Friday, 19 December 2008
It's been another varied and interesting year in the Company Clothing offices...
We've looked in detail at the problems with EN471 (the standard that covers high-visibility clothing), visited a tailoring factory in Portugal and a fabric manufacturer in Leeds, hopped across the Irish Sea to meet Allied Irish Bank and spent a day in the rain at a firing range (full report in January's issue).
We felt all scientific at the nanotechnology conference at the Royal Society and all fashionista when we covered a brief section of the London Fashion Week parade. We've meet buyers and suppliers covering everything from new uniforms at Edinburgh Castle to St John's Ambulance and looked at casualwear in all its forms - hats, softshells, and the great polo review too...
We've looked at PPE - fire resistant suits, electric arc protection and body armour. There's been product reviews of workwear covering everything from head to toe and ear and eye protection too. We traveled to exhibitions in Birmingham and Coventry, attended conferences in Rugby and Paris, a fashion show in Accrington and put garments from soft-shells to kilts through their paces in our rigorous road test column. We've even got to know about the people in the industry and their preferences on everything from Scrabble or Monopoly, to dream holiday destinations, in our 20 Questions column on the last page of the magazine.
And despite doing all this we've even found the time to arrange for the Company Clothing Industry Awards to take place on March 12 2009, organised the judging and hired a top swanky London venue all so the industry can celebrate its talent, achievements and success, and have a drinks or two as well.
All in all then we feel we've earned this break. But of course so do you. Because the reason we're off and about writing about such myriad topics and concerns, is because of the work you do day-in, day-out, creating the stories for us to cover. We hope you enjoy receiving our publication and the areas it covers - be they directly relevant to you, or merely an interesting read, and of course, don't forget the comments button below is your chance to say hello and tell us what you love and what you don't (don't worry we can take it!).
So, from everyone here, a very merry Christmas, a happy New Year, and here's to a weird, wonderful and downright diverse 2009. Who knows what it has in store...
Thursday, 18 December 2008
Not only have they done this, but they have also concluded that there is still no conclusive cure for a hangover and that "staying teetotal or drinking in moderation is the only way to avoid a hangover." True enough, but where's the fun in that over the Christmas period?
Tune in tomorrow for the last blog post of 2008!
Pictured: Santa refused to take his hat off, despite the scientist's claims.
Wednesday, 17 December 2008
So we hope to see you there!
Right, back to the judging...
Tuesday, 16 December 2008
After the joy of Sports Personality of The Year (Is this right? Ed) and Rebecca Adlington coming third after her two Olympic-gold-medal-winning swims in the 400m and 800m it seems churlish to start finding fault with sport. But British team coach Dennis Pursley has said that the use of hi-tech fabrics to aid swimmers is tantamount to cheating.
An interesting claim. As we've covered before in Company Clothing there are fabrics out there that can do some incredible stuff and if we can help improve sporting prowess through their use where's the harm? After all, if it's open to everyone it's still a level playing field and all it means is everyone is going faster, but those who are the best will still be the fastest.
But perhaps swimmers shouldn't be allowed to use these fabrics. If a world record tumbles how much is due to the suit and not the swimmer? Would the swimmer's own innate talent have broken the record against the previous swimmers who didn't have the technology?
This looks like a debate that could, er, run and run...What do you think?
Monday, 15 December 2008
It's an interesting form of attack and it’s well documented that showing someone the soles of your shoes is a serious form of insult in Arab countries. But in any culture hurling your shoes with all your might at someone's face is considered a serious insult, and then potential injury.
Are there other world leaders who deserve such treatment? Could we throw scarves at Nicolas Sarkozy? Or perhaps a wellington boot at Gordon Brown?*
*In no way whatsoever does Company Clothing endorse, condone or promote the throwing of garments at prominent world leaders.
