Enter the amateur clothing labels with humble beginnings. Designed locally and sold online and at markets, these threads have some seriously sweet aesthetics. With unique hand-drawn designs and a range of products that won’t break the bank, these brands are perfect for those who like something a little different. TEO Magazine took the time to ask these stellar Aussie labels what’s up…

Onshore Threads-TEO Magazine

Founded in late 2014 in Perth, Onshore Threads didn’t start printing shirts until March this year. Jordan Gannaway designs, prints and sells the shirts, with the help of his partner, Shannon who does a lot of the photography. His parents also helped him build his screen-printing equipment. The range mainly includes t-shirts and the odd bucket hat.

TEO: What’s in the name?
Jordan: Originally I just brainstormed a bunch of ideas with my girlfriend and Onshore just looked really nice on the page. Also, as it’s a surf-inspired brand, I guess it translated as ‘the clothes you wear on the shore’.

How did you guys get started?
I’ve made my own clothes since early high school and messed around with bleach and tie-dyes and whatnot. I had always wanted to try screen-printing, however, until recently never had enough money to give it a crack. Eventually, I bought some equipment and taught myself how to print my own shirts. I started printing shirts for myself and when other people became interested I started selling some to my friends. It then got to the point where I decided to sell the shirts online which brings us to where I am today.

What or who inspires your designs?
I would say that my biggest influence would be the beach and any tropical paradise, as that’s what comes through in my designs and is what feels most natural for me to draw. I also draw some inspiration from cartoons, retro stuff, music, surfing, skating and weirdly enough, fruit and veggies. I follow a bunch of designers and companies on my personal Instagram that I like. I don’t really pull inspiration from certain people, more from a collection of people. Some of the smaller clothing companies around Australia are doing some really sweet stuff at the moment.

What does Onshore Threads represent?
I have always wanted to have a clothing line and to work for myself since a fairly young age, so for me, Onshore Threads is a way of working towards my goal. It’s also pretty sweet because I get to design and make things that are exactly what I want to be wearing.

Who is the ideal Onshore Threads customer?
As mentioned earlier, I design stuff that I want to be wearing, so I guess the target market would be people like me, who enjoy going to the beach for a surf, having a few beers, hanging with their mates and going on adventures. The line is primarily aimed at males, however, girls seem to be pretty stoked on the clothing too.

Where to next?
Well, I have some market stalls planned for over summer by the beach in Perth, where I will be releasing a few super limited items. I’m also working on a bunch of new and exciting t-shirt variations and experimenting with new garments for summer and winter 2016.

Where can we find your products?
At the moment I sell online only. You can find our stuff at onshorethreads.com, however, stay tuned via Facebook and Instagram for the summer market stall locations and any future announcements!

Salty Banditos-TEO Magazine

Fresh on the scene in August this year, Salty Banditos are making some serious ground early on in the game. They were established in August of this year in Bermagui on the far south coast of New South Wales. Stuart Ponsford takes care of the design side of things, as well as social media accounts. His partner helps with orders, responding to enquiries and web design. Salty Banditos currently has five hand-drawn designs, printed on white and tie-dye unisex t-shirts.

TEO: What’s in the name?
Stuart: Honestly, it’s just a name that we accidentally stumbled across. The ocean plays a big role in my life and is reflected within my art as I’ve always lived by the beach. The ‘banditos’ signifies a grouping of people who collectively share these same ideals.

How did you guys get started?
I’ve always liked drawing and painting and since moving to the south coast, I’ve been focusing a lot more on my art. I have always been into supporting up and coming local artists, so I decided to create my own label and I’ve been overwhelmed with the response.

What or who inspires your designs?
It’s a combination of all the different cultures I have experienced in my travels and I’m also inspired by people who do whatever makes them happy. They’ve helped me to find an escape from full-time carpentry, to working towards something I’ve always wanted to do for myself.

What does Salty Banditos represent?
I guess what we are aiming for is to depict a rebellious surf collective and render the forever changing surf culture with a twist of the dark and surreal.

Who is the ideal Salty Banditos customer?
Generally speaking, it tends to attract the people with scruffy long hair. From the old boys who still crave the waves, all the way down to the groms. There is no specific definition of the ideal ‘Salty Banditos mascot’. It’s been generously welcomed by all walks of life.

