Founded in Australia in 1932, R.M.Williams is one of the world’s most celebrated and well-loved boot brands. Now celebrating 90 years in business, the R.M.Williams name is often viewed as a hallmark of quality and endurance, thanks to the hardwearing and timeless nature of the clothing, accessories and footwear that it adorns.
A legacy of resilience
Born from humble beginnings in the South Australian bush, R.M.Williams came to be when a young Reginald Murray Williams first crafted an elastic-sided leather boot in 1932 – a product that would later become synonymous with authentic outback dressing. RM crafted products for hardworking stockmen and soon had a thriving mail order business, before the increasing popularity of his products demanded the establishment of a full factory at Percy Street in the 1940s. Many craftsmen and women joined him and later settled into a new workshop at Frost Road, where production currently remains.
As of today, hundreds of highly skilled artisans continue to handcraft leather boots and accessories for R.M.Williams, using the same time-honoured techniques as those who went before them. It’s this enduring camaraderie of hard work that led RM to believe ‘it’s the people who make a company.’
A modern approach to craft
The process of handcrafting leather boots is one that has changed little in R.M.Williams’ 90 years in business, with a focus on quality at the heart of production. Each pair of boots passes through 80 handheld processes on its journey through the Adelaide workshop, passing a final inspection by the Master Craftsman to ensure a product worthy of the R.M.Williams name.
Only the finest leathers are selected and worked into the brand’s signature one-piece upper boots, ensuring a product that can truly go the distance. Hardwearing and durable, R.M.Williams boots are known to last for decades and can be repaired and resoled an infinite number of times – a defining principle that sets the brand apart in a world where clothing and footwear is often treated as disposable.
In keeping boot and belt manufacturing firmly rooted in Australia, R.M.Williams is also able to maintain a level of visibility and transparency at all levels of production. The effect of this is a more sustainable supply chain with fewer carbon emissions, as well as an ever-growing roster of employment and training opportunities for craftspeople and everyday Australians across the nation.
Back in Australian hands
In 2020, 100% of R.M.Williams was purchased by Tattarang, a Western Australian private investment group, delivering the business back home and into Australian hands. Under the stewardship of this global powerhouse and its owners, the Forrest family, the brand remains intrinsically linked to its outback origins and can thrive amongst a diverse portfolio of Australian businesses and organisations, each driven by values of courage, empowerment and integrity.