Malaysia is roughly 9,500 miles away from New York, but when the Rohingya Football Club located in the capital city of Kuala Lumpar needed soccer uniforms to outfit their 25-member club they turned to the one company who could fill their request with a unique design and timely delivery: Wooter Apparel.
Over the past three years, Wooter has emerged from a small start-up sports brand rooted in Staten Island, New York to designing and developing customized uniforms on an international level, complete with eye-popping colors and creative graphics. Within that time, Wooter has outfitted teams and leagues globally for over 25 countries, including Japan, Tanzania, Antigua, Grenada, Malta, the Netherlands and Australia, among others.
“When we go to the field to play football, we keep our confidence that we can win … If we try our best to win the game of course we can," said Mohd Farouque, who co-founded the Rohingya Football Club in 2015 as a way to bring together youth and create a cohesive society.
Much like RFC, Wooter continues to rack up victories on the world stage.
"We approach every design differently, depending on the team name, location, colors, views, briefs and inspiration provided. A lot of research goes into the background and area the team is from before creating initial design concepts," said Tyrone Rieschiek, who serves as Head of Apparel Design for Wooter and leads a team of graphic designers based in Adelaide, Australia.
"Researching the background of the team gives us a chance to incorporate specific symbols, elements, colors, part of culture meaningful to those wearing the garment."
At Wooter's official website, people can customize their sports uniforms in six easy steps. After receiving a detailed quote and partnering with a Wooter representative, customers work with a designer on selecting team colors and logos before receiving a set of designs to approve. Once the artwork is agreed upon and ordered, the average production turnaround time takes between 3 to 4 weeks (2 weeks for rush orders).
"We definitely learn a lot from creating designs from other parts of the world, even learning little facts, what elements and symbols mean about other countries. It's also great working with these clients creating a bond with them," Rieschiek explained.
Along with creating designs and customizing jerseys and uniforms for the Rohingya Football Club and Tokyo Zen Basketball, Rieschiek points to two other projects that have helped Wooter make a global impact through their artistic apparel orders around the world: The Hockey Friendship League in North Korea and Wooter Africa based in Zanzibar, Tanzania, Africa.
Taking place in Pyongyang, North Korea, the Hockey Friendship League is part of an international series led by the Howe International Friendship League, whose goal is to promote goodwill and build relationships through sports and cultures and includes soccer and flag football in addition to hockey. Sporting their blue and yellow custom jerseys from Wooter Apparel, a mix of players from Canada, the United States and North Korea competed both in 2017 and are scheduled to take the ice from March 3-12, 2018 with the start of the Pyongyang Ice Hockey League.
While designing and creating customized jerseys and uniforms for teams and leagues from Malaysia, to Tokyo and North Korea have created global opportunities for Wooter to introduce their brand beyond boundaries around the world, Wooter Africa holds a very close place in the heart of Wooter Apparel. It's one thing to produce individual orders, but outfitting an entire 12-team league in Zanzibar, Tanzania, Africa is a story that runs much deeper.
Back in May 2017, 24-year old Hamid Suleiman Ahmad contacted Wooter through social media to share his humble and heartfelt tale about growing up in Africa and the desire to outfit a basketball team made up of his friends and a uniform he'd drawn-up. Hamid created and designed everything -- from the blue and white uniform for his team, to the African logo that graced the front of the jersey. Wooter handled production and delivery within a two-week period, and within those fourteen days a dream became a reality that reached from Staten Island to East Africa.
Now, Suleiman has helped grow his dream into a reality as he serves as the Commissioner of the Zanzibar Basketball League, a 12-team league who is sponsored by Wooter.
"Each one of these jobs open our eyes to other countries and cultures and possibly wanting to learn more about them -- and possibly visiting those countries in the future. These jobs give us a vast amount of experience as designers so we have a wider range of designs and thoughts we have to offer to our customers from different backgrounds."
Wooter has been called the fastest growing custom apparel company and continue to leave their mark on the global market thanks to their unique and personalized designs, from Staten Island to Malaysia, and all points in-between.
"It's amazing having our designs shown internationally, even locally," Tyrone Reischiek added.
"It gives a warm feeling having someone out there that wants to wear your artwork that has been put from concept to apparel."