Friday, 19 December 2008

That was the year that was

So here we are, the last day of work (for us anyway), and we thought what better way to sign off in style than with our own review of the year...

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

Hats off to you

So, after years and years of being told "make sure you wear a hat, you lose 10% of your heat through your head" we're now being told this is not true. This kind of thing happens all the time - these myths become so throughly embedded in our culture we believe them to be true only for scientists to then turn around years later and tell us they're all a load of rubbish. Perhaps they spread them to make sure they've got something to do in a few years time?

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

As you read this...

...judging for the Company Clothing Industry Awards will be in full swing! Those that entered will be anxiously wondering how their entries are being received, but will have to wait until awards night to find out if they've won! Those of you that didn't enter (why not?!) can always come along on the night as well and not only enjoy the revealing of the winners but also the luxurious surrondings of the location and the quality menu as well as a bit of chatting and dancing.

So we hope to see you there!

Right, back to the judging...

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Is it cheating?

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

Rogue brogues attack Bush

Well, there's only one story to be blogged about today isn't there? George Bush being attacked by shoes on a surprise visit to Iraq. Spectacular footage of the event here. Doesn't he duck well?

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

Wearing your heart on your sleeve

We often write about fantastic, hi-tech fabrics and fibres in Company Clothing, and with new fibres that are able to monitor the health of the skin and the body it seems it is something we will be covering in more detail for many years to come.

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

Christmas gifts

So Christmas is really nearly, almost, here. It's the 11th today so in just two weeks we'll all be sitting around with our families, opening gifts, drinking and watching TV. Sounds nice! But of course there will be the inevitable clothing gift disaster's that so often occur on the day. The obligatory pair of socks (that are actually quite useful), the terrible jumper (as modeled by Colin Firth), and possibly some other poor choices such as pyjamas, shirts, or, shock-horror, underwear.

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

Cat burglar

Two day of the great no-clothes-related-stories drought continues - but never fear! - we have an enjoyable story that transcends the need for it to be directly relevant to the remit of this blog, because the cat involved is just so darn cute. See.

Tuesday, 9 December 2008


Well we've been going for almost 50 days now and had over 1000 visitors! Hooray! But for a milestone day we've been undermined by the lack of good, interesting or quirky clothing stories we usually find every day on the interweb.

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


Microsoft is a company that has, in most ways, become part of people's lives on a daily basis - internet, word documents, slideshows, spreadsheets - all run on their operating systems. Although this is being written on a Mac, so they don't own everything.

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


Don't forget, next Wednesday, the 10th, is the deadline for entries for the Company Clothing Industry Awards - apart from the Design Innovation Challenge for which the deadline is December 18th. You can always use special delivery to ensure they arrive on time to be judged and potential win a prestigious and coveted Company Clothing Industry Award!

Thursday, 4 December 2008

The gloves are on (and so is the music)

A new glove from The North Face called the eTip (hmm like iPod...) has reportedly been flying off the shelves as people want to get their mitts on, er, mitts, that let them control their MP3 devices through the ends of the glove - ah, that explains the name!

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

Streets of shame?

As regular readers will know a few weeks ago we blogged about the potential use of high-visibility clothing to 'shame' offenders on community service and highlight the work they are doing to the community. Needless to say it drew some debate from several quarters as we noted.

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

On the streets

Louis Theroux in Philadelphia was on BBC2 on Sunday night and those who watched it will have noticed our intrepid journalist (aren't they all) wearing a flak jacket to give him protection on the mean streets he was investigating.

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

Mad as hatters

As it's December 1st we thought a Christmas story was in order, so we were pleased to find this bizarre tale of students from Cambridge University placing a Santa hat on the Gate of Humility at Gonville and Caius College as an end of term joke.

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?