Friday, 12 December 2008
The new fibre works by monitoring the wearer's vital signs and could be used by people in ill health, young babies, or even those in the military and emergency services. How long it takes for this technology to become the norm is of course another matter, but no doubt in a few years time it will be being trialled for the first time and then rolled out and when it does, you can rest assured Company Clothing will be there to bring you the latest news.
Have a great weekend!
Thursday, 11 December 2008
So come on readers, what's your worst ever Christmas clothing gift you've received, and what would you most like to receive this year, clothing or otherwise?
Wednesday, 10 December 2008
Tuesday, 9 December 2008
However, if you've been checking back on here to read one and been disappointed, never fear, this blog is a home to plenty of other things you can - there's the poll on the right hand side (just scroll down slighty) / a list of other blogs and links we like you can go and spend a merry minute or 10 perusing / or you can read back through some of our past stories and think of some interesting comments to leave, or reply to those that are there.
Hopefully normal service will resume tomorrow and a plethora of stories shall come flooding in.
Monday, 8 December 2008
However, one area we don't think many people would have seen them move into would be the world of t-shirts. But they have. Quite why remains something of a mystery, but some of the designs aren't that bad - see - but as you can see from the one on the right (in larger size here), they're not all quite the kind of thing you'd want to be seen in.
Still though, it shows the market for brand allegiences that exists, and if a company like Microsoft thinks its worth moving into it makes you wonder who could be next to put their founder on a t-shirt...any suggestions? Use the comments button below!
Friday, 5 December 2008
Thursday, 4 December 2008
It's a common problem actually, the old glove / music player trade off and if the eTip is able to remove this annoying fiddly problem then it's no wonder it's doing well - apparently there is only one pair left in the Leed's branch of the store - it's probably gone by now, but if you're in
the Leeds area let us know.
If you're off skiing, running, walking in the cold winter weather - and man it has been cold this week - then gloves are useful and if they can be worn and still let you use your MP3 player without hinderance, so much the better.
Right, do excuse us, Company Clothing is just off to this wonderful sounding winter wonderland in Dorset for a Christmas holiday...what?!
Wednesday, 3 December 2008
As of yesterday the new scheme which sees offenders in bright orange tabards started and the debate went from hypothetical to reality.
Jack Straw said of the scheme and its goals: 'They're not medieval; it's not to do with the stocks. It's not to do with shaming. The shame the offenders feel is the shame and humiliation of having committed the offence and then going to court and having a criminal record. What this is about is enabling the public to see that justice is being done.'
A strong argument you might think, but clearly some disagree. But what do you think about this? We are an industry involved with high-visibility clothing in its more traditional uses but this is an emotive subject and one could run and run.
Tuesday, 2 December 2008
Here he's written an article on the BBC about the experience of filming the show, and with quite a few mentions of what the body armour did, why they had it, and what it felt like to wear it. It's quite an interesting read.
Monday, 1 December 2008
Three fire engines had to be called to get the hat down among fears it may, 'pose a danger to passers by.' The danger of looking silly by being hit by a falling Santa hat?
Friday, 28 November 2008
Unsurprisingly the move has split opinion. As the story on The Times mentions the pressure group The Taxpayers’ Alliance criticised the scheme as an “idiotic waste of money”. However, club goer Danielle Bolton, 19, said: “It’s a great idea and I would wear them 100 percent. My heels hurt me at the end of the night so I tend to take them off. It’s a hell of a lot easier to walk with flip-flops than high heels.” Nice to see someone expressing themselves through medium of percentages.
Are there other forms of leisure wear that could be turned into useful drunken wear? It's that party we mentioned tonight so perhaps we could try it out? High vis to make sure you're seen?
As a related aside on this grey Friday, don't for that at our awards in March there is a Footwear Innovation Award category, so if you have a product you want to show off, make sure you enter!
Thursday, 27 November 2008
The US designers said they had 'fun, hilarity and glamour' in mind when creating the shoes. Are fun, hilarity and glamour a well known trio? Surely glamour goes with style and grace?
