Victorian uniform manufacturer defies negative textile trends

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Bendigo and Melbourne based apparel manufacturer, ADA, has reported a 12.5% increase in staff over the past 12 months. ADA is now operating the largest dedicated uniform manufacturing facility in Australia out of Bendigo.

ADA CEO Matt Graham said that ADA’s Bendigo factory has long been a quiet achiever, opening in 1991 with just 40 employees, and now employing more than 100 people, all of whom live in Bendigo or within 20kms of the city.

“ADA has a strong commitment to the long-term sustainability and capability of Australian manufacturing”, Mr Graham said.

“Our Bendigo factory now manufactures more than 1.5 million garments every year, and has supplied over 5 million garments to clients around the world over the last 10 years.”

“So we see our future as a Victorian apparel manufacturer as prosperous and exciting”, he said.

While Victoria has traditionally held the mantle as Australia’s textile manufacturing capital, competitive pressure from imports has meant the sector has suffered 25% decline over the past five years.

“ADA has continued to thrive in Australia’s flagging manufacturing sector because we place emphasis on, ideas, innovation and incorporating new global technologies into our business”, Mr Graham said.

“With a 100-year history of creating uniforms designed to keep our armed services safe, we are now also applying our expertise to make work safer for Victoria’s police force, ambulance workers, and utility workers,” he said.

ADA is now a commercial company, emerging from what was previously the Commonwealth Government Clothing Factory – which began operating in 1912 and was responsible for the manufacture and supply of uniforms to Australia’s fighting forces through two world wars.

Today, ADA continues to support the Australian army with top-quality uniforms, designed for agility and safety.

And with the Australian Defence Force predicted to significantly increase its uniform orders over the next three years, Bendigo Factory Manager, Kerry Hodges, believes that the future for ADA in Bendigo is looking bright.

“ADA’s Bendigo factory is about to enter a period of rapid growth over the next 6-12 months, mostly due to a significant increase in orders from the defence sector over the next three years,” said Ms Hodges.

“We have over 80 sewers working in our Bendigo factory making ADA uniforms, knowing that their purpose is creating something that helps people get home from work safe each day,” she said.