Inspired by the North Sea fishermen's weary clothes, In 1894, John Barbour, an importer of waxed cotton began to make rainwear in green woven cotton fabrics. The garments became so appreciated for their quality that they became a supplier to the army during the First World War. The basic idea of Barbour has always been that their garments should fit just as well for the country life as in town. This, together with their high quality and timeless design, led Barbour to become one of the few companies that can titulate as a royal court supplier in Britain. The Barbour family is, yet today, more than 100 years later involved in the company and Helen Barbour today handles the post as vice chairman.