HUDDERSFIELD’S MP welcomed a new campaign showing off manufacturing from across the country.
Barry Sheerman came up with the idea of Made by Britain to promote cutting edge design and engineering.
Business secretary Vince Cable launched the programme yesterday with dozens of MPs nominating an innovative product from their constituency.
Mr Sheerman wore a special suit from the Textile Centre of Excellence at Red Doles Lane.
The £5,000 prototype has DNA woven into its fibres to prove the authenticity of the wool.
Mr Sheerman said: “Only around half a dozen of these suits have been produced and people have been terribly impressed by them.”
The Huddersfield MP believes the innovative way of proving a suit’s authenticity will be popular with rich customers.
He said: “The idea will spin out until it’s a regular thing at the top end of the market.”
But Mr Sheerman joked that the dark blue suit wasn’t to his taste.
He said: “I rarely wear it because my wife tells me it makes me look like a Conservative MP.”
Mr Sheerman used the inspiration of the 1851 Great Exhibition to come up with the idea of the Made by Britain campaign.
The Victorian showcase of manufacturing at Crystal Palace in London was hugely successful with one in three people in the country going to see it.
Mr Sheerman said: “So many people went to see the Great Exhibition because of the innovative new technology of the time – the train.
“I thought we could use the revolutionary technology of our era – the internet – to create a virtual Crystal Palace.
“I’ve challenged every MP to come up with a brilliant product from their own patch.”
Forty Members of Parliament have already nominated their product for Made by Britain. Colne Valley MP Jason McCartney has chosen Camira advanced fabrics.
Other products include Young’s fish fingers from Grimsby, McVities custard creams from Carlisle and SCA toilet roll from Hexham.
Mr Sheerman hopes the remaining 610 MPs will come up with their nominations over the summer.
He added: “I hope we can do this on an annual basis. I would like people in Huddersfield to come up with products that could be considered for next year.”
Business secretary Vince Cable launched Made by Britain in London yesterday afternoon.
The Lib Dem minister hopes the campaign will increase people’s awareness of manufacturing, which employs 2.6 million people and generates 11% of Britain’s wealth.
Mr Cable said: “The idea is to build up a more positive picture of Britain being very inventive and actually very good at making things.
“It is a great shame that so many people – including MPs – have such an old-fashioned view of what we do in this country.
“When some are saying: ‘We don’t manufacture any more, we do banking and financial services’, it is a great shame.
“It is time to knock this myth on the head.”