Pacific Brands’ decision last week to cut most of its manufacturing in Australia does not only mean 1850 people will lose their jobs, but consumers will no longer be able to buy Australian made products from brands such as Bonds and King Gee.

“The news that Pacific Brands is dumping its Australian clothing manufacturing in favour of cheaper imports is very disappointing,” said Ian Harrison, chief executive of the Australian Made, Australian Grown (AMAG) Campaign.

“The Australian Made, Australian Grown Campaign has worked with units within the Pacific Brands group over a number of years and the use of the famous Australian Made logo was recently expanded to include a wider range of goods in the Bonds range.

“But it seems that the good efforts at that level have been washed over by a corporate decision driven by textbook theory.

The company says that this is a strategic decision and while Harrison has no doubt the financial crisis is putting many businesses under increased pressure, Australian consumers are increasingly concerned about where their goods are made or grown.

“It is no coincidence that the number of businesses using the AMAG logo is increasing rapidly – promoting locally produced goods as Australian makes sense, because consumers are looking for these goods. It is a real shame that Pacific Brands has ignored this for its clothing operations,” says Ian Harrison.

According to figures released by Industry Capability Network, every $1 million invested in the Australian manufacturing sector creates 12 full-time jobs and $1.26 million of benefits to the Australian economy. A strong manufacturing base in Australia is also essential to underpin our export efforts.