Dane Watson Porter James Sports


(PJS)
Hey Dane, it’s been great to meet you recently. As we discussed the Goodlids brand has grown dramatically over the past year or two and we love what you’re doing.

Firstly, tell us how Goodlids came about? The back story, the name, the product etc.

(DW)
Likewise man! I’m a big fan of yours and stoked to be doing this interview. So in late 2018 I was about to finish up uni and I had no idea what I was going to do career-wise. After doing a little bit of soul-searching I wrote down the phrase ‘Do Good, Have Fun’ in a notebook. Over a period of about six months I narrowed that idea down to what we now know as Goodlids, but ultimately the principles of doing good and having fun really helped guide the brand in those formative days.

The idea of Goodlids was to make headwear that was better for the planet - whatever that looked like, but it really took on a bit more purpose when I learned more about hemp, and decided to go all-in on that textile.

(PJS)
For those who don’t much about Hemp, tell us why it’s your material of choice.

(DW)
Sure! So hemp is a cannabis plant that differs from marijuana in that it doesn’t contain the same psychoactive components that marijuana does. Hemp is a great crop in the fight against pollution and climate change: Hemp generally absorbs up to four times the amount of CO2 from the atmosphere per square metre than trees do. Hemp grows really quickly, so it has a high yield for fibre production and it really thrives in all sorts of climates and conditions without the need for herbicides, which is great because it doesn’t need heaps of water to grow, and it can be a really diverse crop for farmers in areas which suffer from drought or extreme temperatures.

As a textile, hemp is great because it’s durable and breathable, and when it’s blended with cotton it makes for a beautifully soft textile to the touch!

Hemp also comes with a great story: in the 1930’s the industrial hemp economy suffered a death by association. Industrial hemp was condemned in the western war on drugs and is only now seeing a resurgence in the last 10-20 years. In that time, hemp clothing has also probably had a bit of a hippie tag to it, so we’re really big on making it something that everyone feels like they can wear and love!

Dane Watson Porter James Sports

(PJS)
I’ve personally seen your hats everywhere as of late. It seems your brand is founded on good times, friendship and by in large a kiwi summer (if you know you know). This is how I interpret it anyway.

Do you feel this brand narrative is true? If so, was it intentionally curated or has it happened organically?

(DW)
Haha epic! Yeah man I think that being a hat brand, we’re kind of synonymous with having a good time. Most people are probably not rocking their Goodlid at the office - it’s more for that Friday arvo knock-off: Throw on your favourite lid, head to the beach or the lake for the weekend and you’re on Good Times mode. So yeah it’s something that would have probably happened organically, but we’ve really doubled down on it through our content, tone and brand collaborations.

(PJS)
Your personal favourite + the best selling hat to date?

(DW)
Man, I really do love all of my hats so this is tough. My personal favourite is probably also the best selling: The Black Signature lid. I’ll get a picture of mine to you to chuck up with the interview, it’s been put through its paces! I love all variations of our signature lids though. We’re about to release a cream/wheat two-tone variation that I haven’t taken off in a month haha!

Dane Watson Porter James Sports

(PJS)
What can we expect from you guys this year? Congrats on your new store by the way!

Goodlids have just opened their flagship;
90 Mount Eden Road, Mount Eden, Auckland

(DW)
Thanks so much! Yeah we’re really keen to make our store quite dynamic and use it to really help get across our brand story as much as possible. 2022 looks like it has a few really cool brand collaborations in store. We’ve just bought on an investor to help us to expand into Australia, and implement new sustainability initiatives, which is exciting. We see Goodlids as having potential to showcase the urban-outdoors brand dynamic that is quite unique to New Zealand, on a global scale. So this year will be the first year that we really focus on putting that theory into action!

(PJS)
What does Dane Watson’s current uniform look like? We hear you’re a fan of our Saturday Shorts ;-)

(DW)
Mate! They are the best! If you time your visit to the Goodlids Store on a weekday at about lunchtime, you’ll likely see me wearing:

My leather Bostons, Green PJS Saturday Shorts (Side note: they have overtaken my Patagonia Baggies as my #1 choice of shorts, which is no mean feat if you know how much of a Patagucci gang member I am), a Goodlids Outdoors Tee, a black Casio W59-1V Digital Watch, Cherry Black Khalo sunnies, and last but not least, an unreleased Goodlids Cream/Wheat Signature Lid!

(PJS)
I know how overwhelming running a business can get. What do you do to disconnect? How do you spend time away from the business and how do you achieve balance? (asking for friend, laughs)

(DW)
Yeah bro for sure. I’ll be honest, I’m still learning as I go. I really struggle to truly disconnect, especially now that we have staff and a store, so I guess I actually frame it differently and really make an effort to ‘connect’ with my life outside of work. I’ve played top grade club cricket every Saturday since I was 16, and I’m able to channel a ‘less consequential’ passion into that pastime, which is fun! I have a beautiful fiancèe and pup at home, and I have some very good friends and family to enjoy a beer or a coffee with. It’s more than enough to stay sane on those days that everything goes wrong haha!

(PJS)
Lastly, what does a life well-designed look like to you?

(DW)
I think for me it’s as simple as waking up in the morning and really jumping out of bed to get into the day. If you’ve got something to look forward to every day, that’s a life well designed!  

Dane Watson Porter James Sports

In Conversation with Dane Watson of Goodlids