Wednesday, 26 November 2008
Number crunching: China imported 96,200 metric tons, which is still down 30 percent from October 2007 and imports since the start of the marketing year on September 1 totaled 225,200 tons, down 39 percent from a year earlier, Bloomberg News said.
China's cotton crop may total 7.8 million tons this year, the association estimated. It produced 7.62 million tons last year, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.
Tuesday, 25 November 2008
Research figures from online business directory Scoot, shows that during October almost 30,000 people looked up fashion and accessory related shops on the site. Shoe shop searches reached almost 11,000 too. As Sue Barnes, the MD, notes, ‘Scoot searches tell us what sorts of businesses people are looking for, not what people re spending, but fashion remains high on our priority list, despite the credit crunch.’
Company Clothing is off to a Christmas party on Friday where we’ll sip champagne, make witty remarks in the spirit of Dorothy Parker or Oscar Wilde, and eat one too many cheese and pineapple sticks. The question is, what should we wear to make sure we stand out from the crowd?
Monday, 24 November 2008
The ponchos worn could have ranged anywhere between $100 and $6,000 according to reports and are made with materials from Alpacas. Alpaca, along with vicuna and llama, are the three camelids native to Peru. Their warm, dryable fibers were worn by the ancient Incas, who wove their fleece into royal robes on delicate hand looms. Descendents of the Incas still herd the animals and spin their coats into ponchos and ear-flapped caps.
Have you ever worn a poncho? Did it stave off the blues? Perhaps to beat the Credit Crunch woes the government could issue everyone with one? Perhaps not.
Friday, 21 November 2008
In our January issue will have a report from an event we were invited to attend where we witnessed body armour be put through its paces by being fired on by weapons ranging from shot-guns to uzis. If you don't get the magazine, make sure you subscribe to recieve it for 2009.
Plus don't forget, there's not long until the deadline for the Company Clothing Industry Awards closes so get those forms filled in, the samples gathered, the entry fee sorted, and get them to us asap!
Other than that, have a lovely weekend!
Thursday, 20 November 2008
Last week we reported on Hatty the dog being made to wear high-visibility clothing so it seems dogs in workwear - either PPE or corporate wear - is becoming something of a trend. What other jobs could dogs do, and what uniforms would they need to do them?
Wednesday, 19 November 2008
Tuesday, 18 November 2008
The fact though that a security guard felt compelled to approach a pensioner and ask her to remove what he believed was a hoody underlines the connotations the hoody has and how it has become something of a symbol of some of the perceived problems with youths in Britain. Other garments have reputations too though. High-visibility jackets are synonymous with construction workers or other official roles, for example.
Are there any other garments that bring about such strong opinions?
Monday, 17 November 2008
However, as long-time readers of Company Clothing will know, this is not a new topic. In 2005 Hazel Blears called for a similar scheme and much backlash ensued, from MP Ann Widdecombe ("it might be worn as a badge of honour") to civil rights group Liberty ("degradation is no way of engendering a culture of respect").
In America this type of activity already exists, in a predictably bizarre way, with people being made to wear chicken suits to be shamed for their crimes. While it is obvious the UK would never take things to this extreme the question is still yet be resolved around uniforms for offenders on community service.
What do you think? Is this something that should be brought in or is it a step too far? What if the uniform was made to be tasteful and smart rather than designed to be bold and make them standout for the wrong reasons? Would that make it more acceptable?
Friday, 14 November 2008
Yesterday at St Pancreas station in London the world record for 'the largest gathering of people wearing underpants/knickers' was broken. It was all in aid of charity with money being raised for Pants to Poverty, a Fair Trade group, and was part of of Guinness World Record Day in which people all over the world try to break a world record. The best record of the day to be broken was surely the most skydivers at once - 71 - pictured above.
What other world records need breaking? Perhaps our industry could come together and earn ourselves a place in the record books...ideas using the comments button below!
