Buy from the Bush is an initiative that encourages consumers from cities all over Australia to buy from rural and regional communities that are struggling through long and devastating drought.
Started on 16 October 2019, it began as an Instagram account showcasing beautiful local crafts and products available to buy from rural communities and called on city friends to look to the bush for their Christmas shopping.
In just seven weeks, the page had grown to over 130,000 followers and increased rural postage figures by 40%, providing a much needed direct cash injection into struggling regional communities.
Buy from the Bush Instagram and Facebook pages now have over 208,000 and 187,000 followers respectively and show no sign of slowing down.
The success and positive community impact of the campaign is evident, with its beneficiaries extending beyond the creators and makers selling their wares through the network.
Reports are coming through that creators are developing new relationships with wholesalers and stockists, as package parcels sell out in post offices from increased demand. Small businesses are employing casual staff to support the increase in sales, which in some cases have been 660% over the previous year.
Grace Brennan, the creator of the Buy from the Bush campaign, became the first woman from regional Australia to deliver the Australia Day Address and says she wanted her speech to tell the story of the bush. She talks of the dignity, strength and independence of Australian rural communities, and as she describes it “Buy from the Bush is less about crisis relief and more about sustainable support for rural communities in the long term. It is not about charity. It is about investment.”
“There was a very clear need,” said Brennan, “The need to attract cashflow to declining communities. The need to create work. To inject dollars and also hope. To allow people to feel visible and valued. The need for both symbolic and real support from the city to the bush.”
As devastated rural and regional communities across Australia start to rebuild, the Buy from the Bush campaign will likely continue to grow as consumers from across the country look to how they can assist communities left reeling from these climatic disasters.