A UK workshop specialising in British made camera straps, manufactured from materials sourced entirely domestically says adopting a pure British mind-set can help small businesses make the most of Brexit uncertainty.
Cruick’s pure British manufacturing model limits exposure to currency fluctuations and uncertain border tariffs post-Brexit. It also taps into the rich history of British manufacturing which stretches back to the Industrial Revolution. With negotiations ongoing to carve out Britain’s exit from the EU, Grant Cruick, who runs the leather camera strap brand says taking a similar stance could help the nation’s millions of SMEs looking to limit their exposure to post-Brexit uncertainty and navigate a path forward in 2018.
He says, “It’s not an issue of being for or against Brexit. Forget leave and remain, the politics surrounding it, and just look at it from a business perspective. Brexit is happening, and if change is coming your way, you have to embrace it, adapt, and see an advantage. We’re preparing by offering free global shipping to access markets beyond the EU, but we’re also protecting ourselves against the impacts of currency fluctuations and import tariffs on material costs by not just making our products in the UK, but also by using British origin materials for a closed domestic manufacturing loop.
“British goods are also marketable and we want to make a pure, premium, British product. If you make your goods here in the UK, but source it all from China, at what point does something stop being made in China? I think people have forgotten, or don’t realise, just how special UK manufacturing was, is and can be. Don’t forget, the British mentality for standards and invention is what started the Industrial Revolution. You might think that mentioning the 1800s today is something that is long gone and dead, but it’s still very relevant.”
Cruick camera straps are made from Cornish hides, which are tanned by West Country firm, Thomas Ware & Sons of Bristol. Situated on the banks of the River Avon since 1840, Thomas Ware made leather used for engine belts driving the steam trains of 1800s Britain. Its leather was also put into service on soles of boots for the British army in the WW2 jungles of Burma. Today, the ultra-durable leather is used to seal the canals of Amsterdam.
Cruick adds, “Thomas Ware’s standard is based on an old British guild law that stated that leather had to be tanned for no less than ‘a year and a day’ for reasons of quality. That law was abolished nationally in 1850 to keep up with demand, but Thomas Ware refused to abandon it and still observes it voluntarily today. It is an incredible commitment to British standards. You simply won’t source materials of this kind of pedigree and heritage outside of the UK because, as a country, we’ve been in industry since the beginning and our story is global. Even our copper rivet supplier was established in 1832 and holds the Royal Warrant of Appointment to HM the Queen.
“We feel obligated to do our part to honour the UK’s legacy of manufacturing quality. You can tan leather in a day and make a camera strap in a couple of hours, and many do, but when you take the tannage time into account and the 35 extra days it takes us to make our camera straps, each strap is 401 days in the making.
“It’s not only an honour and source of pride to make a fully British made and sourced product, Brexit or not, it makes good business sense.”
Visit Cruick at www.cruick.com and on Instagram @CruickCamera