The business case for buying British

By Ross Hartshorn, technical production director, Sheerline.

One of the leading principles of the Sheerline brand is quality – not just in terms of the products and service customers receive, but the components, the hardware, the team, and everything surrounding the brand.

It’s hugely important and helps drive the business forward. That’s why Sheerline buys British and uses aluminium sourced from within the UK.

Buying British isn’t simply a ‘nice to have’, it’s essential. In this article, I’ll put forward the case for buying British; supply chain security, sustainability, along with new business opportunities, and what it means for Sheerline.

Supply chain security

Given the context many UK companies are operating in, the need for supply chain security has never been greater. Using UK-sourced grade 6063 aluminium has enabled Sheerline to offer a responsive, agile service that can easily adapt to our customer’s changing needs.

It also means that there are no long shipping delays or a reliance on third parties for transportation. There are no import taxes or unexpected fees, and Sheerline won’t be affected by the proposed carbon levy coming into force in the coming years.

The brand is also insulated against political instability abroad. All this means that our customers are less affected by fluctuating prices determined by external factors.

Genuine sustainability

Many brands are aware of the benefits of sustainability, not just for their business operations, but for their reputation. Some brands, however, inflate their green credentials, leading to reputational issues.

For Sheerline, sustainability has been built into the foundation of the company from the outset. Using UK-sourced aluminium allows us to keep our carbon footprint low and enables us to recycle offcuts by sending them straight back to source.

All our aluminium is supplied through our parent company, Garnalex, which is one of the few companies within the UK to extrude its own aluminium and with a state-of-the-art press. The SMS HybrEx uses 45% less energy than a traditional hydraulic press, which is another way Sheerline is able to put sustainability at the top of its agenda.

Sheerline’s patented construction method also helps reduce production scrap during fabrication, leading to better stock utilisation and helping reduce both cost and waste.

Quality attracts quality

Another element of buying British and proudly supporting British manufacturing is the new opportunities to connect with businesses who share the same ethos for quality, attention to detail, and innovation.

Aside from Sheerline’s installer and fabricator network that receives ongoing support and training to ensure all products reach customers in perfect condition, other relationships have been fostered that have leveraged the brand.

For example, at the 2023 FIT Show, we revealed how we had been working with the Coastal Group, which is based in Cornwall. The company is known for creating beautiful, high-end hardware for customers who want to elevate their aluminium windows and doors.

Coastal Group supplies the handles for one of Sheerline’s newest products, the Classic Heritage door, which combines the elegance of traditional art déco with modern features and functionality.

Sheerline is committed to working with the leading suppliers of window and door hardware in the industry to give fabricators the range of choices that are right for their business.

Made in Britain

Proudly waving the flag for British manufacturing and being able to apply the Made in Britain trademark helps to differentiate Sheerline from other brands – we care where raw materials are sourced from, where products are made, and about the local economy.

Building this into the ethos of the company has enabled us to flourish, even during the pandemic and post-pandemic recovery.

Proof of this is the fact that earlier this year, Garnalex was named one of the top ten fastest growing companies in the UK. Success it continues to share with its customers through the continued development of transformational aluminium window and door systems.