How important are British jewellery exports?

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This month at London Jewellery Week we’re celebrating an array of British talent, but do shoppers care if jewellery is made or designed in Britain?

“It depends very much on the price of the product. For lower end, consumers seem less concerned on who has designed and manufactured the item and more on whether it falls into their budget. In fact shoppers expect the item to have come from overseas in this case. For higher end pieces shoppers take a bit more time deciding on whether to purchase and the fact that the piece was designed and manufactured in the UK would definitely sway the decision.“
Lauren Westwood, founder, Westwood Rocks

“Quality is a USP for W&W’s jewellery and as shoppers become ever more educated and critical we believe offering the very best British design and manufacturing is key. Recent international currency fluctuations have also underlined a greater sense of value in British jewellery because it has been harder for importers to compete as they did. W&W offers a bespoke service and every piece is a one off in some sense, often with the design generated by the client themselves. Our approach and close customer relations rely on British jewellery turning shoppers on – we get incredibly positive feedback from shoppers who love their W&W purchases. “
Richard Warrender, W&W Private Jewellers Ltd

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“People do tend to buy into a brand without questioning its country of manufacture, whether fashion or jewellery. They buy from jewellers in this country they trust for price and quality, and are less worried about its source of origin. If it’s a designer/manufacturing jeweller like David, Elizabeth Gage or Theo Fennell for example, they assume that the jewellery is designed and made in-house. Customers don’t expect watches to be made in the UK and I don’t think country of origin makes much difference in jewellery either, (with the exception of designer/makers), since most of the stones used have quite obviously come from another country and the mount is hallmarked here.”
Grant Black, director, Swiss KubiK (UK) Ltd

“At Plush Jewellery, we specialise in the work of British designer-makers and work with an ever-increasing number of jewellers. Our experience is that customers love to buy British jewellery. Consumers in general increasingly want to know where the things they buy come from. We have regular customers who collect pieces from their favourite designers and new customers love the fact that we know each of our jewellers personally and that the jeweller is at the end of the phone.”
Allison Tupper, director, Plush Jewellery

“Tartan Twist jewellery is designed and made in Scotland and that is extremely important to our stockists. Our jewellery sells through shops such as The Scottish Parliament Shop and the National Museums of Scotland as well as traditional retail jewellers. Provenance is becoming increasingly important as discerning customers look for something extra. We’ve just been nominated as Jewellery Designer of the Year in the Scottish Fashion Awards in association with Vogue.com which wouldn’t have happened if we weren’t making in Scotland.”
Gillian Bowditch, co-founder, Tartan Twist

“I have found over the years that with the majority of our customers it does. They appreciate the quality and the reliable service they get. We are able to customise our pieces to the customer’s requirement, usually within 24 hours, which is a huge plus. It means they are not waiting two to three weeks for pieces to come in, which they may have to do with other designers who are manufacturing outside of the UK.”
Mounir, founder and designer, Mounir London

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