Where to next?
I’m just at the beginning of this venture and it’s been a rad ride so far! I’m learning so much, meeting some really great people and working on new designs all the time. We’re aiming to travel Australia next year and I’m excited about the influences that will have on my art and Salty Banditos.

Where can we find your products?
Check out our website saltybanditos.com or see our feature page on closetkingscollective.com. We are also stocked along with other artworks and prints in a retail space in Bermagui. Follow us on Instagram and Facebook to keep up to date on our latest.

Hodad-TEO Magazine

Kicking off in early 2014, the co-founders Harry Eggington and Alastair Simpson say they “share the burdensome responsibilities of sinking beers, sifting through fan mail and working real jobs to fund the black hole that is Hodad.” Their product range currently features t-shirts but the brand hopes to expand to hand-knitted headbands, tie-dyed hankies and other more orthodox apparel. Hodad is also an unlicensed microbrewery.

TEO: What’s in the name?
Alastair: Hodad n: a non-surfer who frequents surfing beaches pretending to be a surfer, also the common surfer’s greatest rival. A hodad is a free rider who uses his intelligence and wit to do as little as possible and still steal your girl.

How did you guys get started?
Hodad began as an idea, which grew like a fetus, fed by our insatiable thirst for Victoria Bitter and hard-earned cash. Over many green moons (drinking sessions), the fetus developed into a fully-fledged disaster waiting to happen. Like any fetus, it was messy and cost our life savings, but only after too much emotional investment to legally back out.

What inspires your designs?
Our sun-kissed country, the great southern land; Australia (God bless), beers, surfing, skeletons, larrikinism and any combination of the above. Other rad local artists and gnarly bands. The sweet, sweet (unattainable) pot of green gold (VBs) at the end of the rainbow (life). Old mate.

What does Hodad represent?
A win for the common Australian; for Dave down the road who crashes on the couch whilst surfers hit early morning breaks; for Old mate from the local, sinking beers whilst his ex hikes the Appalachian Trail; and for Shezza from the block who sold her uni textbooks to buy a lava lamp. A promise that you can sleep on the couch all day, sink beers all night and watch your lava lamp when you get bored and you’ll be alright.

Who is the ideal Hodad customer?
Your girl, old mate, you (you absolute legend), anybody who’s not a surfer.

Where to next?
We’ve brewed a dank batch of designs for a ‘Sprummer’ (Spring/Summer – think brunch…or spork) release. We’ve gone old school with blocks of faded retro colour, an all-Aussie tropical vibe and hand-drawn illustrations in long and short sleeve tees. Keep your eyes peeled and your esky cold. Our long term plans involve buying Google and establishing a Utopian tropical island nation.

Where can we find your products?
You can snag some Hodad threads online at hodadclothing.com.au, in the Gold Coast or Brisbane at Stock and Supply, or in Wollongong at Minty Duds. If you want to keep posted on our latest goings on, follow us on Instagram.

Kingfruit Apparel-TEO Magazine

Cruising onto the scene in 2014, Kingfruit Apparel is based in the southern suburbs of Sydney. The brand is run by the creative director, Curtis Dart and his partner, Chantelle manages the accounts and sales. The Kingfruit range includes t-shirts, jumpers, jackets and headwear, as well as prints featuring hand painted skulls and illustrated sticker packs.

TEO: What’s in the name?
Curtis: The name Kingfruit Apparel was created after long brainstorming sessions that involved cutting and pasting words together to find a title for a collection of illustrations I was working on. At the time I was fascinated with skulls and pineapples and I came to discover that some Pacific cultures refer to pineapples as the ‘King of Fruits’ and so Kingfruit was born.

How did you guys get started?
After working as a designer in the print industry for four years, I decided I needed a change. Like all designers can attest to, the industry is tough and good jobs are a dime a dozen. So after spending nearly two months searching for a job while sitting in my spa, drinking beers, and eating into my savings, my family posed the idea to throw some designs on tees and see how they go. After quitting my full-time job almost two years ago now, I have absolutely no regrets as I feel that I haven’t worked a day since.

What inspires your designs?
I take a large amount of my inspiration from the activities I do. I love to get outdoors and hit the waves, pavement and slopes (cash and weather permitted). So I’m always looking at what people are wearing and what’s trending in those particular sports. I also take inspiration from various designs and artworks used in the industry, be it a magazine advert or snowboard graphic, as there is always an element of freedom and outlandish creativity about them. In terms of particular artists that inspire me, I have a strong following for Mcbess, Inkcorf, Broken Fingaz, and all of the Mambo artists, who kick started my interest in art and t-shirt graphics as a child.

