WHERE IT ALL BEGAN
Based in regional Victoria over 26 years ago, Darche revolutionised the then-traditional swag market with the introduction of the Dome style swag.
DARREN O’DWYER, the founder of Darche with his wife CHERYL (DAR-CHE) embarked on an eastern sea board journey. Wanting a shelter arrangement that was quick, practical and easy to stow, Darren used his imagination and created a cross hybrid of a canvas shell and at the time, recent introduction of dome tent technology using Fibreglass poles. Darren’s creation became the talking point at many camping spots throughout their Journey. On his return, Darren O’Dwyer decided to showcase his new creation at a hunting and firearm show held at the Melbourne Exhibition Building. Using nothing more than a simplistic foldable card playing table as a prop, Darren soon become inundated with order requests from both Hunters and Firearm stores alike. Needing to produce his overwhelming orders with no manufacturing facility set up, Darren relied on his uncles Denim jean factory to get the ball rolling. Quickly out growing the jean factory, Darren realised he required a suitable and purpose-built factory arrangement in order to suffice demand. Setting up in both Kialla, Victoria and Campbellfield in the northern suburbs of Melbourne, Darren employed locals including his brother David to create functional manufacturing and assembly factories.
Using Australian supply chain partners at the time including Bradmill, Charles Parsons, KS Textiles and ABC foam makers, Darche had become the leading swag and canvas convertor in Australia, at one stage being the largest convertor of 100% cotton canvas in the country.
In 2012, Darche was acquired by Charles Parsons who were actively involved in supplying textile and trim componentry to Darche for over 20 years. Charles Parsons are the largest textile wholesaler in the Southern Hemisphere with offices in every capital city of Australia, including offices in Fiji, Auckland and Shanghai. The day-to-day running of Darche occurs in a warehouse facility based in Thomastown, Victoria with a site area of more than 40,000m2. Employing more than 320 people, Charles Parsons actively continue to supply all facets of Textile related goods. This includes Government agencies such as defence, emergency services, performance apparel, industrial textiles and more. Darche is overseen by experienced textile product developers, business strategists and passionate staff who are keen outdoor enthusiasts with sound knowledge and experience to match.
We are passionate, dynamic and keen. We enjoy the same lifestyle choices as our consumers. We strive to provide our consumers the very best value, reliability and service and most importantly we recognise the trust they place on us. We welcome our consumer’s feedback both positive and negative and promise to keep delivering whilst listening.
Servicing you, our partners for life.
We are mindful of our vulnerable environment and build our products to last the journey. We encourage life time use and if over the years it requires attention, even if it is a discontinued product, we will find a solution to have it back and performing for you.
If over time you feel an upgrade is on the cards, please do not dump or turf your no longer required Darche item. “Consider our environment” and perhaps hand it over to someone less fortunate or to a young timer just starting out… yeah, there’s something good in that!
From the Darche family to you, thanks for taking the time to read our story. Above all, everything we do is to give you the same priceless feeling we feel. Creating memories with your favourite people, in the most freeing and inspiring way possible. Camping, 4x4 touring, road trips... we live for it.
WHAT MAKES US DIFFERENT?
Darche’s growth, combined with an expansion in category spectrum and being faced with a shortage of experienced canvas convertors and local machinists, has seen Darche establish reputable off shore assembly and supply chain partners. Operating from four major plants purposely selected and audited by Darche, supervisors as well as experienced QA and QC teams are on the ground throughout its plants. Constant daily communication with product managers ensures all aspects of dyeing, proofing, finishing and assembly are closely monitored and within or exceeding conformance of engineered specifications. Machinists, assemblers, finishers, tool makers and QA/QC supervisors are included in our required workforce of over 180 people over our four plants.
It is vitally important to note Darche do not use Trading Houses or vertical arrangements off shore to source product. We at Darche develop all product prototypes in Australia and are involved from concept through to market release. In conjunction with our supply chain partners, we embark on testing and configuring the finest raw materials that will be specified for use. Why Darche? Read more here.
Utilising Charles parsons accredited laboratories and leading processes, all developments are then vigorously tested at the Thomastown facility and again in real life situations by developers.
Whether it’s in the Victorian High Country testing sleeping bags or in Central Australia testing a Rooftop Tents ability to withstand long periods of corrugated outback roads, all our products are used and tried prior to launch. Simply put, if it does not meet our expectations or we just don’t feel right about it we cannot expect our customers and partners to feel right about it, we will not release it.
COMMERCIAL SUPPLY ARRANGEMENTS – BRITZ
Darche’s dedication to building robust quality and innovative design with the incorporation of class leading raw materials, has seen Darche successfully supply and contribute to the fit out of leading brand of recreational hire of campervans, motorhomes and 4x4 vehicles; Britz.
Britz conducted comparison tests on many brands of well-known Rooftop Tents and after careful consideration, chose Darche to partner with. As the incumbent supply partner, over 200 Darche Rooftop tents have been supplied for fitting to purpose-built Britz Safari LandCruiser’s.
In 2017, Darche designed and successfully tested with Britz a new 4 person canvas Safari ground tent to be used in conjunction with the Britz Outback Toyota Hilux. As a result, a large number of new Britz Safari Hilux SR models are fitted out with Darche safari tents.
In simple terms, these hire vehicles and equipment are in use more than six months of the year, constantly travelling through the Cape into the Red Centre and on into the Kimberley’s, Victorian High Country and Tasmania – meaning they are subject to heavy use.
The equipment must stand up in order to provide Britz the confidence to send out (in many cases) inexperienced travellers into Australia’s harsh environment.
We are extremely proud of our supply arrangement with the Britz Brand and work closely with key Britz personnel, receiving real time feedback whilst striving for continual improvement and product performance.
The same build quality, service, dynamic design aspect and cooperation we share with Britz is delivered to our consumers, who are vitally important partners.