When you learn more about Scott Morrison and Bob Conrad, the founders of Radmor Golf, it’s impossible to not get excited about their mission and support this innovative and smart golf apparel brand. They have realized that being a good citizen means embracing the idea of doing more, making better choices, and in the case of Radmor Golf, being more mindful about what materials they use when manufacturing their clothes. They are driven by sustainability and focused on the end game; what happens at the end of a garment’s life.
BETTER PRODUCTS. LESS LANDFILL, MORE NATURE.
Radmor is the first brand in the golf industry to focus on the elimination of using ‘virgin’ polyester on a garment level. They have also limited the amount of recycled ocean polyester and recycled nylon they use to less than 10% of their collection, and always with the option of RAD-Cycling at the end of the product life cycle. They are excited to reintroduce the long-term benefits found in their Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) Organic and Extra-Long Staple (ELS) Pima cotton apparel while incorporating more environmentally responsible performance technologies, and thereby reducing the impact on the environment.
We were fortunate to get some time with Scott Morrison to get even more insight into the past, present and future of Radmor Golf…
Q: We are really impressed with the sustainability initiatives. What were your reasons for making this such an important part of Radmor Golf, and how do you think these initiatives will evolve in the coming years?
I came from the denim side of the fashion industry and only recently were brands and designers talking about the environment and sustainability. In that time, we’ve learned about being more responsible as a brand, a business, and a consumer. My last few years in denim were focused on helping clean up a pollutant industry, and the deeper you dive into that world, you can’t really ‘unsee’ the things you discover.
The proliferation of chemicals in clothing garments, the single use plastic pollution, microfiber shedding, landfill problems stemming from apparel waste, the disposability of fast fashion, etc. the list just goes on and on. And here we are, playing golf, this incredible game – a game played on a course surrounded by nature – but we’re all wearing plastic. The same plastic – eg. Polyester – that’s contributing to many of the very same issues I list above. So, we thought, we can do better. At the very least we can offer an alternative, and with any luck motivate and inspire a few people along the way.
As for the future – RADMOR will continue our push to limiting the use of synthetic fibers and focus on using sustainable, renewable, natural non-GMO and recycled fibers in our apparel. I also think (and hope) that we’ll reach a point down the road where recycled elastane will become more available and we’ll be able to transition over to that.
Q: What are the plans in the coming years for distribution to more clubs, resorts, retail, etc.
We’ve always understood that RADMOR would be an omni-channel business, and we knew that it’s going to take the support of green-grass golf shops (country clubs) and resorts, e-tailers like Trendy Golf and Fairway Styles, strategic partners like Nordstrom and Sak’s 5th Avenue, as well as our own direct efforts with e-commerce and a handful of RADMOR stores to make the brand successful. Quite simply, our goal is to make RADMOR the most sustainable minded brand in golf.
Q: We really love the styles and colors. As far as the style goes, how is your team working to keep the upcoming seasons unique to compete against the other brands out there?
Our approach to design is rooted in our appreciation for fashion outside of golf. We have always loved the idea of bringing fashion off the street and onto the course. That can’t always literally happen, but we do feel the influence and want our customer to feel and look their best – wherever they are – on the course or off.
Q: What demographic are you targeting with Radmor’s styles, and why?
The amazing thing about the world we live in today is that consumers from every demographic can find what they’re looking for almost anywhere they want to buy it. Our green grass customers can find it at their course, or at Trendy Golf or Nordstrom, or buy it directly from us. Often, they can even find it off price at a Nordstrom Rack if they’re willing to wait for closeout. The bottom line is we appeal to a customer who values exceptional quality, great style, and wants to do better for the world.
Q: How are you able to balance using cotton and designing apparel for performance?
We approached sourcing/design very deliberately from the onset. We placed internal limitations on how much synthetic material we would allow in a RADMOR garment. We knew that using natural fibers like ELS Pima Cotton was going to be the cornerstone of our shirting products, but we also knew we needed to incorporate “performance.”
We worked directly with mill to source, and blended lightweight, non-GMO, renewable Peruvian Pima Cotton – which is natural, strong, long lasting, soft, both moisture-wicking and breathable – with a small amount of Lycra (elastane). That combination gives our yarn all the performance it needs, while still ensuring that 96% of that garment is made from natural materials. We also made some changes to the garment pattern which we feel help enhance the performance, especially while swinging a club, and the fact that we use real shell buttons, recycled materials for our labels and hangtags … it all comes together in the end product.
Q: What should we be on the lookout for in 2022 in terms of big announces about new products or company growth?
We’re just getting started – so I think we’re expecting the significant growth these next few years and we’ll be expanding our distribution throughout the US, Canada, and Korea. Our biggest announcement to date has been the launch of our women’s capsule, and we’re excited to see that gaining more momentum as we get into Spring/Summer ’22.
Q: Several golf brands are receiving investment infusion from private equity firms and investment funds, like Rory’s Symphony Ventures. Is Radmor self-funded or is there a big “name” behind the scenes?
We have an investment group, and if Rory would like to invest, we’d say “yes.”
Q: Do you feel like all the money getting off the side lines and into the golf markets is a positive sign of the industry’s health?
I think the most positive sign of health for the golf industry can and should be measured by its inclusivity. The more inclusive, diverse, and approachable the game – the better the buy in from a younger demographic and the better the outlook for the future. With greater accessibility to the sport with brands like Topgolf which focus on fun, and more excitement around new brands coming into the space be it equipment or apparel, it shows that there’s a real opportunity for golf as an industry and sport to flourish in the coming years!
Q: You’re based in Seattle. It’s 55 with a light drizzle and you’re heading out to play 18. What are you wearing?
I’m literally wearing this today: a pair of striped RadSocks, our Five-O Corduroy pants with a Baty polo, a Radmerino Hoodie under a Moscrip jacket.
Q: Conversely, you’re going on a golf trip to Hawaii for a few days. What are a few go-to Radmor items for the road?
My standard issue Hawaii attire would include our Vincent short combined with a couple Baty or Taylor Ombre shirts, as well as a few RadCaps (our hats). The Moscrip jacket again would be a great option in case of the occasional squall! Aloha!