Partner Blog from Stylebrands - To buy, or not to buy British!

You’ve probably had the thought yourself while standing in the supermarket – do you buy that UK honey or go for the “blended” variation for half the price? Or, if not honey, then maybe your salad? Did it come from down the road or 2000 miles away?

Companies can have the same thoughts when it comes to purchasing their branded goods, clothing and business supplies, and we are regularly asked for products which are British-made. There are a huge number of UK-manufactured items available such as badges, water bottles, paper and plastic products and leather goods. Choosing British-manufactured has many advantages, including quick turnaround, flexibility in production should you require a bespoke item or need to change something, and quality control. The UK has much stricter regulations on the manufacturing industry and therefore products go through rigorous testing and quality control processes, which other countries may not have to carry out. This does not necessarily mean that an EU or Far East-made product is of a worse quality only that it may not have as many official certifications which focus on different product aspects. Furthermore, manufacturers committed to British-only production also invest in best practices within the industry in general, allowing for a great deal of knowledge share and home-grown innovation, and ultimately creating a stronger UK economy.

This topic is particularly relevant at the moment due to the UK’s pending EU exit – how will it affect the quality of our products, and the prices we buy them at? From the promotional industry’s perspective, the biggest change so far has not been an increased British focus but rather a closer scrutiny on pricing – although demand for UK production is rising at an average of 11% (2016), customers still wish to buy but budgets are tighter than ever and so the consumer has had to become much more financially discerning.

All that said, buying foreign manufactured items doesn’t have to mean you are purchasing a lesser product. How can you make sure you are getting the best for yourself, your budget and the environment?

Ask us to help. We can provide various options according to your needs – if you need more details on a certain product such as material, source etc we are happy to assist. It can be useful to ask about origin of goods, and if manufacture certifications & instructions can be supplied. Similarly, you may have a very specific bespoke product requirement which can only be created abroad but you’re not sure where to begin – we are available to advise in this process.

If you regularly purchase the same item through the year, or perhaps in large quantities, this is a great opportunity to see if you can optimise by consolidating into fewer batches and/or receiving a better price. By bulking orders together and planning ahead we can liaise better with our factories to plan production more efficiently - you could even group your orders together with other local authorities / schools etc in order to gain better buying power, and therefore an even greater price. Panic buying doesn’t help in these cases! The number of unnecessary deliveries and shipments made due to poor planning can be greatly reduced, and thereby also minimise environmental impact through fewer shipments and the flexibility to choose a more economic, environmentally friendly freight method.

If you have any queries about these topics, or any of the services we provide in general, please do get in touch. We look forward to advising you soon!

Style Brands Team
T: 01795 890900



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