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Manufacturers of Polythene Packaging

Manchester Made and Proud

Originally founded in Gorton, Duo has been proudly manufacturing polythene packaging in Manchester since 1988.

From sofas to sauces to bolts and (of course) polythene, Manchester has a vast range of niche manufactures right on the city's doorstep.  

The Markit/CIPS Purchasing Managers' Index showed in November 2013, the manufacturing sector carried its strong third quarter performance into the final quarter of the year, specialist manufacturers from across Manchester came together to highlight the strength and depth of manufacturing in the region. 

The group, organised by Duo UK, has been inspired by research conducted by Duo which showed that although 72% of companies looked favourably on UK-based suppliers, there is a widespread belief among purchasing professionals that many products simply aren't made in the UK. In fact, when companies in the North West were asked what was putting them off buying from home grown manufactures, this lack of availability was virtually tied in first place with a perceived lack of competiveness (28% to 30%).

Duo UK's managing director David Brimelow commented: "The domestic market is quoted as remaining a prime source of new contract wins across the industry which, taken with EEF's regional findings is certainly encouraging, particularly when coupled with the fact that so many businesses in our study confirmed they are keen to buy from UK manufacturers. Our research shows that just over half of corporations are now actively looking to grow their UK supplier base, mainly in response to factors such as increased transportation costs, a perception overseas goods aren't as cheap as previously and a desire to shorten supply chain.

"Given these circumstances and the opportunity it presents to manufacturers, it's such a shame that companies automatically look to other countries for their requirements because they assume products aren't manufactured here. Through highlighting the fantastic variety of goods manufactured locally, we want to encourage procurement professionals to at least look at possibility of buying goods made in the UK first."

Some of the niche manufactures that are producing great products locally and are actively supporting Duo's campaign include: 

  • Saxon Furniture Ltd - Sofa manufacturer Saxon exports their handmade sofas to around 46 countries, including destinations as far afield as Japan, New Zealand and Brazil. The factory uses around 75,000 square meters of fabric a year - the equivalent of 10 football pitches - and enough thread to circle the earth.
  • Smith Bullough - Smith Bullough has been manufacturing special bolts for 150 years. The non-standard fasteners produced include high strength bolts for off road vehicles, some of which are over half a meter long but just 12mm in diameter. Other specialist uses include bolts for power stations and rail applications. Steeplejack Fred Dibnah, who presented much loved BBC programmes includingBuilding of BritainandSteeplejack, bought certain types of bolts from the company. Smith Bullough featured in his final TV documentary, Made in Britain. 
  • Thomas Smith Fasteners - A sister company to Smith Bullough, Thomas Smith Fasteners holds around 700 tons of metric, imperial standard and special fasteners in stock (that's the equivalent of over 56 double decker buses). Materials include carbon steel, stainless steel and exotic alloys. Product is sold locally in Greater Manchester and throughout the UK and exported to more than 35 companies around the world including the US, Australia, China as well as Saudi Arabia and Thailand.
  • Sweet Mandarin - Since restaurant of the same name was named the best local Chinese restaurant on Gordon Ramsey'sThe F Word,the twin sisters behind the venture, Lisa and Helen Tse, have branched out into cooking sauces.  Launched in summer 2012, all the sauces are made in the Manchester area and supplied to Sainsbury's, Selfridges and Tesco, Russia, Germany, South Africa - as well as 10 Downing Street! Their sauces are the only Chinese sauces in the world to be gluten, dairy, nut and soya free as well as kosher, vegan and vegetarian accredited. They've also just negotiated a deal to sell the sauces into China.
  • Garcia & Sykes - Steel fabricators Garcia & Sykes estimates it handles around 150 tons of raw steel a year, transforming it into everything from protective railings for wind turbines and elaborate park gates, to heritage pieces for local churches and schools.
  • Duo UK - Duo itself produces a huge range of polythene packaging - everything from protective film for ladders and uPVC windows to mailing bags for online retailers. In fact, Duo manufactures more than 125 million mailing bags a year which are used to distribute goods for the likes of John Lewis, ASOS, Miss Guided and JD Williams all over the world.

Did you know?

We are an Environment Agency accredited recycler, authorised to issue packaging recovery notes (PRN's).

Discover the DUO difference for yourself,
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