What does Kingfruit Apparel represent?
To me Kingfruit Apparel represents a form of creativity and free expression that I want to share with people. I have a strong love for illustration and everything design, so if I can make just one person stop and say “that’s cool” or “I love that” when they look at my designs, that’s cool by me. My motto and what I bring to the brand is ‘Love, Respect, Creativity’. Love what you do. Respect yourself, your talents and the people around you and never be afraid to get creative, as creativity is what pushes the boundaries and what brings the future to the present.

Who is the ideal Kingfruit Apparel customer?
The marketing research answer would be men 15-35 years old, but I don’t care about that crap. To me Kingfruit is for anyone of any age, gender and social scene. I never want to cement the brand in any particular scene or image. Kingfruit Apparel is an expression of creativity and personality and no one should ever feel embarrassed to wear it because it’s seen to be for young people, street rats or stoner surfer dudes. I want people to wear it because they think it’s cool and because it says everything that they want to say to the world that day. Enjoy life, and wear what you want – we are all #KFAfamily members.

Where to next?
In the words of my childhood idol Buzz Lightyear, “to infinity and beyond!” We are constantly looking to expand the Kingfruit range further, taking on new products and experimenting with new artist material. We are also focused on increasing our brand’s reach across the Australian and international market.

Where can we find your products?
Our products can be found through our online store at kingfruit.com.au or if you prefer a more personal approach, we hold a pop-up stall at Sydney’s Glebe Markets most Saturdays. We are always down to meet people excited about our brand and would love to have a chat and get you kitted out. Products from the Kingfruit Apparel range can also be found in a number of stores around Australia, with a stockist list available on our website. You can also follow us on Instagram.

Sumthing Sweet-TEO Magazine

Sumthing Sweet is the brainchild of Matty Gauld and his mate Arswandaru Cahyo. The brand is based along the south coast of Queensland. They currently offer t-shirts and stickers but are looking to branch out into other apparel for guys, girls and maybe even kids!

TEO: What’s in the name?
Matty: It just came out by accident really. A few mates and myself were trying to think of names and then a friend was like “make sure you name it something sweet” (as in a good name) and then I just said “I will call it Sumthing Sweet” and it all kicked off from there.

How did you guys get started?
It’s a pretty funny story actually! 2014 was my last year of schooling and to be honest, I wasn’t focused at all, except when it came to graphics. I actually liked it, probably because all we did was sit around and talk crap and that’s how the idea of Sumthing Sweet Clothing came along. I decided to follow through with it and see where it could take me. The sweetest thing about it all was my graphics teacher was also down with the idea. He had a massive laser embroider that I used to get a simple design stitched on the front. This led me to selling the shirts to my mates at school for $8 and that’s how the whole hobby started. From here I took it to the next level and started looking into screen printing and adding more designs. I thought that if I could get a following from a simple tee, what could happen if I went to the next level. I put some images on Instagram and people started to follow me. Watching it develop from just an idea to what it is now is pretty exciting – hopefully it just keeps growing.

What or who inspires your designs?
Arswandaru (the artist) and myself like to be creative and different. We could chat for an hour on a design but we don’t need to because we just get each other so well. That’s why I thought we would work well together. He is also a really nice bloke!

What does Sumthing Sweet represent?
The name ‘Sumthing Sweet’ represents something different and creative. For example our latest design is a jaguar with a pizza tongue, wearing sunnies. To me, that’s something cool to look at. It’s different and eye catching. It’s Sumthing Sweet.

Who is the ideal Sumthing Sweet customer?
Well I believe the style could be more aimed at teens and those in their 20s. However, I can’t limit who could be interested in Sumthing Sweet. It is for everybody and anybody who likes something a bit different.

Where to next for Sumthing Sweet?
Who knows? It’s a hobby that could lead to big things in the fashion industry. For now I will keep going and releasing new designs and hopefully they will be loved like the current ones are. It is coming into summer, so maybe some singlets are needed!

Where can we find your products?
On our website sumthingsweetclothing.com.au and in store at Stock and Supply Brisbane or Coolangatta. You can also check us out on Instagram.

Words: Nicole Pope
Photos: Supplied