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  • #982088
    bridiej
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    I recently watched a very inspiring programme, Mary’s Bottom Line, in which Mary Portas re-opens a clothing firm in England and trains seven young people who had never worked before (not their fault, no jobs available). She got them making Kinky Knickers which are now sold in a range of outlets across the UK, including Liberty in London.

    The knickers were 100% British, including all the materials which were sourced from within the company (not an easy feat). In fact, she saved a local lace firm from closure since they were the only manufacturers in the UK and were literally closing their doors until this venture started.

    The thing I found most inspiring about it was the young people. It’s easy to think they’re lazy dole bludgers (and I admit, that’s always been my opinion) but they really wanted to work and were incredibly proud to do so. It was life-changing for them all. The factory now has 14 youngsters busy making the garments.

    And it has a knock-on effect. One girl told how she could finally afford to go to a hairdressers and get her hair done. That means the hairdresser has increased income too to spend locally.

    If you haven’t seen it, I thoroughly recommend you watch it. It’s certainly made me think more about where I’m spending my money and that being prepared to pay a small premium for Australian produced goods is worth every single cent.

    Thanks for reading 😮

    #1134819
    Divert To Mobile
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    Hi Bridie,

    Not trying to be smart, but would that philosophy also apply for services? for instance VoIP?

    Steve

    #1134820
    michnichols
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    Great discussion thread Bridie. Love watching how she has aslo turned businesses around.

    My thoughts…

    Support local business and grow local business!

    Regardless whether it is a local product or service. It helps us all.

    As a service provider, I would rather spend my money with a local business and build a relationship.

    And by local I mean Australian!

    Michelle

    #1134821
    Zava Design
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    michnichols, post: 153486 wrote:
    My thoughts…

    Support local business and grow local business!

    Regardless whether it is a local product or service. It helps us all.

    As a service provider, I would rather spend my money with a local business and build a relationship.

    And by local I mean Australian!

    Michelle
    So tell me, does that mean if a non-local potential client came to you offering you good money, you would say no since they should support their own local businesses? Even though the market may not exist where they are?

    I’m all for supporting small businesses, and in areas such as food buying from local farmers markets and the like. But to say “buy local” for everything, I think that may be going a little far. I’m actually happier to see less boundaries between countries in most cases, including trade & services.

    Now that’s not to dismiss the value of the example above, that’s simply a great business idea put into action. And I’m sure if they grow they may look to export their products to countries that would put a premium on “British Made”.

    #1134822
    michnichols
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    Zava Design, post: 153494 wrote:
    So tell me, does that mean if a non-local potential client came to you offering you good money, you would say no since they should support their own local businesses? Even though the market may not exist where they are?

    I’m all for supporting small businesses, and in areas such as food buying from local farmers markets and the like. But to say “buy local” for everything, I think that may be going a little far. I’m actually happier to see less boundaries between countries in most cases, including trade & services.

    Now that’s not to dismiss the value of the example above, that’s simply a great business idea put into action. And I’m sure if they grow they may look to export their products to countries that would put a premium on “British Made”.

    Thanks Zava Design. I don’t buy exclusively Australian or local, in fact, I haven’t said that in my post. I do buy products from overseas sometimes too. Having lived and travelled overseas too for many years and with an English husband and son, I purchase products quite often from overseas.

    But I’m not to shy to say, my philosophy is to purchase local whenever I can, and build relationships and community.

    I do agree with live and do in business in a global digital world, but we are also part of a local community too.

    Michelle

    #1134823
    Zava Design
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    Cool, your first post was a little narrower in scope than your reply, so thanks for the clarification.

    #1134824
    bridiej
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    Buying exclusively Australian is never going to happen, but I think it would be great if sometimes people looked at the bigger picture and chose to keep their money within the country, rather than only thinking about the bottom line.

    And yes Steve, as a service provider myself I absolutely believe that it applies to services just as much as it does goods. :)

    #1134825
    LisaK
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    Great topic Bridiej,
    Buying locally whenever possible supports so many people and builds the local economy. It is an absolute must when it’s possible. I must admit when I go to Kmart or some such shop and find kids clothes so cheap it’s really hard not to buy them instead of the more expensive made Australian brands.
    I think that is where the Australian government has let local businesses small and large down. It is cheaper and in most cases easier to import from overseas then it is to manufacture in Australia.
    It’s not just in the manufacturing industry either. In many cases it is cheaper and a whole lot less red tape to go through to employ overseas tech staff then it is to employ Australians.
    This is the part that is just not right.
    I am sure most people like me prefer to buy Australian and local when they can fine and afford it. The scarcity of product and the cost of the products unfortunately have a huge impact on this.

