Mark Webber has a finer understanding than most of the need to have a great team around you. While some may think of Formula One as being about the driver alone, Mark’s quick to point out that nothing is achieved without the collective effort of a talented group of people all working to the same goal. In motorsport, this is heightened given a driver’s life depends on that collective commitment to getting things right. With stakes that high, it understandable that Mark’s obsession with detail is part of his DNA and by extension part of the approach taken by the Aussie Grit Apparel team when developing its first range.
Some two years ago Mark and his wife Ann sought out long-time friend and then senior executive Mark Thewlis (MT) to work with them to create a plan for the Aussie Grit Apparel business and range of off road running and cycling apparel.
Forward to July of this year, MT and a number of the Aussie Grit Apparel team (which had now swelled to eight) travelled to their manufacturing partner’s site in Lithuania for what was a milestone moment for the fledgling business.
The visit was the pivotal moment, the culmination of countless hours of planning, design, fabric selection, testing, review and modifications. The moment when the Mark’s (Webber and Thewlis) had to review the final range of prototypes and give the go-ahead for Aussie Grit Apparel to move into full production for late 2017.
MT recalls, “It was a special time for us. We are lucky to have a team of highly talented people who love to solve tough problems. They come from various backgrounds, some from apparel industry, and others who bring new skills but they all have the same passion to build something new and exciting. I am immensely proud of how much ground the team has covered in a relativity short period. It is easy to underestimate how much work is required to design something new, find the perfect fabrics, get the fit just right, select the right partners while remaining true to our goals.
“Seeing the Aussie Grit flint range (the name of the first range) in its near finished form was incredibly rewarding”.
MT was born and raised in Canberra, Australia and has known Mark for more than 20 years. Also a keen mountain biker and adventure racer, MT sees an opportunity in the market for a sports apparel brand to cater for the growing categories of all forms of off road cycling and trail running.
WE’VE SET OUT FROM DAY ONE TO CREATE A RANGE THAT IS PURPOSE BUILT TO BE USED IN THE GREAT OUTDOORS
“We’ve set out from day one to create a range that is purpose built to be used in the great outdoors. With that comes the need for our apparel to be especially functional, durable, comfortable and offer a level of protection. Our garments are specifically engineered to be used in nature, wherever you are, whatever it throws at you,” MT said.
“Those attributes tend to be missed in apparel designed for running on a treadmill or riding a bike on the road,” MT added.
The first range is called flint a name with multiple relevant meanings for the team at Aussie Grit Apparel. Flint is a hard stone, found in nature. Flint can ignite or provide a spark. Flint as a colour has also inspired the first range.
MT added “Our garments are designed for people with that spark, that mental fortitude and determination. They love testing themselves in the great outdoors and being connected to nature.”
Beyond the garments themselves Aussie Grit Apparel intends working actively as a part of the off road running and cycling communities, not another brand selling product but yet detached from the community it depends on. Further announcements are expected in early in 2018 about ambassadors and event involvement.
MT enthusiastically added that the team had left No Stone Unturned to produce the best off-road sports apparel possible.
And they can’t wait to show it to you.