Have a crack at exporting: aussieBum

28 May 2018

Sean Ashby, founder aussieBum

With just two per cent of small businesses currently exporting, Leichhardt underwear and swimwear company aussieBum says its time more had a crack.

Company founder Sean Ashby says if it wasn’t for exporting his company wouldn’t be around – aussieBum is now selling worldwide, producing one million garments a year.

Mr Ashby is calling on NSW businesses to explore the opportunities that are available in exporting, and for businesses already exporting to lodge a nomination for the 2018 Premier’s NSW Export Awards which are open until 17 August.

'The fact is that without exporting our business wouldn’t have survived – we wouldn’t have been able to sustain ourselves with sales just in Australia,' Mr Ashby said.

'In November last we did over $1 million in sales in 48 hours alone and 80% of our business was offshore.

'That shows how big the international market is and how valuable it can be. We now sell men’s underwear and swimwear in basically every country and at the same time are helping selling Australia through a brand.

'That is the sort of return businesses can aim for if they decide to have a go at exporting.'

Mr Ashby said he initially turned to exports after his apparel was rejected by local retailers as being too Australian, leaving him with no option.

'Our first customer was in London and now our top five markets are North America, London, Paris, Germany and South Korea.

'We still manufacture in Australia and now produce over one million items each year. We have factories in the inner west where we manufacture and our head office in Leichhardt.'

aussieBum entered last year’s Premier’s NSW Export Awards and picked up the E-Commerce award in October, and then went on to win the national award at the Australian Export Awards in Canberra.

Founded in 2001, aussieBum’s sales channels include a custom-built e-commerce website for consumers as well as a business-to-business platform for premium department stores around the world including Selfridges & Co in London.

The brand has shifted its reputation as a niche boutique apparel brand to one that produces quality made garments at a price that competes successfully against multinational men's underwear brands.

This was achieved by remodelling the company’s back end infrastructure and continuing to produce world class marketing campaigns.

Another highlight for the company last year was developing the world's first 24 carat gold men's underwear.

For more information and to lodge an application visit the 2018 Premier’s NSW Export Awards

Learn how the NSW Government can help businesses get export ready