There isn’t a surfer or surfer-wanna-be who hasn’t heard of the Quiksilver brand. It’s one of the most popular surf brands in the world today. From its humble roots way back in 1976, Quiksilver has grown into a worldwide company that aims to bring surfing closer to every individual through their activity-specific apparel, suits, boards, and much more. Not to mention that the company intends to carry out this mission with as little damage as possible to the environment. Sounds too good to be true? Nope, Quiksilver doesn’t think so.
The company first came to be in 1976, when Bob McKnight went to Bali and, along with professional surfer and friend Jeff “Mr. Sunset” Hakman, saw an originally- Australian product: the board shorts. The duo bought the rights to introduce the board shorts to the United States, and the rest, as they say, is history. Back then, the Quiksilver brand wasn’t the well-known, successful brand it is known today. McKnight and Hakman worked on and distributed the shorts to surf shops themselves.
Under McKnight’s hand, Quiksilver made its presence known to the world by sponsoring surfing world championships, coming up with iconic board-short patterns such as checks, polka dots, and stars, producing surf flicks that are direct-to-video, and coming up with world-famous big-wave contests. From then on, there was no stopping the brand’s growth. The company ran into some trouble in 1991, what with the war in Iraq, a series of shark attacks in the surf-rich communities, and the recession. McKnight decided to refocus the Quiksilver brand on the action-sports crowd as well as the younger and older and female population. This decision brought the company back on track for the next fifteen years.
Quiksilver ran into serious trouble in 2005, when a multimillion-dollar bet on Rossignol, a French company, went off the tracks. Quiksilver declared bankruptcy, and it took a good six months for McKnight to weave through the web of meetings, bank deals, and other affairs before the company could be declared stable again. In 2009, the Quiksilver brand struck a deal with Rhone Group, a move that had the company’s stocks go from the 88¢ per share in 2005 to the $3.40 per-share price it is today.
With environmental issues plaguing the planet today, McKnight admits not all products made by Quiksilver are exactly environmentally friendly. He is quick to add, though, that the company does its best to go green as much as possible. For instance, 75% of its Diamond Dobby collection of board shorts are manufactured from recycled polyester. It owns Lib Tech, a company producing no-foam surfboards, and Mervin Manufacturing, the snowboard factory that’s the most environmentally friendly on the planet. Also, the firm uses a video-conferencing technology that cuts the need for travel, uses digital files for bills and handbooks to decrease the need for paper, and recycles waste in its company headquarters (54 tons of waste was recycled in 2011).
Find out more on the many ways the Quiksilver brand works at being green, click here. Are you a Quiksilver fan? Do you think they live up to their eco-friendly brand promise? Share your thoughts below.
Quiksilver brand provides model for eco-friendly business