Why suits are no longer made in Australia?
“Do you know anyone who still makes suits locally?” This is a question I get asked on a weekly basis.
You will rarely find a suit that was made locally, at least in Brisbane. You might find some traditional tailors in Sydney and Melbourne, but they are unicorns.
Unfortunately, Australian tailors are disappearing and there are many reasons behind it.
- Lack of skills
Mastering the technique of constructing a suit the conventional way takes years and years. The masters are all retired, but no one in Australia wants to carry on the heritage of handcrafted suits. As a result, many of the talents that were previously passed down through generations are now forgotten. A bespoke suit takes about one to two weeks of full-time effort to make by hand.
What about Australian factories?
Local manufacturing has had a steady decline over the last 30 years, and is now rare to see. It is far cheaper to bring products from overseas where the cost of living and standard wages are a small fraction of Australian standards, not to mention a more relaxed quality assurance standard.
- The Fabric
You’d think being one of the world’s largest wool producers, Australia would be manufacturing our own fabric. Regrettably, this is not the case. Fabrics are imported from Europe, America and Asia, after adding on taxes, import taxes, middle people fees, handling etc, you’d be looking at paying $100’s of dollars per meter for a decent quality fabric from a fabric retailer.
- Lack of Demand
Advertisements for suits starting at $150 are plastered all over billboards. You can usually get a quality super 120 suit off the rack for $800 to $1500. Social media and fast fashion demands that you wear a new outfit for every special occasion. Therefore, people nowadays choose quantity over quality.
So where can I buy a good suit then?
There are many off-the-rack suit providers in Brisbane but, The Modern Gentry creates quality custom-made suits that you will love wearing. Book an appointment today and ask our fitters any questions you may have before getting your high-quality custom-made suit.
If you love wearing suits, and want to know what is the difference between canvassed and no canvassed suits, what the different fabric numbers mean, and how to get a perfectly fitting suit, you might enjoy The Suit Book – everything you need to know about wearing a suit.