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Sheffield bag manufacturer reports rapid export growth

Sustainable Yorkshire bag manufacturer, Bag It Don’t Bin It (BIDBI) has reported strong growth in the first half of this year as export demand rose in both mature and emerging markets.

BIDBI said the value of its exports has risen by 114% since last year to £124,000. There has been strong growth in mature markets such as Japan, the US and Canada.

BIDBI who produces eco-printed branded bags for some of the UK’s leading retailers, including Waterstones, Hobbs, Liberty of London, as well as Converse and Twitter, said the latest figures reflected the launch of its own-brand bag label, Talented Totes, which has opened up new markets for the business.

BIDBI CEO, Julia Gash said: “Being heavily reliant on a home market I recognised a potential vulnerability for BIDBI, which could curtail its future growth. After winning a place in a national business competition to explore opportunities in the US I sawthat there was a whole world out there for BIDBI.

“I believed that the quickest route to market was to develop our own brand label of ethically focussed, canvas bags, bringing together emerging designers from Britain. Talented Totes was born and is now stocked by department stores and destination boutiques worldwide including Fenwick and Joy in the UK.”

Julia signed up to the UKTI Passport for Growth trainingprogramme to improve her export knowledge and commissioned a report to connect her to key Japanese distributors and retailers. Over £60,000 of business from Japan has been generated from the report alone.

Talented Totes is now stocked in high-end department stores and designer shops around the world. The brand was included in a prestigious fashion show recently at Hankyu Department Store, Japan, representing the best of British design.

Significant new investment in the company from Santander Corporate Banking has assisted the company in expanding its manufacturing capabilities, exploring international market opportunities and growing its team.

Talented Totes is now focussed on finding new markets for the brand in South Korea, Hong Kong and the UAE and is showcasing the brand at international fashion and gift trade shows in the UK, Europe and US over the next year.

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