Bondi-based brand, Rig Fit Activewear was founded by Clint Chadwick following a personal experience shopping for quality fitness gear. Since launching, the brand has found favour with fitness fans from 28 countries across the globe. Here, Clint shares the driving force behind the brand’s international success.
It’s awesome to have seen the brand grow from nothing into a fitness brand with fans around the world. But it all started when I would go shopping and could never find items that I really liked. They were always okay, but not great, for important elements like the length and fit.
So really, Rig Fit was born out of personal frustration and need!
How difficult was it to get started and why do you think Rig Fit resonates with consumers?
As this was my first venture, I initially had no idea of how to make clothes. But I made a great connection with someone who was really knowledgeable in the textile industry and he helped me make some samples initially and develop a range. I started with shirts, shorts, tights, sports bras – and it just grew from there.
Rig Fit was initially started two years ago, but it’s really gained traction and taken off in the last six months.
The most important element in us gaining customers is the product. We’ve really focused on offering a high quality product that I’d be proud to wear (and do every day!). We find that people buy our products, like them and return to buy other colours – plus tell their friends. So once we built the brand and following, it really took off.
How important is social media to the business?
Social media has been a massive part growing Rig Fit as a brand. I have a very active social media following on Instagram predominantly, which at the moment numbers more than 330,000 via my personal profile @clint_chadwick. This provides a massive audience to promote Rig Fit, and my followers seem to love the brand. I also work with a number of sponsored athletes who help to grow Rig Fit even further. The key is to have consistency in the images you share, as your followers expect certain content.
So it’s about aligning Rig Fit with the right ambassadors to benefit all parties involved.
You ship clothes to multiple international locations. Where are the most popular locations?
We’ve shipped to 28 countries so far, via a customer base that has grown mainly from Instagram. While Australia is still our biggest market, America follows closely after and New Zealand is growing in terms of orders.
Some of the newer and more unusual locations we’ve shipped items to are Malaysia, the United Arab Emirates, Japan, Finland, Norway and the United Kingdom – pretty much all corners of the globe.
Why does DHL suit Rig Fit as an international shipping provider?
Initially we were sending everything via the post – but there were a number of hassles around the time to complete documents and speed of delivery. The cost factor was also massive, as we were offering flat rate shipping and it was costing more than we charged, so that was eating into margins.
Once I started working with DHL for international shipping that all changed. DHL basically gave me a table outlining the countries and rates, making it black and white on what I’d pay, and surprisingly DHL was much more cost-effective than sending parcels via the post.
The speed of delivery is great – when we were using the post it was taking up to two weeks, and for international customers especially in America they expect next day delivery. People don’t want to wait – so it’s helped us a lot with repeat business by having the faster shipping option.
Where do you manufacture your goods? Do you import as well as export?
Everything is made in China, which we manage via Skype and samples being sent here. We’ve developed an arrangement so all our items are imported pre-packaged, so we then process orders in Australia for our customers in other countries.
We’re going to start working with wholesalers soon, delivering items direct to them from the factory, which will help increase our volumes.
Did you need to develop a strategy around returns?
Luckily we don’t get many returns – just a fraction of what we’ve sold and it’s mainly only sizing changes. That’s also because we’re worked so hard to ensure our quality is great.
We have built a following of people that like our products and they tend to come back and buy more, which has been fantastic in building the brand and creating word of mouth.
What role has DHL played in helping Rig Fit achieve success?
DHL has helped us to reduce time and cost spent on shipping, to provide speedier delivery for international customers and ultimately increase our margins. This has helped us to build a happy customer base that return to us and buy more – so we’re saving money plus growing our business. It’s a win win!
For more information about Rig Fit Activewear, visit http://www.rig-fit.com/