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Home Maidstone News Article
Nappies and light bulbs... the two products that have most challenged a family who promised to live a whole year using only British goods.
Westerham couple James and Emily Bradshaw said a wave of patriotism brought about by the feelgood factor of the diamond jubilee, Olympics and Paralympics in 2012 encouraged them to take on the challenge.
James Bradshaw, 35, said the project was bigger than expected but vowed to carry on waving the flag for Made In Britain.
“It really has taken over our lives. I suppose we have turned ourselves into campaigners for British manufacturing and farming and that’s something we’re keen to continue,” James said.
Every aspect of the family’s life went under the microscope and everything from light bulbs to nappies for their three-year-old son Lucan had to be produced in the UK.
The family set up a website to chart their progress and give information about British manufacturers.
James, who now works part time, said he wasn’t sure if the project would last more than a year.
He said: “We built the caveat... that this year we would essentially have a year and keep it as a year, and then there was a bit of a get out of jail free card at the end if we felt this was an impossible situation.
“In reality what’s happened is, almost by surprise, we found a way that works for us as being a consumer.
"We’re not saying everyone needs to do it, or do it to the same degree that we do it, but if we can raise some awareness about it, that’s fine.”
James’ wife, Emily, 30, who said at the start of 2013 the idea was one of her husband’s ideas she didn’t roll her eyes at, said the project has done a lot to raise awareness of British industries.
She said: “We’re not about it having to be instantly local but we’re trying to say farming in the UK, as a whole, is strong but it could be stronger.
“It’s only if we continue to support those farmers and not keep outsourcing from countries close by that we can keep that farming and continue to make it grow.”
James Bradshaw encouraged more people to think British when buying products.
“It’s up to us to make a change, it’s not down to Government or policy – we can’t sit around waiting for that to happen" - James Bradshaw
He said: “Our manufacturing sector is less resilient and has taken a battering over the last 40 years.
"You start to become surprised that anything does exist but we’re here to say that it does and it’s fantastic and we need to support it.
“It’s up to us to make a change, it’s not down to Government or policy – we can’t sit around waiting for that to happen.
"It’s got to be a more grass roots situation where we as a people go ‘right, we’re going to support our local communities, we’re going to support those that provide our families with jobs.’ And that’s got to be good.”
Emily said the ‘British Family’ nickname will continue to be attributed to the Bradshaws, as will the idea.
She said: “It seems to be a name that’s stuck well and truly. If we can carry on doing what we’re doing and just keep enjoying then everybody gets a win out of it.”
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