Quality Marine Clothing’s Duncan Curnow Discusses Marine Fashion Trends and Industry Growth

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Any yacht owner worth their salt knows how important high-quality marine clothing is to protect yourself against the elements. Although it’s nice to be on a yacht when the sun is shining, conditions can change very quickly, which is where the expertise of Quality Marine Clothing comes in handy.

The company is Australia’s premier marine clothing manufacturer and leads the industry globally with a range of sailing and all-weather gear.

Co-Founder and Director of Quality Marine Clothing, Duncan Curnow, sat down with The Market Herald Fancy Nautica presenter Iolande Skinner From The Deck to discuss marine fashion trends and the future of the Australian yacht industry.

Quality Marine Clothing SIBS
Quality Marine Clothing is worn by yacht crews throughout the world | Source: Quality Marine Clothing

As global fashion continues to trend towards eco-friendly products and sustainability, it seems marine clothing is following in its footsteps.

Duncan said currently between five to 10 per cent of his clients are asking for environmentally-conscious products with interest growing and more coming on board as manufacturers improve sustainability across the whole supply chain.

The suppliers are getting much savvier with recyclable, eco-friendly fabrics which is passing down to us and then we can push it to the market.

People are becoming more aware of it and are asking for it, which is important… We even had one customer asking if the buttons are recyclable. It might be wishing a little bit at the moment but we are heading that way.

Duncan Curnow, Director of Quality Marine Clothing
Quality Marine Clothing
Five to 10 per cent of Quality Marine Clothing’s clients are asking for environmentally-conscious products | Source: Quality Marine Clothing

Traditional quick dry, non-fade marine clothing remains the most popular with customers gravitating towards high-quality products that are accessible.

Duncan concedes the recent market has been “challenging but exciting” with supply chain issues and increased freight costs but said now’s the time people are drawn to the water lifestyle.

Everybody wants to get into boating. Whether it’s paddleboards, kayaks, Fliteboards, the water toys… and we’ve seen an increase in superyachts. The lifestyle on the water has just been drawing because it’s something we can still do during lockdowns and people want to be out there, people are discovering it.

Duncan Curnow, Director of Quality Marine Clothing
Quality Marine Clothing
Quality Marine Clothing produces accessible and high-quality products | Source: Quality Marine Clothing

The Australian-based brand has been designing and producing high-quality marine clothing for over 40 years, attributing its success to a customer-first approach.

Over the decades Duncan has noticed the growth of the marine industry, particularly with affluent first-time buyers securing multi-million-dollar superyachts as their first boat.

The boats are getting bigger. There are more people getting into boating for the first time who have got money. It’s exciting to see that someone’s very first boat is a A$20 million or A$30 million superyacht. Expectations might be high but the service has to be just as high to meet that as well. As an industry, we’ve adjusted and changed our attitude to cope with what their demands and needs are.

Duncan Curnow, Director of Quality Marine Clothing

It appears the thriving Australian boating industry shows minimal signs of slowing down. In the immediate future, Duncan said he expects the growth of the yacht industry to continue but admits the biggest challenges are “infrastructure and resources”.

Quality Marine Clothing
40 years of experience in the industry promises quality | Source: Quality Marine Clothing

He continued to explain that the charter market is also likely to see growth as Australia welcomes back international travellers. He mentioned it will be “competitive” but the “demand is there”, especially amongst an evolving target market comprising a “much younger, savvier” demographic.

Time to take your tough marine gear on a test run? How about flying across the surface of the water at speeds of up to almost 25 knots on a motorised hydrofoil? Watch the revolutionary Fliteboard in action and read about the hottest Australian invention since the winged keel won the America’s Cup in 1983.

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