Advance Australia Fair

Wide Brown Land

Image by Kazuri Photography

As we approach Australia Day, the team at Handmade Canberra has been considering what it means to buy Australian made designs. Since its inception, Handmade has focused on promoting Australian designers and Australian made products for many reasons. Here are some of them:

It’s good for the Australian economy.

The Industry Capability Network has demonstrated that for every $1 million spent on Australian design – roughly the amount spent at each Handmade Market – the following effects flow through the economy:

  • $333,900 worth of tax revenue generated
  • $985,000 worth of value-added generated
  • $95,000 worth of welfare benefits saved
  • 10 full-time jobs created

It’s good for the environment.

An Australian made product doesn’t have to travel thousands of kms to reach us. The savings on fuel alone make a significant impact on the environment. In addition, the majority of our designers produce unprocessed items on a small scale, which doesn’t require factory conditions, use of natural resources and methods that are damaging to the environment.

It’s good for your family and friends.

Everyone has friends and family members that have taken the plunge and set up on their own. Buying Australian handmade products benefits the “little guy”, those people you know who have their own business and work very hard. Even if they’re not running a business of their own, the knock-on effects of buying Australian made products include local prosperity and job creation.

You can be sure of its origins.

There’s a lot of press about the large Australian companies who manufacture in Asia failing to really test the origins of their products. The results are unsafe sweatshops filled with children working for slave wages, with no visible benefits to the country’s economy. Australian made products have to adhere to the strictest standards, so you know that the people making your products are not being taken advantage of.

Quality is guaranteed.

Artisans pride themselves in their work, and the reputation of a small Australian business is at stake if its products don’t meet the grade.

Australians are pretty good at design.

Wow, there are some talented people in our Handmade gang! That’s the main reason we do what we do. Australia is a country that nurtures great ideas – always has – and we have a lot to take inspiration from, with our beautiful landscapes, natural features and minerals, flora, fauna and wildlife. In a place where the sky is blue, the lifestyle is easy and creativity is rewarded and lauded, the standard and originality of design is the best in the world. Go, team Oz!



Caroline Leevers is responsible for the Handmade brand, including the website, Handmade Style, the newsletter and the online magazine. When she's not hanging out with the lovely Handmade team, she runs Callie & Co Design, a Canberra graphic design studio that crafts brands for small businesses. Her favourite things about Canberra are the seasons (especially Autumn), the big sky, the coffee and the great events.


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