[Jump to main content]

Home > Blog

Latest News RSS Feed RSS

Archive for tag: Behind the Scenes

The DuoUK Team jump into the festive season for Christmas Jumper Day

On Friday the Duo UK team put on their winter woollies for #ChristmasJumperDay to help raise money for Save the Children.

We had a woolly wonderful day posing in our festive knits, crowning our King & Queen of Christmas Jumper Day and guessing the festive items in the sweepstake.

In total the Duo Team raised £124.94 which will help Save The Children continue their important work.

If you would like to donate to Save the Children text TEAMDUO30 to 70050 to donate £5. Your support makes a huge difference.

Here are the wonderful Duo UK team in their winter woollies

Duo 's Christmas Jumper Day Collage _FINAL


Get the kettle on, pour yourself a cuppa whilst we'll tell you how '#wediditfortheChristie'. The Christie really are Duo's cup of tea so to help them raise vital funds they need to fight cancer the Duo team had 'a cuppa for the Christie'.

Over two days Duo's star bakers sold and enjoyed homemade cakes, biscuits and hot chocolate reindeers!

Zoe Brimelow, Duo's Brand Director said,'The Christie is a great cause which makes a huge difference to the Manchester community. Many of our employees have had contact with the facility so we have high regard for the difference it makes in our local community.'

Cheers to the Duo team for their generosity, together we raised a fantastic £128.58.

The Christie Charity raises cash to fund projects which are outside the scope of the NHS. Their range of projects and initiatives focusses on 4 main areas, research, care and treatment, education and extra patient services.The Christie is the largest cancer centre in Europe and is treating more than 40,000 patients a year.


We Did It For The Christie

National Apprenticeship Week 2016

National Apprenticeship Week 2016

My Digital Marketing Apprenticeship in Manufacturing

By Nikita Briggs

National Apprenticeship week is designed to celebrate apprenticeships, traineeships and the positive impact they have on individuals, businesses and also the wider economy. The theme for the week is 'Rise to the top!' This means focusing on progression and opportunity to show you how apprenticeships can make you rise to the top and gain skills whilst experience also.

Marketing is truly where my passion and enthusiasm is and I am fortunate that Zoe Brimelow the Brand Director at Duo UK gave me the opportunity to 'rise to the top' and become a Digital Marketing and Social Media Apprentice. For Duo UK digital marketing is an integral part of our strategy to increase brand awareness in new markets and promote our products and services. Digital Marketing and Social Media is changing every day and although at first some people may not see the connection with manufacturing, technology is very much at the heart of modern manufacturing.

I loved the idea of working in the manufacturing industry, and I have been well and truly inspired by everyone I've met and I truly believe it's a great and rewarding industry to work in. However, only 7% of engineering and manufacturing apprenticeships are filled by women and I want to bring more awareness of the great apprenticeships and careers available for women in manufacturing and engineering.

What I love about my apprenticeship is that I am gaining skills on my course that I bring back an implement at work plus I am also learning more skills on the job. Apprenticeships enable businesses to grow their skill base which can result in increased profits, lower prices and better products. My apprenticeship is with The Juice Academy where I study a day every two weeks, this gives me the opportunity to network with other apprentice's and the academy staff are there for any advice I need. The academy also informs me of lots of events to attend to help my development, one of which was the North West Young Apprentice Ambassador Network Conference. The event was held at UK Fast and during the day we heard inspiring speeches from Olympic athletes, business leaders and apprentices about their achievements and received some invaluable advice. I am now a proud North West Young Apprenticeship Ambassador. To become a North West Young Apprenticeship Ambassador (NWYAA) you had to be passionate about apprenticeships and be keen to tell young people and employers about the benefits, also most importantly telling them about your own experience of becoming an Apprentice.

An unfortunate common view many people still have is that apprenticeships are second option and not as credible as other career paths. This is not true at all. Apprenticeships are available in 1500 job roles covering more than 170 industries, including manufacturing. As an apprentice you are rising to the top and becoming who you want to be, this is true of my experience and I would encourage anyone to consider an apprenticeship as a way forward to achieving their career goals.

Happy Christmas Jumper Day from the Duo UK team!

On Friday the Duo UK team were looking good in their festive jumpers for # ChristmasJumperDay - because who doesn't love a festive jumper!

