Now more than ever, there is an overwhelming movement that has swelled in support and energy. A movement to support local retailers, small businesses and the independent hand-crafted artisans that feed into our community soul.
The online shift to Shop Small and Shop Local, to Buy Local and Support Small Business is gathering wider recognition – so our communities don’t lose the heart of the ‘little guys’ who have done it particularly tough over the last couple of years. However, it goes beyond just buying from local businesses to complete the circle of support. For consumers to buy Australian-made products, it increases the benefits for our communities and strengthens our national interest.
A recent survey by leading Australian market research company Roy Morgan showed that around 9 in 10 people aged 14 years and over preferred buying Australian-made products when given the choice. So, what is it that makes ‘locally-made’ so much more than just the warm feeling of supporting your community? Here are some top reasons for why an Australian-made product is the most important product to buy.
Quality and traceability
There’s something special about receiving an item or gift that is well made and has attention to detail at its core. When that item has been made to the highest quality and is locally manufactured, you also get a level of traceability for the components, packaging and delivery that many overseas factory-made items keep well hidden from view.
Understanding the supply chain and maintaining accountability for its sustainability aspects also adds to the workmanship and quality of the product and embedded manufacturing footprint. The quality of the product isn’t just about how it is made but also how long it lasts and its ability to fulfil the job it was made to perform.
Fair treatment of workers
Usually, Australian-made products sell at a higher price point than similar items made offshore. Although a higher cost of labour may contribute to this, the fair treatment of workers, workplace conditions and safety of workers is valued higher in this country than many other places around the world. This fosters better rights for the workforce and ethical protections that empower not only the people, but also the products they produce.
Environmental accountability and declining emissions
More than just a buzzword, ‘environmental accountability’ is emerging as a powerful buying decision amongst consumers due to its ongoing impact and future ramifications. The idea of environmental accountability covers all aspects from raw material acquisition, the manufacturing process, the type of packaging used, delivery, and the options available for eventual disposal (can it be easily recycled?). By purchasing locally manufactured and shipped goods, there is usually a decrease in the carbon footprint as well as more attention into ways for reducing emissions in the future.
Buying locally-made products shortens the distance for shipping (reducing the environmental impact) and encourages manufacturers and makers to be more sustainable with their processes. By purchasing locally-made, we can strive for environmental accountability throughout the whole production chain.
Supporting communities and regional progress
It’s a fundamental idea behind buying locally-made products from local shops and independent artisans – we can all help to strengthen our communities and build resilience into our workforce. The #BuyLocal campaign that is flooding social media platforms is creating awareness for consumers to seek local options for the products they need and support a variety of business sizes and diversity in our neighbourhoods. When these small businesses support the cause by also buying locally made or sourced products, the benefits of a circular economy and ongoing opportunity for small Australian business continues to contribute towards community spirit.
Lowering the cost to consumers
The Australian government offers ongoing financial subsidies and industry support across many areas of the manufacturing trade. However, with these subsidies provided at a cost to taxpayers, efforts to strengthen local manufacturing helps to lower the ongoing need for these subsidies and results in lowering costs for local production over the long term. That’s not to say that government support isn’t vital to the longevity of manufacturing in Australia.
There are many ways in which consumers can save money when they buy good quality, locally made products. By supporting local business, local jobs, environmental accountability, provisions for end-of-life disposal and demanding quality-made products that last longer, we can grow industries that work in-sync with local retailers and continue to be part of the backbone of our communities.
Paper Daisies by j’adorne is proud to be a small Australian-made, owned and loved brand that prioritises sustainable practices, produces recycled and recyclable products, supports local outcomes and strives to empower small, local business.