Thursday, 13 November 2008
News then that research by an insurance broker called Aon has found that one in ten insurance claims by clothing suppliers could face non-payment due to insufficient cover. This could mean companies' balance sheet take a hit for loss or damage to goods at times when credit is most scarce.
Aon's research notes the top three most common gaps in cover for clothing companies in a standard cargo insurance policy include:
1. No brand protection in the event of damaged goods having a potential reduced or salvage value. Ordinarily insurers would deduct any reduced or salvage value from a claims settlement. However, where this can harm a brand’s reputation, a cargo owner may elect to have the goods destroyed and seek payment of the full invoice value
2. Payment of the purchase invoice value, rather than the final sales contract value in the event of loss
3. Cover for damaged items only, rather than an entire consignment in the event of
damage/soiling by stowaways or other ‘unauthorised occupants’ in a container or trailer.
Aon recommend that cargo owners check their policies for potential gaps in cover. In addition to securing broad insurance cover, cargo owners should also focus on improving their risk management and reporting procedures to help prevent these incidents in the first place and ensure the successful resolution of claims. This includes:
- putting in checks for correct packaging for you and your suppliers;
- holding your carriers liable in writing, without delay, for loss/damage in transit;
- noting damage on delivery notes on arrival to evidence damage in transit.
And if we're to get rid of this pesky credit crunch that insists on hang around, perhaps some big party would be good? Yes, some big, fun, fancy party with awards to be won, and a chance for the clothing industry to come together and prove Mr Credit Crunch he won't dampen our spirits. Now if only someone would go and host such an event...
Wednesday, 12 November 2008
Last time the theme for this award was James Bond to coincide with the release of Casino Royale. The film link continues this time with the new Star Trek film the basis from which those entering need to take their inspiration.
And, as if that wasn't enough to get those pencils sketching, some recent stills from the new film have just been released and, on the uniform sides of things at least, the results are hardly universe-shattering. They look exactly the same as the old ones!
So come on, prove you've got more of a creative mind that Hollywood, and potentially win this prestigious award! You can download the criteria for the Design Innovation Challenge here.
The story continues to make the headlines with the news yesterday, on the 90th anniversary of the Armistice of WWI, that many veterans had been out actively protesting against the clothing now on sale with these insignias, with that famous American brand, Sears, the recipients of their protest.
It is doubtful the US Army ever thought their decision to license the insignia for commercial clothing would cause such debate but it underlines the emotional strength such insignias and clothing can have and that to open them up for anyone to wear dilutes what makes them special.
What do you think about this?
Tuesday, 11 November 2008
Well it all started because the landlord of the pub the dog frequents had barred the little terrier tearaway Hatty (pictured gambling) had a tendency to destroy beer mats. Around 50 a night!
Now though the landlord has relented and agreed to allow the dog to return, on the proviso she wears the high-vis jacket so he can keep an eye on her at all times. The landlord also said, "We were thinking of a hard hat and muzzle but that was going too far."
Perhaps some of our PPE workwear readers could suggest further items for Hatty, or other high-vis clothing for animals. Snakes in high vis tubes to make them easier to see? Surely you can do better dear reader?
Monday, 10 November 2008
The story, which you can read here, outlines that albinos in Nigeria have appealed to educations authorities to exempt them from wearing school uniforms as it can cause health problems. They have said they have been made to expose their bodies to direct sun ray, at the insistence of the authorities, and this makes them vulnerable to skin cancer.
Clearly a serious matter and one that underlines an important aspect of clothing. All wearer's needs can be different and that while the majority may be happy enough with a certain style, look or design, sometimes it can be the minority, in any form, from which the most important objections or debates come.
Tuesday, 4 November 2008
The story concerns a woman who went to vote and was told she couldn't because she was wearing 'a campaign t-shirt'. Except the t-shirt was only a souvenir t-shirt she had bought when on holiday in Alaska. American voting law, in some states, forbids the wearing of clothing that is of a direct campaigning nature or shows the candidate images, and a polling official believed the reference to Alaska to be of a serious enough level to ban her from voting.
