2011 October 10

A recent show at Imperial College, London offered vanishing dresses (using a blend of polymers that dissolve when exposed to H2O), hoodies that actually clean the air as you walk through it, thus leaving the street cleaner than when you found it, and special underwear that makes you fitter.

Within five years we may see full-body compression underwear that allows even ordinary gym goers to run faster, lift more and punch more strongly. Also on the cards is a sports bra that shapes itself to the wearer, and most interestingly to many women, ‘clever’ undies that use the body’s own heat to generate tiny electrical pulses that activate the muscles so that you become slimmer the more you wear the garment. This technology could also be used in socks to help frequent flyers and those who stand all day, by returning blood to the upper parts of the body, thus reducing the risk of clots, thrombosis and varicose veins.

Photo-catalytic clothing is already being tested. It involves cotton clothing treated with a chemical layer that reacts with light to break up water in the air and create radical molecules that neutralise pollution – fitted into the jogging bottoms of running groups or the jackets of street workers this layer could actually make our cities cleaner and safer at no cost to us.

2010 October 15

At this month’s International Apparel Federation World Convention in Hong Kong a session on the future of Fast Fashion looked at how designing, creating, selling and wearing clothing has changed as a result of fast fashion: and may be about to change again.

Stores like Zara offer new lines in their shops twice a week, ‘refreshing’ the shop so that customers always find something new in the store, encouraging them to come back more often and buy more often because each fashion item is only available for a limited time.  This ‘attention deficit’ shopping approach works best for items that are bright or even brash, as timeless garments such as plain black T-shirts or classic white shirts are difficult to re-style in this way.

But the fast fashion love affair may be ending. Cotton prices have doubled in 2010 and that’s unlikely to drop. Along with the increased cost of raw materials there’s the rising cost of labour in the countries where cheap fashion is produced such as China and Bangladesh. There’s a belief that designers are being forced out of the process because they don’t have time to be truly creative any more: fast fashion needs them to play with details rather than working from first principles to create new designs that are innovative.
And in China, the fast fashion revolution is being overturned by the massive demand there for quality-conscious upmarket brands that marry classic clothing with quirky details such as reversible sweatshirts.

2008 December 8

Knowing what’s happening in the marketplace, and what can be expected to appear over the horizon, is key to keep your business successful.  Events that can help those in the T-shirt, Corporate Clothing and Promotional Wear industries to master the future include:

January 7th – 9th 2009

PSI Düsseldorf
Location: Düsseldorf Germany

28 – 29 January 2009

Trade Only National Show – Coventry
Location: Ricoh Stadium, Coventry, UK

17 – 18 February 2009

International PROMOTA Show – Birmingham
Location: NEC, Birmingham, UK

01 – 03 March 2009

Printwear & Promotion 2009 – Birmingham
Location: NEC, Birmingham, UK

24 – 26 March 2009

Promotional Marketing Exhibition 2009 – London
Location: Royal Horticultural Halls, London, UK

1-2 April 2009

Workwear & Corporate
Clothing Show & Conference
Hall 10 NEC Birmingham,UK

15th – 17th September 2009

PSI Paris

Trade show image courtesy of jasonebaines at flickr under a creative commons licence

2008 September 18



Stand bookings for the 2009 Workwear & Corporate Clothing Show organised by are gaining momentum. Compared to last September, stand bookings are up by over 60% and 80% more net space has been sold, showing that this area of British manufacture, trade and retail is on the up.

The 2009 show takes place at Birmingham’s NEC in April 2009 and features a fashion show, sponsored by Russell Europe, a conference, and the Business Manger Awards ceremony which will be hosted by Jeff Banks, famous for his fashion and corporate design. Nominations for the awards have just closed and the list of entrants and judges will be announced shortly.

The associated 2009 Conference will address one of the most important issues facing workwear and corporate garment manufacturers, suppliers, distributors and buyers today: sustainability. It starts on 2nd April and will bring together ten inspiring speakers to present on the three key areas of sustainability: environment, social and economy

2008 February 11

conference-delegates-by-oxfam.jpgMost people now accept that the climate change debate has shifted from whether we need to act to what we must do and how best to do it – and the clothing industry has been in the forefront of both innovation (organic and sustainable clothing) and criticism (sweatshops and carbon footprints).  The Climate Change Summit 2008 is notable for the input that is being given by big hitters in the garment and textile industries.  Taking place at the Regent’s Park Marriot Hotel between 12 and 12 February, the Summit offers delegates opportunities to explore the enormous changes that lie ahead and aims to help them discover how to make a virtue out of necessity.

Key topics include: climate initiatives that achieve both environmental and business objectives; designing climate change messages to win the support of sceptical consumers (in other words, how to communicate with your customers without being accused of ‘greenwashing’); a complete guide to using offsets and taking advantage of carbon trading; ways to report a company’s climate change objectives and achievements for maximum impact; and most crucially – how to manage the many risks of climate change. Speakers who have a major stake in the garment and textile industries include:

  • Anabel Drese from Timberland
  • Mike Barry, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility for Marks & Spencer
  • Philip Charles Gamett, Director of the Continental Clothing Company. 

National insights will be provided by:

  • Jane Milne , Director of Business Environment at The British Retail Consortium
  • Ellen Gladders, Manager for the Community and the Environment at Tesco. 

Learn more at: http://www.ethicalcorp.com/climate/
International Conference Delegates courtesy of Oxfam