Clearlite began from humble beginnings with Hobin & Luke in 1946, who started at a small basement premise on Great North Road manufacturing Perspex cabinet handles. By 1949 the company had widened their product range to include display stands, towel rails, fluted sugar bowls and car tail lights.
Clearlite opened a new operation in Ponsonby and produced a wide variety of plastic products including skydomes, refrigerator door liners and firescreens. Soon after, Clearlite started producing vacuum formed polystyrene refrigerator doors – which won Clearlite a design award from the Plastics Institute of New Zealand.
In this period Clearlite expanded to a staff of over 100 while the product range exhibited a remarkable variety of items including exhaust fans, neon signs, boat windscreens, car weathershields, ear tags and even injection-moulded animals.
Clearlite moved to a Glenfield location and was the North Shore’s largest employer. More significantly bathroomware became a part of the Clearlite Range of products.
In the 1980s, a number of companies were acquired by Clearlite as the focus shifted to bathroomware products. In 1984, Clearlite won an award for export excellence in Australia and Asia.
The 1990s were a period of growth for Clearlite as a company with the acquisition of other key bathroomware brands including Aakronite.
The company continued to expand with both new brands coming on board, and extensions in their manufacturing facilities. The company which is 100% NZ owned and operated in 2006 celebrated its 60th birthday with 6 staff achieving 25 years of service.
A strong investment in product development was a feature this decade with a range of products to suit both the renovation market and new housing being constantly introduced.
Also in 2006 the company's shareholders acquired a competitor in Athena and since this time, the company has run a two brand strategy with two iconic NZ brands; Clearlite Bathrooms and Athena Bathrooms.
Employing New Zealanders and supporting local businesses is a key source of pride for the team at Clearlite Bathrooms, but being local paid extra dividends for the company in the midst of the Pandemic. While other businesses who moved their production offshore were struggling with supply chain issues and massive increases in the cost of shipping, Clearlite managed their way through with minimal delays. About 70% of what Clearlite Bathrooms sell is either made in their Glenfield factory in Auckland or by a local supplier.
Sales and Marketing Manager