The Bong has just purchased RVCA to increase it's portfolio of labels.
The Billabong stable now includes: Billabong, Element, Von Zipper, Honolua Surf Company, Kustom, Palmers Surf, Nixon, Xcel, Tigerlily, Sector 9 and DaKine brands.
EDIT: They also bought Canadian retailer West 49 two weeks ago.
What brands or labels that are available in Australia are not owned by the big three?
I found out on the weekend that Rip Curl own Peak.....
Talk about having you by the short and curlies.
Me, I started going to the bushwalking shops years ago for all my gear.
I have found the gear fully tested and super functional for active outdoor use at a good price and you don't end up walking around like some brightly coloured billboard toss bag.
Check out Icebreaker amd Patagonia to start with. Both companies sell great products that will last and last for years. Some of my Icebreaker clothing (which I live in) must be 4 years old and its showing little sign of wear.
If you want super performance and function and not fashion check it out.
They also bought 20% of Surfstitch - so now when someone buys another brand on Surfstitch, Billabong make money on that too - probably the main reason Rip Curl devoted so many resources into developing their own online store. I thoroughly recommend it as the 'go to site' for Steph Gilmore soft porn material :)
Apart from the clear and simple fact that the gear you get at bushwalking shops works in the field alot of it is made locally.
MONT is a Canberra based company that makes insane wet weather gear tested in the bowels of Tasmanian winters .... see www.mont.com.au
Icebreaker is a NZ company that makes super good merino wool gear ... see www.icebreaker.com
Patagonia is a based overseas but they have fantastic gear and their environmental standards are top shelf (as is Icebreaker's).
Paddy Pallin is a Aussie company that has been selling top notch gear from here and overseas for decades and they have shops in most states .... see www.paddypallin.com.au. Their sustainability policies are also excellent.
These are just a few examples .... Bogang in Melbourne is also an excellent shop for great gear. Not forgetting Macpac again a NZ base company.
If you like biking check out Groundeffects at www.groundeffect.co.nz .... A NZ company that sells the best (and darn cheap) gear on-line for all you bikers.
So the messages is dump that overpriced, ill-fitting, brightly coloured, billboard clothing sold by surf shops and get into some real gear that works in the field day in day out.
And in more purchasing news, Billabong have just bought Surf Dive n' Ski and Jetty Surf (the latter of which the SMH have hilarious called "Jerry Surf" in the title of their article! how did the editorial team miss that?).
Maybe it`s not a typo thermalben? It may be a pre-curser to their new flagship mega-store in Tokyo. It`s the perfect place to launch their new 'Birrabong' and 'Tora-Riry' range here.