Ringers Western CEO Andrew MacDonald on bringing Bundaberg Rum into country clothing

Andrew MacDonald – Founder and CEO at Ringers Western – on why his company and Bundaberg Rum go hand in hand.

Andrew, it’s great to catch up. You’ve recently launched a Bundaberg apparel collection – a collaboration orchestrated by the team at Asembl. Before we dive into that, can you tell us a bit about Ringers Western and how the company came about?
Thanks for the opportunity to have a yarn! Ringers Western was started around a campfire in the Kimberley of Western Australia after a day’s mustering in 2016. We started the brand because we felt there was a large gap in the market – an opportunity to make decent work shirts for station workers at a good price.

How would you describe the company’s approach to designing country clothing?
We have an amazing team here that has a practical understanding of how the clothes need to be made for use in both the country and the city – and made for all types of climates. Our team are current with market trends and are also on the ground using the product in the conditions they are meant for.

Andrew MacDonald, Ringers Western, Bundaberg Rum

All feels very authentic. On that, when the Asembl team presented the Bundaberg Rum opportunity, why did it appeal?
Bundaberg Rum and Ringers Western have always gone hand in hand – whether after work, on the station, at the pub, rodeo or watching your favourite team play. They go together and have always been aligned; Bundaberg Rum sits well for everyday Australians.

“Bundaberg Rum sits well for everyday Australians.”

Design-wise, how did you go about translating the booze brand into your style of apparel?
Essentially, we looked at our customer and worked out – based off being on the ground – what we found most Bundaberg Rum drinkers would wear at events.

What kinds of events?
Things like Deni Ute Muster, Gympie Muster, out at rodeos and different country events and shows around the country. We then ran through all their inspirations, gathered it together and brought it into alignment with our best sellers. This process essentially led to the designs you see here.

Andrew MacDonald, Ringers Western, Bundaberg Rum

Before we wrap up, one last question: How do you fuel your creativity? What helps you have ideas?
I think being flexible and having the ability to react enables us a lot of freedom to create the best business we can. Also, listening to our customer and seeing what the market is doing. However, in saying that, Australians have always loved what they love, and we will always maintain the original gear we have made. If we can create a fresh twist on some things we do, that’s great.

Thanks Andrew. Let’s catch up again soon.

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