Expectations Of Made In Britain Products
As the UK moves closer to leaving the EU in March 2019 the question keeps entering my head what are our expectations of going it alone, and what do we believe to the meaning of Made In Britain? when l refer to Made In Britain l want to try to address manufacturing in the UK.
If we look back into British history the UK was a hive of industry, exporting our goods worldwide, in fact Birmingham was once known as the workshop of the world. Manchester was cottonopolis, and Northamptonshire was known as providing shoes to the world.
It would be easy to look back on these times with rose tinted glasses or with a romantic eye, but it is without doubt that what we know as our industrial revolution did have its issues and problems.
Coming back to my original questions what do you think when you hear the wording used Made In Britain? for me l believe it means a product that is made here in Britain, l also believe that British made goods quite often are of a superior quality, often sought after. I don’t think l would be wrong in assuming that if a product had on its label Made In Britain that it was manufactured here and its main components were to.
It would appear this sometimes sadly isn’t the case, you can in fact import a product lets say a cardigan which has been manufactured far far away, and have what is known as Re-manufacturing here in the UK, this simply means five additions must be made to the garment IE five buttons/labels/embellishments to then be called Made In Britain officially.
This may sound shocking or it was to me, but there is nothing illegal in this and is been done frequently by large company’s seeking the cream from the discerning consumer. I strongly believe that this is somewhat misleading for the consumer and not only should the UK government show greater clarity on this, the UK labeling system should be reviewed so the consumer is better informed.
It is now common place in the UK and l think could be law that when labeling food we state country of origin and a traffic light system to the fat/calories content. We seem to care greatly that animals are kept and reared in good conditions, that how our food is prepared for sale is done in a ethical and humane way, but it would appear to me this does not follow through into the textile industry.
Does it matter to you how and where your garments are made? returning back to a previous paragraph about when the UK manufactured huge amounts of things, we tend to look back at textile manufacturing in the Victorian era with question, many mill workers were often mistreat, working long hours for little pay, it was common place to see children operating machinery and sweeping up under machines.
Surly if the UK are to go it alone away from the EU we need to start looking at what we produce, how it is made and by who. Now more than ever the UK should be looking to improve its output, l think we have all got used to being told by the chancellor that productivity is down and we need to address this, l would suggest we start to look at encouraging home grown skills, supporting British industry and shouting from the roof tops businesses that excel in creating products that are genuinely Made in Britain.
This really isn’t rocket science, if we buy more Made In Britain items we create more jobs, wealth for business/industry/country our output goes up, productivity increases (The chancellor is happy) which means more taxes collected which then means more money can be spent on thing that we all hold dear like NHS, Police,Social Care,ETC. What does the consumer get in all of this, well hopefully a better made product, the satisfaction of knowing you have directly contributed to Jobs/skills/wages in Britain. Reduced our carbon footprint on the world, knowing that all business are adhering to UK law on good working practice and wages. Its more ethical and it is sustainable.
We don’t have to leave the EU giving the impression that we are narrow minded and don’t want to trade with the world, however we can start 2019 with vision, determination and a plan to improve Made In Britain.
If you want to help make a change Unibu – Unique British Underwear has been making men’s and women’s underwear since 2016. Unibu wont compromise on there promise to their customer, all Unibu’s products are 100% Made In Britain, all components used to make the men’s and women’s underwear are all Made In Britain nothing is imported in and never will be.
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