Stephen Nowak – founder of Rainbird, had been immersed in the Rag Trade from his early years. Both parents; his father a fabrics distributor and his mother a fashion boutique owner in Melbourne, instilled in him through their business dealings the same values that Rainbird still operates on today.
As an early pioneer in off shore manufacturing Stephen began establishing long lasting relationships with mills and manufacturers who specialised in technical apparel. This formed the quality foundation that the brand is still proudly built on today.
Furthermore, to ensure that our high standards were maintained and ensure Rainbird could stay true to our quality ethos, a dedicated quality control team was established based in China to inspect the goods at every stage of the manufacturing process.
Rainbird started trading in the mid 80s, operating out of Carlton in Melbourne and selling widely across the outdoors & adventure industry, with navy, black and olive green raincoats being the go-to colours.
Stephen soon saw the potential for the use of colour and was one of the first to pioneer bright coloured Raincoats in Australia! The introduction of jade green and crimson was a turning point for the brand. At the start, it took a lot of persuasion to engage retailers to stock the colourful raincoats, but the consumers loved them and they were soon flying off the shelves!
The late 1980’s brought with it vibrant colour blocking and a wider variety in jacket styles. One of the newest designs in the range was an Aqua coloured jacket, proving to be one of the most popular yet – 35 years on and we’re still producing it! As Rainbird continued to grow a move to North Melbourne gave the head office & warehouse teams the much needed space to expand.
The 90’s saw a kid’s range welcomed into our Rainbird family, further expanding our reach in the market. But this wasn’t all, the last decade of the millennium brought with it further innovation across the industry in waterproof and breathable fabrics, with Rainbird at the forefront of implementing these technologies into our rainwear.