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Prince Charles visits Barbour to open new "Wax for Life Workshop" celebrating 100 years of re-waxing

Tom Bottomley
13 November 2021

HRH The Prince of Wales, better known as Prince Charles, paid a visit to Barbour’s South Shields HQ and factory this week to open a new "Wax for Life Workshop", in celebration of the brand’s centenary of re-waxing jackets and sustainability.

He was welcomed by Barbour Chairman, Dame Margaret Barbour, and Lord Lieutenant of Tyne and Wear, Susan Winfield, and he was taken on a tour of the new workshop where he learnt more about Barbour’s sustainability initiatives, including the re-waxing and repairs services.

Expert re-waxer Neil Travis demonstrated how to re-wax a jacket and Prince Charles then had a go himself. He also met machinist Julie-Ann Shevill who repairs and restores customers’ jackets, and she showed him a jacket she was working on that was over 35 years old.

Having toured the new space, Prince Charles then unveiled a plaque to officially open the new "Wax for Life Workshop".

Dame Margaret Barbour, said: “It was an honour to welcome His Royal Highness back to Barbour, 27 years after his first visit in 1994. Our Wax for Life Workshop is a new space that brings together all of our sustainable wax initiatives into one place and we were delighted to show His Royal Highness around the space and update him on our plans and continuing commitment to sustainability.

“If a Barbour wax jacket is re-waxed at least once a year with regular use, it can last a very long time and be handed down to future generations, making it a very sustainable choice of jacket.”

Prince Charles viewed the 1921 Barbour catalogue where the re-waxing and repairs service was first referenced, 100 years ago. He also saw the oldest jacket in the archive, affectionately called Uncle Harry’s jacket after the gentleman who originally owned it. He then discovered more about Barbour "Re-Loved", the recycling/upcycling programme introduced in 2020 whereby customers can return Barbour jackets that they no longer need in return for a voucher towards a new one.

Barbour is the proud holder of three Royal Warrants – the late HRH The Duke of Edinburgh which was awarded in 1974, HM The Queen in 1982 and HRH The Prince of Wales in 1987.

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