My products are made in small curated batches in Danang, Vietnam.
Vietnam is renowned for its quality bag manufacturing sector. That's why major brands such as North Face, Osprey, Nike and Coach all have shifted operations from China to Vietnam. That's why Jack Stillman has moved. I have found that I have more control over the quality and conditions of our craft there and can work with smaller numbers to elevate quality.
I would love to offer an all Australian-Made product, but unfortunately, it's not possible to make a cost-effective product like this in Australia. Many people have tried to argue differently to me and none, including myself, have been able to demonstrate how an Aussie business like mine can make a competitive product here. The reasons are complex and have to do with the supply of materials, skills, labour costs and economics. Trust me, I've tried many times.
This is not a slight on my remarkable country which dominates the world in so many other areas of production and supply; its just the reality of the bag game. Some people have actually suggested that I stop making my product if it can't be made in Australia. That somehow it's un-patriotic or exploitative to operate my business overseas? I consider this a bizarre notion. So rather than give up, I choose to offer an Australian designed, well-made bag that is competitive in an international market. I pay taxes to Australia, I spend in Australia, and I love my country till the day I die, but I can't make my products here.
Despite the above looking like I am making excuses for manufacturing offshore, it isn't necessarily so. I am pleased with what we have set up in Danang, Vietnam, and I am very proud and grateful for my team there. Your purchase not only contributes to taxes in Australia; it supports 3 families with young children in Danang. I employ these people exclusively, and they reward me with loyalty, an insane attention to details and friendship. We are a family.
So please, before you get on your high-horse about where you "assumed" my products were made, consider this: I offer you high quality, ethical, handmade wares that I guarantee for 10 years, all at a reasonable cost. If the country of origin is not to your patriotic standards, feel free to buy from Elk (made in Vietnam), DrizaBone (made in China), Crumpler (Korea, Vietnam) or RM Williams (China, SE Asia).