Ghanda: The story behind the cherished Torquay-born clothing label

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Ghanda: The story behind the cherished Torquay-born clothing label

From the Surf Coast to Australia-wide, Ghanda Clothing is a retail and online clothing store for surf and street style clothing and accessories.

Step into any one of the 20-plus Ghanda stores across Australia and you’ll find rack after rack of colourful slogans and detailed illustrations printed onto all your wardrobe-essentials. It’s easy to appreciate the designs at face value, but you mightn’t fully realise how they came to be.

The key takeaways

  • Ghanda started with garmets being sold from a boot at a market
  • The Torquay-born label prints their own products
  • Ghanda Clothing is now a famous retail and online clothing store for surf and street style clothing and accessories

Check out more art and design related content via our website.

After starting in 2003 selling garments out of the back of his car at markets in Torquay, Josh Rudd quickly tapped into what locals were missing out on in other surfwear labels.

“When I started the business I would sell T-shirts at a market and I’d know from customers exactly what we were selling. I’d run back here at night and print exactly the same ones and sell them again,” Josh says.

This focus on what the customer wants has helped attribute to the brand’s success and is something they’ve continued to strive towards in every tank top and hoodie that leaves their factory.

“Other companies just guess what their customers want and if it doesn’t sell they just make it really cheap in-store to get rid of it. Essentially, if it’s not good they make it cheap, then more people are buying stuff that they didn’t want anyway,” he says.

Before designer Holly Fahey adds: “And they’re not as targeted to the customers as we are.”

While the design itself is created with customers in mind, the process of how they are transferred onto the garment is what makes the brand unique.

As it stands (2014), Ghanda are one of two screen printers in Victoria – when previously there were 14 – that actively print their own produce. By printing in-house, the brand have created around 25 jobs at the warehouse, all supported by every garment purchased.

When so many brands are sending designs over to China for printing, it’s a refreshing change when a company can see the shirt design process from start to finish.

“It’s so good that they just call me up when they’re finished printing, and I come over to check on colours and the design. That’s definitely something I couldn’t do if we printed in China,” Holly says.

Visiting the factory I was lucky enough to see this happen first-hand, and as Josh and Holly showed me around, workers frequently approached Holly for advice on colours and how the design was taking shape.

While it was a factory filled wall to wall with boxes of clothing, machinery in the middle and a faint odour of paint in the air, the vibe of each worker was a pleasure to witness.

As they tagged garments, folded shirts and cut up templates, there was a smile on each face as we walked past and a few swaying to the music that boomed from the far corner.

Many people don’t realise the effort that goes into each and every one of the products that you see in store, while this is something Josh wants people to know it’s also about the many opportunities that are on offer at Ghanda.

“We want to share that passion for garments, versatility and the artwork so that young people can see that in design there are a few different options – you don’t just have to be a good drawer to do something,” Josh says.

“You can get into the printing side of it and things like that, and the best thing about all of it is it’s done locally.”

In future the brand hope to further their operations at the factory by introducing the facilities for them to dye their own shirts as well, allowing them even more flexibility and control of every design.

To see exactly what they’re capable of creating visit or any Ghanda store. Support local.

By Amanda Sherring