As I discussed many months ago now on the blog, I've become increasingly more concerned with trying to support Australian businesses - both food producers and also fashion. Unfortunately with fashion, there are not many options out there where the clothes are designed and also manufactured in Australia.

Most manufacturing is now done overseas to an Australian designers specifications, or even worse the chain stores just buy a ready made range or pieces to complement their "designed" collection from an overseas factory and have their label sewn into it (common practice when I was working in clothes stores back in the 90's and we'd see the exact same things in Witchery, Esprit, Country Road and Sportsgirl - all identical but with a different label in them and different price tags depending on which store was more upmarket. We used to use it as a sales pitch...).

me in a Cable Melbourne jumper/ sweater

Over the past decade more and more manufacturing has shifted off shore, and less and less is made here. I'm not one to support businesses that don't deserve to be here - for a long time we've put up with high prices on cheap items made in sweatshops in Asia, marketed by Australian businesses who now cry poor because the internet and a strong Australian dollar make purchasing off shore more attractive. But there are a few local designers and manufacturers that I think are world class, and Cable Melbourne is one of them.



Cable Melbourne, is as the name suggests, based out of Melbourne and uses Australian Merino wool to produce a truly suburb knitwear range. They're a reasonably new company (2007), I first stumbled over their tiny shop in Beatty Avenue, Armadale (suburb of Melbourne) around 3 or 4 years ago and fell in love with the quality of the knitwear, and the really lovely designs and colours. Their stuff is not cheap, frankly anything made locally is never going to be cheap due to our high minimum wage compared to the rest of the world. But I don't think the pricing is crazy for the beautiful quality of the items, and on sale they really are excellent value for money. Knits that I bought back then (and have worn so frequently that Mr AV refers to them as my Uniform) still have not pilled, keep their shape despite frequent washing, have not spontaneously developed holes and are toasty warm. Best of all, they look so good. I'm frequently complimented on my cardigans in Winter, and asked where I get them from.



So while I think the term "Investment Dressing" is an oxymoron if ever there were one, I do consider these to be very wise purchases. Something that you wear almost daily for 4 months of the year is a good buy. I find a long line cardigan is flattering, works well for day wear for me, and if it has an interesting design to it instantly looks quite dressy when paired with basic skinny jeans and flats. I'll also wear the long line cardi like a coat, over the top of a dress or skirt and boots and it can look quite dressy.

The most worn cardi that Mr AV calls my "Uniform"



So I thought I'd share this range with you, especially as we've really only just hit Winter, and the Sale has already started there... I can also vouch for their range of "basics" - great layering pieces that are not itchy against the skin.

Too often we look to overseas designers or companies for "quality" items. There's been a lot of push into the Australian consciousness  about Cashmere (although much of what we get is the poor quality Chinese cashmere, and not the Scottish extra fine and extra long fibre), but Australian Merino Wool and our wool in general is recognised the word over for its superior quality. Cable Melbourne has the coveted Woolmark and is part of Prince Charles' Campaign for Wool, so is well worth supporting.

I'm always interested to hear of other manufacturers and designers that are local, so do leave a comment if you know of others that might be of interest to me or to other readers.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

34 comments:

  1. Oh thanks so much for sharing Cable! I've just had a look at their sale items and will definitely be getting a sweater or two. I'm surprised at how reasonable their prices are, given that they're made in Australia!
    Do you reckon their sizes are true?
    I love Skin & Threads, anoth Melbourne knit label, but their items are made off shore :-( their cashmere is great, though, so much better than J Crew....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, some people would think they're expensive, but I personally think that compared to Country Road prices for instance, that they are pretty good, especially given the quality of the knit.
      Sizes are true to size - you'd definitely be an XS. I like Skin and Threads too, but haven't tried their cashmere, only cotton. As for J Crew... their cashmere lasts 2 seasons if you're lucky! xx

      Delete
  2. I love the idea behind this and agree that it is so difficult to sustain in modern day Australia. Will have to have a look Cable. Have you read Prince Charles' book 'Harmony'...if not track it down as I think that a lot of what he has to say is really relevant and thought provoking. My mother accuses him of talking to vegetables yet I think this makes him before his time! Rx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Definitely check them out - they'd be perfect for a chilly Hobart winter (or Summer...). I think Prince Charles is spot on with so much - it's really interesting to me that he was the laughing stock in the 80's/ 90's over organics, vernacular architecture, traditional farming practices, sustainable manufacturing, traditional construction skills... and look how he's been proven right in time. I'll check out the book, didn't realise he had one out. xx

