Visit to BIDBI from Tapton School

  • 29th May 2016

Visit to BIDBI from Tapton School

Last week we welcomed Year 10 (check – they were 14 – 15 years) students of one of our local comprehensive schools: Tapton to the BIDBI eco-print factory in Sheffield. Ten very inquisitive students came to get answers to questions they had put together for a business case study, which was to form part of their examcourse work assessment.

After giving them a brief overview of BIDBI and our sister company Talented, they quickly fired away with their questions.  I was asked about our key objectives, business growth projections, division of resources, main marketing methods and many other areas of business management and the economic principles of a small but fast growing, manufacturing company.  It was like being on Newsnight!

It gave me the opportunity to talk about the importance of sustainability in business as well as an ethical supply chain. When I launched BIDBI over 8 years ago I did so with a clear agenda that was based on sustainable manufacturing and ethical employment.  These principles continue to underpin everything we do, so that the inks we use are eco-friendly and ISO 14001 certified.  Most of our reusable cotton bags are made in India, where we only work with Fair Trade certified and ISO 9001 accredited businesses to ensure that we deliver a quality product that is made by people who are paid a living wage and work in safe and comfortable factories.

Working to with a green and clean agenda is important for BIDBI and communicating it to the wider world is key.  The young people of today will be the business leaders of the future and it’s vital that they see from first hand that it’s possible to run a profitable and growing business that is built on genuine ethical and ecological principles.

I was also asked about my views on the EU, which I was happy to say that I believe that Britain would be economically stronger, safer and we would be better off remaining within the EU.  We send parcels to Europe every day so easily as we don’t need any extra paperwork and it’s fast and cheap.  If we were not in the EU then we would have to fill in more forms and the transportation time would be inevitably be slower due to checks at customs, which is the case when we send parcels to countries outside the EU. This would cut into our profit and customers within the EU would also be put off from buying from us.

Keen to get to understand how we made things, the students went on a factory tour, meeting the team and getting to see how bags are printed at first hand.   Passing business knowledge on to the next generation secures our future as a nation of entrepreneurs.  It was great to have the opportunity to do this and hopefully help Tapton Year 10 students get top marks in their forthcoming business studies exams!