Since the 1960s the British manufacturing industry has been in decline. Today many of the key names within this sector choose to import goods rather than maintain a UK workforce. However for some businesses keeping production in Britain is simply a matter of principal as well as a commercial advantage. Mary Portas’ latest campaign, ‘Bottom Line’ is currently helping to boost British clothing industry and keep manufacturing in this country. It seems to be working too because her range a women’s underwear is currently sold out in most of the shops. However in these tough economic times it’s not enough to simply keep British manufacturing for the sake of it, the most crucial point of all is of course is cost. One business in particular is setting an excellent example. Naturalmat make all of their organic mattresses by hand, at their eco friendly purpose built factory in Devon sourcing components locally where possible to drive costs down, whilst maintaining their world class status.Naturalmat believe that people (not machines) will always make a superior and longer lasting product. Instead of investing heavily in industrial mattress making machinery (which would have a large impact on their energy usage) Naturalmat invest in a team of craftsmen, who are dedicated to making the world’s best mattresses. Every stitch and every tufting button is painstakingly created and checked. Using this model Naturalmat know that their mattresses are produced competitively and to a high standard that will provide years of long lasting comfort.
Naturalmat use organic lambswool from certified Soil Association farms within their mattresses. The wool is sourced locally from farms in Devon, Dorset and Somerset. It is processed on the edge of Dartmoor using water from the River Dart, which is recycled back into the river afterwards. Naturalmat then use an extract of essential oils (lavender, lemon and eucalyptus) to make it anti dust mite. Wool is the most efficient natural insulator, constantly helping to regulate temperature and it is also inherently fire retardant, so all Naturalmat tuftings are chemical free.
Local sourcing is only half the story. By being environmentally conscious Naturalmat have also made savings in overheads. Through initiatives such as the installation of solar PV panels on the factory for the factory’s energy, Naturalmat have kept costs low enough to maintain a national and global competitive advantage. Last year Naturalmat successfully won the contract to supply all 670 mattresses for Yotel New York City, testament to their global appeal and a feather in the cap for British manufacturing.