      Delete
  3. Very lovely pieces, yes I love Prince Charles and your comment above is spot on Heidi.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love Charles too - especially his commentary about Architecture. Too much faddism and experimentation has wiped away centuries of sensible design principles. I was watching a documentary about a new housing development he did in Scotland - fascinating, he's really carved out his own path. xx

      Delete
  4. I just had a look at the website and you're right - it is real good classic stuff - almost like the Australian Loro Piana. I like your uniform!

    But you are right, in Asia a few factories do make and contract to the big major manufacturers. That is why I don't like to spend money on expensive high street stores because I know they just tweak the primark stuff.

    The laws depending on the country are different but in the states, you can say it is made in the usa as long as a certain percentage is made there. But that means, sourcing and the initial stages can be made in a third world country from dodgy standards either in workmanship or fair trade practices.

    I am trying to purchase things that have gone through the hands ( literally ) of people rather than machine made but there is a financial cost but I keep telling myself that it works out over time. I am trying to think of something local and to be honest, I can't think of anything except for a few apples, honey, and rhubarb! Oh and the mini( I used to drive one), they make those in Oxford...xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's really lovely in real life - I don't think you can get a sense of how good a quality the knit is.. there are plenty of drapey cardi's out there, but these just have a weight and drape and lustre to the wool that sets them apart.
      We're so used to seeing "Made in China" or Bangladesh/India/Vietnam etc that to see "Made in Australia" is quite rare. We have strict labelling laws, so you do see a lot of "designed in Australia, Made in China" on things. Fortunately for food it's very easy to support local growers and suppliers, and preferable as our food produce is better than other countries. But clothes... that's a different story. xx

      Delete
  5. Thank you Heidi for all your very interesting posts...I agree with everything you say in your post and in your reply to Coulda Shoulda Woulda. However with everything else we have lost in Australia, next up will be our food production.
    When will this Government stop being so short-sighted...When will the media highlight how much of our land is being bought by overseas interests: Foreign governments who are planning for the future to feed their own people, while our Government (whichever one is in power) is selling out the criticially vital food security of this , their own country...It makes me so mad, that the media just rattles on about the same mundane things day in, day out, and the really important issues are swept under the carpet.
    I fear for our children and the future of this country.
    I agree about Prince Charles, I think he is a man ahead of his time.



    You, your children and my grandchildren will feel the

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I worry about the food producers on a very basic level - look at what Coles and Woolworths are doing to the food manufacturers in this country. I hadn't been into Coles for 2 years (my preferred supermarket is Foodland, a South Australian chain that is excellent), and was shocked at how it had changed. All their own label, so little choice. This was highlighted by Spring Gully, an SA pickle company going into administration after Coles and Woolworths dropped their ranges suddenly, nationally. Huge outcry in SA meant that everyone rushed to buy Spring Gully and they've reinstated them in Coles - but so much of what is in there is packaged up from overseas, or they've put the squeeze on local producers to lower the price while they use it to draw in the shoppers. Foreign Ownership of our farms is a difficult one - we get valuable investment in our infrastructure on the one hand, but it does put family farms out of the reach of a lot of people who would traditionally have been on the land. xx

      Delete
  6. Thanks for introducing us to this brand! The pieces look lovely. I still have a few "Made in Australia" woollens from when my family lived there, and the quality is really extraordinary, especially when compared to what is available now. I also remember how Prince Charles was laughed at but he was ahead of his time. I read an interview with him in U.S. Vogue and being so impressed with his ideas and vision.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think I remember that article too Louise. Sadly much of our Made in Australia is long gone now - the news is filled every day with manufacturing being closed down and shifted off shore, it's so sad and great to find some local manufacturers still left. xx

      Delete
  7. do not get me started on fast to pill Chinese cashmere....my expenny Scottish stuff from 2003 is still perfect-it's the wonder of the ply.

    Even my Pucci frocks have a made in China label these days.

