In an interview with the Guardian, David Nieper—the boss of a Derbyshire-based business that makes womenswear, lingerie and knitwear—has spoken about his efforts to source more from UK manufacturers in response to delays in the global supply chain.
Nieper spoke about how, earlier in the year, the COVID-19 lockdown in Shanghai had caused his container of textiles to get stuck in the city’s port for months, ultimately leading to him paying thousands to have the textiles transported by air to East Midlands Airport via France.
He says he is now trying to source these essential materials from less distant suppliers, adding:
“You can turn three months into one week. Think of the environment, saving the energy needed to bring something all that way around the world. Think of the time saved, of the wastage being avoided, of the customer satisfaction.”
Nieper’s experience reflects a growing trend among many UK companies. A survey by industry group Make UK revealed that over a third of UK manufacturers were diversifying their range of suppliers, with most of them increasingly using UK suppliers due to a series of seismic shocks to the global supply chain.
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