This year's Text Santa was a record breaker after raising more than £8.5 million by the end of Friday evening.

There is still time to donate, text SANTA5 or SANTA10 to 70760 to donate £5 or £10. Text cost £5 or £10 (16+). 100% of your donations will be shared equally amongst Macmillan Cancer Support, Make-A-Wish® UK and Save the Children, going directly to support vital work both in the UK and abroad.

Duo Team Christmas Jumper Day

Investors in People Assessment In The Bag

Blog post by Nikita Briggs, Digital Marketing Apprentice

Duo have successfully passed their Investors in People assessment! Before joining Duo I was unaware of what Investors in People was, but after learning about the principles and seeing how Duo have accomplished this, I now understand value the benefits this accreditation brings to a business and its employees.

I started here at Duo in August 2014. This was a summer placement and I gained work experience in each of the Office Departments. Once my summer placement had ended in September I returned to college. At this point in time I was a little unsure whether I wanted to go to university but knew I wanted to work in marketing. Zoe Brimelow the Brand Director sat with me and discussed the different routes and options I could go down and one was to do a marketing apprenticeship. I loved the idea of this and I was given the fantastic opportunity of being an apprentice here at Duo. Zoe had guided me to the first step of my future which I was very grateful for and I feel my career path is starting to build the way that I need. I have regular training and also attending The Juice Academy where I learn about Social Media and Digital Marketing. Marketing as a whole really interested me and I loved the concept that it is constantly changing.

As an Investor in People Duo has a strong focus on employee training and development. This is a great benefit to my career journey because I have the opportunity to constantly improving my performance and in turn help the business achieve its goals. Earlier this year Duo launched their new Key Performance Indicators and all employees were asked to contribute their ideas about how Duo can achieve the KPI's. I took part and I found this was a great task for me as I had just started in the business and I was learning lots of key things about marketing particularly in Duo. Each department brainstormed what we thought could improve Duo and help achieve the KPI's. Then each department had their own objectives and all of these together created the business plan. This gave me a good understanding of how the business runs as we knew these would help us achieve the ending results. By setting objectives and the four Key Performance Indicators together we will get the results that we need to succeed.

Duo have an employee Performance Development Review System which I feel is a great idea to give the manager and employee to talk and listen to how the employee wanted to develop their skills. The PDS has links to the Key Performance Indicators and also the brand values. All the team had training on how to get the most out of their PDS and how to complete this. This helped me because it made me think about what I wanted to achieve and the skills I wanted to develop in the next 12months.

Working with a company who is an Investor in People is a benefits to you as a customer because it shows they are focussed on future improvements offering you stability and confidence. Duo has many long term customer relationships and always looks for customers' feedback about how we can improve our products and services to add value to their businesses.  

During my time at Duo I have gained a lot of confidence in myself. I've learnt so many things and I am very grateful to all of Duo for the support and efforts so far in my career. If you asked me 2 years ago where would I be? I wouldn't believe or have the confidence to be where I am now. And that's all because of Duo being an Investor in People! They helped me believe in myself.  

Client Case Study: JD Williams


Help JD William's meet Corporate Social Responsibility objectives by empowering the firm's customers to recycle old and unwanted clothing. Specifically, this will be achieved by designing a collection sack that can be included within JD William's outbound packaging.

Duo UK solution:

Clothing giant JD Williams has signed up to the Sustainable Clothing Action Plan (SCAP) and pledged to play its part in reducing the carbon, waste and water footprints of the clothing they supply or receive in the UK by 15% by 2020.

As part of this commitment, senior managers at JD Williams were keen to develop a scheme aimed at encouraging customers to recycle old and unwanted clothing.  The clothing collected will be given to leading textile recycler Triad which fundraises to stop the exploitation of people and the environment caused by the global clothing supply chain.

The recycling scheme is designed to use JD Williams' existing distribution network and aims to reduce the amount of clothing that goes to landfill and will work by placing a specially designed collection sacks within all outbound mail order packages . This will allow customers to bag up unwanted clothe before arranging a collection by the firm's delivery drivers giving JD Williams' customers comfort that their unwanted items are collected by a brand they trust.

