News 16 May 2014

Action sports brand Unit under new ownership

Clothing label receives a lifeline through Gold Coast company.

Image: Sebastian Marko.

Image: Sebastian Marko.

Almost two months after it was placed in receivership, new life has quietly been breathed back into Australian action sports clothing label Unit Clothing this week.

It’s understood the troubled clothing company has been bought by Gold Coast company Sarroff Group earlier this week. The label is already featured on their website.

Sarroff Group owns a range of lingerie, jewelry, and accessory and shoe labels, but Unit is the first casualwear brand to be brought into the fold.

There has been no word about the fate of Unit’s 40-plus employees, some of who were made redundant on 26 March, but it’s expected a handful might be absorbed into Sarroff.

However, the buyer’s existing business infrastructure is likely to take care of the administration, accounts and production aspects of the business. Unit’s USA headquarters in San Clemente is expected to continue operations as normal.

Clues that Unit might have found a buyer surfaced on 24 April when its Facebook Page sprung back to life. A new Unit Clothing Instagram account was also launched last week, but to date has only gained two followers: Paul Everest and Unit’s website creators Tusk Agency.

Brothers Paul and Ian Everest started Unit in 2002 in a garage and rode a wave of popularity both in Australia and overseas. At its peak, Unit supplied more than 400 independent retailers, sponsored some of the biggest named riders in action sports, and the success catapulted the Everest brothers into the Business Review Weekly’s Young Rich List three years ago. In 2013, the brothers were worth about $22 million, earning them 78th and 79th place on the list.

Unit’s demise and subsequent insolvency was blamed on a brutal retail market.