Made in Australia or Made in China? Does it matter?
Which provides the best value for you?
So far, until a recent experiment, all of the silk scarves that I design have been made in Australia to exacting standards, using top quality silk and skilled artisans, who work under sustainable and generous working conditions.
Unfortunately, high wages and strict government controls make them more expensive for me than those made in China - and, therefore, for you, if you are a buyer.
Many other Australian artists design scarves that, unless they specify otherwise, are made overseas, quite cheaply, because of, often, low wages and little government accountability in those countries.
As you would recognise, most silk scarves for sale in retail shops have been imported from mass producers, using unknown designers. But maybe that doesn't matter if you are just looking for a bright splash of colour?
If you had the choice, would you rather have high quality or low prices?
Fast fashion or slow?
Or some of each? Is there a middle road (my experiment) which might interest you also?
Perhaps your opinion is based on experience, negative or positive?
I would so value your opinion if you have a moment to tell me what you think.
As you see, both scarves are lovely - but not equally so.
Here's 1 Million Women's thoughts on the subject.
Made in Australia
High quality printing
Ease of communication with suppliers
Small orders possible, hence new designs can be introduced more readily
Ease of communication (eg language, telephone)
Because of high wages and government regulations in Australia, my costs, hence those of customers, are much higher than they would be if I sourced scarves Made in China.
Made in China
Unit prices are considerably cheaper to the designer, therefore to the consumer.
Hand hemming is usually excellent.
Attractive to those wanting large orders at a competitive price (eg Corporate market)
Much longer 'lead' time
Expensive freight costs, uncertain delivery times
Large minimum orders for the designer, hence large initial outlay per batch
Difficulty in communication
In general, poorer quality (eg 'see through' saturation, sharpness of printing).
This latter disadvantage can partly be overcome by making less exacting designs, choosing manufacturers who have new equipment and also by using more sheer silks, so that dyes can penetrate more readily.
It was such a relief, after receiving so many disappointing samples from various Chinese factories, to find one who, although a small operator, has recently installed new equipment in his factory.
At present I am experimenting to see whether the quality and price per large silk chiffon scarf, designed by me here in North Queensland and printed by him in China, is attractive to buyers.
The designs are abstract and textured, so have quite a different look to the others. So, without thinking this through properly, I suppose that I am now testing two things - designs and price!
If you have a few minutes to complete the quick survey, below, I would be very grateful.
As thanks to you for your thoughtful response I shall send you a chiffon scarf of your choice for only A$50 (valued at A$130), as well as a free gift scarf (valued at A$23), if this is your first purchase from the site.
These prices are well below half of the normal retail prices - just for you! Thank you so much for your help.
Thank you for filling in this quick survey:
Chiffon Scarves (the experiment)