And for those who think that they recognise James…he was one of the early presenters on 50/50!
Ruggedwear are not unique, just original!
The Lowveld has been the perfect testing ground for their clothing since it is worn by people working and playing outdoors and in the bushveld of Mpumalanga. The company was certain that if their clothing could ‘pass the test’ in the Lowveld, it would be suitable for anywhere in Africa or elsewhere in the world with similar conditions.
In 2002 the manufacturing division was started as part of a job creation project, manufacturing school shirts for two large national retail chains. Only totally unskilled, jobless people were employed and every single operator was trained from scratch. In 2007, after a mere 5 years, what started as a job creation project changed into an economic empowerment project.
From humble beginnings, the client list has grown to include well-known game lodges, reserves, hotels and other establishments as well as large farms and similar facilities, all of whom make use of the good looking but tough and versatile range of clothing that Ruggedwear® is now famous for.
Proudly manufactured in South Africa from fabrics that are tough, quick-drying and easy to care for and distributed throughout Africa and the rest of the world.
Work or play, field guides need clothing that can take the pace, that are tough and yet still looks good.
In 2012 Ruggedwear changed its name to reflect a dynamic new direction and RUGGEDWEAR®, the fastest growing brand in Africa was launched.
The new logo was added recently as it more accurately reflects the brand and what it represents.
“As a conservationist and field guide for the past 27 years, I wear bush clothes and uniforms more than 90% of the time. To my wife’s dismay, at the beginning of our relationship, I often used to wear it socially too, but she soon changed that.
As far back as I can remember, people working in the guiding industry were always looking for the perfect, durable, and stylish bush uniform. Good quality workwear has to be extremely tough and resistant to tearing, damage and the natural elements we are exposed to every day.
I have found Ruggedwear to be the brand that we have all been yearning for many years, and now it has finally arrived. The clothes are tough enough for the African conditions, comfortable, long-lasting and the fit is perfect, and can even be worn socially”.
In 2020 Ruggedwear became the clothing sponsor for the Safai Guide of the Year competition, but COVID intervened and that event only took place in 2021, where James Steyn was introduced to Howard Rogerson, MD of Ruggedwear and the rest, as they say, is history.
Standing tall…Proudly wearing the new Ruggedwear kit that will soon be sporting the James Steyn logo.
The company has leopard-crawled with field guides and tracked poachers bent on destroying our natural heritage. With the sun and rain taking their toll, they have made certain that their clothing can take the severe weather conditions that Africa offers.
The company now produces a range that can take a beating and bounce back, stronger, more resilient and in keeping with the needs of the current and future client demographic.
And if you are in any doubt as to why James was chosen as a Ruggedwear ambassador, his credentials speak for themselves:
National Diploma in Nature Conservation, FGASA Scout, Cybertracker Senior Tracker, FGASA SKS (Special skills and knowledge) Dangerous Game Guide, FGASA SKS Birding Guide, FGASA Professional Field Guide, Current FGASA Dangerous Game committee member and previous FGASA Director, Exco member and regional representative.
James and his wife Corlia hosted our group at Senalala during the photo shoot.
“Anyone fancy a spot of tea”? Even during the busiest moments of the photoshoot, there was always the opportunity for a cuppa. Looking good in the Ruggedwear shirt designed specifically to be worn in and around the lodge. Great for more ‘formal’ occasions, when the neutral colours utilized for the bush are not required.
Welcome to the Ruggedwear family James. We look forward to a long and fruitful relationship together.
We were recently referred to as legends in our chosen fields. I know that one of us certainly is! James and me perched on a termite mound while we discuss the next shot…