Hello all, I'm currently on maternity leave and to keep the creative juices flowing have been developing an idea for a new soft toy product range between night feeds and those beautiful but rare afternoon naps! I'd love to get the products made in the UK (rather than in China where the majority of toys appear to be made) however despite much googling can't find a manufacturer who will do small independent orders. I thought the wonderful community of Mumsnet may be able to help so would love any pointers if anyone has any experience in this. Many thanks in advance for any recommendations :-)
Hi, I have now approached someone to prototype in the UK to test designs as I realised I was probably running before I could walk! However having looked into everything more it seems there are no UK toy manufacturers so China seems to be the place to investigate. The manufacturers there also seem to handle the certification which is a big part of the process. There is a 'Meet the Manufacturer' conference in May however in London so I'm also going to go along to that to see if that does bring to light an untapped gem!
I know! I was genuinely surprised! I guess it ultimately boils down to the cost of production and unfortunately labour is just so much cheaper there so bigger profit for the big players :-/ I have a seamstress for some of the items that are more accessory based, rather than toys so looking to at least do these here as yes, all is designed so just a case of bringing them to life!
In my clients' sector you can prototype and make a small run in the U.K. It's usually better because you can be on hand to watch quality and it is useful for getting a CE mark. Then the reality of manufacturing costs hit and mass manufacture is done in China.
So I am wondering if a design house could help, even if they are not toy specialists?
It's a good shout and one I'll look into, thank you. I actually work at a marketing agency and do occasionally work with design houses so I will investigate this route. Can I ask what sector you work in?