Over the past few decades, increasingly cheap overseas production and labour costs have seen many UK businesses translocate their manufacturing to foreign climes. This has left once thriving regions searching for entirely new economic identities. Today, however, those UK-based manufacturing businesses that do remain are beginning to rekindle the country’s manufacturing spark. From Brexit through to climate change, there’s a serious case developing for businesses in looking closer to home for their manufacturing needs. The team here at Guardpack, a UK leading private label wet wipe manufacturer, wanted to look at this argument in more detail.
The ‘Brexit’ Effect
Regardless of how you voted in the EU referendum, what now seems like decades ago, the reality across many industries has been businesses being met with unforeseen custom charges, massive border delays and administrative fees and red tape that the referendum decision sought to eradicate in the first place. Whether these are solely teething problems or something more deep-rooted has yet to be established, however as it stands currently, businesses are better off trusting in UK-based manufacturers, like Guardpack, to avoid any of these unwanted extras.
The Increasing Issue of Climate Change
We’re all aware now of just how pressing the climate emergency is across the globe. Freight and shipping play a big contributing factor towards global emissions; to source products closer to home, therefore, will help improve your business’ carbon footprint. Hopefully, one day, we’ll all be able to lead carbon-free lives. Until then, though, it’s a case of doing what we can where we can and procuring UK goods, rather than products from the other side of the world, is certainly one way of going about it.
This is just one way, though, in which companies can go about operating greener; other actions include everything from reducing waste and embracing renewable energy sources, all the way through to educating employees on the importance of these issues, if they weren’t already aware.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
More broadly linked to the issue of climate change is the topic of corporate social responsibility; there’ve been horror stories over the past few years about some of the working conditions (and even slave labour) endured whilst manufacturing products for big-name brands like Nike and Primark. Fortunately, more ethical processes seem to be being put in place within supply chains the globe over, but there still remains that question when you outsource production – just how exactly can they afford to manufacture their products so cheaply?
The UK is by no means exempt from such insidious practices – in fact, as recently as last year high-street retailer Boohoo was found to be utilising sweatshop style practices in its factories, paying workers as little as £3.50 per hour. Generally speaking, though, transparency and accountability is made much easier when your manufacturer is based one hundred miles, let’s say, rather than one thousand.
At its simplest, when UK-based retailers decide to use UK-based manufacturers, they can easily go and check the company out for themselves, in person. Here at Guardpack, we take our corporate social responsibility incredibly seriously, from our workplace conditions and standards as a private label wet wipe manufacturer through to our commitment to a greener future.
The COVID Question
It might seem an odd point to add to our argument, but stick with us here. Whilst the UK now has more of a handle on testing and tracing, international freight continues to enter our shores. With the vaccine rollout now well underway and transmission under control, none of us want the pain of a third wave – though scientists have warned of its inevitability.
We’ve been told throughout this pandemic of the importance of reducing contact points; the cautious (though we’d argue pragmatic) choice would be to keep that supply chain as geographically short as possible to reduce contact points, and to source products from the country in which you’re selling – that way, you’ve got an idea at all times as to whether production might be disrupted in any way, as well as reducing the chance of the virus (and any mutant strains) transmitting and spreading here in the UK.
A globalised world is a wonderful thing, nobody disputes that. But in the current climate, especially, where so many variables have been left so in the air, there are worse decisions a business can make than looking to a UK-based manufacturer for their production requirements.
So, if you’d like to find out more about our services as a private label wet wipe manufacturer, then get in touch! Contact Guardpack today on 01245 505 807 or by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, you can fill out one of our online contact forms.