"In my early 20s, I purchased my first oilskin jacket, sleeping bag, ground sheet and backpack from the Paddy Pallin store in Sydney - what great gear it was for us bushwalkers. Paddy was a legend even then, and his exploits were told around campfires in the bush. it's nice to rad this and remember those wonderful days trudging through remote areas of Australia and having a good tent, oilskin and groundsheet that I could trust." - BM Editor
Immersed in the outdoor adventure culture, Paddy Pallin would spend every opportunity right up to his old age exploring the country. In the early years of business, Paddy, his business associate Oliver and son Rob were making their own products under the Paddy Pallin name. As new technologies such as Gore-Tex came into production, the equipment reached new capabilities, which excited Paddy who was fascinated with the thrill of making materials and adventure wear items more durable, reliable and lightweight so the overall experience of the adventurist was improved.
“Paddy (the man) always wanted to get people out walking and that included people who had never tried it before and wanted to give it a go,” says Tim Pallin, managing director of Paddy Pallin stores. “He was very supportive of people right at the beginning of their bushwalking careers and I hope Paddy Pallin, the company, still inspires that today in encouraging more people to get out and appreciate the Australian wilderness and explore.”
Paddy Pallin started in a one-floor building in George Street in Sydney before opening in Katoomba, Jindabyne, Canberra, Melbourne and later, Launceston, which became the first franchised location. Currently there are 13 Paddy Pallin stores throughout the country.
At the heart of everything Paddy Pallin does is the ethos that the environment and its ecosystems are there to be enjoyed as well as protected. Throughout its 83-year history, Paddy Pallin has sponsored or initiated a large range of protection and education programs in Australia, such as the Paddy Pallin Science Grants, Private Lands Conservation Grants, Humane Society International Foundation for National Parks and Wildlife, and more.
Most of the funds for those initiatives come from the Paddy Pallin Foundation, says Tim: “One of our favourite initiatives is the ‘Don’t Bag The Environment’ program where if a customer doesn’t take a bag for their purchases in store, we put some money aside, which builds up and then we put that into the Paddy Pallin Foundation to go toward all of our activities.”
Today, the Paddy Pallin business continues to be family run with with grandson Tim Pallin as Managing Director, son Rob Pallin sitting in the Chairman seat and daughter-in-law Nancy Pallin as director of the company.