Billabong is an Australian English word used to refer to an oxbow lake, a stagnant pool of water attached to a waterway. Billabongs are usually formed when the path of a stream or river changes, leaving the former branch with a dead end. The word is derived from two Indigenous Australian words: "billa" meaning "creek" and "bong" meaning "dead".
Billabongs appear relatively often in Australian literature. One of the most well-known references is in the opening line of Banjo Paterson's famous poem "Waltzing Matilda".
The name Billabong has been adopted as the brand name for a popular brand of Australian surfing wear sold around the world by Billabong International.
Billabong is also the name given to a chocolate ice cream on a stick, similar to Paddle Pop or Fudgsicle, manufactured by the Peter's company in Perth, Western Australia.
Billabong is a clothing brand and public company (ASX: BBG) traded on the Australian Stock Exchange—as Billabong International—since 11 August 2000. As well as the Billabong brand-name, the company sells surfwear under the Palmers Surf, Honolua Surf, Von Zipper brands, Nixon Watches brands, as well as Element skate clothing and hardware.
Billabong was founded in 1973 by Gordon and Rena Merchant. Rena sold her stake to an investment group including Gary Pemberton and Matthew Perrin, who bought many of the international distributors before listing the company. Perrin became managing director, but resigned late in 2003, after upsetting investors by selling more than half his shareholding. He was replaced by Derek O'Neill, who had run Billabong's European business for a decade. Pemberton, a former managing director of Brambles, chaired the company until January 2005, when he was replaced as chairman by retired Foster's managing director Ted Kunkel.
Billabong's current Team Riders consist of:
Andy Irons, Taj Burrow, Parko, Shane Dorian, Occy, Rasta, Donavon Frankenreiter, Shaun Cansdell, Bede Durbidge, Cody Thompson, Cole Richards, Colin Dwyer, Dane Zaun, Kolohe Andino, Phillip Goold, Raven Lundy, Tristan Thompson, Jason Shibata, Lucas Rogers, Andrew Crawford, Erik Christense, Jimi Toner, Kale Stephens, Kurt Wastell, Mitch Nelson, Scotty Lago, Brian Grubb, Chad Sharpe, Danny Harf, Erik Ruck, Kevin Henshaw and Shawn Watson.
Palmers Surf is an Australian company which is a subsidiary of Billabong International. Their flagship product is their surf wax, which is sold under the "Mrs. Palmers" brand. In addition to their wax the company produces tshirts, caps, board covers, leg ropes, and deck grips.
Nixon Inc. is an Encinitas, California based watch manufacturer. They market their watches toward the skateboard, surf, and snowboard crowds.
Element is a skateboard company that was established in Atlanta, Georgia in 1992 as Underworld Element. The company later dropped the "Underworld" from its name and became known as just Element. The founder and president of the company, Johnny Schillereff, invented the logo as being the life of natural wood and being "one" with the board.The Element logo is a stick figure style tree inside a circle, often white in a red background. In some renditions, the logo is also circled by the words: Wind, Water, Fire, and Earth, the four basic elements.
Element's current sponsored team consists of:
Bryan San Martin
Jean Marc Soulet
Element is a prominent company in skateboarding with a global distribution network reaching out to over 50 countries. It was bought in 2001 by Australian surfwear company Billabong International.
Elemental Awareness is an organization designed to promote wilderness conservation and survival skills to young people through skateboarding. The program was started by Mike Kershnar and Todd Larson. The idea of the program is to promote environmental values to kids in a way that will get them interested and enthusiastic, which for many is through skateboarding.
Another goal of Elemental Awareness is to promote skateboarding by providing scholarships to skate camps, taking kids to professional skating facilities, and letting them meet with professional skaters.
The wilderness survival and conservation aspect of Elemental Awareness is officially recognized by Tom Brown and his school of trackers.
The above is From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The below is from Billabong International website
Billabong Company History
Billabong was founded on Australia's Gold Coast in 1973 by surfer and surfboard shaper Gordon Merchant and his partner. Those early days were rather inauspicious, with the pair designing boardshorts at home, cutting them out on the kitchen table and then carting the finished product around to the local surf shop to sell.
The business found immediate traction, with surfers drawn to the superior functionality of the Billabong boardshorts. They were also far more durable courtesy of the unique triple-stitching technique developed by Gordon.
The next step for the fledgling brand was to introduce the better local surfers to Billabong and incorporate them in the marketing of the brand. Company-sponsored contests and special events would later follow.
By the 1980s, Billabong had firmly established its place in Australian surf culture and was ready for international expansion. The initial focus was on the large North American market and, again, the brand enjoyed success. Sales began to grow in other offshore markets, licenses were granted in a number of territories including New Zealand, Japan and South Africa, and in the late 1980s a new beachhead was established in Europe.
Through the 1990s the surf industry grew exponentially and professional surfing gained a newfound respectability. The company also followed its core customers into other boardsports markets, including skate and snow, where it replicated its proven business model. By the close of the decade, Billabong had been restructured to capitalise on the growing global opportunities in the boardsports sector.
The restructure set the foundation for an initial public offering in Australia in mid 2000. The move saw the company's shares publicly listed on the Australian Stock Exchange in August of that year. This gave the company greater impetus and the financial capacity to grow the business.
