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Is it possible to make quality training shorts locally that do not cost a fortune?
That was the question I asked in 2016. Without any experience in retail, manufacturing or design I decided to try and find the answer to this question. It wasn't just any clothing I was curious about, it was mens training shorts. You see at the the time functional training required stretchy fabric, durability and a particular length to meet the demand of the various aspects of training. So, I did what anyone would do, I googled "How to make shorts". Needless to say the internet had many, many pages of information but I quickly learnt I needed a CMT, which I also learnt meant Cut, Make, Trim. In the ensuing months I would come to understand the process of pattern making, manufacturing and design in a simple way and after much trial and error (and reading a LOT) I would launch DARK Performance Apparel in July 2017.
Why DARK though? Well, anecdotally, many people refer to training intensely as going to the "dark" place. I myself had been there many times. The place where you don't see anything around you, the music is just a dull noise in the back ground, and all you can feel is your heart beating out of your chest with your lungs on fire. It is a place few people venture to with any sort of regularity. It is difficult to go there and even tougher to stay there for any length of time but those who can persevere, reap the rewards of making it to the other side.
Goals, dreams, aspirations they all have a common ingredient for their success - discomfort. The "dark" is the place where discomfort is at its' most intense but also the place where we realise we are stronger than we thought. That we are more durable than previously imagined and once we have been, we discover that we can go harder, push farther and come out the other side stronger.
Hence DARK was the name I settled on for this brand because to me it is the name that reminds us that we need to embrace the difficulties we face and that if you seek out this place you will reach your goals and garner a self-confidence that can wash over into all areas of your life.
Therefore, it is more than a brand or just some cool name, it is a declaration that you are a part of a community that believe in hard work and are willing to push yourself to achieve those dreams you have. I am still learning everyday what it means to "Go DARK", and I hope that when you use our apparel it reminds you that you can go there to, and emerge stronger for it.
I will see you there...