Real Men Wear Pink

Bisley Workwear

Bisley Workwear is just one of the labels from the Gazal Corporation portfolio which includes labels that need no introduction like Calvin Klein, Pierre Cardin, SPANX and Van Heusen, among many others. The Gazal Corporation is one of the largest publicly listed apparel companies in the Asia Pacific region. This industry giant which has over $250 million in annual revenues was founded in 1958 by one man named Joe Gazal. “Joe is my father,” says Executive Director David Gazal. “He basically started the business by walking up and down George Street selling flannel shirts to the old army disposal stores.”

Joe went on to make his first buying trip to Taiwan in 1960 and the rest is history, with the Gazal Corporation celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2008. Mr Gazal recalls that his father was one of the first people in the apparel industry to start importing clothing and fabrics from China. “Back in those days if you took a trip to China they would take your passport and you would have two chaperones who would walk you around, and there were no hotels, only government-run hostels. It was a very different China to what China is today.” From the time that Joe Gazal hawked flannel shirts to army disposal stores to the present, the biggest transformation in Australia’s textiles industry has been the shift from local to overseas manufacturing.

Mr Gazal can remember a time when the Gazal Corporation was Australia’s largest local manufacturer; “We had nine factories employing around 5000 Australian workers. The government changed the tariff and duty protection on the clothing and footwear industry in 1983. We all had to change our businesses to start manufacturing overseas rather than manufacturing in Australia.” The introduction of vertical retail has also had a major impact on the textiles industry, which is, by and large, virtually unrecognisable from what it was in 1958. Yet one part of the Gazal Corporation that has not changed over the decades is Joe’s proud legacy of old-fashioned family values.

All Gazal companies prioritise customer service first and foremost. “We make sure that we look after our customers,” comments Mr Gazal. “The quality of a Bisley garment is second to none. We give a third party company our garments and garments from our competition in all weights and colours to be tested for quality every six months. We keep ourselves honest when it comes to quality.”

Along with an enduring commitment to customer service and quality, there is a high level of innovation across all the brands in the Gazal portfolio and Bisley Workwear is no exception. “We always invest in innovation,” says Mr Gazal. “We’ve got to make sure that we’re pursuing and developing new and exciting products for our customers in every brand.”

He recalls that in 2009, Exxon approached Bisley needing garments with a built-in chemical to kill mosquitoes to protect their workers in Papua New Guinea against malaria. “We joined forces with a German company and a Dutch company and in six months developed a way to bond permethrin to fabric which would protect the wearer from mosquitos and last for up to 70 washes. We’re the second company in the world to get that approved by the American FDA and the equivalent of the FDA in Europe. From there, we decided that we would try to build garments in Bisley that would protect the worker no matter what risk environment they went into.”

Bisley Insect Protection garments are non-toxic to humans, odourless and have been tested using World Health Organisation recommendations. Designing protective garments for workers in high risk environments is no easy feat, as Mr Gazal explains. “You’ve got to protect the worker from the hazard that they’re in but then you’ve got to protect them from the chemical that you’re putting into the garment.”

Investing in innovation and customer service are key focus areas for Bisley which is one of Australasia’s fastest growing workwear brands. Today’s apparel industry is fiercely competitive. The marketplace is flooded with cheap imports, many of which are poorly designed and have not been made to last. “The price you’d pay for a t-shirt ten to twenty years ago is more than what you’d pay for the price of a t-shirt today,” remarks Mr Gazal. “The biggest challenge is to make sure that you are able to remain competitive in a market where CPI is going up and up and our prices are going down. We want to make sure that every brand that Gazal has stays in number one place in its market segment or at least has the amount of market share that we need to maintain a successful business.”

To this end, Bisley invests heavily in the latest fabric technologies to create garments with in-built fire retardants, anti-bacterial properties and UV resistant finishes. These hard working garments from Bisley are specifically designed to tackle extreme conditions – but who would have thought that workwear could help find a cure for breast cancer?

Bisley Workwear is proud to be a platinum supporter of the National Breast Cancer Foundation and its ‘Real Men Wear Pink’ campaign. “We’re basically asking men to wear Bisley’s range of pink shirts in support of the National Breast Cancer Foundation,” explains Mr Gazal. The ‘Real Men Wear Pink’ campaign could not be a better fit for Bisley’s brand ambassador, Scott Cam. Scott may be a famous face in this country but he is a true blue larrikin with a generous heart and bucket loads of character. “There’s no better person than a blokey bloke like Scotty who has credibility and is a real man to ask men to wear pink,” comments Mr Gazal. “On top of that, Scotty was really excited to get on board with the National Breast Cancer Foundation and is a big supporter of charities.

Along with Scott, Kyal and Kara from ‘The Block’, who are also Bisley Workwear ambassadors, are absolutely thrilled to be involved with the ‘Real Men Wear Pink’ campaign. Bisley Workwear is donating $3 from the sale of every pink shirt to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, and a key focus for the future of the brand is continuing to fund lifesaving breast cancer research. “We’re very passionate about the National Breast Cancer Foundation and the way that our company can give back,” says Mr Gazal. “That’s why we’re supporting it. We think it’s a great campaign and a way for industries to give back to society.”

Whether men are suiting up for another day at the office or pulling on a high visibility shirt in the factory, comfortable yet durable workwear is an absolute must. Bisley Workwear has been designed to tackle the big jobs, with a protective range of garments that can really cop a beating. Bisley has developed a wide range of industrial wear, safety wear, business and casual wear with comfort and quality front of mind. There is plenty of women’s clothing on offer as well. “We’ve got some new, innovative Bisley products to suit all markets, from protective wear to the general workwear market,” shares Mr Gazal. “There’s plenty happening in our space from the ‘Real Men Wear Pink’ campaign to protective garments and general workwear.”

So join Bisley Workwear and man up to help researchers find a cure for breast cancer. Finding a cure for this disease is not a matter of if, it is a matter of when and Bisley is working hard toward making a brighter future for women. Join the fight against breast cancer and take a stand by daring to wear a pink Bisley shirt to work. Encourage your workmates to give it a go to help support the women in their lives. “It’s a worthwhile cause that ultimately benefits everyone.”

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December 19, 2018, 5:10 AM AEDT