Updated: Sep 20, 2019
What inspired a group of farmers, manufacturers, textile artists, wholesalers, crafts people and retailers to band together to form the Australian Fibre Collective Inc?........
The Bendigo Sheep an Wool Show has become the biggest annual event for the Australian Fibre industry. People travel from all over Australia to attend, so it's a great opportunity to catch up fellow industry participants. Even stall holders tend to find time over the weekend, to have a walk around to catch up and have a look what others are doing.
The last few years there has been a dominant topic of conversation amongst those selling Australian products. They were sick of competing with cheap imported goods. Both stall holders and customers were annoyed that customers were being told that the processing couldn't be done in Australia, so it had to be done overseas. The truth is, that in most cases now, it is possible to have many types of fibre fully processed in Australia. The proof is there in the fibre and textile products being made available to consumers, it is just that they are not easily identifiable as fully Australian fibre products.
Like with food, consumers are now recognising the importance to both their health and that of the environment, in buying locally grown and produced fibre and textile products. There are customers actively seeking out 100% Australian natural fibre and textile products. However, there is confusion in the market place, as many products are marketed as Australian by implication and this doesn't always hold up under scrutiny, which leaves consumers disenchanted.
So after the 2018 Bendigo Sheep and Wool Show, the process of registering the Australian Fibre Collective Trade Mark was commenced and a small group of hard working and enthusiastic individuals volunteered their time and expertise in order to establish the Australian Fibre Collective Inc. Through this organisation, they hope to address some of the above identified problems and to grow the Australian Fibre, Textile and related industries.
It will now be possible to readily identify those products which have been verified by The Australian Fibre Collective Inc. as 100% Australian. Only natural fibre products, which have been grown and manufactured in Australia will be licensed to carry the Registered Trade Mark. This will give an assurance to the consumer that they are indeed buying an 100% Australian product. The supply chain must be disclosed in the licensing application and will be checked to ensure all information provided is correct.
There are many Australian small businesses, both in rural and city settings, creating some beautiful fibre and textile products. Recognising what wonderful fibres they are growing, there are also many people wanting to value add to their clips. Few know of the existence of a number of small textile manufacturers here in Australia. We aim facilitate the growth of these businesses, by linking manufacturers with those who require their services. By creating an awareness of what people in the Industry are doing, we hope also to encourage consumers to buy locally grown and manufactured products, products that are to be treasured and kept, rather than worn once or twice and discarde
We hope as many people as possible will want to learn about Australian Fibres and Textiles, or maybe join our crusade to identify and promote those fibre and textile products which are indeed proudly 100% Australian. This is why we have created the membership category 'Friends of the Australian Fibre Collective'. If you have an interest in, or passion for Australian fibres, textiles or textile crafts join us; our journey is just beginning