No products in the basket.
I was thinking about writing this post a while back but spurred on by great post by Belinda Raji of BEUNIQUE Hair Care I have have put pen to paper (More Keyboard to Word to be honest) so here’s my 2 pence/cents on the subject
The UK and US are allies, but let’s face it; the US is a bigger (and some say better?) version of the UK. They have more people, more money and more power. How on earth can we compete with that? But what does this mean for hair products? So many British women with Afro hair are seeking out American hair products to use. You would think that British women would want to stay patriotic and support their own brands, so why are they leaning more towards the American brands? It all comes down to money…
Quantity over Quality?
Everyone loves a good bargain, no matter how much money they have. In this financial climate, most of us cannot afford to be buying the most expensive products and we will be looking for ways of cutting costs. However, more often than not, you get what you pay for, so going for the cheaper alternative means getting the less quality product. The problem is, US hair products are not necessarily of a lower quality.
The struggle of small businesses
Small UK businesses work very hard to produce good quality products for their consumers, ones that actually work. However, they get trumped by big US brands due to the vast difference in their bank accounts.There are a lot of tests that products being sold in the EU have to go through. These tests require a lot of paperwork and costs small businesses a fair bit of money. Even the labels of products have to meet certain criteria! However, it has been seen that some of the US brands that are now being sold in the EU are not 100% compliant with these regulations and have thereby skipped out on the added costs that would have been involved.
This situation also sees a classic case of the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer:A small UK business, despite wanting to provide the best possible service to their British customers, will sell a product for £x. A big US business, who doesn’t particular care about individual consumers in the UK are selling the same product for £x/2, but yet making more money. How on earth is this possible?
A small business will buy the raw materials at a higher price, because they cannot buy such a large quantity. Then, when making the products, they have a small team who physically put together the packaging etc. that takes several hours of their time, increasing the overheads further. However, a large US corporation will buy their raw materials in bulk, at a much cheaper rate, plus they manufacture them in a factory, decreasing the labour time. The UK company will have to charge more for their products in order to cover the costs, but incidentally, they end up selling less as the American companies can charge less for the same thing.
Supporting UK brands
It is such a shame to see this happening in the UK, but we cannot blame the US for being successful and “taking” our business, because after all, it is a dog-eat-dog world. But we need to find a way to support out UK businesses and help them become successful. Each of these small businesses is owned by mothers , wifes, sisters etc. who are just looking to support their family. If we don’t support them, no one will. So, every time you go to the store looking for your next natural hair care product, think about whose pocket you are lining.