Hello to our endurance family,
2022 was the warmly-welcomed 'spring' after the long pandemic 'winter'. As we tentatively crawled, and sometimes ran, from the harsh realities of the past few years, we were able to experience the childlike wonder again at the return of events and community around the world, especially in endurance sports.
Each race we attended felt exhilarating and brand new, and I remembered what it felt like to experience triathlon for the first time. Seeing athlete-friends we had missed for several years filled our cups and reminded us that this community really is about so much more than sport.
And, it's about so much more than just the gear we make: Our ambassador community (WYNR) grew to 700 globally and we added a 'global elite' team for the nearly 100 exceptional athletes who represented us at World Championship events in 2022. Additionally, we sponsored 15 professional athletes, continuing our goal to support elite sport and to work with the best in the development of cutting-edge gear technology. And with that, a huge congrats to Braden Currie who placed 3rd at the IRONMAN World Championships in St. George. In the age of social media, where wins might not be the only thing that count, as a brand (& former pros ourselves), we will always value and support what the professionals do to enhance endurance sport. (But, don't get me wrong, we love a good reel too - in 2022, we made over 200 Instagram reels!)
Our 'reason for being' at MALO republic (WYN's mission-based sister brand), as I hope you know, is Making Active Little Ones. In 2022, the Buy One | Give One program continued to impact youth throughout the USA & Australia. We truly roll most of MALO's profits into the program and are proud to say that we made and donated over 3800 pieces of brand-new, high-quality, youth activewear this year- valued at over $97,000
For the third year in a row, Luke & I also attended MALO color runs & 'Far West Active Fests' in several underserved rural Australian towns. Every child, in every town the festival visits, leaves with a new activewear set from MALO republic & hopefully the knowledge that sport & being active can truly change their lives. Thank you to Good Sports inc, & Kit Bag for Kids as long-standing partners in getting our gear to the kids who need it most. And mostly, thank you to those who purchased activewear from MALO, your purchase made a real difference.
Through our membership in 1% for the planet, we donated 1% of our profits to non-profit organizations we care about. This year, they included the Surfrider Foundation USA and Climate Council Australia. We also worked to reduce our use of plastics and joined the Prana responsible packaging movement. We have now eliminated plastics in our mailer bags, garment bags, most mailing labels & even things we never thought about before, like swing tag strings.
Internally at WYN republic & MALO republic, our staff team blossomed both within and beyond the workplace. Luke & I are always surprised at how 'big' people think the company is, when in reality, we are two tight little teams in Noosa, QLD, Australia & Carlsbad, CA, USA. In 2022, we grew to a 'global' team of six, with each member bringing their own flavor of passion and dedication to the brands: Two of our staff members (Ryan & Jane) raced the Ironman World Championships and one (Brittany) embarked on her first year as a professional triathlete. Another (Skye) completed her first year as a gym owner while also being our Customer Experience guru (& daily marriage savior, working between Luke & I!). Katie completed her first full year as a shareholder in the business, taking charge of the USA office & global sales, while also raising a toddler. We continued our priority to pay people more than required, develop staff into growth roles & try to model that work is important, but family always comes first.
Although Luke & I reside in the small and mostly White town of Noosa, Australia, we aimed to increase representation of more backgrounds and body types in our marketing and product communications even when it required blowing budgets or holding off on collection releases to source diverse talent. We continued to support voices of underrepresented groups in endurance sports, but we also know this is an area where we can (& will) continue to improve. We look forward to introducing you to more meaningful collaborations in this space in early 2023.
Thanks for taking the time to come along with us on the journey- we truly are a family business in not only the literal sense but the sense that we count each one of you as part of our extended family and active community. I struggle to put into words what it all means (and am probably guilty of using too many here to try to convey it), but we truly thank you.
Cheers to you and those who mean the most to you this holiday season and we look forward to sweating with you again in 2023. It is truly an honor,
Beth & Luke McKenzie
Co-Founders, WYN & MALO republic