The Iconic Edition
News
|29 Jun|4 mins

Inside The Brand That's (Still) Made in Australia

Homegrown hero
Kate Tregoning
29 Jun
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What if we told you of a brand whose craftsmanship is so meticulous that no quality control is needed? Where artisans are simply trusted to do their jobs exceptionally. No, not in an atelier in Milan, but right here in Australia.

This is true of a rugged brand that’s as synonymous with our country as... Vegemite. A name we’re all very well acquainted with: R.M. Williams.

When we found this out we had to see for ourselves, so, armed with cameras, THE ICONIC buying team made the journey to South Australia.

News
|29 Jun|4 mins

Inside The Brand That's (Still) Made in Australia

Homegrown hero
Kate Tregoning
29 Jun
Share:

What if we told you of a brand whose craftsmanship is so meticulous that no quality control is needed? Where artisans are simply trusted to do their jobs exceptionally. No, not in an atelier in Milan, but right here in Australia.

This is true of a rugged brand that’s as synonymous with our country as... Vegemite. A name we’re all very well acquainted with: R.M. Williams.

When we found this out we had to see for ourselves, so, armed with cameras, THE ICONIC buying team made the journey to South Australia.

Still situated in the brand’s birthplace of Adelaide, when the workshop’s employees call themselves a family it’s not contrived — it’s not unusual to have worked in the company for over 20 years, alongside several generations of your actual relatives. Meeting some of the craftsmen and women, you hear stories that at one time 18 members of the same family worked there. Six still do.

The work that goes into one pair of R.M. Williams boots is unrivalled. Once considered solely the practical outfitters of rural stockmen, they've now found a home with city folk — both at home and internationally. Their tried-and-tested designs fare better than well on the concrete. (Take the Sydney boots for example)

One of Australia’s most successful exports, shipping to over 15 countries, it’s a company with its feet firmly grounded. Providing refined, timeless styles that have barely changed in years, the draw is the extraordinary quality and expert craftsmanship. Their boots go the distance—they’re known for it. A technique that’s been honed and perfected over the decades, they’re are still made the same way R.M. Williams crafted them himself. From a single piece of premium leather.

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And it’s not just the techniques that have stood the test of time, one of the machines is 110 years old with a dedicated on-site maintenance team to keep it up and running. ‘Out with the old and in with the new’ is not the RM way. Their apparel, footwear and accessories are made to order, reducing waste and the need to store stock.

It’s telling that most of the staff choose to wear R.M. Williams head to toe — as you weave your way around the workshop, their pride in what they make is palpable. Everyone under one roof is trained in each careful step of the process, from stitching the leather of a belt to embroidering the signature logo on a pocket. It’s a process that reminds us how satisfying it is to know where your outfit came from.

Kate Tregoning
Lifestyle Editor