Eventually she got to cast her vote after some good conflict management resolution by the polling officer in overall charge, which is the main thing.
Monday, 3 November 2008
Still, fun as this looks, perhaps it would better to stick with real clothing and leave this kind of thing to the, er, professionals?
Friday, 31 October 2008
It’s all go today: First up we’ve a story about people trying to break the ‘World Record for most amount of Thriller Zombies’. And they say Guinness World Records are meaningless!
Secondly we’ve the story that another clothing related world record has tumbled, fallen, been smashed…for dressing up as computer game characters! An impressive 342 people dressed as legendary characters such as Solid Snake, Zelda and Mario…no, neither do we.
While these may be somewhat odd records to break, it does go to show that people do like dressing up in funny clothes whatever the reason. So come on, confession time. What’s your favourite fancy dress get up? Pirates? Vikings? Ghostbusters? Let us know - you can always stay anonymous!
Thursday, 30 October 2008
As a result of the story – for which journalist Dan McDougall has been nominated for Private Eye’s Paul Food Award for campaigning journalism – Primark has been voted the least ethical clothing retailer in a survey of shoppers carried out by The Times.
It certainly underlines the necessity of following through ethical and environmental practices, especially as it is still an issue that shoppers still deem to be important. Can Primark ever shake this view now? How can they go about improving their reputation? What could our industry teach the high-street about the benefits of ethical and environmental business practices?
Monday, 27 October 2008
The poor chap in question was a chef who first discovered he was allergic to water – ouch – but then when he took to wearing latex gloves to overcome this… discovered he was also allergic to them as well! Talk about bad luck.
As we covered in our article, this is still a concern for some people and work is constantly being undertaken to try and develop gloves that won’t cause these problems. However, the final quote in the story, by Nina Goad of the British Association of Dermatologists, outlines that information about the condition was limited, saying 'we do not yet fully understand the precise mechanisms that cause the reaction.’
Thursday, 23 October 2008
Certainly for the shopkeepers of America she will be remembered – after the news on the BBC website that a staggering $150,000 (£92,000) has been spent by the Republican National Committee on fitting the Alaskan governor out with a new wardrobe – some wardrobe!
More used to being dressed in furs and hunting gear, one imagines, she was given the makeover after she was announced as John McCain’s running mate and they thought she needed some new outfits.
Is this right? In an economic climate as unsure as ours, should politicians be fitted out in such a lavish amount of clothing? Does it really make a difference anyway towards the final vote? What do you think?
Wednesday, 22 October 2008
'We don't have events like this very often, so who knows where to get all these complicated clothes? People here don't have these kind of things sitting in their wardrobes’ said one guest, showing a distinct lack of gratitude…
Still I’m sure a few Company Clothing readers do have these white ties and tails in their wardrobes and are no doubt looking forward to dusting them off for the Company Clothing Industry Awards in March.
Tuesday, 21 October 2008
The story in The Times also notes, ‘Asda recently sold about 100,000 units of a new £15 winter black coat in less than a fortnight. A £16 copy of a prom dress worn by a star of High School Musical 3 has sold out before hitting the shelves after 20,000 pre-orders'.
Monday, 20 October 2008
This move has upset several former soldiers who served on the Division – one of the Divisions who were involved in the Normandy landings – who don’t believe the insignia should be commercialized in such a way and say it undermines the sacrifices made by those who lived and died while fighting wearing the insignia.
Clearly these days there is a move towards creating garments that advertise jobs or organisations to tap into consumer desires, but it frequently causes problems too. In Newquay in Cornwall shops selling hoodys with lifeguard emblems and text on them have been criticised for too closely resembling the official clothing.
What do you think? Is it acceptable that the Army's insignia’s can be worn by anyone if the have been licensed, or should some symbols remain unique? Do clothing manufactures have a moral debate to consider when using such logos?
