Why should we fight to keep clothing manufacture alive in Australia when it’s cheaper overseas?
These days, when buying clothing it’s no shock if items have been manufactured overseas. In fact it’s surprising when they have been made in Australia.
But it wasn’t always like this. Indeed, Australia used to be home to a rather large clothing manufacturing business.
So what happened to it?
It all started in the 1980’s when taxes placed on the imports of clothing and textiles were greatly reduced. In the following 10 to 20 years the garment manufacturing industry in Australia virtually disappeared.
Producing clothes in Australia (where we currently enjoy the highest minimum wages in the world) was no longer economically viable. So the jobs went overseas.
Not only did this shift result in high levels of unemployment, it also saw a reduction in the quality of goods that were available to consumers. Often products made overseas did not have to meet the stringent quality requirements of Australian Made products.
Moreover, the loss of jobs available meant that we, as a society, began to lose the skills required to make clothing.
How can we bring manufacturing back to our shores?
Nowadays, the majority of garment manufacture occurring in Australia is undertaken by small businesses like ours. We aim to create employment opportunities and keep the art of garment manufacture alive and well in our society.
In the current climate of Australian Made boutique clothing, garment manufacturing is no longer seen as a minimum wage ‘low skill’ profession. Instead, it's considered an essential and highly skilled component of the clothing industry.
By producing garments in Australia we are able to utilise the skills of local craftspeople and create clothes that meet the high Australian standards of production. Indeed, to meet the strict regulations laid out by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, no corners can be cut and all garments must be quality.
By buying Australian Made not only are you supporting the continuation of skills in our community and employing local people, but you can also rest assured knowing that the clothes you are wearing have been made by people working in good conditions with a fair wage.
High quality garments, a skilled society and upholding ethical standards - it’s a win, win, win!