Why 'Australian made' isn’t always made in Australia

Shopping local and supporting small business really gained momentum last year during the pandemic and this trend will continue to grow in 2021 and beyond.

However, as more and more Australians want to support genuine Australian products, everything is not always as it appears, says Michael Krutsch from KE Design.

“Many Australian companies are fighting a war against imported products that imply to be Australian made,” he says.

Based in Brunswick, Melbourne, KE Design recently launched ECO Towels, an Australian made towel made from recycled fabrics and bottles. He is calling out other towel brands who print Australia on their towels to fool people. 

“These towels are made in China and other offshore locations and make false claims about their so-called Australian origins,” he explains. “Some even refer to their imported towels as local towels or True-Blue Aussie towels.

“Our ECO Towels are something I’ve been developing for a few years in conjunction with local textile and plastic recyclers. We are 100 per cent Australian made, part of the Australian Made Campaign, certified to say this and also very proud of our support for the local economy.”

The Australian Made campaign was created specifically to support Australian made brands and also to thwart any brands purporting to hold this claim.

The ‘made in Australia’ claim has never been more powerful than right now, according to Australian Made Campaign chief executive, Ben Lazzaro.

“It tells consumers that the products that carry the claim are made to some of the highest manufacturing and safety standards in the world, with inputs often sourced from Australia’s clean green environment,” he says.

“It also makes a compelling statement about generating local jobs and economic activity. Often, the ‘Australian Made’ claim is conflated with the ‘Australian Owned’ or ‘Australian Designed’ claim. While these statements resonate with some shoppers, they mean very different things and are not interchangeable.”

The Australian Made logo is Australia’s most trusted, recognised and widely used country of origin symbol, and is underpinned by a third-party accreditation system administered by the not-for-profit Australian Made Campaign. The logo can only be used on Australian-made products that meet the criteria set out in the Australian Consumer Law and the Australian Made Logo Code of Practice.

“It’s important the ‘made in Australia’ claim is not confused with other aspects of ‘Australianness’. Here, the famous Australian Made logo provides a solution for both consumers and businesses. As Australia’s only registered country of origin certification trademark, the Australian Made logo is the true mark of Aussie authenticity.”

Krutsch believes that the government should be looking to stop these practices. “Australian manufacturing needs to be supported and when you get other brands riding the wave of our Aussie made success with these completely false claims, consumers should be made aware. Buy Australian should mean just that.”