by Max Gerstenmeyer
The surf brands Billabong and Volcom have been around more or less since the beginning of the surf culture era, riding the wave high up until the early 2000s and ebbing and flowing in popularity ever since. Both brands are lifestyle brands, and though their vibe adheres to similar themes, they do differ in some ways.
Billabong, the iconic Australian surf brand, started small on the Gold Coast in 1973. A brand, internationally known today for a variety of products from clothing and accessories to wetsuits and hardgoods, began humbly with two people and one product - the triple-stitched boardshorts.
The business found almost instantaneous traction as surfers took to the highly durable Billabong boardshorts, and the brand quickly grew from the factory in West Burleigh, where Billabong products are made to becoming a known name in Australian surf culture by the 80s. (source)
The brand has had its ups and downs ever since. But the question remains, 'Why is Billabong so populartoday, decades after the surf culture wave has passed us by?' Billabong has always emphasized on a youthful and easy-going lifestyle. Known for its wide range of products, the brand targets the explorer within. Their commitment to fashion comes along with a commitment to nature as well. They make an active effort to reduce their carbon footprint by using sustainable products like organic cotton and also by incorporating significant recycling methods into the production process.
Billabong has expanded its surfing roots to include nature as a whole. Through their products, the brand aims to fuse the lives of people with the natural world around them to awake in them a spirit of curiosity and adventure.
On the other hand, when we take a look at where Volcom originatedfrom, the story is a little different. Volcom came around in 1991 when Richard Woolcott and Tucker Hall took a snowboarding trip together. Gaining momentum from the burgeoning popularity of the surf and skate culture, the SoCal brand was the first to incorporate all three sports - snowboarding, skating, and surfing together. (source)
Volcom is today one of the leading brands in action sports apparel. Where are Volcom products made? The factories where Volcom produces its products are located all over the world. The brand has always adhered to a philosophy of boundless freedom and being true to yourself, no matter who that might be. Volcom, through its products, caters to a diverse set of people who are joined in their passion, be it skating, surfing, snowboarding, music, art, or theatre. With an exquisite sense for both fashion and function, the brand is well-known for its sound sporting gear that combines comfort, quality, and athletic performance in equal measures.
Billabong v/s Volcom is a tough comparison as both brands have had a rich history and are among the top sporting brands today. Quality-wise as well, the brands are head to head with each other. It ultimately comes down to the kind of lifestyle the brands promote - the explorer or the artist. Which one are you?
Mäxmellow Apparel is another really sick Surf- and Skatewear brand for explorers and artists - the young cool crowd.
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