Local surfing brand, Instinct relaunches in South Africa
Bruce Whitfield speaks to Shaun Tomson, World Surfing Champion and founder of Instinct.
Instinct was launched in 1979 by South Africa World Champion surfer, Shaun Tomson.
It became an iconic surfing brand throughout the 1980's and 1990's.
Instinct launches in South Africa with Oh Two Clothing, a homegrown manufacturer cutting, sewing, printing and producing apparel in Durban.
In 1979, South African World Champion surfer Shaun Tomson founded a surf brand called Instinct in his hometown of Durban.
The brand grew quickly, eventually selling in 13 countries and employing people across the globe, sponsoring some big-name surfers including Mike Burness, Dave Parmenter and Greg Anderson.
Instinct also sponsored Barton Lynch to his World Title in 1988, and Tom Carroll to his two titles in 1984 and 1985.
The brand's groundbreaking ad campaign gave the sport and the product enormous exposure throughout the 1980's.
But as is often the case, business doesn’t always turn out the way one envisages it to, going through some ups and downs, eventually resulting in Tomson selling the brand when he retired in 1990.
Many years before that, the intellectual property rights had been sold to Foschini, one of South Africa’s largest retail apparel groups.
Fast-forward almost two decades, and Tomson was keen to re-launch the brand in his homeland, so he recently contacted Foschini about reacquiring the brand.
Tomson says Foschini confirmed it was happy to hand the brand back to its original roots, and so begins the new chapter in the life of Instinct.
All Foschini asked was for a contribution from every product sale to a worthwhile innitiative called the 9 Miles Project in Cape Town, an NGO focused on empowering underprivileged youth through surfing.
In April, Instinct launches in South Africa with Oh Two Clothing, a homegrown manufacturer cutting, sewing, printing and producing apparel in Tomson's hometown of Durban.
It's a wonderful story of corporate generosity.Shaun Tomson, Former World Champion surfer
We're launching at the end of the week, in South Africa. In Durban, in my home town. Clothes are actually going to be made in South Africa, by South African hands.Shaun Tomson, Former World Champion surfer
It's great that big business, has a great heart. I'm so grateful to Foschini for doing this. And we're just going to be empowering these kids, selling cool product and hopefully people are going to be remembering the brand and connect them with it again.Shaun Tomson, Former World Champion surfer
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