As the appetite to shop locally and support local businesses grows, The Natural Fibre Company and Blacker Yarns, based in Cornwall, are taking part in the first-ever Made in UK Day on Tuesday 9 March 2021.
The Made in UK Day campaign has been created to celebrate 10 years since ex-retail buyer Kate Hills started the Make it British blog to champion all the wonderful products that are made in the UK. Since its launch 10 years ago, the Make it British site has been visited by more than 6.5 million people looking to buy UK-made products and search for UK manufacturers. This year alone has seen a 68% increase in enquiries since the UK left the EU’s single market and customs union.
Colin Spencer Halsey, Operations Director at The Natural Fibre Company said: “As a Cornwall based manufacturer of high quality, breed-specific yarns, made exclusively from British sheep, we are delighted to support the first Made in UK Day campaign which promotes UK makers and craftmanship”.
Kate Hills, the founder of Make it British, said “It has never been more important to buy products that are made in the UK and support local manufacturing. By pledging to buy products that are made in the UK you are lowering your carbon footprint, saving essential skills, helping local economies and creating job opportunities.
We want everyone to get behind Made in UK Day to celebrate the wonderful makers that we have in the UK.”
UK manufacturing is currently worth £192 billion to the UK economy and employs 2.7 million people. More than 65 million people live in the UK and if everyone bought just one item made in the UK worth £20 on Made in UK Day it would be worth £1.3billion.
Consumers can get involved in the campaign by pledging to buy something that is made in the UK on 9 March and asking their favourite brands and retailers what, if anything, that they sell is made in the UK. They are also being encouraged to share pictures of products that they have bought, or own, that are made in the UK on social media using the hashtag #madeinukday
To find out more about the campaign visit www.madeinukday.co.uk
The new owners of The Natural Fibre Company and Blacker Yarns are celebrating a successful first year, despite the challenges of trading during the COVID-19 pandemic.
It’s been business as usual for this Cornish based company which was bought by Westcountry based businessmen, Colin Spencer Halsey and Graham Higgins in December 2019. The partners bring more than 40 years of business expertise with them and hold an impressive track record of strategic mentoring and turning around a range of businesses with their management, manufacturing and accounting knowhow.
Following the smooth transition of ownership in 2019, The Natural Fibre Company and sister company, Blacker Yarns continue to go from strength to strength - providing job security for the 20 strong, highly skilled, local workforce.
Operations Director, Colin has attained many prestigious industry accolades and awards during his career including business listings in The Manufacturer’s Top 100 businesses and South West Fast Growth 75. Colin says:
‘The potential to support and make an impact on a traditional British manufacturing company really appealed to me. There is no doubt that COVID-19 has brought unforeseen challenges this year, but we have a clear strategy going forward to strengthen our position by implementing new structures, as well as investing in our amazing people, systems and processes. We also aim to automate some of our manual processes, further develop our research and development work in textiles with partners and overall to continue to increase productivity. We’ll also be looking to expand our workforce further and to place traction behind the business’.
As a leading natural fibre specialist providing support to local farmers and yarn producers, The Natural Fibre Company maintains its reputation for adding value to fleece by blending high quality regional and rare wool, mohair and alpaca with natural fibres such as silk and linen. Whilst the sister company, Blacker Yarns produces a range of contemporary, high-quality, breed-specific yarns in a large variety of colour palettes, made exclusively from British sheep and demonstrating provenance to the ethical consumer.
Commercial Director, Graham adds:
‘We believe in the social values of our organic processing accreditation and the importance of the British manufacturing industry and our role supporting farming, the countryside and the environment. It’s a very exciting time’.