Bute Fabrics, a weaving company based on the Isle of Bute, was originally established in 1947 by the Marquis of Bute to help create a sustainable local economy for island inhabitants. Run by Managing Director John Glen, it's now a growing business creating local employment by taking advantage of national and international opportunities.
The business designs and manufactures fabrics principally for the furniture commissioning and luxury residential fabric markets. Bolstering a healthy Scottish and UK market, exporting now accounts for around 60% of current turnover. Such is the impact of international trade on the business, it has brought in two jacquard looms to manufacture fabric primarily destined for the export market.
John Glen describes the export experience as “a fantastic learning journey”, broadening business expertise, widening horizons and substantially increasing the business profile. With clients all over the world, Bute Fabrics has particularly strong interests in the US and the Middle East.
Since the business made the decision to move into international trade, HIE has offered invaluable expertise and support, especially with regard to providing global contacts to set the exporting initiative off on the right foot. HIE's input has created the base for a strong partnership, transforming the business's future prospects and strengthening its contribution to the local economy and community.
“My advice to businesses thinking about exporting is to do your homework and have the right contacts for the market,” says John.