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Why you should work with a UK clothing manufacturer

Setting up a clothing brand is a difficult task and perhaps the hardest part of all is deciding finding the right clothing manufacturer for your fashion brand or clothing business.

Many will opt for the option of overseas production due to the low cost of foreign labour compared to that of the UK, but in this blog we want to help persuade you to opt, instead, for a UK based clothing manufacturer.

A lower carbon footprint

Carbon footprint and nature

Firstly there are strong environmental reasons to choose British when it comes to clothing manufacturers. The fashion industry is said to produce whopping 10% of global carbon emissions and uses up huge quantities of water and electricity in order to produce new items, therefore reducing this has to be on the forefront of any fashion business owner's mind.

An academic report commissioned by Derbyshire fashion firm David Nieper has shown that using a UK clothing manufacturer as opposed to an offshore clothing manufacturer means an astounding reduction of 47% in greenhouse gas emissions.

The same report also suggested that a clothing manufacturer in China would release 90% more emissions, and a manufacturer in Turkey 70% more emission, whilst using the same amount of energy as a UK clothing manufacturer. This is mainly due to the lower carbon intensity of the UK electricity network.

Paired with the reduced transportation distances and lower air miles from using UK clothing manufacturers, there is a real possibility for a huge reduction in emissions from the fashion industry if we switch to UK based clothing manufacturers instead of relying on cheap labour overseas.

Reduced delivery costs

UK courier delivery

Reduced distances for your garments to travel and no global couriers when opting for garment manufacturing in the UK, mean reduced shipping costs to you, the clothing supplier. You might then choose to pass on these savings to your customers or invest it in your clothing business.

Faster turnaround and faster delivery

Brown Top Hanging on Rack

Working directly with UK clothing manufacturers means a shorter time to deliver the product once it has being made. A local small manufacturer is also more likely to be able to respond quickly if you need order top-ups throughout the season when running low on stock to get you through a busy holiday without your shelves becoming bare.

Better communication

Choosing UK manufacturers can mean better and easier communication.

It can be much easier to get in contact with clothing manufacturers in the UK, there is likely no language barriers to negotiate. So, although you still need to be well organised with your designs, tech packs and production processes, communication should, at least, be much easier.

More control over each step of the process

Fashion design with fabric samples

Overseas clothing production mainly specialises in producing huge quantities of clothing items, with the UK manufacturing process you may be able to see the garments at each stage and have a more hands on sampling and quality control approach for high quality garments, without the cost of overseas travel.

Producing your items in the UK means less fluctuation in costs and currency compared to overseas so your finances can be much easier to forecast. Plus, your items won't ever get stuck at customs!

A great option for smaller order quantities

UK clothing manufacturers tend to be more accepting of smaller order quantities making it perfect clothing manufacturing option for start ups or those brands with smaller order numbers. Here at Hemming Birds we specialise in manufacturing products with runs in the hundreds rather than thousands!

Supporting local small businesses

Fashion Designer Tailor Manager Reading Online Orders Tablet Her Startup

The introduction of the living wage in the UK gives you peace of mind that the people making your clothing will be paid at least minimum wage to do so, often more for custom clothing manufacturing or for more intricate work.

Choosing UK clothing manufacturers also helps benefit the local and national economy and can help aid the survival of small businesses struggling to compete with the huge clothing factories overseas.

'Made in the UK' appeal

Made in the UK stamp on wooden background

Being able to add 'made in the UK' to your branding can give it significant appeal compared to similar items not made in the UK. According to the Barclays Made in Britain report, customers perceived items labelled 'made in the UK' as "high-quality, reliable, internationally respected, and good value for money". In fact, 93% of British customers surveyed said they would be willing to pay more for a product made in the UK compared to buying a similar product made elsewhere.

Furthermore, if you are looking at targeting international markets with your products, studies have found that international customers perceive UK manufactured items to be of such superior quality that 42% would be willing to pay up to 22% more for them! So don't underestimate the value it can add to clothing brands. Just be aware of the import and export rules now that the UK have left the European Union.

What we can offer at Hemming Birds

Here at Hemming Birds we are custom clothing and product manufacturers capable of doing small production runs (into the hundreds rather than thousands) using our industrial sewing equipment, making us the perfect manufacturers for small businesses and start ups. Although we are based in Plymouth in Devon, we offer our talented CMT small manufacturing runs to customers across the UK.

Our small manufacturing runs start from as little as 50 items and we currently usually specialise in the manufacture of products (bags, aprons, curtains, Christmas stockings to name just a few of the things we are working on), rather than clothing.

Contact our team who can help talk you through the whole process of clothing and product manufacturing with us at Hemming Birds and, if necessary put you in touch with other UK manufacturers and suppliers to help meet your needs.


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