With this in mind, JD Williams approached Duo UK, which currently designs the company's outbound mailing bags, to develop the collection sack concept.  Andy York, Ethical Trading Manager for JD Williams, explained: "As a responsible retailer we are always looking for ways to conduct our business in a more socially responsible way. The recycling bag scheme is a simple yet efficient way to do just that - at no cost or trouble to our customer."

Duo advised on the most appropriate polythene material blend to achieve a lightweight but strong sack and helped develop a design to communicate user instructions, whilst also aligning with the JD Williams brand image.

Devising an efficient logistics and delivery strategy was another area of consideration and Duo was able to dovetail delivery of this product with deliveries of outbound packaging, ensuring JD Williams benefit from a seamless, cost-effective service and eradicating any additional road mileage. 

Behind the Scenes: Chuka Umunna MP Visits Duo UK Manchester

Duo welcomed Shadow Business Secretary Chuka Umunna to our Manchester polythene packaging factory on Wed 28th August. Chuka Umunna MP visited Duo UK to gain first hand experience of how British manufacturers are coping in the current economic climate.

During his two hour visit Chuka Umunna was taken on a tour of the manufacturing site, met the Duo team and spent time with Duo UK managing Director David Brimelow to discuss the challenges facing UK businesses today.

Speaking on his visit, Chuka Umunna commented "I saw an ambitious, family run entrepreneurial company, which is investing in its future, and creating secure, stable employment for the local community," he said, adding Duo are an example of what Britain needs to aid an economic recovery."


Chuka -Umunna -Duo -plastics -visit -16

Duo UK Managing Director, David Brimelow and Chuka Umunna MP start the tour of Duo's Manchester factory where he visited each stage of the polythene manufacturing process: extrusion, print and conversion.


Chuka -Umunna -Duo -plastics -visit -37

Chuka Umunna MP and Duo's Commercial Director Anthony Brimelow discussed how the potential attack on Syria has already caused a spike in polythene prices. This will increase the manufacturing cost of Duo's products impacting on the companies profitability and cost of product to the customer.


Chuka -Umunna -Duo -plastics -visit -41

Duo's new co-extruder, which was financed by the Italian Government using a funding method known as forfaiting, was of particular interest to  Chuka Umunna MP who commented,"There's an extraordinary situation where you have a fantastic manufacturing firm producing products they're selling across the country. They're expanding and employ 120 people. But in order to get the finance they need they've gone to Italy to take advantage of a scheme to help businesses access funds. I think that's an absurd and unacceptable situation."

Chuka -Umunna -Duo -plastics -visit -71

Duo apprentice Paul Brown, who was named as the  'Apprentice of the Year' at the Plastics Industry Awards 2012 informed Chuka Umunna MP on why an apprenticeship was the right path for his career.

Chuka -Umunna -Duo -plastics -visit -98

David Brimelow explained that he is extremely pleased that big UK brands such as JD Williams, ASOS and John Lewis have made the commercial decision to purchase their packaging from British manufacturers. UK businesses working together and buying from each other will help increase demand for UK manufactured products which will in turn boost the economy and job opportunities

Chuka Umunna MP commented "Manufacturing is incredibly important to the health of the UK economy and I was impressed with the very obvious energy, commitment the Duo team has in driving their business forward."


1988, 25 years from now...

Day In The Life

This article published by The Los Angeles Time and written just one month before Duo UK was founded in 1988 predicted what life would look like in the year 2013. The 2013 of today may not be as sophisticated as 1988 expected, we don't all currently own robot maids to carry out our day to day chores like making food and cleaning or even have money that can be tracked back to the owner via barcodes on notes. However there are some similarities between then and now; 25 years on and Duo UK shares the same vision, drive and passion to produce quality polythene packaging products as it did on day one. Duo isn't the only business who has flourished in there first 25 years of business. Here are just a few examples of the companies and their story beginning with their launch back in 1988. 


Lenovo: Just 7 years after IBM releases the world's first personal computer Lenovo entered the booming technology market under the name 'legend' in 1988. The company had just 200,000 Yuan (GBP £21,472) of investment for start-up capital and a small workforce however have managed to grow enough in order to acquire their competitor IBM's PC business in 2005. From then on the company have consistently grown into a technology giant and the world's largest supplier of PC's as of July 2013 with a work force of 27,000 staff and a total revenue of  USD $29.57 billion.

