letters Buyfair launches crowdfunding campaign

More than 14 years ago, I set up a global homeware brand called MAKE International, best known for the Keith Brymer Jones ‘Word’ range. Since our inception, we have sold thousands of products worldwide, to some of the largest retailers from John Lewis in the UK to Barnes & Noble in the US.

On June 24 2016 the UK voted to leave the EU. Within a matter of days, many retailers started cancelling orders with

MAKE. They were concerned about the economic conditions post-Brexit. Suddenly there wasn’t an outlet for some of our best-selling items. Over the last 20 years, many brands have taken the decision to move manufacturing to the Far East because of cheaper mass production. Companies demanding huge growth end up buying product in enormous batches that becomes incredibly difficult to shift. As a result, it takes up valuable storage space and increases warehouse costs. When you have an influx of stock, a fall in demand and uncertainty, it creates the

perfect storm. I soon realised we weren't the only company experiencing these problems. A solution was needed - and so was born. It all started with the issue of overstock. The stock left mounting up in

warehouses across the world creates a massive financial burden on companies and impacts the environment on a global scale. I knew it was time to make a change, protect our world's resources and our future

generations. I have two young daughters who joined me on the recent protest march against climate change in London. It made me think: why are we making so much stuff all the time, if we can’t even shift last year's collections? The environmental impact is just too high. I started speaking to industry friends to understand how they tackled this

problem. I found there were limited options available other than selling to the stock clearance companies. As was widely reported recently, many brands ended up dumping and burning their overstock as they felt they had no other option whilst retaining brand integrity.

Overstock is extremely costly to both companies and the environment. The solution is simple:, a platform for overstock. Buyfair connects buyers and sellers on a level playing field, creating better value on all sides. The idea grew from a simple, necessary business solution, to a great, sustainable

idea. The world has changed; we are now acutely aware of the climate crisis. If we can help by repurposing existing stock out there, then we are making a positive contribution.

Most auction sites are geared towards a business-to-consumer model. Buyfair

provides a business-to-business marketplace. Our multi-lot auction marketplace allows brands to sell in volume to buyers across different industries. Buyers range from large hotel chains to small independent shops and Buyfair offers them a limitless array of products, varying in quantity from 100 chairs to 1,000 glasses. The auction system and complex algorithm gives buyers access to thousands of high- quality products at the best possible price. Buyfair is a fair marketplace that maintains brand integrity. Each brand can set

reserve prices controlling the minimum amount they are selling items for, and giving them the best possible return on stock. We are the first multi-lot auction platform which allows large quantities to be sold in multiple smaller lots. There is an estimated £5 billion tied up in overstock in the UK manufacturing

sector alone. We are looking to unlock this capital as we tackle the global overstock crisis. Buyfair will change how product is purchased and sold on a global scale. By

rethinking, reducing and re-purposing stock, we will create a successful company and a more sustainable future. We are launching a crowdfunding campaign and we want you to be part of our

journey. Buyfair will go live on Crowdcube on November 15. More information can be found at

Dominic Speelman CEO & co-founder of & managing director of MAKE International London

Keep up the good work

Our industry seems to be one of the ‘unsexy’ industries that gets little to no attention from our government - unless it’s about sharps. Although our industry employs thousands, generates millions of pounds and in a way

performs a public service, the government seems deaf to us. So the work done by our trade media, highlighting problems within and outside our industry

that effect our industry, is of the utmost importance. Add to this the work done by our trade associations BHETA [British Home Enhancement Trade

Association] and BIRA [British Independent Retailers Association], pushing and shoving parliament into removing the ear wax that seems to be interfering with their listening devices. Keep up the good work!

Tony Grimshaw OBE Director What More UK Burnley Lancashire

5 years ago this month in Housewares Magazine…

• Hotpoint announced a multi-million pound deal with celebrity cook and TV presenter Lisa Faulkner. The winner of ‘Celebrity MasterChef’ 2010 signed up for a two-year partnership with the brand to promote its premium built-in appliances and new range of small appliances via a seven-figure above the line campaign.

• Hollywood star George Clooney returned to light up small screens in the latest Nespresso advertising campaign, which also featured French actor Jean Dujardin. For the first time ever, the TV ad was unveiled in Ireland, supporting Nespresso’s objective to grow awareness with Irish consumers.

• The Pantone Colour Institute named Marsala - ‘a naturally robust and earthy wine red’ inspired shade - as its 2015 Colour of the Year.

• Multichannel retailer Argos teamed up with Transport for London (TfL) to launch its first underground store, at Cannon Street tube station.

• Pictured on the front cover was the Oracle, described by Beam Group as ‘the world’s first automatic manual espresso machine that brings true café quality to your home without a barista’.

• T&G Woodware’s Pride of Place range and The Big Cheese Making Kit’s mozzarella and ricotta kit were the best-selling housewares products at Cooks & Kitchens in Darlington and Smith Bradbeer at Romsey in Hampshire.

• KitchenCraft topped the top ten suppliers’ league of Housewares Magazine’s Best of Best Sellers 2014 survey, followed by Eddingtons, Horwood, Dexam, KitchenAid, CKS, Robert Welch Designs, Haus, Rex International and Brabantia. The rankings were based on the frequency of mentions in Housewares Magazine’s regular ‘Best Sellers’ feature.

Source: Housewares Magazine November/December 2014

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