Celebrating English manufacturing on St. George's Day
Today is St. George's Day and it’s got me thinking about celebrating being English. It’s a tricky subject because it bounces along the edge of Nationalism .... and that’s certainly not what I’d like to celebrate on this day.
What I’d like to celebrate is English manufacturing. Yes – it still exists and where possible I choose to support it. Tinker and Fix is all about high quality tools and products that are built and designed to last. We’ve become accustomed to products constantly dropping in price – T-shirts for £2.50 and complete tool kits for £19.99. There is no sustainability to these sorts of prices. The factories that make them work on tiny margins on mass volume – and the quality of the items is reduced to the bare minimum. The slightest blip in a market and these factories go bust (we'll see what the impact of Coronavirus has, going forward; that's for another post). Manufacturing in England was crushed by these cheap imports – but there is a base of manufacturing that has survived by not playing the lowest price game and producing the best quality products they can.
We manufacture our The Frank Tool Rolls in a small factory in Leeds. We source all the materials from English suppliers. Why? Because that just makes sense to us. We can visit suppliers and talk to them about new materials etc. When the production run is complete, it’s a two hour drive down from Leeds, not six weeks on a container ship from the Far East.
We’d like to celebrate the other English Brands that we stock;
- King Dick Tools – all their spanners are still made in their factory just outside Birmingham
- Elementary Screwdrivers – made in London
- Whiteley Scissors – made in Sheffield
- Proper Cleaner – made in a small factory just outside Leeds
- The hammers, which we custom paint in Rutland, are manufactured by Richard Carter who are based in West Yorkshire.
I'm always on the look out for more quality made kit and the more local the better - so here's hoping that by next St. George's day we'll have added a few more brands to this list...