Interview with David Robinson

David Robinson
David Robinson
Speedo International
Speedo International

Do you feel that celebrity endorsement always work for brands?

It is vitally important to ensure that the brand and the associated ambassador have the right synergy and shared values. We predominantly work with athletes who share our passion for swimming and play a role in inspiring people to swim and promoting the benefits of it as a life skill and fitness regime. The athletes we sponsor, also help in the development and testing of our products, as such we can be sure that we’re producing the best and most innovative swimwear and equipment in the world because it is being used by some of the top athletes.

Swimwear is made from artificial fibres and making of artificial fabric has many adverse affects on the environment. What technical changes can be done to nullify such affect?

We understand and recognise that all of our products have a lifecycle – from concept to disposal – our goal is to understand where we can make changes to improve our processes. We work with leading suppliers, each with a clear expertise in their area and with commitment to improvement of their own processes and impacts as well. We also upcycle where possible, for example our partnership with an ethical fashion brand, who created a collection of stylish dresses using surplus stocks of our product. This was created following a change in FINA regulations regarding competitive swimwear in 2010. The partner brand also produced a one-off couture ball gown using surplus fabric from one of our product range in 2012.

Swimwear markets are entirely different from other apparel markets. Please present your views.

Swimwear markets are similar to all markets. There is a need that consumers have to purchase a product. The product and brand that best meets their needs and is enjoyable to purchase and use, will usually succeed versus their competitors. We invest heavily behind understanding these insights and creating great products that swimmers love. Our purpose is to inspire even more people to enjoy the benefits swimming has to offer.

Swimwear is a luxury or a need?

Swimwear is a definitely a need because swimming is an essential life skill that everyone should possess. We don’t just support competitive swimming, but everything in between, right down to grass roots and swimsuits for people who just want to relax and stay healthy. Our 'Learn To Swim’ range is an integral part of the brand. This initiative provides parents and children with the tips, techniques and confidence they need to develop this skill and inspire a lifelong love of the water. It is also relevant to every market in the world and is one of the few sports you can fully enjoy through your whole life. There are however still regions of the world where swimming is still the sport of the affluent class as its cost and access to good facilities can be high versus the income of the general population.

How has nanotechnology helped your business?

Having assessed many options we still choose solutions that do not require nanotechnology. As this area continues to develop we continue to test applications, and should one meet our needs we will use it as part of our technology mix.
Published on: 26/04/2013

DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of

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