Outback Linen: Making a Difference in the Australian Market

In today’s globalised world, finding products that are truly “Australian made” can be a challenge.

Many well-known brands, despite their Australian origins, have outsourced their manufacturing processes overseas. Outback Linen Company (OLC), founded by Sarah, is one such brand that aims to make a difference in the Australian market.

In this blog post, we delve into the reasons behind OLC’s decision to manufacture their products offshore and shed light on the positive impact they are making through their unique business model.

The Dream of Australian-Made Cotton Towels:

Sarah, the founder of OLC, initially dreamt of producing Australian-made cotton towels. With a strong background in agribusiness and connections to farmers across the country, she wanted to create a product that represented rural ethics and supported local farmers.

However, her dream was shattered when she discovered that all cotton in Australia is exported to China for processing. The resulting yarn is then manufactured in other countries.

While she found one Australian-made towel, it was of poor quality and expensive, made with Chinese cotton. Sarah realised that producing Australian-made cotton towels at a reasonable price was not viable in a market flooded with cheaper Chinese competitors.

The Challenge of Australian-Made Linen:

Similarly, the manufacturing of linen in Australia faced significant challenges. The necessary looms to make the yarn and fabric are no longer available in the country.

While there are manufacturers, the cost of producing high-quality garments with overseas Chinese fabric would be exorbitant, retailing at over $200 per item. This would defeat the purpose of offering an Australian-made label and make it unaffordable for consumers.

Sarah made the difficult decision to invest heavily in finding the best quality fabric, focusing on ethical and sustainable practices, and reducing waste.

Creating a Positive Impact:

Despite the manufacturing challenges, OLC is committed to making a difference in the Australian market. They invest all their profits back into the business to ensure the production of high-quality, ethically sustainable products using organic materials.

By creating durable products, OLC aims to reduce the environmental footprint associated with clothing waste. In Australia, over 20kg of clothing per person is thrown away each year, contributing to landfill problems. OLC’s focus on longevity and sustainability aims to combat this issue.

Empowering Rural Women:

One of the most significant aspects of OLC’s business model is their commitment to empowering rural women. They employ over six contractors based in rural areas and collaborate with more than 15 rural boutiques that sell their products.

By keeping funds local, these boutiques support their communities, employing other local women who, in turn, contribute to the local economy.

OLC also donates to rural organizations, further supporting the communities they work with. This unique model of affordable luxury has garnered the support of over 3000 customers who appreciate the brand’s values and continue to purchase their products.

Looking Towards the Future:

While Sarah acknowledges the desire to manufacture in Australia, she highlights the lack of resources available in the country to do so. However, she remains open to new developments and welcomes any contacts that could potentially change this situation.

OLC’s commitment to making a difference in the Australian market is unwavering, and they will continue to explore ways to expand their impact.

Outback Linen Company, despite facing manufacturing challenges, is making a significant difference in the Australian market. By focusing on ethical and sustainable practices, investing in high-quality materials, and empowering rural women, OLC has created a unique brand that resonates with consumers.

While Australian-made products may be hard to find, OLC’s commitment to their values and their positive impact on the environment and local communities sets them apart.

As they continue to grow, OLC remains open to new developments that could bring manufacturing back to Australia, further solidifying their position as a brand that truly makes a difference.