STYLE guru Rita Britton has revived her iconic fashion brand Pollyanna - and started designing and making clothes in Barnsley again.

Rita, who opened her first fashion emporium in the town centre in 1967, has come out of semi-retirement to relaunch the brand with daughter-in-law Michelle Underwood.

This time around, the pair will focus entirely on the design and manufacture of their own collection, selling direct to Rita’s long list of loyal customers - and, they hope, a new generation of couture buyers.

Rita and Michelle have moved into a new workshop at The Business Village, Redbrook, and are recruiting to a small team of pattern cutters and machinists headed up by experienced seamstress Hazel Snow.

Rita said: “I can’t do retirement - I’ve had to pull back in the past for health reasons but always want to get back to work.

“I still have a passion for beautifully-made clothes and I want to be part of the future, not the past.”

The 80-year-old’s original Pollyanna store, on Market Hill, stocked high-end labels such as Comme des Garcons, Yohji Yamamoto and Issey Miyake before it closed in 2014 after 50 years’ trading.

Rita added: “We decided to adopt the name Pollyanna for the label now as it is so well-recognised, and I’m very fond of it.

“I did wonder if younger people may find it old-fashioned, but they seem to love it.

“We’re almost working to a tailor business model - making to order cuts out waste almost entirely and ensures each person receives a garment that is perfect for them and will make them feel fabulous every time they put it on.

“People have to wait for a garment from us, but our customers are okay with that.

“It has never been right to pay a 12-year-old in a far-away country a pittance to make poor-quality clothes then ship them here to wear for a little while then throw.

“We need to change attitudes - buy less and buy better.”

Rita also confirmed she is working with Barnsley College to support the idea of new pattern cutting courses and sewing apprenticeships, and is exploring the possibility of a showcase for young designers in Barnsley town centre.

Business development manager at The Business Village, Kevin Steel, praised the brand’s relaunch.

“We are delighted to welcome Rita and Michelle to The Business Village - Pollyanna is a global heritage brand synonymous with Barnsley and has a great future ahead of it,” he added.