We now have ceramics made in England!

 

At the beginning of last year, we took the brave decision to order our first small batch of pottery that was entirely made in England.

For years, all of our tableware has been fulfilled in a trusted factory in China that we have visited several times. We’ve met the team, seen the impressive set-up there and how clean and organised their working spaces are. And we’ve watched our beloved ceramics being made!

But with Brexit and the pandemic, it became more and more difficult to import our ceramics. Shipping delays, rising costs, as well as container shortages have all created huge hurdles. It felt like the right time to test out a new collection of English-made pottery for several reasons…

Made in England Mugs

Why did you make the switch from Chinese factories to British ones?

 

We’ve always wanted to trial a range of English-made ceramics, but we previously worked with another company who arranged all the manufacture and trade sales of our products. It was therefore tricky for us to make this independent decision, as a third party was involved.

After we parted from that company, it was the ideal opportunity to join the historic tradition of making ceramics in England.

It was important to us that we make this change as cost-effective as possible for the customer. As I’ve mentioned in a previous blog post making ceramics in England is more expensive than in China, but it felt like the right time to start championing British manufacturing.

 

There is such an amazing history of making ceramics in this country. It’s having a bit of a resurgence again which is brilliant and we’re thrilled to be a part of it!

The tradition of ceramics being made in Stoke on Trent goes back hundreds of years. It only feels right to have our own range of ceramics made in the pottery heart of England too.

At Katie Alice, we are also conscious of the environmental impact of our decisions. Making our pottery in the UK helps reduce our carbon footprint as a business.

We would love to bring all our manufacturing to England for this exact reason, but we have to weigh up the cost to the environment and the cost to the customer. Right now we’re sticking with mugs, as other items still feel too much of a jump in price.

 

What are other benefits of making ceramics in England?

Well, visiting the factories is much easier! We can now pop to the site, meet the team and see the mugs being made all in just one day.

It has also opened up more opportunities for Katie Alice as some retailers prefer Made in England products. Rather excitingly – we have new retailers interested in stocking our products now we are offereing UK made!

Despite the price increase to have items made in England, there are some cost cuts as well. We have fewer duties to pay, as our imported ceramics have a lot of additional costs to ship them to the UK.

 

Why have the prices of your ceramics increased?

As you may have noticed on the site, some of our prices have increased. This is for a combination of reasons with the rise of inflation our warehouse, manufacturing, shipping, delivery costs have all risen too.

Also, labour is more expensive in the UK as the cost of living is much higher than in China. Our prices remain competitive, but we’ve had to increase them to stay profitable – which is happening across the industry at the moment too.

We also have a small number of seconds available now, which is new for us! These are mugs that have tiny imperfections that retailers can sell for a reduced price, therefore helping us reduce waste.

 

 

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Most of the process for sampling, artwork preparation, and designing is all the same. It’s just the manufacturing and final costs that have been the biggest adjustment.

But having ceramics made in England is something we’ve always wanted to do! We just hadn’t had the opportunity to do it yet! It felt like the perfect time to try it and we’ve been thrilled with the final products and how well they’ve been received.