Why do I manufacture in Britain?
My floral art is infused with a love of English gardens, and is inpsired by my childhood home in Kent. For me it just didn't feel right to be a business that's all about English garden flowers and then manufacture my products halfway across the world.
It didn't make sense to me to have a vision of quality, and then use cheap imports.
I quickly realised there were very few potteries in the UK still producing British fine bone china, and once I had started thinking along those lines the obvious and only choice for production was Duchess China 1888. Based in the heart of the potteries in Stoke on Trent, this heritage company dates back to 1888 and still uses many of the traditional methods of production. They are one of the last in the UK to make 100% British fine bone china, and not only that; since they source their clay from Cornwall not even the raw materials need to be imported but are all found right here in the UK.
Up to 20 pairs of hands go into making each mug, with many elements of this process still done by hand. They are made in small batches, not mass produced.
Why buy British?
Fine bone china was invented in Britain in the 1700's by Josiah Spode in Stoke on Trent. While this practice and method is now used by manufacturers across the world, it remains a quintessentially British material. Traditional methods are still used at the pottery to make this very British product.
By buying products made in the UK we are supporting jobs, and the families of those workers and the economy as a whole here in Britain. Many generations of the same families work at the potteries, meaning collective skills and experience going back many years. Up to 20 pairs of hands go into making each mug - it is not an automated, mass produced product.
UK workplace standards and pay are better for workers than those in many other countries where similar products are made. British companies are obliged to adhere to strict health and safety and employment rights, in contrast with emerging markets where child labour, extremely low wages and poor working conditions are commonplace.
4. The environment
Shipping products to the UK from India takes about 20 days and over 7,000 miles.
Shipping products to the UK from China takes between 6-8 weeks, and almost 12,000 miles.
My mugs travel to me from Stoke on Trent to Kent - a journey of just 200 miles.
Using sustainable materials sourced within the UK, and cutting out long distance transport means my products have a much lower carbon footprint than cheaper items shipped from abroad.
UK factories also have to meet some of the highest pollution control standards in the world giving you further peace of mind.
I believe that good quality, lasting products are worth paying for. British fine bone china is some of the best in the world, and Duchess China supply the likes of Fortnum and Mason, The Royal Collection and Burberry to name but a few - I'm in good company!
Good quality products last longer and will be replaced less often making them more sustainable, so while British made products may cost slightly more to buy, the cost-per-use over a period of time is lower.
My mugs are proudly made at Duchess China 1888, Stoke on Trent.
All my stationery is printed by UK companies, and wherever possible I use recycled and biodegradable packaging and materials.
All my products feature original artwork which has been handmade by me in my garden studio in the heart of the Kent countryside.