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Practicality, Protection and Pride: Manufacturing in Australia

By 23 May 2024June 4th, 2024Projects

Practicality, Protection and Pride: Manufacturing in Australia

On 11 April 2024, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese announced the Future Made in Australia Act, which is designed to: “Boost investment, create jobs and seize the opportunities of a future made in Australia.” 

It’s obviously positive news for our local textile, clothing and manufacturing industry, and represents an important shift in the way locally and ethically made products are valued. But, considering all this conversation, we felt it was important to recognise that in Australia, there already exists a vibrant and thriving textile, clothing and footwear manufacturing industry.  

How do we know?

Because every day our team is lucky enough to work with businesses who see local manufacturing not just as a practical or economic decision, but also as one of their key strengths and core values.  

These accredited manufacturers see the benefits and beauty of making ethically in Australia, utilising all the technology, innovation and resources we already have onshore and employing local workers who are skilled, protected and respected. That’s worth shining a light on.  

Over the last few months, we’ve been asking our accredited manufacturers one simple question…

What do you think is the benefit of manufacturing in Australia?

Here are their thoughts.   

“Manufacturing in Australia celebrates skill and dedication of endless specialties capabilities. It provides control and value whilst strengthening the Australian manufacturing sector.

“I am proud to be a part of this community and unquestionably support future growth. My country, my clients, my service and my product mean everything to me.

“Well done, Australia – keep building and reinforcing our crafts. Most importantly, keep up the good work.”

Hayley Hatzivagiannis – Owner/OperatorThe Body Beautiful Pattern Design & Grading

“Through choosing to manufacture here in Australia you are contributing to keeping the industry alive, providing jobs and amazing opportunities to a variety of individuals.

“Another huge benefit is the ability to work closely with makers through being able to drop into local factories. You can see things getting made in real life and know exactly who made your clothes and create a wonderful working relationship with them outside of a computer.”

Lois McGruer-Fraser – Production ManagerThe Social Studio

“For our retailers it is the ability to maximise stock turns without having the need to carry excess stock since that is what we promise to them! In addition to this we do not push our retailers to indent and tie up their 'open to buy'.

“The real secret to local manufacturing is to look at all the things that really annoy retailers when dealing with imported products and where possible turn that into a selling feature for locally manufactured products.”

Philip Endersbe – Executive ChairmanWilderness Wear Australia

“Manufacturing locally is good for our country; it allows me to build a team that I can transfer knowledge to, that wants to learn the skills and produce quality garments.

“At the same time, I get to work with lots of brands and clients who want to support local. Making local is something they are proud of. Nothing is better than having them visit and see the factory space or working together to produce. It makes me very proud.”

Vinh Le – DirectorVince Clothing PTY LTD

“Manufacturing locally is like having a community, the ability to learn and access knowledge from those that have been in the trade for most of their lives. Building relationships with them. That when work needs to be produced you have access and the ability to drive or walk over and problem solve immediately. Nothing beats the tactility of that or able to problem solve face to face.

“Also, the ability to see the work area and engage with staff and seeing your production in different stages is truly magic.”

Hanh Le – Product ManagerDenimsmith

“It is imperative to have a local textile manufacturing industry that is alive and well in Australia. It is vital for secure local jobs, Australia’s (manufacturing) sovereignty, fast turnaround, high quality products and value adding.”

Con Lidis – General ManagerKtena Knitting Pty Ltd

“When you are able to genuinely say you manufacture locally in Australia, you automatically set your brand apart with selling points that often can't be matched.

"You are able to say with confidence that you are providing the local community with employment and are able to influence quality and timelines more accurately.

"We find that by manufacturing locally, we are able to offer our customers much faster turnaround times than they are used to, which is a huge factor in customer service and ultimately them choosing us as their partners.”

Jesse Hilleary – Marketing ManagerStruddys Apparel

“Being accredited with Ethical Clothing Australia is incredibly important to me and my business, especially when it comes to manufacturing in Australia.

“It's not just about producing garments; it's about upholding the values of fairness, transparency, and ethical practices right here on our home soil.

“Manufacturing in Australia allows us to have direct oversight of the entire production process, ensuring that all workers involved are treated fairly and work in safe conditions. This level of control and accountability is crucial in today's global supply chain, where outsourcing often leads to exploitation and poor working conditions overseas.

“By manufacturing locally, we not only support the local economy and create job opportunities, but we also have the opportunity to lead by example in ethical manufacturing practices.

“Our accreditation with Ethical Clothing Australia is a testament to our commitment to doing business the right way, and it's something we're incredibly proud of as we continue to contribute positively to the Australian manufacturing industry.”

Melanie Coultas – DirectorMelco Fabrics

“Manufacturing in Australia means more jobs, better livelihoods, and a stronger economy that benefits the whole community.”

Eric Phu – Co-founderCitizen Wolf

“Manufacturing in Australia offers opportunities to prioritise environmental sustainability.

“Companies can adhere to stricter environmental regulations, promote sustainable practices, and reduce their carbon footprint by minimising transportation distances and embracing eco-friendly manufacturing processes.

“This can contribute to Australia's overall sustainability goals and support the transition to a greener economy.”

Luisa Lau – Business ownerGarment Innovation Pty Ltd

“Working locally with Next State gives brands and individuals the power to come up with an idea and see it as a finished product a week later.

Making locally, fast and high quality gives you confidence in achieving those great ideas and solving problems fast.”

Chole Kerr – OwnerNext State Print

Ethical Clothing Australia would like to thank these accredited manufacturers for contributing to this important conversation. 

For more information and to search for an accredited manufacturer, find our directory here.

If you currently manufacture textiles, clothing or footwear in Australia, you could be eligible for accreditation with Ethical Clothing Australia. Get in touch with one of our Accreditation Advisors to learn more.