June 18 - 24, 2017: Issue 317
Tired of looking like everyone else in the same branded gear everyone wears? Want to support a local business and local creators and businesses? Want to find something unique and further the development, or redevelopment of independent makers of Australian products? - then the Surf Collective is where you need to look.
This week co-founder Mark Rannuci helps us share a small insight into a local business in the business of promoting others' business and giving us back access to so many great producers - all in one place!
Brothers from the Northern Beaches and Central Coast of Sydney, Mark and Andrew Ranucci, love the ocean, surfing and the culture it represents. Over the years though, from it’s humble beginnings, slowly but very surely, the culture they loved turned into bigger and bigger business. And that business morphed into a global industry. As proud as it made them, in the early days, to see this niche lifestyle choice they adored becoming envied and coveted the world over, they also felt that over the years, little by little, a small part of its charm was slipping away.
Today that ‘industry’ is a globally ebbing and flowing tide of gazillions of dollars commanded by multinational corporations. But what happened to the ‘culture’? Of course it’s still there. In fact it’s probably as strong as ever. It’s just a little harder to see through all the sponsorship banners and neon-lit logos.
Whether it was boards, clothing, accessories, art… Mark and Andrew realised how difficult it had become to find local, independent, non mass-produced surf products. The stuff that started it all back in the day. And so, the idea for Surf Collective was born.
Mark & Andrew set out to find a collection of truly independent producers of quality Australian surf gear, and establish an on-line marketplace who’s motivation was two-fold; 1) To present a platform for these independent creatives to showcase and sell their wares, and 2) To provide consumers, with a reliable connection to the kind of limited-edition items they can no longer seem to find in today’s same-same saturated marketplace.
Surf Collective is a place to discover the surf gear you’ve been searching for. You’ll be able to learn about the producers of the goods you’re purchasing – their inspiration, motives and values. You’re buying online from homegrown producers in a way that’s almost as authentic as if buying from them face-to-face at a local market.
Surf Collective aims to encourage, and ultimately enable, emerging producers to present their product to a broader market… and of course, offer fantastic independent products to it’s customers.
“You can choose your friends, but you sho’ can’t choose your family” said Harper Lee - but with all due respect, we politely disagree!
Surf Collective is the home of carefully selected, innovative, inspired, passionate & proudly independent Australian brands.
Surf Collective's diverse brand family offers ocean lovers and salty types alike real choice and variety in a marketplace too long dominated by large multinationals.
Our Surf Collective family gives you direct access to a fantastic range of authentic, quality, home-grown product alternatives.
Dive on in and test our waters! We know you'll soon discover some brand new favourites!
What local products are available through Surf Collective – who is behind them?
Some local Pittwater Brands that we have on our site include: -
Dave from Garage Handplanes who is a great Avalon bloke, very involved in the promotion of Body Surfing and has some of the worlds best body surfers using his handplanes.
Alex from Shapes in the Sand Swimwear creates stunning swimwear from recycled fishing nets. Now that’s seriously environmentally friendly.
Emma is a Uni Student that has Rosie & Minx which is an Australian Made swimwear brand with all reversible pieces.
Grace from The Five Hive with her lovely Turkish Towels and Kids Poncho’s
Naturally we have many more brands doing some great things further down the Northern Beaches.
Our High School Business Initiative
Australia has been a hotbed of creative inspiration and product innovation ever since modern surfing first hit our shores. Over time, many homegrown surfers, shapers, businesses, brands, designs, innovations and products have gone on to become successful surf industry players both here and the world over.
To continue that proud tradition and to nurture new emerging homegrown surf industry talent and innovation, Avalon’s Surf Collective have partnered with Barrenjoey High School to present our High School Business Studies Initiative - a collaborative business/education program and competition that mentors, assists and encourages Year 10 Business Studies students to develop an actual surf-related product while learning - and experiencing - the ‘ins and outs’ of real world business practice and requirements.
As part of their prize package, the winning student entrepreneur of our High School Business Studies Initiative will receive: direct funding from Surf Collective to produce their winning product; an online shopfront on the Surf Collective website - a rich stable of proudly independent Australian small businesses and surf-related products - and retail selling space for their wares at The Sneaky Grind Café - Surf Collective’s collaborative bricks and mortar outlet.
Surf Collective is proud to instigate and support this High School Business Studies Initiative - a developmental and collaborative vocational platform and business program that brings student learning and experience out of the artificiality of the classroom and directly into the real world of commerce.
Score some epic gear & contribute to the great work being done by the crew at Surfaid.
No doubt you’re aware of SurfAid. Started more than 15 years ago by a group of concerned surfers, SurfAid is now staffed by 95% Indonesian nationals who work together to bring sustainable health improvements throughout the island communities of Western Sumatra, Sumbawa and Sumba.
At Surf Collective, we’re extremely proud to partner with SurfAid and offer a dedicated line of products, from various generous members of our ‘Collective’, with 100% of all profits going straight back to SurfAid. Check out their site (or ours) for a click-through to the collaborative merch. Score some epic gear & contribute to the great work being done by the crew at SurfAid.
Surf Aid and the Barrenjoey High School Initiative; why are you ‘giving back’?
Our aim with Surf Collective is to encourage people with an idea to have a go and bring the product to market, but providing them with a Marketplace to sell it through. Hence, we thought what better place to plant that seed than our local High School. We have been able to bring the Year 10 Business studies course to life and the kids are so engaged in their studies as they are all based on a surf product that they have come up with. It’s been really wonderful to see. By providing a prize where we will fund the making of a winning product it really does make it real as something will be made and brought to market via our website and our retail collaboration with The Sneaky Grind Café in Avalon Beach (48 Old Barrenjoey Road - down the laneway to Pet shop and Red Cross shop Avalon).
In respect to Surf Aid, we were approached by them a few months ago as they wanted to use us as their online retail channel to sell their merchandise. Naturally we were thrilled to be approached and after some discussion it became evident that they didn’t have much merchandise or someone that could design products for them. So having over 70 small brands in our Collective we sent a message out to see if anyone would be interested in designing something for Surf Aid and we now have the first design being a Long Sleeve T-Shirt by a Northern Beaches Brand, Trasa. We have more in the pipeline. Naturally all proceeds go to the wonderful work that Surf Aid does in Indonesia.
We have only this week also partnered with Living Ocean to sell their products on our site and also in the Sneaky Grind in Avalon.
It’s so great to be able to help these charities raise funds by offering our platform.
What’s coming up with the BHS Initiative?
We are very excited to get some of our local brands involved in the High School project. On the 10th of August we will have a panel of 5 brands to do a “Shark Tank” style evening with the kids presenting and our brands providing them with valuable feedback. Parents will be invited along and it should be a great night.
Later in the year once we decide on a winner we will be having a presentation night which should also be a good evening.
What does the Northern Beaches mean to you?
I have been living on the Northern Beaches, both Manly and Bilgola for about 30 years. I love to surf, although don’t get out as much as I would like to, and our kids have been involved with Nippers at Bilgola Beach and the Avalon Sailing Club. It would very hard to imagine a life away from the Ocean.
What is Surf Collectives ethos or ‘motto’?
In a world where we are being more conscious about our purchases we want to provide people with an easy place to shop for surf related products whilst supporting a small Aussie business, and for these businesses to have a wider audience by all being in the one place.