    I love Prince Charles's ethos re sensible design/recycling and sustainability x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A lot of designer stuff is made in China, it's frustrating that labelling laws differ so much from country to country that a lot of the stuff labelled Made in Italy should really read China. I think sewing the label in makes it qualify there...
      Must've been lovely to have visited Highgrove and see his vision in action. I have the book, and would love to go there xx

      Delete
  8. I love cable knits so so much! Remind me of NZ. I must invest some time into looking for a cream one like yours - or yours???that would suit Calif weather, they always looks so timeless and gorgeous. And don't get me started on the cardi's or as I call them the mini snuggies _ I cannot get them off me!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Their summer range would probably work well - linen/ cotton knits or lightweight wool. I live in my cards/ mini snuggies in winter... nothing better! xx

      Delete
  9. I have the long cardigan in a light grey which I love. Problem though my daughter also loved it and thought she would wear it and put in through normal wash cycle before I was back from holidays! Luckily it survived - another testament to the quality. I saw an interesting review on tv on Bangladesh, where more than 1,000 garment workers died when their factory collapsed last month. That tragedy focused attention on dangerous conditions for people who make clothes for Western retailers. In the aftermath, some workers are walking off their jobs in protest and so I hope some good can come out of the tragedy which highlighted the atrocious conditions these people are forced to work under and top brand names will start to question their outsourcing of manufacturing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That has done well to go through the normal wash! We've got the same cardigan then - I love it so much. I saw that program on TV - 4 corners maybe? While it would be devastating to cut production in these countries entirely the companies using these factories have to take responsibility for what they are manufacturing there and the conditions the workers work in or are paid. Manufacturing in Australia we don't have to even think about it - such a vast difference between here and there. xx

      Delete
  10. Bravo Heidi ..completely agree and will check out cable knitwear.

    The other day went into a boutique in Surry Hills in Sydney called Sark ..all clothes made in Sydney and I was told the only Australian fabric they could source was woollen cloth from Melbourne. Surry Hills used to be the heart of Sydney rag trade and there are still signs everywhere from long gone manufacturers

    BTW left a comment aboutmy vivist to the us shops in Bondi Junction Sydney on your previous post

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's sad the only locally made fabric would be wool, not cotton, but not exactly surprising. Great to hear that they're making things locally though. It's the same in Melbourne - they used to do a lot of garment manufacturing in the city and in Richmond, and its all gone now (and replaced with trendy apartments instead). Shall go back and reply to your comment... so sorry, was distracted and then forgot! xx

      Delete
  11. You are right Heidi, it's all about Cost Per Wear, not the initial purchase price. I am about to give up on cashmere and stick to home-grown Merino I think. J Crew cashmere is bin-worthy after one season and even supposedly luxury brands are hit-and-miss. I bought a N Peal cashmere jumper in May, thinking I was getting Scottish quality. Nope. It's made in China and sagging and pilling already. Grrr. Thank you so much for the link. x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How disappointing with the N Peal. Some of the local cashmere offerings have been expensive and not that great either in my opinion. I gave up on J Crew a few years ago, that stuff is horrible. The Cable range has definitely been worth the money. Tabitha from Bourbon and Peals wrote a good post on Scottish Cashmere a while back - there is a society of Scottish Cashmere manufacturers, I know that Brora is one that makes quality cashmere (www.brora.co.uk), but frankly for the price I prefer to buy local, plus I prefer the designs from Cable, they have classic plainer pieces, but they also have quite fashionable knitwear too which I like. xx

      Delete
  12. What a very thinly veiled sponsored post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm flattered you think my blog is popular enough that I'd get offered a sponsored post anon. I have not received any compensation, discount or anything else to write about them - I like their stuff. End of story.