Some seven months after the public float the company demonstrated its growth plans with the acquisitions of the Von Zipper sunglasses brand and, four months later, the emerging Element Skateboards brand. The successful integration of those businesses saw the company add to its stable of brands in following years, with Honolua Surf Company acquired in January 2004, Kustom footwear and Palmers Surf in September 2004, a controlling interest in the beachculture airport-retail business in November 2005 and Nixon watches and accessories in January 2006. Other businesses were also established, including the Element footwear range, the California-based Beachworks retail business and various branded concept stores around the world.
Total sales grew from approximately $110 million in 1999 to a figure approaching $1 billion in the 2005-06 financial year. Through all the growth, Billabong has maintained its brand integrity and grown its commitment to the global boardsports sector through athlete sponsorship, event staging and support of industry bodies. This adherence to core values has allowed the Company to achieve many targets including brand expansion and increased product availability globally.
Billabong International retains a commitment to the preservation and enhancement of the social and natural environments that are touched by the boardsports lifestyle.
The Company has its roots in a surf-based culture and focuses much of its support activities around the conservation of the world's ocean environments. Billabong International pursues this objective through support of third-party organisations whose charters reflect this goal.
Among the groups supported is the Surfrider Foundation, a non-profit organisation dedicated to the preservation, protection and enjoyment of the world's oceans and coastlines. This support, through the Billabong brand, extends across multiple international territories including Australia and North America.
Billabong is also a supporter of the Australian Marine Conservation Society, an authority on marine environmental issues and an independent, community-based voice supporting the oceans and coastlines.
Other brands within the Group provide support to a range of initiatives on a region-by-region basis. This includes support from the Element brand for various community initiatives, including the Indigo Skate Camp in South Africa and the Elemental Awareness program in North America. Both of these initiatives seek to support youth in disadvantaged communities.
Billabong International undertakes a range of other initiatives to improve the social environment of coastal communities. These include support of the SurfAid International organisation in its quest to improve the health of disadvantaged communities in the Indonesian region. This support includes the implementation of various education programs, direct medical intervention and additional support during times of crisis such as earthquakes and tsunamis.
Among suppliers, environmental laws applicable to their particular country or region must be met. Suppliers that demonstrate environmental awareness are favoured.
At a micro level, various offices within the Billabong International group apply standard environmental initiatives such as the recycling of products including paper, plastics and fabrics. One example of this is the increasing use of biodegradable plastics bags or the preferred choice of recycled paper bags within the Group's retail network.
Billabong International has a direct workforce of in excess of 1500 people based around the surfing hubs of Australia's Gold Coast, Orange County in southern California and Hossegor in France, with other key offices in Sao Paulo in Brazil and Osaka in Japan. Staff are offered a challenging and dynamic work environment across a range of disciplines including graphic design, sales, marketing, warehousing and distribution, quality control, manufacturing, retailing, finance and administration.
Billabong International also understands its workforce extends beyond its direct employees and into the factories of third-party contractors within the Group's global supply chain. The work practices and employment conditions of these contract workplaces are under review by Billabong International to ensure compliance with internationally-accepted standards.
This is a challenging task given the complexity and diversity of statutory requirements and cultural attitudes that exist across the range of countries within the Group's global supply chain. But Billabong International is now building social accountability initiatives into the Company's long-term objectives. There is no finish line to this task. Rather, it is an initiative that requires ongoing development, awareness and execution.
With this in mind, Billabong International maintains a regular review of its supply chain with the goal of working towards transition to Social Accountability 8000 (SA8000) compliance among all external factory contractors.
SA8000 is a certification standard based on the primary international workplace rights contained within the International Labour Organisation conventions, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. The SA8000 compliance involves direct contact with factory workers and is adjudicated by accredited auditors. The audits are undertaken with the specific goal of identifying and eliminating any under-age working violations, addressing remuneration and overtime issues, ensuring appropriate safety standards are being met and encouraging management to consent to the appointment of a staff-elected member to represent workers' views on matters relating to enterprise bargaining.
Billabong International believes the move towards such a standard is the only suitable way to benchmark third-party contractor performance and demonstrate their continued adherence to appropriate labour standards.
This is a system that continues to evolve within Billabong International and may encourage generational change among contractors and suppliers and, ultimately, lead to positive social change and manufacturing excellence.
Billabong International engages with the community on various levels, ranging from the staging of international and junior surf, skate and snow competitions through to visitations to global destinations by staff and company-sponsored athletes.
It is through such engagement over many years that the Company has developed strong links with communities and a special affinity with their people, particularly those in wave-washed coastal regions and underprivileged destinations.
It was such a connection that spawned Billabong International’s support for SurfAid International, a charitable foundation established to promote health and community development programs throughout Indonesia’s Mentawai Islands. The Company continues to provide financial and technical support to SurfAid. This support has also assisted SurfAid in its ability to provide disaster response services to the Indonesian region in the wake of various natural disasters, including earthquakes and tsunamis.
Billabong International also supports several community-based organisations in key territories around the world. These include the global Surfrider Foundation in its work on the conservation and regeneration of foreshores.
Various community-based projects are also undertaken by brands within the Group. This includes the Elemental Awareness program supported by Element in North America. The program seeks to reach out to youths, help them develop positive self esteem and awareness and arm them with appropriate life skills.
Each of the brands within the Billabong International group stages various events and promotional activities around the world. These range from grassroots, amateur and novelty events through to professional competitions.
The best way to keep track of all of the Group’s events and activities is through our various websites. These include:
The above information is from Billabong International website.