As the wife of Justin Levis - Cue Clothing Co executive director - Beth Levis has a unique insight into Australian manufacturing. Here, she shares that perspective and how it has influenced her own brand.
What influence does being involved with Cue/part of the Levis family have on your operations? How have they informed business decisions you’ve made?
Integral to Cue’s family of brands is its identity as an Australian business that stands for forward-thinking design, quality, and ethically responsible manufacturing.
We’re proud to say that Cue’s values transcend to the By Beth brand. By Beth is proudly made in Australia, using all-natural Australian ingredients, and produced in a socially responsible way.
It’s also no secret that Cue Clothing Co. which was founded and still operated by the Levis family is an incredibly successful business, and has been for 53 years.
From manufacturing to retail, the business has acquired a wealth of knowledge and experience that By Beth has been fortunate to draw from.
Taking my business from an idea, into development and later into distribution, has been no small feat. Its successful launch is thanks to many internal and third-party stakeholders.
I’m so incredibly proud of the By Beth brand, and I’m excited to share it with the Australian market.
Why is it important to the Levis family to manufacture locally?
Manufacturing locally is a conscious choice by the Levis family to prioritise supporting local makers – many of which Cue and Veronika Maine have worked with for 20-30 years.
It is also a considered choice to promote quality. Australia is known for its governance of quality produce, in turn earning it a global reputation.
Australia is renowned for its quality materials and ingredients – whether that’s wool, cotton, Davidson plum, muntries or bovine collagen.
For Cue, ‘Made in Australia’ is ingrained in the brand ethos.
It is a design focussed business that has always delivered of-the-minute styles weekly.
Making in Australia allows Cue to achieve this speed to market whilst giving back and supporting the local manufacturing industry.
Similarly, for By Beth, making locally and using local produce is entirely symbiotic with my brand’s identity.
We believe that our own backyard is the best source of produce, and one of my highest priorities is to give back to local producers, growers and Australian communities.
What are the current challenges in local manufacturing?
In recent months and years, we’ve seen a growing demand for local manufacturing, which is very exciting.
But hand in hand with this demand has been a decrease in accessibility and infrastructure.
The greatest challenge for making locally is workforce, machinery, and incentive.
By Beth was faced with this very challenge in its supply chain.
There is currently only one part of the production process that simply can’t be done in Australia.
For this step we use a technician in America - this is the reason that most collagen brands produce in Asia.
Likewise, the challenge for garment manufacturing is machinery, workforce, and incentive.
The shift to offshore in garment manufacturing has created a void for local designers and makers.
The fact remains that it is more affordable to produce offshore, so unless that gap can be rectified there is little to no incentive for brands to make locally – unless, like us, it is ingrained in their brand identity and a conscious brand decision.