John Lewis is championing home-manufactured merchandise with the launch of a Made in UK identifier – and is looking to ramp up the number of UK-made products it offers.
The mark will appear on ticketing and online product information for over 4,000 products manufactured in the UK, from early 2012. The retailer says the move consolidates its support of UK manufacturing, which sees it work with over 130 companies making its own-brand products.
The Made in UK symbol follows on from the department stores’ launch earlier this year of a Green identifier, designed to help customers make more sustainable choices, and which appears on point-of-sale information for products carrying certification from FSC (Forest Stewardship Council), PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification), Fairtrade, Energy Savings Trust and the Rainforest Alliance.
The Green initiative is now being extended to cover items made from bamboo, linen, coir, hemp and over 50% recycled materials, and low energy products.
John Lewis is now running special training programmes designed, it says, “to encourage behaviour change” amongst its buying teams and to increase the number of products that fit the Made in UK and Green symbols’ criteria.
Commenting on the Made in UK initiative, Christine Kasoulis, head of brand development at John Lewis, said that the stores’ customers want to make informed decisions about what they buy, and that they are interested in the provenance and sustainability of products.
“John Lewis is a British retailer, and our customers expect it to support other British firms wherever possible,” she said. “These identifiers…are part of our longer-term aspirations to help customers make choices about what they buy, whether they want to know more about the provenance of products, or if they’re looking to lessen their environmental impact.”