Welcome to the World of Budgy Smuggler
Budgy Smuggler started as a bit of a laugh in a backyard in Australia when some mates decided to write ‘Budgy Smuggler’ on the back of a speedo-style swimwear. Why it has been successful, we have no idea.
A lot of people ask us why we are "budgy smuggler", not "budgie smuggler"? We really wish we had a good answer. Two of our favourite explanations are the impressive sounding, "it has to do with trademark law, you wouldn't understand it", and the mysterious sounding "we're not detail people, we are concept people".
The sad fact is, we only realised the incorrect spelling after it was too late to change back again. So budgy smuggler should have been budgie smuggler.
After a decade of running all our operations from our hometown in Manly Beach, Australia, we set up a UK based operation in 2016 so Smugglers in the UK & Europe could get overnight shipping and so we could enjoy the warm English sunshine.
Spreading our wings has lead to great new opportunities and partnerships with some of our favourite teams and Smugglers all over the world! With the end goal of Smugglers on every beach in the world, global domination is on the cards. We are eager to create stores and HQ's all over the world to continue to spread the love of Smuggling!
Where are they made?
All Budgy Smugglers are 100% Australian made in our factory in Sydney with the best quality fabrics. We understand when it comes to smuggling your budgy there can be no compromise on quality.
Budgy Smuggler is family owned and run by a few 20 something year olds (and a few guys who are now in their 30’s) who aspire to never have a traditional desk job.
Where do you make Budgy Smugglers?
Our Australian office is based in Brookvale, Sydney with our factory not too far up the road in Marrickville. From printing to cutting to sewing, our Smugglers are 100% Australian made, right here in Sydney!
How did it all begin?
It literally started as a joke amongst mates with someone writing ‘budgy smuggler’ on the back of a pair. A few people found it funny so we got a little website set up to sell online. At some point, we are hoping it catches on.
Why do you make in Australia when you could make overseas for cheaper?
At Budgy Smuggler we are focused on how well we can make a garment, not how cheap we can do it.
Australia has a long and proud tradition of swimwear design and production. It is the birthplace of the Budgy Smuggler (formally known as Speedo's :)) style swimwear. We are proud to continue this tradition.
We have invested heavily in our manufacturing so we’re a world leader.
Plus when you put on a pair of smugglers / smugglettes, we want you to feel that you’re putting on a genuine garment crafted with love. We love the craftsmanship and when you put on a pair we want you to feel like you a literally putting on a part of Australia.
A lot of professional athletes wear Smugglers when they’re playing sports. How come?
We thought rather than answer this ourselves we’ll ask a couple of sportsmen and sportswomen about how they think Budgy Smuggler has helped...
"Budgy Smuggler has given me the security downstairs to make my career upstairs" - England Rugby's Jack Nowell
"It is just a new level of support while I’m scrummaging" - Wallaby Tatafu Polata-Nau
"Since wearing them I’ve been hitting the ball a lot cleaner and I haven’t been called ‘champ’ at training once" - Faf du Plessis
"Smugglettes really help you turn defence into attack" - Ellia Green, Olympic Gold Medalist Rugby 7s.
Is it fair to take credit for athlete performance?
While we think it is unfair to take all of the credit for the accumulation of World Titles, Rugby Premierships, and Olympic Gold Medals, we are happy to do so.
Smugglers are also handy for being comfortable, keeping everything in place, and being less likely to fall down in a tackle. Professional athletes and particularly footy players were early on the uptake as they typically move between showers and ice baths at the end of the game… and no one likes getting in an ice bath nude.
Sincerely though, it is a real honour to be a part of dressing rooms of every level from park and country footy / cricket to World Champions, Olympic Champions and National Premierships/Flags. Part of smuggling is the camaraderie that builds in these team both on and off the paddock. We love to be a small part of this.
You seem to be involved in quite a few community events and organisations, is this something that’s important to you?
We started out just with a few mates smuggling for a laugh… I guess it was our own little community. There was never an intention to become a ‘business’ or a brand so we’ve always followed things that interest us and that involves community initiatives.
At Budgy Smuggler we want a reputation for quality. When we think of this we think not just of making quality products that put a smile on people's’ faces, it is also about being a quality brand in terms of looking after people - our team, our fellow smuggler and the broader community.
We have never worried too much about making money. For the first decade in Budgy Smuggler’s history, we lost money (It was one of the great expensive hobbies of all time) and had other jobs/loans to keep the business afloat and growing… but we were also able to get involved with community initiatives and do things like co-host Strut the Streets which raised a quarter-million dollars over this period for the Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience (AIME). While from a profit and loss perspective this didn’t make sense in the short term, in the long run we believe in a ‘swings and roundabouts’ approach and we’ve been fortunate that events like Strut the Streets have helped to build a loyal following.
How did the Smugglettes (female) range come about?
Why should guys have all the fun?! It was a no-brainer to start making Smugglettes. We started simple with a basic bikini and racing one piece, and since 2009 we have slowly begun growing and perfecting the range! We are still developing, growing, changing and learning. It's a whole lot of fun to keep making new cuts and designs for women of all shapes and sizes, activities and ages!
Budgy Smuggler has a number of designs made by emerging Aboriginal Australian artists, how did this come about?
Budgy Smuggler has a long and strong connection with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians who were some of the early adopters with Budgy Smuggler, particularly professional athletes/footballers. It’s a community we love and are fiercely loyal too. A general shout out to all the mob out there.
First Australians also make some of the most incredible art in the World. We are honoured to be able to share some of these designs through our swimwear showcasing work from artists on Smugglers including Nardurna, Charlie Wanti and Tri Mob. Importantly, artists retain ownership of the work and a royalty is paid on each sale to the artists and/or to a nominated charity partner.
We note that the Budgy Smuggler Sydney office is on the land of the Guringai people and we pay full respects to Elders past, present and future.
What’s next for Budgy Smuggler?
Great question. We’re largely figuring this out as we go so if you’ve got any gold ideas flick em through to firstname.lastname@example.org
We are keen on freeing thighs all over the world.
Our next big step is looking to launch a dedicated French website and shipping from France. This should be ready for Summer 2023.
We are continuing to build our underwear range, party shirts and have more bucket hats available. We like bucket hats.
Thank you for making it this far down the page.
That is all. For now
Some historic moments in smuggling history.