The legs have it


Take a look through your sock and hosiery drawer and you're bound to spot a pair or two made by Columbine – a fam­ily-owned Kiwi brand cel­e­brat­ing 65 years in busi­ness

Columbine is a New Zealand suc­cess story that spans gen­er­a­tions. In fact, this iconic brand, known for their fash­ion-for­ward panty­hose, eye-catch­ing socks and on-trend tights has pro­vided style and com­fort for New Zealand legs for the past 65 years – and count­ing! Columbine is a fam­ily-owned busi­ness with a loyal and hugely tal­ented work­force. The com­pany’s very first em­ployee was hired in the early 1950s when the three Thorpe broth­ers, Alan, Ge­orge and Jack, opened their Gis­borne fac­tory. Th­ese days, 75 staff cre­ate qual­ity prod­ucts for cus­tomers through­out New Zealand and Aus­tralia and as they cel­e­brate their 65th birth­day this year, the team has no in­ten­tion of slowing down.

So what lies behind the suc­cess of a small-town busi­ness that grew into one of New Zealand’s best-known brands? Two im­por­tant fac­tors top the list: qual­ity and com­fort. Columbine prod­ucts don’t just look good, they feel good too, and cus­tomers ben­e­fit from the many years of lo­cal knowl­edge at the com­pany’s fin­ger­tips.

Their fo­cus on pro­vid­ing a qual­ity fash­ion prod­uct has had a huge and last­ing impact on Columbine’s suc­cess in the women’s space, with the brand's socks, hosiery and tights in fash­ion­able sea­sonal colours and styles a staple in closet draw­ers up and down the coun­try. Its male-cen­tric brand, Har­le­quin, is also a well-recog­nised favourite among Kiwi men and boys, with an out­stand­ing range of dress socks, sport and leisure socks and hard-wear­ing school socks in a range of colours and de­signs.

In a mar­ket dom­i­nated by low-cost

Columbine is among a se­lect few New Zealand com­pa­nies still in busi­ness af­ter more than three gen­er­a­tions. mass pro­duc­tion, Columbine con­tin­ues to fo­cus on sus­tain­abil­ity, eth­i­cal man­u­fac­tur­ing, hir­ing top-qual­ity staff, in­vest­ing in the lat­est high-tech equip­ment and sourc­ing the very best ma­te­ri­als from the world’s lead­ing sup­pli­ers. Like­wise, its re­tail part­ners are some of the lead­ing names in the New Zealand and Aus­tralian mar­kets – think Farm­ers, David Jones, Smith & Caughey's, Bal­lan­tynes and Myer, as well as many in­de­pen­dent re­tail­ers – mak­ing both the Columbine and Har­le­quin brands eas­ily ac­ces­si­ble no ma—er where you are.

And if you're a˜er some­thing unique for your school or busi­ness, why not get in touch with Columbine? They can pro­duce in­di­vid­ual de­signs to cater to your needs, be it a logo or a school stripe – you name it, they can do it.

As a fam­ily favourite for the last six decades, Columbine looks for­ward to dress­ing fu­ture gen­er­a­tions in its socks, hosiery and tights for many more years to come.

All in the fam­ily


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