Paddy Power: Today the biggest betting company in Europe. Born in the same year as Duo and founded by 3 Irish bookmakers. Paddy power initially was based purely in Ireland until their expansion to the UK and parts of Europe, the expansion continued with the advancements in technology and the increased popularity of the internet with the new website allowing people to bet online from the comfort of there own home. In May 2010 Paddy Power became the first bookmakers in the world to produce a Smartphone app, since then mobile betting has become one of the biggest growth areas in the company and the largest area for revenue.


SanDisk: If you have saved any type of file or taken a picture today, chances are you've used a SanDisk product to store it on. SanDisk supply flash storage and hard drives for iPhones, iPads, Macs, iPods, Smartphone's, laptops, pen drives, cameras and many more technology products. In 1990 the average cost of 1GB of storage would have cost £7325.53, at present the cost for the same amount is £0.03 In 1988 the three founders of SanDisk had a vision of creating flash memory for "an emerging new class of compact, portable products, such as hand-held computers, electronic notebooks, solid-state cameras…and cellular telephones." Their vision was to become a reality with a huge surge in technological advancements in mobile and portable technology in particularly 20 years later as the first android and iPhone Smartphone's were introduced and rolled out in 2007/08. As a result of the massive increase of storage and substantial reduction in size SanDisk has been partly responsible for the increased portability of computer technology over time and the evolution of digital cameras.


Behind the Scenes: BBC Radio 5 Live Budget Special At Duo

On Wednesday 20th March, Duo's warehouse was taken over by BBC 5Live and transformed into a radio studio to host their special budget edition of their show live from Duo.

Despite the freezing temparatures, the debate was lively and spirts were high. Take a look at all the behind the scenes action from the show.

Still not had chance to listen to the show? You still have 2 days left to listen online at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01rk56h

Dave and Max

Duo Managing Director David Brimelow with BBC 5Live presenter Max Rushden

Dave, Paul, Dale

Director Dale Brimelow with Finacial Director Paul Teasdale and Managing Director David Brimelow

Team - BBC


Group BBC

Dave and Paul

Luke and Paul

Duo Finance department manager Luke Kness and apprentice electrical engineer Paul Brown

A huge thanks to all the BBC 5Live team,Labour MP Lucy Powell, Conservative MP David Mowat, Leader of the Liberal Democrats for Liverpool City Council Richard Kemp, property expert Robert Reed, and Children's nurse and Royal College of Nursing council member Mike Travis.

Also a special thank you to Neilson Reeves Photography Manchester for the covering the event and producing some great PR and Editorial Photography for external and internal communications.


What are you hoping to see from the budget today?


Only a few hours to go until the budget is announced. Duo Managing Director, David Brimelow discusses what he is hoping to see from the budget today:

Government support for manufacturing

I would love to hear that UK manufacturing is to get support. We can, given the right assistance provide jobs which in turn would help to reduce the welfare bill and provide income for the Treasury, as we say in Business this would be a win win situation.

Reintroduction of capital allowances

Like many Companies Duo have never sought handouts but perhaps there needs to be some consideration to rewarding Companies that have achieved growth and job creation in these times of austerity. Perhaps a return to increased Capital Allowances could be considered.

Buy British, support UK manufacturing

Duo are a Company that believe we should not look to the Government to provide all the answers but we also believe British industry has a role in pulling together in such hard times. We should look to BUY BRITISH, protect and develop our UK skills, our workforce and help us grow strong now in order that we are ready for the future.

Many of our customers are big high street retailers who by buying from us as UK manufacturers and are supporting their own economy, but why not more?

BBC Radio Five Live from Duo Tonight

BBC Radio Five Live will be hosting a special budget edition of the Tony Livesey show at Duo's Manchester headquarters tonight from 10:30pm.

You can listen to Radio 5 in the following ways:

· On DAB and analogue radio (909/693 AM)

· Online, via iPlayer: www.bbc.co.uk/5live

· Virgin  media 905

· Sky 0105

· Freesat 705


Discover the DUO difference for yourself,
call us on 0161 203 5767 or email enquiries@duo-uk.co.uk

Find us on:   Follow DuoPlastics on Twitter DuoPlastics on Facebook Duo Ltd on LinkedIn

© Duo 2020. Duo is the trading name of Duo Plastics Limited.

About Us | T&C's | Privacy Policy | Cookie Policy | Site Map | Design by TIA