Are Your Blinds Or Shutters Really Made In Australia?
Sometimes “Australian Made” Blinds & Shutters, aren’t fair dinkum
It is said that Australia was built on a sheep’s back. Unfortunately, consumers are now at risk of having the wool pulled over their eyes by so called local companies falsely claiming their products as “made in Australia”.
Perhaps the most important part of buying something, such as blinds and shutters, is knowing that we’re getting the genuine article. In most cases, what we’re purchasing has been made or prepared out of sight, and we have to assume that what’s being sold is being advertised accurately. This makes us somewhat vulnerable, and unfortunately there are blinds and shutters companies out there who will take advantage of this vulnerability.
To protect the consumer, industry groups will sometimes come together to develop some form of certification. One example is the Blinds Manufacturing Association of Australia (BMAA), which can be found on a range of reputable Blinds & Shutters manufacturers websites across Australia. If consumers see this logo on a member’s website or branding, they can feel safe knowing that their manufacturer adheres to strict requirements.
The point of product certification is twofold. First, it protects the consumer from being taken advantage of. In this way, it is the same as a GP displaying their medical degrees and registration details in their office, or a restaurant displaying their license to serve food.
Second, it protects businesses. Obtaining certification for Australian Made items isn’t necessarily cheap, but many businesses are happy to bear this cost for the right to say, for example, that their products are Australian made to give a guarantee regarding the quality of the product.
Of course, not everything made in Australia carries that authentication, and this is where we as consumers should be on the front foot. In the absence of such certification, it’s reasonable to be critical of any claims to be “made in Australia”. According to the ACCC, at least 50% of the cost of production must land in Australia for a product to be “made in Australia”. Unfortunately, there are companies out there who make this claim falsely to take advantage not only of the reputation of Australian producers, but also of consumers. Decor Blinds has been proudly making blinds and shutters in QLD, Australia since 1984, and we repeatedly hear stories from our customers and other reputable manufacturers who tell us they continually come across Blinds and Shutters companies claiming to sell Australian Made products, when they are often sourced from other Countries, such as China
Looking out for your mates is a value we hold dear in Australia, and buying local is an important way to do this. By supporting local industry, we help to ensure a standard of living for our butchers, bakers, and blind makers. This in turn builds a strong local economy, which is good for everyone.
If you’re keen to support local industry, and are considering a product claimed to be made in Australia, a few simple questions will clarify whether this claim is true. On the one hand, you could ask where specifically the manufacturing is done, and materials are sourced? If neither answer is somewhere in Australia, it would be difficult to meet the ACCC requirement mentioned above. Another great question to ask with how long the warranty is valid in Australia. Although imported products may come with a warranty, they may not apply in Australia. This means that, should something go wrong, you might end up out of pocket.
Buying local makes sense. It supports local industry, builds a stronger economy, and helps to ensure a bright future. We should be proud whenever we see or hear “made in Australia”, and this means checking to see that such claims are valid. Misusing this claim is deceptive, dishonest, and devalues the reputation of Australian goods. So don’t be afraid to ask questions to make sure that what’s being sold to you as Australian is in fact true blue, and give local industries a fair go!