Friday, 31 October 2008

Spooky goings on

First off – Happy Halloween! Secondly, Happy ‘Dare to wear it pink day’! The Company Clothing offices are, for one day only, a sea of pink ties, shirts, jackets, and even earmuffs, all in aid of the Breast Cancer Campaign. An office of people wearing pink…something Halloween-ish about that.

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

The importance of staying green

The importance of ethical and environmental sourcing and trading is something that is frequently covered in Company Clothing and more often than not from a positive angle. However, as we noted back in June in a feature Primark had recently been found to still be using factories that were operating unethical working conditions.

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 gloves are off

A few months ago we covered the topic of disposable gloves and the fact that they can cause skin irritations for certain people, making them unwearable. Well a story in today’s Metro - you’ve got to read something to pass the time on the tube – highlights a real life example of this.

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.’

On display

A nice article here on the BBC Magazine section of their website about the increasing fashion trend of wearing clothing that reveals a little bit of underwear.

Thursday, 23 October 2008

The devil wears a $150,000 wardrobe

It’s far to say whatever the outcome of the American presidential elections the name Sarah Palin will live on long after the party is over and the banners have been taken down at either the Democrat’s or Republican’s victory parades.

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

Off with their heads

The Queen is off on another holiday (of sorts) this time visiting the people of Slovenia. However, her arrival has caused an unexpected problem – a chronic shortage of white ties and tails. As reported in today’s Metro, guests for the party in honour of the Queen’s visit have been forced to travel across borders in order to try and get hold of this elusive items.

'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

Asda overtakes Primark

It has been announced today that Asda has overtaken Primark as the second largest clothing supplier by volume, their figures rising by 6%, to give them a market share of 9.5% while Primark's dropped from 10% to 9.3%. Marks & Spencer maintained the top spot.

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

Badge of honour?

The US Army has again come under fire for its decision-making – but this time in an entirely clothing related capacity. In June 2007 the Army licensed out the logo for the 1st Infantry Division so that it could be used on clothing.

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

Solar-powered clothing?

It sounds like something from the future but a project to develop solar panels that can be woven into people’s clothing to generate electricity has won research funding from the Federal Government in Australia.

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

Clothing cross-breeding

Here is a rather bizarre piece of footwear - flippers that are also high-heels. Called the 'High Tide Heels' they are meant to be a comical comment on climate change and rising sea levels, according to the report in today's Metro.

Would you wear a pair?

Monday, 13 October 2008

Interactive T-shirts

Technology is wonderful and often incredibly useful. Othertimes it's just fine to use it to make cool stuff though. This is one of those times. These t-shirts, actually change their pattern depending on various things. The one pictured is a music equaliser that reacts to the volume of the music as a normal equaliser bar would.

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

How not to kit out a team

French rugby team Stade Francais have been making headlines for their new kit, but not for the right reasons. As you can see from the image on the right it has certain hint of Andy Warhol about it.

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?

Music in your clothes

Here's a nifty piece of clothing that combines modern needs with simple style. A coat designed specifically for the carrying of Ipods. You can see the controls that link to the device on the right hand sleeve of the picture (as you look at it).

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

Lyrics to be put on T-shirts

EMI and Sainsbury's have struck a deal to allow Sainsbury's clothing bran 'Tu Clothing' to publish the lyrics to famous songs such as Wild Thing by The Troggs.

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


TK Maxx has been in the headlines for the wrong reasons this weekend, after it was discovered they have been stocking jackets with knives inside them. While most clothing comes complete with functions built in to protect the wearer, be that for warmth, comfort or security, this jacket is doing something quite different. TK Maxx have since removed all the jackets from the stores. Furthermore, on Saturday it was reported that they had also had to withdraw 'Sword Sticks' which were discovered in the store.

Thursday, 2 October 2008

Dressing Up

An interesting article here on the BBC Magazine section about what the clothes parents make their children wear say about them. The idea of dressing children in the same clothes, to create a 'uniform' that helps them form a bond and create a sense of identity, is not so differnet from how uniforms in the workplace are supposed to function.