I would say that you have grounds to use the trade description.
You have to be certain of this though - you could say to be certain, "designed and assembled in Northampton". Then you are not actually committing to the manufacturing process.
Kind regards
AJ
Alex J., Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 3557
Experience: Solicitors 2 years plus PQE
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