Fresh start: Zorali targets a $300k raise to relaunch its outdoor clothing line
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For Cam Greenwood, co-founder of outdoor clothing company Zorali, life as an entrepreneur has been an interesting ride so far.
Fresh out of high school in 2013, he got first-hand experience of the power of e-commerce with the successful launch of a clothing and surfboard company from his own garage.
Monsta Surf clocked up over $1m in sales and was hitting its straps, only to get caught up in a trademark dispute with a big multinational over the company name.
Ahead of a July relaunch under the new name of Zorali, the company is taking expressions of interest on the Birchal platform to raise up to $300,000 via crowd-sourced funding.
The new brand will pivot from surfwear to focus purely on outdoor clothing, after Greenwood’s previous company unexpectedly scored a “massive hit” when it released a line of down jackets.
“A product we were hoping to sell over the course of a year sold out in about a month, so that opened up our mind to the outdoor market,” Greenwood said.
Speaking with Stockhead, Greenwood highlighted the 18-35 demographic as a key area of focus for the company.
“We think the outdoor industry traditionally hasn’t engaged with the under-35 market, particularly in Australia,” he said.
Instead, companies are competing to come up with the latest and greatest in outdoor gear, to appeal to niche groups such as dedicated climbers.
But for many young Aussies, the appeal of the outdoors isn’t based around a specific activity; it’s simply to be outside and enjoy nature.
“The industry’s become so specialised that it’s not so welcoming to the typical Australian who isn’t so hard core and doesn’t want to summit Everest,” he said.
Leveraging the company’s previous experience in clothes manufacturing, Zorali has built commercial partnerships with suppliers in Sri Lanka and China.
“Our outdoor gear is being manufactured in Sri Lanka at a small, family owned company. We’ve been working with them for about a year and we’re really happy with the quality,” Greenwood said.
From its Sri Lankan base the brand will produce a range of outdoor items including tents and sleeping bags, outdoor bags, accessories and rain jackets.
“Then all of our clothing is being done in China, with a focus on sustainability and using organic materials across a lot of our apparel range.”
“We see that as a big opportunity in the industry, where consumers are becoming more mindful about what they’re wearing and where it’s coming from.”
As a startup founder, Greenwood is a relative newcomer to crowd-sourced funding, having only learned about the concept in February this year.
Like many companies that use the platform, he can envisage a win-win scenario whereby the company’s existing customer base has an opportunity to take a vested interest in the brand’s success.
“We were looking for a way – obviously we had this rebrand planned – to engage our customers to become a part of what was next,” he said.
“So while we’ll use the funds to grow the business, this is for a bigger idea to create a global community of invested brand advocates that share our passion.”
Greenwood said if the company hits its $300k target, around half of the funds raised will go towards covering working capital costs at its production facilities.
“We’ll also spend a little bit on marketing campaigns that we’ve got in the works for our launch, a little bit on product development.”
Any remaining capital will be deployed to establish a customer-facing outlet on the Victorian coast.
“It would be by appointment — not a traditional store at this stage but an option for customers if they want to come in and try something,” Greenwood said.