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Made in Britain

February 18, 2019

Reasons to ‘shop small’ this season

By: Luke

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In case you hadn’t heard, 2019 is the year independent brands reign supreme. Thanks to campaigns such as Just a Card and Indie Week, consumers are ditching mass-produced products, unethical organisations and big names brands in favour of shopping small.

And it isn’t just consumers who can do more to support the local high street, independent businesses, ‘mumtrepreneurs’ and passionate ‘side-hustlers’ – us designers and makers can do our bit too. Here’s why you should change things up today.

Create a sense of community

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When you’re running low on fabric, packaging or office supplies, it’s almost too easy to whip out your phone and search for the cheapest, easiest option.

Instead, head to Instagram and ask your fellow makers if there’s any small businesses that can help you out (we like using Instagram Stories to do call-outs when we need some advice).

That way, you’re going off a trusted recommendation and supporting a fellow indie at the same time. You may even find that if you do another maker a favour, they might offer you a discount or ask to collaborate in the future. Now that is community you can’t buy.

And don’t forget about your local markets, vintage stores and charity shops. Buying from them means you’ll be ditching those pesky shipping costs (and saying goodbye to the delivery driver who always leaves your roll of fabric in the recycling bin). You’ll also be doing mother nature a favour by picking up the item yourself and walking it home. Perfect for a feel-good start to the week.

Every little detail matters

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These days, nothing is more important to your customers than knowing how you make your products. Which means there’s no point using sustainable fabrics if you’re going to package them in plastic you bought wholesale online. Or using locally-sourced materials when your swing tickets are made in China.

It’s super-important to practise what you preach and make the switch to shopping small – for each element of your product. We’ve worked with small businesses for years and know there’s one thing they do to to knock big brands down every single time. They consider each and every detail.

The most important detail of all? Branding is often forgot about by designers yet is one of the things your customers notice first. A frayed wash label or bent swing ticket can be seriously off-putting, while the absence of lovingly-tied ribbon around a package may show a customer that no one cares.

Your branding can be your superpower. Unlike a high street giant your swing tickets can say ‘proudly Made in Britain’. Your care labels can list the exact materials you use (and where they come from). Your packages can be made to look pretty with eco-friendly cotton ribbon. Use your branding to be transparent about what you use to make your products and your customers will love you for it.

Inspired to support your fellow makers?

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If you’re searching for an independent biz to help you with your branding, look no further.

We’re GB Labels – woven label experts, branding obsessives and Derbyshire-based family-run biz. Our mission is to ensure every indie has the best branding possible to help them beat out big name brands for good and keep the makers community going strong.
Like what you hear? Wait until you see what we can do. Start your journey to better branding (and shopping small) by emailing us today – info@gblabels.co.uk

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