The only way is British as Westerham couple live the good life

PUBLISHED: 12:07 21 February 2013 | UPDATED: 13:10 21 February 2013

Emily, James and Lucan Bradshaw with a selection of their British goods.

Emily, James and Lucan Bradshaw with a selection of their British goods.


Only buying British goods is simple – drink Twinings tea, furnish your house from Laura Ashley and gorge on Cadbury’s chocolate.

Or not.

That Rosie Lea is made in Poland, the quaint home furnishing store is owned by Malaysians and Dairy Milk is churned out by Kraft Foods – based in America.

If you just spat tea all over your new curtains, I’m sorry – but these are the revelations uncovered by one Westerham couple, James and Emily Bradshaw, who have vowed to buy only British goods for the forseeable future.

In reaction to companies like Amazon paying a pittance in tax, the Bradshaws have been living solely on food sourced on these shores.

But it’s not only food – they’re keeping everything as stiff upper-lipped as possible – from clothes to batteries, condiments and furniture.

“The hardest thing has been the change of mind set,” says James. “We’ve realised there are things we just won’t get because they’re not in season here – like strawberries.

“It’s about coming up with other solutions and trying new things, which is a really exciting part of the challenge we have set ourselves.”

Deciding to boycott items that arrive by sea or air was initially the idea of teacher Emily, 29, though the challenge soon piqued James’ imagination.

Their young son, two-year-old Lucan, is also in on the boycott, which has been going since January 1.

The 34-year-old city worker said: “Emily suggested avoiding some companies because of tax issues, but I wondered if it was possible to live a normal family life on only British goods.

“It all began in January and now we’re seeing whether it’s a viable way of living.

“Lucan is too young to appreciate fully what’s going on, but he’s happy and we’ve managed to source him warm winter clothes from Wales.”

Having moved to Westerham from Bromley in November, their challenge has been made more difficult by having to re-decorate the new family home.

Though their dining room remains half-finished due to the cost of British wallpaper, the pair have found sourcing items to be less painful on the purse strings but more time-consuming.

“A month ago we would have agreed that this would cost a lot of money,” admitted James. “But we are finding that this country produces affordable clothing, electronics and foods.

“But it can take a week to find a British made dishwasher tablet because of the research we have to put in to each item.”

More than 40 days in, the pair are starting to fear the worst about items they can’t source and may soon have to live without certain electrical items if they don’t find batteries that meet their criteria.

However, like The Good Life’s Tom and Barbara – the Bradshaws are looking at home-made alternatives to simpler foods they can’t find, like pepper, and are aiming to grow their own vegetables.

James added: “AA batteries are just not produced in the UK, our television doesn’t turn on without the control so we don’t know what we’re going to do about that one.

“We also haven’t been able to find black pepper, so we were told during the war people used nasturtium seeds – it was awful.”

Though not all their cooking experiments have been a disaster, you can see regular recipe ideas on their blog and follow their British-only quest at

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