We always suspected that outsiders might not get that classic Beaches sense of humour – turns out they do! Especially when it’s combined with classic swimwear. Local super-success-story Budgy Smuggler has been proving this for almost two decades. We chatted with Chief Smuggler, Adam Linforth, about the company which started as a ‘laugh between mates’ in a Manly apartment.
Budgy Smuggler has been creating comfy beachwear and smiles on the swimwear scene since 2003. The concept is driven by snug swimwear with a quirky twist. It has been applauded and worn by millions of casual ‘Smugglers’ as well as celebrities and famous sports players, and it’s also been creating quite a sensation overseas.
The runaway success of the brand caught Chief Smuggler Adam Linforth totally off guard. “We started as a laugh between mates. There wasn’t really an idea for it to necessarily become a business,” he explains. In fact, when they first wrote ‘Budgy Smuggler’ on the back of some speedo-style swimwear as a bit of a joke, it wasn’t until they sold a few that they realised ”Budgy” was spelled incorrectly (the Aussie bird is a ‘budgie’). Not that this has held them back.
“We’ve grown from an apartment in Manly to now having an office and warehouse in Brookvale as well as our flagship store on Darley Rd in Manly,” says Adam.
Budgy Smuggler is family owned and “run by a few 20 something year olds (and a few guys who are now in their 30’s) who aspire to never have a traditional desk job. Most of us are Northern Beaches’ kids but we’ve got staff commuting from as far away as Wollongong to be part of the smuggler team,” says Adam.
The brand is also proudly all-Australian made. “All budgy smugglers are 100% Australian made in our factory in Sydney with the best quality fabrics. We understand when it comes to smuggling your budgy there can be no compromise on quality.”
Beyond making its mark on Aussie shores, Budgy Smuggler now has operations in the UK (since 2016) so smugglers there and in Europe can take advantage of overnight shipping. And it would seem the world has taken a liking to the fun Aussie swimmers.
“We now sell a pair of Australian-made smugglers or smugglettes every three minutes of every day,” says Adam. “We’ve got a really loyal group of committed smugglers who’ve travelled the world smuggling and they’ve become the advocates of the brand.”
Other brands and sporting clubs are keen to be seen in and on Budgy Smugglers too. Well-known collaborators include Victoria Bitter – with a range of VB Budgy Smugglers for summer, then there’s Bundaberg Rum, and local brewery NOMAD Brewing Co in Brookvale as well. Partners include major sporting clubs from the NRL, Cricket Australia and, of course, The Wallabies.
It’s brilliant to see this little Northern Beaches backyard brand taking over the world one bottom at a time, and they’re not going to rest until we’re all running around snug and smiling in our Budgy Smugglers.
“Our goal is to sell an Australian-made unit every minute of every day by 2023 and to put a pair of smugglers on every beach in the world,” says Adam. “There are a lot of beaches so we’ve got a bit of work to do!”
Main image credit: @instagrant451 via the Budgy Smuggler Facebook page.