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Tuffking expands firefighting gear range amid global growth push

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Tuffking’s Foray into Global Markets with Enhanced Firefighting Gear

Founded in 1854 as Giffard Newton & Sons and now known as Tuffking, the Loughton-based safety footwear manufacturer, is experiencing a significant phase of expansion.

The company is preparing for a 40% increase in turnover this year, largely driven by its focus on developing firefighting gear.

This growth comes as Tuffking launches 25 new designs, aiming to hit a turnover of £50m by 2030.

With operations currently in 15 countries, Tuffking is leveraging an £850,000 funding package from Lloyds Bank, which includes trade finance, to reach emerging markets and expand its global footprint.

This expansion plan also entails the creation of six new jobs, increasing the workforce by 50%.

The company’s rich history, which includes supplying the armed forces during both World Wars and repurposing its factory to support allied forces, has cemented its reputation for quality British-made products.

Tuffking’s evolution now includes a significant focus on the development of advanced firefighting gear, catering to the modern demands of emergency services.

Innovative Approach to Firefighting Footwear

Tuffking has embarked on a journey of innovation, leveraging its 170 years of technical expertise to modernise its entire product range.

This innovation led to the creation of a pioneering firefighting boot, made from 100% recycled vegan materials and post-consumer waste.

These boots are notably lighter and more sustainable than their predecessors, designed to meet the rigorous demands of modern firefighting professionals.

Managing Director Ryan Dhindsa emphasised the importance of innovation in the company’s growth strategy: “Our business has a long history within the UK and we’ve built a reputation for providing a high-quality product that our customers trust.

“But the last thing we wanted to do was become complacent, and we can see that many businesses are rapidly evolving. So, we wanted to adapt quickly with them.

“Our investment in innovation, supported by Stuart and the team at Lloyds Bank, gives us a platform for growth and ensures an edge over our competitors.

“With the number of new sectors needing specialist designs to meet their needs, the opportunities – and potential to grow – are endless.”

Significant Growth and Expansion in New Sectors

The company’s strategic shift and focus on firefighting gear have led to substantial growth, tripling its turnover since the redesign of its products.

Tuffking has successfully ventured into new sectors, including manufacturing, electrical engineering, and logistics, marking a new era of diversification and expansion.

Stuart Wiggins, Relationship Manager at Lloyds Bank, praised Tuffking’s approach: “Tuffking is an example of a British business built on heritage and consistent quality, but this does not mean it is resting on its laurels.

“Instead, it’s looking to the future and Ryan and his team have taken the brave decision to evolve to break into new sectors and markets.

“We’re proud to deliver a bespoke working capital package for the business, and support the team with its ambition.

“At a time when sustainability is high on everyone’s agenda, it’s moved quickly to work with its suppliers and create industry-changing designs, and it’s an approach I know other businesses will take inspiration from.

“That’s because they see Tuffking putting its best-foot-forward and investing where it knows it can add value for customers.”

IFSJ Comment

The journey of Tuffking from a historic British brand to a globally recognised name in firefighting gear exemplifies the synergy between heritage, innovation, and adaptability.

The company’s focus on developing specialised firefighting footwear aligns with the evolving needs of emergency services and highlights the importance of sustainable practices in safety gear manufacturing.

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