      Delete
  13. Hello Heidi
    Just catching up on your lovely blog. Great hearing about Australian wool jumpers that are ethically made and good quality-I'm so disappointed with wool purchases from the other "high end, but made overseas" ranges, so will definitely try Cable instead.
    I have a question about your kitchen design dilemmas from your previous post-so many of the classic kitchens you pinned have a shaker-style door, but I gather you have a preference for laminated cupboards. How would you achieve a classic kitchen look with laminex doors? I'm only asking because I am having similar design issues and am really curious to know how to get around it!
    I would love to avoid 2-pac painted doors but I adore the classic look.
    Thanks, Renie


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Renie, My finish of choice would be laminate, but you're right in that you can only do a plain cupboard door with it. So the shaker style door that I'm looking at would be achieved either with vinyl wrap, 2 pak, or hand painted finish. I'd go with hand painted as vinyl wrap only comes with a 7 year warranty and degrades over time. I don't like 2 pak as discussed previously due to chipping, so the hand painted would be the go for me. You can't get a high gloss finish with this type of finish, really you can only achieve that with 2 pak, but as I like a more semi gloss or matt appearance then I'd specify shaker profile mdf doors with hand painted (on site) semi gloss enamel. This can be easily touched up if you do get a chip, but overall the finish is more durable anyway. I did this with my parent's kitchen 10 years ago, and its still looking really good. It's a common way of finishing cupboard fronts in England, just hasn't managed to travel here where the default seems to be 2 pak. Hope that helps xx

      Delete
  14. Heidi.. I really love this post... firstly that you've shared this company and their lovely products, and secondly because it gets us all thinking - We should all be doing this - all be promoting Australian companies - Well done and I cannot wait to hop across and look at their lovely knitwear. Thank You xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad you enjoyed it Jenny - I'm going to hunt around and see if I can find others... food is easy (especially in Adelaide with the Barossa on our doorstep), but clothes/ footwear etc is really hard to find Australian Made. xx

      Delete
  15. What a thought provoking blog. I remember Flinders Lne, in Melbourne early 80s was full of Australian fashion labels with design and manufacturing onsite. Sadly this is no longer the case, so thanks for highlighting Cable, I will definitely have a look. Totally agree with Coles/Woolworths monopoly - try to avoid and shop local IGA wherever possible. Have a lovely weekend. Karen

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Karen, it makes me so sad to see what has been lost over the past 20 years with manufacturing. You'd be hard pressed to find the green and gold Made in Australia swing tag on much these days. I remember the glory days of the 80's with the woolmark, and the fashion parades etc... hardly anything seems to have the woolmark locally now, which is surprising given that we are the source! xx

      Delete
  16. I love the jumpers and cardies. They look fab and I can see why they would be your winter uniform. You would be looking classy but feeling super comfy. Perfect.

    I tend not to wear drapey cardies although I love them. They drag in stuff at work (gross) and get caught on stuff at home!

    An Australian brand I do buy a little of is called "mesop". My understanding is that fabric knitting and manufacturing is also done in Melbourne. A bit like metallicus style wise. Not all of their stuff would be my taste but the basics have been very useful for layering etc. Plus I just throw them in the washing machine so super easy. Again - at the higher end of the price range for what they are though. They do seem to last forever. (And I give them a hammering.)

    Hope you are having a good weekend. There seems to be more than the odd troll floating around the net at present... Oh well.

    Take care.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll have a look at Mesop - thanks for mentioning them... I might do a follow up post on some other Australian made clothing brands too.
      Can see why you'd avoid a drapey cardi at your work though... you have to buy what works with your lifestyle. I've avoided cream for the past 7 years. Just tried this season with the oatmeal coloured jumper in the top pic and a cardi as well, and so far haven't managed to make them look horrendous. Helps that the sticky fingers are a little lessoned now (and out of the house for part of the week too).
      Yes, a few trolls around the net, poor FF has copped a bit this weekend. Enjoy the gardening! xx

      Delete
  17. Thank you for posting about Cable. I am always on the lookout for Australian owned and made. I sprinted over to its website and purchased a 'midnight' long line cardigan. It is beautiful and exactly what I have been seeking for sometime. I am fighting the urge to buy more.
    So, maybe Cable should sponsor this post retrospectively because I am hooked!
    If you have any other such recommendations please share.
    Good luck with the kitchen fit out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so glad you found something you liked... and yes, I think once you have one and love it you are indeed hooked! I'm going to hunt around for a few other Australian made companies and do a feature soon xx

      Delete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Search This Blog

About Me

My photo
Architect & Interior Designer. Mother of three. A sometimes Cook, Baker, Reader, Gardener, Fashion Lover, Renovator, Writer of random things in South Australia email me on anadelaidevilla@bigpond.com
Powered by Blogger.

Follow by Email

Follow this blog with bloglovin

Follow on Bloglovin

Followers

Things to read....

.