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I really am trying to buy British.

(62 Posts)
PamelaJ1 Sun 30-Aug-20 17:55:45

I insisted to my DH that I had to buy proper Kilner jars for our garden’s bounty.
I was prepared to pay more for British Made. I thought I had.
However, in tiny little letters was ‘ made in China’. I only saw the Union Jack.
Note to self: Must try harder.

LauraNorder Sun 30-Aug-20 18:03:58

How annoying PamelaJ1. I too am trying hard to buy British to support our economy but small print and old age are not happy bedfellows.
The Union Jack should really only be used when all of the product is both made and packed in the UK.

biba70 Sun 30-Aug-20 18:08:08

it is going to be even harder if we get some Deal with Trump- as he insists provenance will no longer be shown.

phoenix Sun 30-Aug-20 18:17:40

When I was buying items to help my place of work to open safely, things such as spray bottles (to be filled with disinfectant) pump bottles for soap (which we buy in 5 litres, to save on plastic waste, and money) masks and gloves ALL seemed to be made in China!

Felt rather like adding insult to injury.

geekesse Sun 30-Aug-20 19:19:02

Bear in mind that if you buy things from local shops, products may be manufactured abroad, but you are supporting your local economy much more by buying foreign jars there rather than British-made ones from a chainstore.

biba70 Sun 30-Aug-20 19:24:29

trying to get my head around your comment geekesse - but not succeeding. Why can't the local shop sell those British made ones the chainstore sells? Win, win.

geekesse Sun 30-Aug-20 20:33:00

I’ll try to explain biba70.

Often, foreign-made products are cheaper to buy wholesale than British-made ones. Any seller, therefore, makes less profit on a British product than on a foreign one. Most buyers don’t care where the thing comes from, they just want a reasonable price.

Chain stores can buy things for less money by buying in bulk, and can afford to sell individual items with only a small profit because they can expect to shift large numbers.

Individual local shops buy goods in smaller quantities than chain stores, so the cost per item is higher. In order to make enough profit to stay in business, many choose to buy cheaper, foreign made items and sell them for a higher profit.

You may be prepared to shop around and pay more for a British made jar, but most people just want a cheap jar that does the job, and shops have to provide what customers want.

So your local shop may be selling Chinese-made jars for the same price as a chain store British jar. If you buy à British jar from the chain store, you help to pay the shareholders’ bonuses. If you buy a Chinese jar from your local shop, you keep one of your neighbours in business.

Does that clarify?

EllanVannin Sun 30-Aug-20 20:54:00

British manufacturing is fizzling out unfortunately.

Bathsheba Sun 30-Aug-20 21:00:30

Good post geekesse, I'm with you all the way on this.

SueDonim Sun 30-Aug-20 21:12:08

Don’t British workers benefit from British-manufactured goods?

geekesse Sun 30-Aug-20 21:27:07

Sure, SueDonim, they do. I wasn’t saying that buying British-made goods doesn’t benefit British workers. I was explaining that sometimes, buying foreign-made goods may still benefit British workers.

Buying anything from your local shop means you are putting food on the table for families who live close to you, keeping people in your area in a job, and supporting your local economy. The OP’s purchase of a Chinese-made kilner jar from a local shop might have done more good locally than buying a British-made one from, say, Sainsbury’s.

SueDonim Sun 30-Aug-20 21:57:47

Oh, I see! So I suppose it depends on what your ultimate aim is. Local jobs/UK economy/environment etc. Shopping raises so many questions nowadays!

52bright Mon 31-Aug-20 00:29:41

It is so difficult to buy British these days. Years ago Marks and Spencer used to advertise that all of their clothes were manufactured in Britain. This is not the case now and even with 'good' labels I sometimes wonder whether or not I am inadvertently supporting sweat shop conditions here or abroad. I think geekesse makes a good point that buying any goods in local stores supports local economy and I will try to make more effort with that. I know that local farm shops are one way of doing this and here in the North East of England our economy, like everyone else's I suppose, is going to need all the help it can get.

PamelaJ1 Mon 31-Aug-20 09:31:39

Good point geekesse, at least I was shopping locally.
I was bought a bicycle bell for my birthday. Made in Sheffield but I had to really search for it. We didn’t support a local business but I have no problem supporting someone from Sheffield.

