Australian Fashion Labels

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Our loans helped fashion business Australian Fashion Labels expand their ecommerce strategy and scale up their sales activity.

Australian Fashion Labels (AFL) is a contemporary fashion apparel and ecommerce business headquartered in South Australia, selling through wholesale and direct to consumer channels in over 55 countries.

They are home to four labels: finders keepers, C/MEO Collective, Keepsake and The Fifth Label – all sold through its global ecommerce store, BNKR (fashionbunker.com) and on C/MEO and Keepsake TMALL stores in China.

With the onset of COVID-19, AFL’s operations were severely impacted. Store closures and logistical shipment delays caused a setback in their product offering and ability to deliver to customers.

“Our wholesale customers were closing their stores, and we were seeing significant reduction in traffic across our markets. We had supply interruptions early on as well,” said Blake Williams, Chief Executive Officer of AFL Group.

Undeterred, AFL immediately launched an online expansion strategy. But to successfully shift their business models, they knew they had to access the right financial support.

That’s where Export Finance Australia stepped in.

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Accelerating scale and strategy

“COVID-19 actually helped accelerate the strategy we already had underway, which was to focus more on our own ecommerce,” admitted Blake. “But we were unable to secure extended credit to support the investment. So that’s where Export Finance Australia came in.”

Working with our South Australia Business Development team, Blake was able to secure financing to support their plans for export growth.

“Digital marketing is very much a strategy that benefits from scale and scaling; it’s about determining what’s working through a test and learn methodology and making sure you’re reaching the right customers at the right stage of the funnel. We didn’t have the capital for the scale effect,” explained Blake.

Our financial support

Our A$1m Export Contract Loan and USD$500,000 Export Line of Credit helped AFL invest in their manufacturing, technology and digital sales platforms.

“The key from Export Finance Australia, was that the initial piece of funding, got us going to really invest in our people, technology, user experience, and digital marketing,” added Blake.

“Export Finance Australia are right there to help us scale at a time where we’ve exhausted other sources of capital.”

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With our finance and a stronger global online infrastructure in place as a result, AFL are confident they can continue to grow and expand. They were also grateful for the support received from our team.

“It’s so very exciting, what we can do with the finance and how we can double down on our ecommerce strategy.

We want to thank the broader Export Finance Australia team for they are all playing a role. It was very clear about what the process was and what information was required, and I really enjoyed Export Finance Australia taking the time to understand our business.

Blake Williams, Chief Executive Officer, Australian Fashion Labels Group