You’re sat in your bedroom playing MarioKart on the SNES. Pogs litter the carpet, a Tamagotchi is dying not-so quietly next to you and a Magna-doodle is gathering dust. A shell suit hangs on a hook by a tatty poster of New Kids On The Block.
‘Made in China’ adorns just about everything you can see.
Once a symbol of progression, value and quality its reputation slowly deteriorated. Increased competition, rising labour costs and growing regulation all lead to ‘product fade’. A phenomenon where quality declines over time to maintain a price point.
Soon flimsy, poorly made products of questionable conformity, ‘Chinglish’ instruction manuals and dreadfully photoshopped packaging were becoming the norm.
Sourcing moved further and further inland and into other far-flung 3rd world countries to chase price. Leadtime, communication, reliability, consistency, quality and compliance all suffered. As did the consumer.
Over time, we started to get clued up. Mr Attenborough and Miss Thunberg dominated the headlines. The G7 became the G8 and then the G7 again. Brexit became a word. COVID became another word. Suddenly the UK was out on its own. Castaway like Tom Hanks screaming “Wiiillllllsson’.
The forgotten factories of our great nation took the spotlight. With manufacturing in their genes and tea in their mugs they lit the kilns, sharpened their tools and rolled up their sleeves once more. So to speak.
In actuality, these factories and their custodians never left. They just waited patiently for their day to return, honing their skills and creating wonderful products to boot.
Today the breadth of homegrown products and ingenuity is truly awe-inspiring. Across almost every category in the promotional industry there is a British solution. But it’s not just product. Science, technology and evolution all play a part in bringing cutting edge, useful, clever products to the market.
So why is British Made Merch Best?
- Because it’s flexible. Case in point, within 7 weeks a UK supplier launched a product to help in the fight against Covid-19.
- Because it’s compliant. You can be assured the products are made to some of the highest standards in the world.
- Because it’s more sustainable. No air miles, low land miles, low impact, state of the art factories, British compliance. More renewable energy.
- Because it supports the economy, provides jobs and retains traditional skills and crafts that might otherwise be lost.
- Because it’s faster. When you’re really in a bind, who’s there to save the day? British merch. Some products can be branded and delivered next-day!
- Because it commands lower minimum volumes. In today’s uncertain world, nobody wants shelves full of redundant stock. British factories manufacture from just 1 piece in some cases. Meaning you don’t tie up ever-shrinking budget.
- Because it’s reliable. No port delays. No getting stuck in a queue for the Suez Canal. Countless times has a superstar supplier thrown product in the boot and delivered it personally to make a deadline.
- Because it’s transparent. No surprise fees. No shock import duty. No back-hander border bribes.
- Because it’s adaptive. Specifications can be adjusted to fit a brief or budget. Even the packaging evolves to reduce waste and single use plastic.
- Because it’s dynamic. It works in parallel to the market, pivoting to provide suitable products to suit demand. For example, an umbrella factory using its sewing machines for facemasks instead. Or a confectioner introducing home delivery postal packs during lockdown.
But most of all British made merch is best because the people that make it are our friends. Our family. Our colleagues. Our acquaintances. Brothers, sisters, mates, even ex’s!
As they help our brands to flourish, our customers to engage, our staff to excel and our message to be delivered loud and clear to its audience, they flourish too.
British Merch Bites.
Perfectly imperfect and every one unique. Small concrete pots to house a variety of plants or even a candle. Once you’ve forgotten to water the plant and it`s died you can use it as a pen pot or to hold your odds and sods. Even the packaging is well thought out and mail safe. With a choice of stony colours and a laser engraving of your branding this lovely little pot makes the perfect addition to a desk or windowsill.
From a second generation family owned factory in Northampton the E-leather range is a UK made recycled leather that can be made in to a variety of promotional merch. Most notably the Recyco Notebook is 100% post consumer waste and recyclable.
Plastic is not the devil. Made into something indefinitely reusable and ultimately recyclable it makes an ideal material for sports bottles. Add the combination of full-colour, full wrap around printing they make great, useful promotional give aways.
We got wood.
Take wood, machine it into something beautiful, decorate with aluminium if required, branded by laser or direct digital print, even add an individual name and the result is a unique, sustainable and attractive promotional item. Be it a coaster, desk tidy, award or vase the natural look and feel will deliver the right message to your audience.