The ACCC thought of the representations created a misunderstanding that Ozwear’s ‘Basic Ugg’ footwear had been Australian made when, the truth is, they had been made in China.
ACCC Deputy Chair Mick Keogh mentioned the conduct of the retailer was “unacceptable”.
“Nation of origin representations generally is a highly effective advertising and marketing device for companies, as many shoppers are prepared to pay additional for Australian made merchandise.
“When false or deceptive representations are made a couple of product being Australian made, shoppers could find yourself paying extra for no cause in any respect and companies who’re genuinely making their merchandise in Australia lose out,” Mr Keogh mentioned.
Regardless of paying the fantastic, Ozwear’s Jason Zhang stands by the model’s claims and disputed the ACCC’s assertion that his firm misled shoppers.
He mentioned the corporate is Sydney-based, and the ‘Basic Ugg’ vary does use Australian-sourced sheepskin and has the nation of manufacture stamped on the footwear and the packaging.
He accused the patron watchdog of “bullying”.
“We truly made adjustments to our swing tags and company wording to appease the ACCC, regardless that we disagreed with their ideology,” he mentioned, “however they had been on a witch hunt and seeking to bully a small Australian enterprise to pay hefty fines and tarnish us with the identical brush as the actual shonky operators on the market.”
The fines in opposition to Ozwear have come as Queensland-based memento wholesaler Birubi Artwork was discovered by the Federal Courtroom to have misled shoppers over its faux Aboriginal artwork.
From July 2015 to November 2017, Birubi bought over 18,000 boomerangs, bullroarers, didgeridoos and message stones to stores round Australia, the ACCC mentioned in a press release.
These merchandise featured designs related to Australian Aboriginal artwork and phrases similar to ‘Aboriginal Artwork’, ‘real’, and ‘Australia’. Nonetheless, they had been made in Indonesia.
Within the ‘about’ part of Birubi’s web site, it says “we delight ourselves on working with, and selling, a few of Australia’s distinguished Aboriginal artists.”
The federal court docket proceedings had been initiated by the ACCC in March. In a press release on Wednesday, ACCC Commissioner Sarah Courtroom mentioned the paintings, photographs and statements utilized by Birubi “prompt a relationship between Australian Aboriginal folks and the manufacturing of the merchandise which didn’t exist.
“The ACCC is especially involved about any conduct that has the potential to undermine the integrity and worth of real Indigenous Australian artwork, and consequently, the affect that might have on Indigenous Australian artists,” Ms Courtroom mentioned.
Ms Courtroom mentioned the watchdog “is not going to hesitate to take additional motion” in opposition to merchants peddling faux Aboriginal artwork “with a view to guarantee confidence within the Indigenous Australian artwork business”.
Fairfax Media has approached Birubi for remark.
A listening to on penalties and different orders sought in opposition to Birubi by the ACCC shall be held on a later date.
Jenny Noyes is a journalist on the Sydney Morning Herald. She was beforehand a author and editor at Day by day Life.