    #1134826
    bridiej
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    Agree Lisa, especially when my own kids grow so quickly or ruin their clothes, buying cheaper does make sense. :)

    I would be interested to know your thoughts, using the example of the programme: would you be prepared to pay $15 for one completely Australian pair of knickers when you can buy others for $7 per pack of 5?

    #1134827
    Zava Design
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    bridiej, post: 153520 wrote:
    Buying exclusively Australian is never going to happen, but I think it would be great if sometimes people looked at the bigger picture and chose to keep their money within the country, rather than only thinking about the bottom line.

    And yes Steve, as a service provider myself I absolutely believe that it applies to services just as much as it does goods. :)
    Perhaps some folk have a different definition of “the bigger picture”? Why is it not just as positive from a global perspective to support a small business in, say, India, that is employing women from a local community? Or a freelancer in eastern Europe who is able to provide a better education for his children, and thus contribute to his own country’s overall improvement?

    I regard “buying local” as a personal choice, like choosing Holden or Ford. I think saying it’s “better” is completely subjective.

    And I see some posters above are providing services for international clients. Isn’t this a little hypocritical if you’re saying people should “buy local” first?? Or is it “Buy local… unless it’s my services you want to buy”?

    #1134828
    bridiej
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    I don’t see why it’s hypocritical. As I said above, it’s naive to expect everyone can buy local all the time, but at a time when many Aussies are doing it tough and the cost of living keeps going up, just making one or two decisions to purchase here in Australia rather than choosing a cheaper offshore solution can make a difference.

    JMHO :)

    #1134829
    Shaukat Adam Khalid
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    +1

    I personally do not agree with a protectionist view / policy. Rather than close borders or raise tariffs, we should focus on our comparative advantage but that requires work and does not get votes.

    Zava Design, post: 153580 wrote:
    Perhaps some folk have a different definition of “the bigger picture”? Why is it not just as positive from a global perspective to support a small business in, say, India, that is employing women from a local community? Or a freelancer in eastern Europe who is able to provide a better education for his children, and thus contribute to his own country’s overall improvement?
    #1134831
    Zava Design
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    bridiej, post: 153709 wrote:
    I don’t see why it’s hypocritical. As I said above, it’s naive to expect everyone can buy local all the time, but at a time when many Aussies are doing it tough and the cost of living keeps going up, just making one or two decisions to purchase here in Australia rather than choosing a cheaper offshore solution can make a difference.

    JMHO :)
    Then we can agree to disagree.

    I agree with buying local when it’s healthier (ie. fruit/vegies) or you get better quality, or for ethical considerations, ie. large company don’t have an environmental policy or similar.

    If an offshore supplier offers the same or better quality, conducts business in as ethical a way as a local supplier, but offers a much better price point, then why shouldn’t I purchase from them? Why should I not have an equal level of concern for the people of an Indian community as my own?

    And Aussies aren’t “doing it tough”, you’re joking right? Go spend some time in parts of Africa, and then you’ll see what “doing it tough” really means. Even in the US, far more folk have far greater problems than anyone in Australia. So basically as I said, personal choice no probs, everyone’s right, but don’t justify it with subjective views that aren’t backed up by facts is all.

    I’ve actually been involved in this debate for a while now, as it obviously effects the digital industry quite a bit, so it’s not something new for me. However as someone who has been making a significant proportion of my income from international clients for some years now, I believe it would be highly hypocritical of me to campaign against folk making the choice to source internationally.

    And my viewpoint to those in the digital industry (and probably any other) who complain about this are quite simple (and as Khalid suggests above): You need to improve your service offering, and offer something that you can provide that other “cheaper” service providers can not. If all you can compete on is price, then you should find another career rather than complaining about – basically – technology.

    This technology has brought far more advantages to everyone (Australians included) than disadvantages.

    And we’ve actually gone way on a tangent from the OP, which was a great community business idea pure and simple, notwithstanding any debate between local v offshore.

    #1134832
    bridiej
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    Zava Design, post: 153759 wrote:
    And we’ve actually gone way on a tangent from the OP, which was a great community business idea pure and simple, notwithstanding any debate between local v offshore.

    I was the OP and yes, it has gone off on a bit of a tangent.

    Scrooge summed it up best!

    #1134833
    Zava Design
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    bridiej, post: 153834 wrote:
    I was the OP and yes, it has gone off on a bit of a tangent.
    And it is a great project!

    Scrooge summed it up best!

    And that’s the tangent!

    ;)

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