AUSTRALIAN DESIGNED & OWNED VS AUSTRALIAN MADE UNDERWEAR
There is no arguing that COVID-19 has impacted the lives of not just Australian's but the entire world.
We have faced the battle on the health front & the economic front.
The rag trade has undeniably been hit hard, with many retailers left with no choice but to shut their doors. Whether they are small or large businesses, they provided jobs for many Australians, so the knock-on effect is being felt far & wide.
As some businesses try to stay afloat & look to the future to rise from these unprecedented times, the conversations have begun to support local Australian products first. Of course, it feels natural to support local first, the small guy, the Australian owned & the Australian made first.
The term 'Australian Made' has become louder in most recent weeks, however, & why of course this is the way that we would all want to buy, sometimes it's not as easy as that.
Most fashion retailers & wholesalers know that whilst ' Made in Australia' is not 100% out of the realm of reality it's pretty much out of reach if you want to have a viable business.
Upon launching Reer Endz Underwear, we not only wanted to be Australian Owned & Operated but also Australian made, and not the kind of Australian made where you only have to have 50% of your production undertaken in Australia, we wanted the entire 100% done here.
We spent the best part of 12 month’s meeting with manufacturers in Sydney, trying to make this a possibility, but for a small start-up with a limited budget, the avenues were even fewer.
In the end, the closest we came to this was, yes, we could have our products sewn & packaged here, however, we would still need to source our base fabric & elastics waistbands from an overseas supplier, they would need to be dyed and printed all overseas. Once we got the fabrics here we had found a manufacturer who would be able to cut & sew them, therefore, making them in the eyes of the current laws 'Australian Made' The two major problems we had with this was firstly the cost, it's not that we are greedy for profit (which is one of the biggest misconceptions when a business’s production is taken overseas), but what it did mean for us, was that in order for Reer Endz to be profitable we would need to retail a single Men's Trunk closer to the $49.95 price point, remembering a business needs to be profitable long term if it is to be viable. This RRP would have pushed Reer Endz into the higher end of the men's underwear market & is not where our brand DNA fits.
The second issue was the company that agreed to carry out the cut & sew, resembled more of a 'sweatshop' vibe, I am not saying this is the case, however, when I arrived on steaming hot Sydney's summers day to a non-air-conditioned sweatbox warehouse and watched the floor as copious amounts of ladies were packed in like sardines working the sewing machines all lined up military-style I did not feel at ease. Nobody was able to speak English including the owner whom I waited over 1 hour for her interpreter to arrive. There was nothing about this atmosphere & set up that felt 'Australian Made' at all.
So we took our production offshore where our product is made in partnership with our trusted supplier who is a member of SEDEX "Sedex is one of the world’s leading ethical trade service providers, working to improve working conditions in global supply chains" https://www.sedex.com/
We provide superior quality men's underwear at a competitive price. Dedicated to only wholesaling to Independent Australian stores & online.
We are 100% Australian Designed, Owned & Operated like so many other Aussie labels out there, I think the missing information that a lot of people forget or don't know is the amount of Australian's that even small labels employ or hire as Freelancers, providing work for more Aussies.
I decided to compile a list of people we have hired or engaged in their businesses to help ours, as I believe sometimes it helps to see the deeper level of detail to fully understand what something actually means, so for Reer Endz Men's Underwear this is what it means to be Australian Owned & Operated.
Accountant Oran Park, Sydney NSW
Graphic designer Oatley, Sydney NSW
Photographer Byron Bay, NSW
Web Designer South Coast, NSW
Printing Office works Australia wide
Parcel Bag Australian owned
Logistics Port Botany, Sydney NSW
Marketing Bowral, NSW
Promotion Products Brownlow Hills, Sydney NSW
Brand Plates Emu Park, QLD
Signage Nowra, NSW
As we travelled around Australia on our wholesale journey, we stayed in Australian caravan parks, we shopped for our groceries locally, we bought coffee & take away meals from cafes, pubs & restaurants.
For us, this is what it means to be Australian Owned & Operated, whilst we are not Australian made, we are contributing to our economy every day and to the livelihoods of other Australians both directly & indirectly.
It's an individual’s choice on whatever route they feel comfortable taking when it comes to making that next purchase no matter what it is, just remember if you are buying from an Aussie owned business, you are contributing to far more than just that one business.