In the past decade, demand for UK fashion, apparel and textile manufacturing has been on the rise with a total GDP contribution of over £50 billion*. But aside from supporting the British economy, what are the benefits of working with a UK based clothing manufacturer?
If you are a UK based business, then working with a UK based clothing manufacturer will mean total ease of communication. All the best working relationships are built by meeting and having a conversation in person. With a common language, similar working hours and a good understanding of the local market, any challenges that might arise can be quickly and easily addressed.
Reduced carbon footprint
47% less emissions are created by manufacturing clothes in the UK, in comparison to a similar operation in an overseas textiles production base, according to a report commissioned by UK clothing manufacturer David Nieper. The requirement for clothing with a low carbon footprint is becoming more commonplace amongst both manufacturers and consumers so choosing a locally based manufacturer is the greener option.
Smaller minimum order quantities
Most UK manufacturers are able to offer smaller MOQs than overseas manufacturers. The initial unit cost per garment may be higher but overall, there is less risk for businesses who cannot tie up their cash in or dedicate storage space to large amounts of stock.
Working directly with a UK knitwear manufacturer means that the time it takes from a product being made, to it being delivered, is significantly reduced. Finished orders can be with your store or warehouse the next day or sent out in several small batches throughout a season. A locally based manufacturer is also able to respond quickly if you need order top-ups to maximise your sales during peak times.
Reduced transport costs
Over the last decade, transport costs have increased by over 100%. At time of writing (2022) global freight rates are continuing to rise dramatically. This is for several reasons, including higher fuel costs and HGV driver shortages. With no decrease on the horizon, the cost of importing garments from overseas is likely to remain inflated. Working with a UK based knitwear manufacturer ensures that the cost of transporting your finished goods can be kept to a minimum.
Seeing production in person
One of the biggest benefits of making in the UK is the ability for you, the customer to easily visit the factory where your garments are being made. At a time when traceability and ethical production have become prerequisite, this is invaluable.
For brands, added authenticity can come from filming or photographing products in their place of manufacture. Additionally, being able to observe the manufacturing process first hand, as well as speaking directly to workers and seeing working conditions, are all reassuring as well as making it simple to conduct audits for ethics or sustainability policy needs.
‘Made in the UK’ appeal
The UK has been renowned as a world leader in fashion design and production for decades and the ‘Made in the UK’ brand still has global cachet. In a recent survey by the Make it British website over 77% of those questioned said that if they knew a product was made in Britain, they would believe it to be of good quality and 93% of those surveyed said they would be willing to pay more for a product made in Britain compared to buying a similar product made outside the UK.
… but why does it cost more?
There’s no denying it, making knitwear in the UK does come with a small premium, however perhaps we shouldn’t be asking “Why does making in the UK cost more?”. We should be asking “Why does making overseas cost less?”
When you engage with a UK manufacturer like Jack Masters, you are getting a guarantee of quality and a commitment to making knitwear that does not impact negatively on the environment or people who make it. Jack Masters is proud of its status as a business that operates responsibly and sustainably, protects its workers and sources ethically. We strive to provide full transparency to our customers – from yarn to shipping and everything in between.
About Jack Masters
Established since 1987, we’re a private label knitwear manufacturer based in Leicester, England. We’re experts in making all kinds of knitted products and produce high quality garments for luxury fashion brands and retailers of all sizes. If you’re looking for a new UK supplier for your fashion brand, find out more here or get in touch.