I think you are correct though, people can’t be bothered to source British goods because it’s so time consuming and difficult.
The ideal is buying British from local shops. Can’t see that happening unfortunately.

JTelles7 Mon 31-Aug-20 09:47:29

British consumers want cheap so they buy goods made in the Far East. They do not care to know that our cheapness means low wages for the workers in the these countries. British consumers trott out the usual platitudes that if we did not buy these goods they would not have jobs. It is nonsense.
We just want cheap.

kjmpde Mon 31-Aug-20 09:52:33

union jack is on a jackmast - union flag is the correct terminolgy. but after me being pedantic , I agree that many signs are misleading. the other problem is that many parts are made abroad and only some (not all) of the assembly is made in the UK. For some items it is best to go to charity shops such as glassware - I even have some marked as made in England.

Rumpunch Mon 31-Aug-20 09:56:57

Buying from a local store is good but so also from the bigger high streets who are also struggling with high rates and lack of sales due to internet shopping.
Internet shopping is great but does not support our local areas. Soon we will not be able to look and hold something before we buy as there will be no shops left! sad

PamelaJ1 Mon 31-Aug-20 10:06:06

kjmpde , my wrist is slapped. 🥴

Jess20 Mon 31-Aug-20 10:09:45

The point about American imports, should we strike a trade deal with them with the Trump rules, is an interesting one biba70. If we can't tell where something came from we can't boycott it, and that is extremely worrying with food imports! I hope we don't just accept we have to live with hormonally stimulated and antibiotic laden meat that is grown industrially without what most of us would consider proper respect for the humane treatment of the living creatures involved. I try and buy what little meat we use from named sources, but I know that's a luxury of having enough money to pay a tad more. I know the UK isn't perfect in terms of animal welfare but America is even more industrialized and if we have no way of knowing where our food comes from it's very worrying.

Pearlsaminger Mon 31-Aug-20 10:15:51

I thought I was buying British too. Researched for ages and finally spent £2700 on a beautiful sofa and rise recliner as I’m finding it hard to get up and down from sitting. Was assured it was a British made G-Plan.

Turns out the company lied - it came from India and was broken in multiple places when it arrived. Took me almost 6 months and going through an absolute nightmare to get rid of it back to the store hmm

Galaxy Mon 31-Aug-20 10:16:25

Sorry but that's not true about internet shopping not supporting local business, since lockdown we have ordered from the internet from a local fresh food supplier and watched a tiny local company go from strength to strength. In fact I would argue that accessing small local companies is easier on the internet. On the high street you are mostly supporting big chains.

Yertiz Mon 31-Aug-20 10:17:53

SusieFlo Mon 31-Aug-20 10:20:34

I’ve been trying to buy British made but so difficult! Toilet brush an example haha. Then decided maybe if it was made in China for a British company then it would be ok. It’s providing work for the ordinary person in China but not necessarily the regime. Also helping the British company. Sorry if I’m being political!!

CarlyD7 Mon 31-Aug-20 10:21:01

Unfortunately we've been brainwashed into thinking "cheaper is better" (I like Martin Lewis but he's a big part of this problem) and so for too long price has been all anyone looks at. We are now horribly dependent on countries like China - just try to buy almost any non-food item that's not made there and you'll see what I mean) so we need a shakeup of our labelling system. If I see a union jack on a product now, I always look carefully at the label - if it says "packed in the UK" that means it came from another country so it goes back. We've started buying meat only from local shops who can tell us which farm their meat comes from - we need to hang onto our local butchers! This will become even more important when all that chlorine laden chicken and hormone injected beef from the USA starts arriving.

biba70 Mon 31-Aug-20 10:21:30

geekesse, thanks for coming back and explain. Yes I had understood of course- and yet- it is time for people to staft thinking, as Pamela is, what they are buying and from where in such times of crisis.

If someone buys a British jar (or whatever) from a large supplier- surely they are not only making money for the shareholders - but they are supporting the British firm that makes the jars, here in the UK, and also supports the employees of that firm, and pays taxes locally, supporting the local services.

Could a smaller business not attempt perhaps to give a choice to customers - with a placard explaining why the British made jar is more expensive, but that it is trying to switch to local products?