As one of the top rugby nations you’d think we would also have the top rugby jersey marques from here… but we use Kiwi manufacturers to make Bok jerseys and all our teams wear apparel from overseas marques. BUT now we have our own local brand name and RW says … Local is Lekker!
So last night I see we have a new follower on Twitter. Then I decide to have a read seeing as in truth I am secretly a bit of a supporter of local clothing brands, particularly if they are of quality. Cape Storm and that kind of thing.
Anyway, I checked their website out and see these guys launched on 1 January 2012! Apparently the 2007 Bok clothing manager conceptualized the idea of having a clothing manufacturer here at home that could not only make rugby jerseys but also active wear of different kinds, including hockey, netball, soccer and obviously plain training wear as well as the usual activewear stuff like polo shirts, shorts, tee shirts, track pants, body warmers, hoodies, jackets both shelled and soft shelled.
Added that they provide for ladies sports as well as junior sports and you have a new local sports wear manufacturer making a wide range of ultra cool sports wear with an everyday active wear range to go along.
It is strange but since 1995 the Boks have not worn jerseys manufactured by a local maker and have worn Nike (USA) and Canterbury (New Zealand) apparel. Recently the top Super Rugby teams have worn Gilbert (Lions and Bulls), Adidas (Stormers), Puma (Cheetahs) and Reebok (Sharks). These manufacturers hail from the UK, Germany and France… but there is no local brand name rugby apparel manufacturer.
Of all of the manufacturers, the guys at Gilbert actually manufacture their stuff in South Africa which is ultra cool in and of itself, as support for Gilbert (which manufactures their stuff locally at a factory in Johannesburg), whilst the rest import their stuff. Gilbert which is the rugby ball manufacturer is a great supporter of RW and with their Johannesburg based manufacturing plant also of the South African textiles economy which is in a bad shape from imports. However until this launch we have not really ever had a South African rugby apparel brand.
Our country has produced some of the most powerful rugby teams in the world, the best players in the world and the finest coaches in the world… regarded as Number 2 power behind New Zealand. It is also the southern hemisphere’s richest nation n terms of money spent. It is a screaming injustice that we have had to rely on rugby apparel sponsors from Germany and the USA and even Australia (which have no history of rugby) to brand clothing to wear for our heroes.
Added to which the dominance of German manufacturers and American manufacturers in our soccer and you have something to be ashamed of for a country which prides itself on its sports performances and deifies its sports heroes.
What makes these guys even more special though is their online order system. So you go to their design forum which a little flash based programme. Here you can custom design your gear for your sports team with your colour codes and apparel patches and numbers and even space for player names! Then order online! How cool is THAT!
So from all of us at Ruggaworld to another local is lekker name! Good luck! Here is hoping we see lots of Wild Dog teams in short order!
Although I have a little place in my heart for Gilbert (they sponsor the Lions and the new Currie Cup Champions 2011 shirt I have has survived a few sessions of MMA and FightFit damned well (not to mention obviously the Currie Cup and Super Rugby campaigns, although I’d rather play pro rugby than face some of the guys I do at groundwork on Sunday afternoons!), the competition is great and it helps that schools and clubs now have a local brand name option for their apparel!