Friday, 17 October 2008
If the research were to prove fruitful thing of the problem it could solve! People out and about working and walking could store the energy and then use it to power their homes – saving money and keeping fit – the perfect situation! Whether or not it becomes a reality any time soon is of course another matter, but it’s interesting, and encouraging to note, there are people out there working on these issues, and can rely on funding from the highest levels.
Of course in Britain we’d more likely need something that took wind-power or rain to generate electricity – although the weather has been unseasonably warm lately…
What do you think – is this the future, or just some hair-brained scheme like hoverboards and robot butlers?
Wednesday, 15 October 2008
Would you wear a pair?
Monday, 13 October 2008
Another picks up wi-fi signals in the area and changes its display as to the strength of that signal. Pretty groovy and just shows what the humble T-shirt can be used for with a little imagination.
So come on. What other technological innovations could a t-shirt use?
Thursday, 9 October 2008
Perhaps to give the designers some slack the BBC have plundered the photo galleries and found some other classic designs from the past - you can view the gallery here. Special credit to number 9.
Is a team kit meant to inspire fear in your opposition? Or build a good sense of teamwork and community? What is the best colour for success? New Zealand's black kit has a classic ruthlessness to it, but then they always falter at the end. England's white kit probably causes headaches for the people who have to wash it, but they seem to do alright, despite wearing a colour more synonymous with surrender than vicious tackling.
It would be some interesting research to carry out - see which colours result in the most wins / trophies etc. Manchester Utd, Arsenal and Liverpool have been three of the most successful English teams of the last 20 years and all wear red. Often a colour associated with agression...
Then there is Brazil in yellow. Argentina in blue and white stripes. Perhaps there is no science to it at all. What do you think?
With so many people 'plugged' in to their music devices these days it's not surprising there is a market for garments which can accommodate the devices in the most efficient, simple ways, so users can get the most out of them.
What other devices could clothing be accommodating in the future? Answers on a postcard! Alternatively, and quicker, use the comments button below!
Tuesday, 7 October 2008
Jonathan Channon, executive vice president for EMI, said: "Classic songs are part of the fabric of everybody's lives, and we’re delighted that people will now be able to wear their favourite songs through this deal." Very witty.
You could take this supermarket / clothing selling further. They could print the lyrics to Jean Genie on jeans, or maybe sell berets next to the raspberrys. Any more offerings readers?
Monday, 6 October 2008
Thursday, 2 October 2008
Tuesday, 30 September 2008
Wednesday, 24 September 2008
It's an interesting question though. Why shouldn't female football players be able to wear a skirt if they wish? If the garment is suitable for wear and doesn't hinder their movement then it's surely as acceptable as shorts? The club chairman of the teams insists this shift from shorts to skirts is no publicity gimmick and that his players genuinely prefer the skirts.
What do you think?
Tuesday, 23 September 2008
In the mean time it seems that we are not the only ones to get opinions on kilts. The BBC website has reported that some of Scotland's leading kilt manufacturers are meeting in Perth to discuss what is, and what is not, a genuine Scottish Kilt.
Kilt-maker Ruthven Milne is quoted in the story as saying: "A kilt is a traditional garment, not a fashion garment." Yet as our story has shown, the kilt is, like any garment, potentially the subject of fashion's eye - in this case being re-interpreted as a high-vis workwear garment.
So what do you think? What makes a kilt a kilt? Does changing it to a workwear garment cause it lose its heritage, or does it reinvigorate it and bring it up-to-date while helping to preserve it? Let us know using the comments button below...
This blog aims to be a fun, sideways but informative and thoughtful look at the fast-moving and ever changing world of fashion.
Everyday stories crop up in the news that underline the fascinating world of textiles, fabrics, garments and trends, and the traditions, triumphs and difficulties that can arise. With this blog we are able to bring you an instant, frequently updated, series of interesting links, ideas and opinions.
The best part is you can interact, discuss, comment and even disagree with us and help generate interesting, lively and hopefully enjoyable debate among your fellow readers.