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A Look at the UK Fashion Industry

Saturday, June 11th, 2011

The UK high street fashion industry is worth an estimated £44.5 billion. In 1960 10% of household expenditure was spent on clothing and footwear. Today, thanks to discounted prices, lower production costs abroad and a flood of Chinese imports, only 6% of household expenditure is spent on keeping us fashionable. Encouragingly for the consumer, between 2001 and 2005 average clothing and footwear prices fell 14.4% whilst the cost of living has risen by 12.6%. Discounting is rife in the ultra-competitive UK fashion market. Marks & Spencer remains the market leader in the sale of high street fashion, but faces fierce competition from discount fashion specialists such as Primark and TK Maxx. Increasingly, affluent younger consumers are buying formerly exclusive high fashion brands such as; Prada (Italy), Chloe (France), Hugo Boss (Germany), Burberry (UK) and Donna Karan (U.S) to mention but a few.

The rise of cheap imports has nearly wiped out UK manufacturing. These days UK manufacturing concentrates on specialist fashion clothing or luxury products, mostly made for wealthy consumer in other developed countries. A continued trend in the fashion industry is the integration of manufacturers and retailers. The top three fashion retailers in UK; Next, Marks & Spencer and Arcadia (Topshop, Dorothy Perkins, BHS etc.), are all manufacturing and retailing their own fashion brands. Exceptions to this vertical integration are the street fashion brands of Nike, Adidas and Reebok, who prefer specialist retailers. To conclude, the UK fashion market will continue to be driven by retailers rather than manufacturers with a polarisation between discounters and full-price retailers. The full-price retailers will capitalise on young consumer demand for couture-house designs, quality materials and individual styles sold as “fast fashion” with items offered for a limited time before new styles are released. Forecasts to 2010 are for the women’s, girls and infants fashion market to grow by 23% with a 15.6% growth for the men’s and boys fashion market.

The Importance of Waterproof Workwear

Thursday, December 17th, 2009

Waterproof workwear has never been more important in ensuring that your workers are able to work in all conditions. Making sure that staff are dry and comfortable at all times will ensure that they are productive and efficient as possible. Read on to learn more about why waterproof workwear is so important, and some of the things you should look out for when choosing it for your staff.

The first, and perhaps most important item of waterproof work clothing to go for is the waterproof jacket. This can help your workers to remain dry at all times. For added comfort and in colder weather, you may want to go for fleece-lined waterproof jackets for your workers. These will ensure that as well as being kept dry, they are also kept warm at all times. Waterproof trousers – For workers who are likely to have prolonged periods of exposure to rainy conditions, waterproof trousers are also essential.

When choosing waterproof work clothing, there are many different fabrics to choose from. Depending on your requirements, you may want to go for either water-repellent or water resistant material. There are literally hundreds of different waterproof fabrics to choose from, offering various levels of protection for the wearer. Which of these you go for will ultimately depend on your requirements, how long your staff are likely to be exposed to the rain, and your budget.

As well as protecting the wearer from the elements, waterproof workwear should also be breathable, meaning that the wearer remains at a comfortable temperature, with their sweat having chance to rise to the surface. Breathable fabrics resist water droplets from passing through, whilst at the same time allowing water vapour from underneath through.

Depending on the conditions your workers are faced with, you may want to equip them with workwear which is not only waterproof, but also highly visible as well. This is particularly relevant for workers who work on, or near busy roads, in adverse weather conditions, or other situations where visibility is especially poor. In some professions it is a legal requirement to wear high visibility clothing.

When equipping your workers with waterproof workwear, you should ensure that you make the most of the branding opportunities that are available to you by customising all clothing with your company name and logo. This will ensure that all of the hard work and good reputation of your staff is upheld at all times. It also provides free advertising, and means that your brand is exposed to many more people.