New research has revealed that nearly 6 in 10 businesses now prefer to purchase products made within the UK, a shift in mentality that could bolster the nation’s economy and job market.

According to the trade association Made in Britain’s fifth annual Buying British survey, 68% of companies now look to ‘buy British’, citing support for the UK economy and job market as a primary motivator. 62% of respondents indicate they’re motivated by environmental considerations, highlighting sustainability as a key driver behind their preference for UK-made products.  

Further evidence of this surge in ‘buy British’ can be seen in the increase in businesses implementing procurement policies geared towards supporting domestic manufacturers. Over the past year alone, there’s been a 20% rise in companies with such policies, with nearly half of British businesses now boasting procurement targets for UK-made goods. 

This shift represents not only a tangible commitment to local industries but also a recognition of the quality and reliability associated with British-made products.

The Made in British Trademark

Central to this trend is the recognition of the Made in Britain Trademark, which serves as a symbol of authenticity and quality assurance. Nearly 80% of UK companies today recognise the official Made in Britain Trademark, with two-thirds of businesses reporting that they’re more inclined to purchase products that bear it, highlighting its role as a catalyst for consumer confidence and brand loyalty.

The Made in Britain Trademark.

By prioritising domestic production, businesses are not only safeguarding local industries but also fostering a climate of innovation and resilience. 

This renewed focus on homegrown solutions has the potential to invigorate regional economies, create sustainable employment opportunities, and reduce reliance on volatile global supply chains.

As the ‘Made in Britain’ movement continues to gain momentum, it’s crucial for policymakers and industry leaders to capitalise on this groundswell of support, by investing in skills development, infrastructure, and research and development. 

According to Made in Britain’s CEO, John Pearce, “British businesses across the economy have been shifting their focus towards purchasing more UK-manufactured products because they want to support the domestic economy. At the same time they are increasingly engaged with improving their sustainability practices and looking at the social value of their procurement policies.”

Environmental benefits

Of course, when products are manufactured and distributed within the UK, they travel shorter distances to reach consumers compared to imported goods. This shorter supply chain translates to lower fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, contributing to efforts to combat climate change.

Many UK based manufacturers prioritise environmentally friendly production methods, such as using renewable energy sources, reducing waste and emissions, and implementing efficient resource management strategies. Supporting these companies through the ‘Buy British’ movement encourages the adoption of sustainable practices across a range of industries, and even helps safeguard precious resources, including water, land, and biodiversity.

Risks with supply chains

Not only does sourcing locally help support environmental causes and the economy, it avoids supply chain disruptions and keeps projects on track.

Beyond Brexit, the Covid pandemic, and the Ukraine conflict, supply chain issues are likely to continue into the future, through risks associated with geopolitical tensions, trade disputes, and regulatory changes, which can impact the flow of goods. Further to this, climate change is leading to more frequent and severe natural disasters which can disrupt transportation routes, production facilities, and damage infrastructure.

Today, there’s no shortage of technology available to enhance supply chain resilience, with generative AI as a key example. But, with most companies needing to see short-term returns on investment, many are hesitant and looking for more local solutions.

As questions about reshoring continue to make their way into conversations at tradeshows and industry events, ITN Business looks to explore this and other topics around British trade and industry logistics in the upcoming programme, Transforming Logistics: Precision and Purpose.

The Transforming Logistics programme will feature organisations at the core of the logistics and supply chain sector. Learn more HERE.