R.M.Williams is investing in the future of sustainable, ethical and local manufacturing with the introduction of a new long term brand strategy, ‘Crafted for life’, that will shape the future of product design, production, sustainability and retail channels.
The very first R.M.Williams boot was crafted with a specific objective: to outlast all others. ‘Crafted for life’, as a concept, highlights this legacy of craftsmanship and celebrates real stories of lives well lived in R.M.Williams boots. Advertising will premiere from mid-November onwards, showcasing ‘Crafted for life’ through an emotive narrative, that of ‘a man who lives in his boots’.
The strategy also includes new commitments to support Australian craftsmanship for the future by offering advanced training opportunities such as apprenticeships, including returning Certificate III in Leather to South Australia. Other initiatives include the development of a First Nations engagement plan and delivering gender parity at all levels within the business.
Making more regenerative products is another top priority including redefining the ‘boot-print’ of leather manufacturing by reducing emissions and working to source regenerative and responsible fibres, as well as reduce plastics across the company’s product and packaging offering.
R.M.Williams will also expand its circular system for its boots, including ongoing product takeback, refurbishment and recycling programs, in addition to its growing in-house boot repair service.
Extensive progress has already been made, including a switch to clean energy at the brand’s Salisbury workshop, careful measuring and monitoring of greenhouse gas emissions and the sourcing and use of sustainable materials.
R.M.Williams Owner and Director Nicola Forrest AO said the new brand strategy was inspired by the promise R.M.Williams himself made when he founded the business 90 years ago – that he’d make boots that would last longer.
“’Crafted for life’ builds on the durability, versatility and timelessness of our amazing products and creates new benchmark commitments to long-term sustainability and purposeful Australian craftsmanship,” Mrs Forrest said.
“Just as RM created the single-piece-of-leather boot almost a century ago, we want to embrace innovative thinking and challenge our team, production line and what the future of supply chains can be.”
R.M.Williams boots and leather accessories have been made in Adelaide since 1932. To keep up with growing demand, the Salisbury workshop requires expansion and R.M.Williams is currently looking at potential new sites in Adelaide. It is also exploring partnerships with other Australian manufacturing companies as an additional means of managing the growth in production capability.
The business has recently welcomed several new faces onto the leadership team, including CEO Paul Grosmann who’s just completed his first year at the helm and is guiding the company through an unprecedented period of growth. Chief Sustainability Officer Angela Winkle and Chief Operating Officer Tara Moses have joined the team in the past 6 months.
“I’m incredibly proud to be guiding R.M.Williams into a new era of innovation and prosperity. The ‘Crafted for life’ platform will enable us to focus on the core principles and values that make this business such a force to be reckoned with: handheld craftsmanship, enduring products and an authentic, deeply ingrained Australian spirit,” Mr Grosmann said.