Wilderness Wear Australia’s history begins with socks and an old hosiery company in Tasmania that was bought by a veteran Mr Philip Endersbee in 1989. Upon relocation of the company’s equipment to Melbourne, Victoria, the pre-existing sock range was re-defined with development of a new item – the now iconic ‘Kosciuszko’ socks. Wilderness Wear Australia Pty Ltd is a one-of-a-kind company. It is the only Australian company that designs and self-manufactures premium level outdoor clothing at internationally recognized standards – for ecological conscience, material content, functionality and style – supporting a discerning, worldwide community of people dedicated to outdoor pursuits. Wilderness Wear, Duotherm, Microlite, Blister Free, Treklite, Outdoor Solutions Envirowool, Gridbloc, Flamebloc, Merino Fleece, Tecnowool, and Compression Merino are the brands in the bouquet of product offerings by Wilderness Wear. Mr Philip Endersbee is the MD & Founder of Wilderness Wear. He has spent the last 35 years building and managing manufacturing companies in Australia and overseas. The first 15 years with Pacific Brands and the last 20 years building Wilderness Wear. Currently he is the Director of Three Peaks Outdoor Gear Pty Ltd; Member-President elect, Rotary Club of Melbourne; Deputy Chair, East Timor Embassy Building Project Pty Ltd; Fellow, Leadership Victoria; Independent Trustee and Director, John T Reid Charitable Trust. In a talk with Ms Madhu Soni, Correspondent & Editor- Face2Face, Mr Philip Endersbee shares more about sportswear market worldwide.
To begin with, let me request you an understanding on present day garment industry worldwide.
Present day garment industry is recently stable. Level of imports out of Asia into most western countries is now duly dropped, and following, I think most of western countries with production off shore are now in the state where the level of manufacturing is least. Market prices have import component, export component and now have lack of manufacturing component involved. In other words, post global financial crisis industry is probably thrown back at the moment. And, it will take next couple of years to resume.
In this global market of ready to wear, what share your industry embarks? How do you see its potential?
Negligible! Let’s say, if ready to wear is 5 billion, Sportswear is approx 25 millions, and thus it has very little share.
We have business in sportswear. Today, those western countries having textile manufacturing base are moving away from basic commodities product into other sector in order to survive, and that is what creates lack of manufacturer in our country and that is the area we shall concentrate on. So I think we are going to face pursuit difficult than other basic commodities producers.
Can wool - meant for protection fabrics, be ever looked upon as fibre for fashion statement or say -a thing of beauty?
Wool has been in market for decades. No doubt, synthetic fibres have presence in many markets, and have been looked upon as substitute to wool, but wool as natural fibre has many benefits and can be used in fire retardant fabric, as well as to produce fabric that is quite cool in summer and quite warm in winter. So I would advocate that it is quite innovative to define wool to liberate fibre in fashion sector too. I think people doubt it becoming very large sector of marketing channel. But, I believe it is good for professional wears and has best functionality, and I think that describes why all of a sudden there is a world wide demand of wool. Infact in the world becoming ecologically conscious, wool due to its special performance characteristics as well as being ecosafe fibre, can definitely be looked upon as a fibre for fashion statement too.
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 Fibre2Fashion.com.