Good things come from Kiwi ingenuity

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Have you been to the NZ History site from the NZ Ministry of Culture and Heritage? We learnt this interesting snippet - 54 years ago today the "Jandal" was trademarked. You can read more at the end of this post or at

As a business we work with innovative businesses who take amazing ideas to the world. From wool clothing, to bikes, to polo mallets, to swords, to model planes - you name it, New Zealand businesses take the design cake. We're proud to help so many of these great companies cross borders to make their way to the global marketplace.

Here's more about the Jandal - or you can read the full article.

Inspired by footwear he had seen in Japan, Auckland businessman Morris Yock and his son Anthony began manufacturing this simple rubber footwear in their Onehunga garage in 1957. The name ‘jandal’ combined the words ‘Japanese’ and ‘sandal’.

The jandals were initially manufactured by Jandals Ltd using rubber imported from Hong Kong; J. Yock & Co. arranged distribution. Skellerup took over the supply of raw materials and eventually bought the business in 1987. Skellerup subsidiary Viking Footwear took over the name in the 1990s, and today it is owned by Sanford Industries.

During the 1980s and ’90s the brand came under threat from cheap imported imitations. In response the owners threatened legal action to protect the ‘Jandal’ trademark: the original jandal sets itself apart with its specific rubber formula. These days even the genuine article is imported – since the late 1980s the jandal has been manufactured in Malaysia.

One interesting ‘fact’ about jandals is that more left-footed ones seem to wash up on our beaches than right-footed ones – a 23-year study of Northland beaches found that 70% of washed-up jandals were left-footed. Why this might be is open to conjecture – one theory is that it is to do with the way (predominantly right-footed) New Zealand boaties launch their boats, leaving their left foot in the water while they push to get afloat.

Their relatively low cost and suitability for the New Zealand summer lifestyle have ensured that jandals continue to be popular today, though they are not nearly as prevalent as in the early 1980s, when Kiwis bought more than one million pairs a year. Read more.

What New Zealand products and designs spring to mind when you think of Kiwi ingenuity?