10 Reasons to Support British Manufacturing

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People can be forgiven if they mistakenly believe that nothing is made in the UK any more. Since so many businesses took their manufacturing off shore to countries where labour was cheaper, lots of people felt that manufacturing in the UK was dead.

However, that phoenix is most assuredly rising from the flames. According to EEF, manufacturing has actually been growing in the UK – output was “9 per cent higher at the end of 2014 than the lowest point in the recession,” and British manufacturing currently employs 2.6million people in 2015.

There are many reasons why supporting British manufacturing is a great idea. According to the statistics above, more of us are buying British – but I believe that if even more of us chose to support British manufacturing, we could make a big difference.

Here’s why…

1. You can keep your carbon footprint small

carbon footprintImage Credit: Christian Reimer

One big difference between buying from British manufacturers and choosing products that are made overseas is the cost in shipping. It can cost us more money to have goods delivered from other countries, but alongside that, it also costs the planet.

Shipping goods into this country from overseas requires lots of carbon emissions. To bring the products that we’ve ordered from other countries to our doors involves the use of planes, trains, ships and more. However, choosing products that have been manufactured in this country means a much smaller amount of fossil fuels are used in transporting the goods that we’ve bought.

Though products from overseas may sometimes be cheaper to buy, we have a responsibility to assess our impact on our environment – particularly as concerns about global warming continue to grow.

2. You can boost the economy

economyImage Credit: GotCredit

According to The Manufacturer, British manufacturing contributes £6.7trillion to the global economy. Making things here in the UK helps to make our economy more secure, as it means that we’re contributing to the global economy with our exports, while also relying less on imports.

If we can create what we need here in the UK, then we don’t have to rely so heavily on importing from other countries, and our economy will be more sustainable and better able to grow.

Lauren Davidson at The Telegraph says that “reshoring” manufacturing to Britain could boost our economy by £15.3billion over the next decade. “Reviving the UK manufacturing industry, known as "reshoring", could patch up the economy, help balance the country’s current account and tackle unemployment in regions outside of London, according to EY,” says Davidson.

3. You can be sure of the quality

quality manufacturingImage Credit: Tom Godber

Britain has an excellent reputation for its manufacturing. Products that are created here are in demand across the globe, as Kate Hills from Make it British attests. “The demand for British-made goods is particularly high from overseas, where the perceived quality and craftsmanship of our home grown products is held in high esteem.”

And what about here at home? It appears that we feel our ‘home-made’ products are better than the rest, too. “Seven out of ten respondents said that they prefer to buy goods that have been made in Britain,” says Hills.

There could be several reasons why our products are perceived as being of such high quality. It is probably at least partially due to our strict laws that demand excellent standards in our manufacturing process. Also, many of the skills that have been handed down over generations are unique to Britain.

In any case, when you buy British products, you can be sure that the quality is nothing short of excellent.

4. You can help to create jobs in Britain

jobs in BritainImage Credit: Evan Bench

By supporting British manufacturing, you are helping British-based businesses to be successful. As these businesses grow, they can take on more employees; and because their businesses are established in Britain, that means lots more jobs for people living here.

Manufacturing is also a fantastic way for young people to start out in the workplace with an apprenticeship. They can earn as they learn, and develop fantastic skills which will allow them to work their way up the ladder, or even set up a business of their own.

And of course, manufacturing is varied. Alongside the large companies with dozens of employees, there are businesses run by just one person, especially in the artistic and crafting sector. Many people run these sorts of businesses alongside their regular job, but if they managed to sell more products, they may be able to work on their passion full time.

That means more fantastic creative businesses doing well; and, as these people become full time self-employed and leave their regular jobs, there will be more vacancies for other people to fill.

5. You can find products that are unique

Chesterfield 3 Seater Leather Sofa from SofaSofaChesterfield 3 Seater Sofa from SofaSofa

Many items that are created here in the UK simply can’t be produced anywhere else. Whether its genuine Harris Tweed or proper Melton Mowbray pork pies, we have a wealth of wonderful products that are unique to our country.

The skills to create these goods have been handed down over many generations, and represent a long and rich history that has led to the excellent quality of the quintessentially British products that we know and love today.

Alongside the famous examples like those I just mentioned, though, are countless wonderful products that are crafted by hard working British businesses, which you may never have heard of before. By purchasing from these smaller companies you’ll give their business a huge boost – but you’ll also find something that not many other people have.

If you want to find unusual products that aren’t carbon copies of what everyone else owns, then British-made is certainly the way to go.

6. You can help to secure the future of manufacturing in Britain

how-we-make-our-sofasWatch our video How A Sofa Is Made

By supporting British manufacturing, you’re helping to ensure that the skills I mentioned above continue to thrive, and we secure the future for these products.

As well as that, and perhaps even more exciting, is the idea that by supporting new British-made products, we are investing in something that will be known as quintessentially British in years to come.

We can be there at the start of a new idea, and if we support it, we can see it blossom and thrive. Who knows what fantastic innovations might be about to be unveiled?

Alongside the pride that we feel as a nation when we look at the fantastic things that our country has produced, we can also feel safe in the knowledge that with a thriving manufacturing sector, there are many entrepreneurial options for our children and grandchildren as they make their way in the world.

7. It strengthens the sense of community

communitySofaSofa's development team

There’s a real sense of camaraderie that comes with a manufacturing business, as the whole team works together to create the products that the company sells. And when the people who work together live in the same area, that sense of community is strengthened even further.

Manufacturing companies that are based in Britain can make a huge difference to the local community – allowing young people to gain employment and develop skills; enabling the older generation to teach the younger and create friendships; and strengthening the bonds between people. It’s an incredibly powerful thing.

8. You can enjoy great service

officeImage Credit: kaboompics.com

If you’ve bought products from abroad, and something goes wrong, it can be difficult to get in touch. It’s often not possible or cost-effective to call on the phone, and emails can be left without a response for a long time. The language barrier can also cause issues.

However, when buying products that are made here in the UK, you can be sure of fantastic customer service. If anything should go wrong, or you have any questions, you can give a British-based company a call and they’ll sort things out for you there and then, rather than making you wait for days (or forever) for a response.

The reason that British-based companies are so good at customer service might be partly due to the strict laws and standards that companies here must adhere to; but I also think it’s because as a nation we’re all so polite!

9. You’re making a statement

13cc497ba0093887bca315dc90666d1bHardy 3 Seater Sofa from SofaSofa

Buying British-made products and goods shows to your friends and family that you are keen to see British businesses do well; and when they see the quality of the items you’ve purchased, they’ll be keen to join in the fun, too. It may only seem like a small act to you, but even the smallest purchase will have a lasting ripple effect.

10. You’re celebrating British heritage

British heritageImage Credit: Danny Fowler

As a nation, we have created wonderful products for hundreds of years. By supporting British manufacturing, you’re celebrating this fantastically diverse and rich history of ours, and helping to ensure that our heritage has a tangible future.

Conclusion

I hope that these points have encouraged you to consider British-made products next time you’re shopping. Apart from the fact that you’ll be supporting British businesses and helping our economy to thrive, you’ll also be able to find fantastic quality items that you can’t buy elsewhere. It’s win win!

What are the reasons that you buy British? Let us know in the comments below – we’d love to hear from you!

Posted in Lifestyle, Sofas on 10th Nov 2015

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