Aussie Grit Apparel claims its ‘focus on the function’ is borne from the experience of being out in the elements in apparel not always up for the challenge.
We caught up with Amanda Herrod, the very enthusiastic design and product development manager and self-professed ‘outdoor junkie’ about how this determination has translated into the soon to be released first range.
The first thing that strikes you about Amanda is a passion to develop solutions based garments for sportspeople. A 20 year career working as a freelance designer and successful consultant to many sports brands as well as a long stint with SKINS covering R & D, garment & fabric development and product management has now been put to great use as part of the small team at Aussie Grit Apparel.
Soon after joining the company, Amanda travelled with managing director Mark Thewlis, sourcing and production director Cassandra Carey and the architect behind the Aussie Grit brand Mark Webber to meet for what hopefully was to be the final range review meeting at the company’s manufacturing partners site in Lithuania.
“That was a really important trip for the team, as it was the culmination of many months of design, fabric review and prototype testing of our first range.
“To finally reach the moment where we could say, ‘we’re really proud of these garments,’ and press the green button to start making them was a huge moment for our team,” Amanda said.
Amanda said the company’s internal mantra that our garments should be noteworthy for an ‘absence of negatives’ meant that there were a lot of design, fabric choice, prototype builds and testing before landing on the final range.
“We talk about a ‘focus on function’ a lot as it holds us internally accountable to ensure that the performance of the garment is in tune with the functional needs of the off-road sportsperson.
“We want our garments to be famous for their comfort, durability as well as offer protection from the elements – we’re an off-road brand, so mother nature is both our friend and challenge,” she said.
Amanda added, “We’ve gone to great lengths in the design of our garments such as protecting core temperature areas such as the chest; developed a unique waistband design for our bike shorts to minimise bulk and heat build-up around waist; incorporated snag proof designs; placed pockets to not impede pedalling or running bio-mechanical efficiency and so on.”
A CLEAR FOCUS ON DURABILITY AND PROTECTIVE ELEMENTS SUITED TO OFF-ROAD USE.
Fabric selection has also been a key for Aussie Grit Apparel with a clear focus on durability and protective elements suited to off-road use.
Longer ‘tailed’ outer garments with dirt, oil and stain resistant fabrics; waterproof auto-locking zips, reflective trims for increased visibility and safety in low light conditions and varying zip placements on garments to remove ‘zip on zip’ discomfort when layering are just some of the ‘smarts’ Amanda mentioned ahead of the full public reveal of the range later this year.
It appears in the sports garment world to have an ‘absence of negatives’ you need to think of plenty.