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Froddo Children’s Shoes 20 years old this year Froddo UK & Ireland Distributor Ltd. Hertfordshire Contact : Pauly Tong T: 01707 888388 M: 07796 766669 E: Northern agent: Matthew Clark Southern agent: Jose Garcia Ireland North & South: Pauly Tong





06 REGULARS 05: COMMENT 06: NEWS 08: NCWA 10: LEGAL ADVICE 12: RETAIL THERAPY Store profiles and retail news 14: BRANDS TO WATCH Editor’s pick of brands 16: LAURA LOVES The coolest products for kids

FEATURES 18: INFLUENCER ADVERTISING – IS IT WORTH IT? Paul Herbert of law firm Goodman Derrick on the ins and outs of influencer advertising


46 22

20: 15:17 The new community focused department stores set to rejuvenate the UK high street 22: MORI’S NEXT MOVES The organic babywear brand’s latest developments 24: UNDERSTANDING GEN Z PARENTS Parents Insights latest data on Gen Z parents

SCHOOLWEAR 28: NEWS 33: THE SCHOOLWEAR SHOW What’s in store for this year’s exhibition

43: TALKING SHOP Schoolwear retailers discuss Back to School 46: BEING CLEAR ON TRANSPARENCY Rowlinson furthers its commitment to people and planet 48: INDUSTRY INSIGHT David Luke’s MD Kathryn Shuttleworth provides her viewpoint on industry topics 51: TIME FOR CHANGE Association of Suppliers to the British Clothing Industry conference examines the industry-wide sustainability challenge 54: BACK TO SCHOOL REPORT Mintel’s findings on Back to School spending

36: SHOW STOPPERS Product developments launching at The Schoolwear Show 2019

55: USING INSTAGRAM TO BUILD YOUR SCHOOLWEAR BUSINESS Top tips from social media and online marketing expert Alex McCann

40: A CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER An open letter from the executive of The Schoolwear Association

58: TALKING POINT Q&A with Andrea Grant, owner of Old School Uniform



9-10 FEBRUARY 2020 Register:


COMMENT Back to School may be over for another year, but for schoolwear suppliers and retailers, planning is already underway for 2020 as we approach the biggest event in the industry’s calendar – The Schoolwear Show. Taking place on 13-15 October 2019 at Cranmore Park in Solihull, this year’s Schoolwear Show will play host to 45 exhibitors including both new and existing suppliers. Aside from providing the opportunity to source product and network, the event is also a platform for the newly extended seminar programme sponsored by The Schoolwear Association (SA). Alongside sessions to bolster new skills and help plug knowledge gaps, the programme will feature new panel discussions and Q&A time designed to open dialogue around the market’s hottest topics. Furthermore, a series of panel discussions titled ‘Clear and Present Danger’ will see the SA tackle the biggest challenges currently affecting the market. Some of the many issues that will be addressed include the Welsh statutory guidelines that became active on 1 September 2019, all matters relating to statutory uniform guidelines for England, and issues associated with politicians and pressure groups. The SA will also be discussing the new fighting fund is has opened to support its ongoing work combating threats to the industry, pledges to which can be made via the SA stand at the show. If you aren’t already, now really is the time to join the SA and support its work on behalf of all of those involved in the supply of school-specific uniform. Pre-book your place at the seminars through The Schoolwear Show website and come and join the conversation. Other key topics this issue include sustainability, with countless examples of how schoolwear businesses are stepping up to meet the demands of today’s eco-conscious consumer. Our review of a conference held by the Association of Suppliers to the British Clothing Industry, examining the industry-wide sustainability challenge, also provides food for thought. After signing off this issue I will begin work on the SA Awards 2019 as part of the judging panel. I look forward to seeing this year’s nominations and celebrating the hard work and dedication shown by those in the schoolwear industry. The award winners will be announced at the SA’s fundraising evening, The Greatest Schoolwear Show, on Sunday 13 October at the Village Hotel in Solihull following the first day of The Schoolwear Show. We’ll be bringing you full coverage of the awards and its winners in our December/January print issue, so don’t miss it. Until then, you can follow us via where you can also sign up to our weekly newsletters to receive the industry’s latest news direct to your inbox.

Laura Turner, Editor

EDITOR LAURA TURNER SALES MANAGER MICHELE ALI DESIGNER MICHAEL PODGER MARKETING EMILY BEARDSWORTH REPROGRAPHICS/PRINTING IMAGE DATA GROUP LTD 01482 652323 CWB is published 4 times per year by NCWA, 3 Queen Square, Bloomsbury, London WC1N 3AR +44 (0) 20 7843 9488 | | Copyright© 2018 CWB Magazine Limited. All rights reserved. Reproduction of any written material or illustration in any form for any purpose, other than short extracts for review purposes, is strictly forbidden. Neither NCWA nor its agents accept liability for loss or damage to transparencies and any other material submitted for publication.

CWB is a fashion business publication owned and produced by The Childrenswear Association.




YOUNG SOLES LAUNCHES KIDS’ VEGAN FOOTWEAR Luxury children’s footwear brand Young Soles is launching its first-ever Vegan footwear. Developed to meet the rise in demand for ethical fashion choices, the collection is made from sustainable, recyclable materials. Sandals Pearl and Sonny, alongside the classic T-bar style Rosie, have each been given a make-over. Using breathable, state-of-the-art materials, the vegan shoes feature onMicro® (uppers) and onSteam® (lining); both made by Grupo Morón, an innovative textiles developer based in Spain. Certified by the European Vegetarian Union, the production of onMicro® and onSteam® has limited impact on the environment. Plus, as ethical microfibres, they are also free from Chrome VI and do not contain any animal-derived substances. The Vegan Collection is now available for wholesale for delivery early next year.

TED BAKER APPOINTS NEXT AS KIDSWEAR LICENCE PARTNER Ted Baker has entered into a new product licence agreement with Next to accelerate the expansion of its childrenswear collections. Under the agreement, which will run for an initial five-year period, Next will create and sell Ted Baker childrenswear products spanning baby, boys’ and girls’ clothing, shoes and accessories. Launching for spring 2020, the new collections will be sold through Next’s retail channels and wholesale relationships as well as through Ted Baker’s websites. Lindsay Page, CEO of Ted Baker, says: “As a multi-channel retailer with global capabilities and wholesale experience, Next is the outstanding partner to take Ted Baker forward in this category, which we believe will deliver significant growth in the coming years.” Ted Baker’s current childrenswear product relationship with Debenhams will end on 29 February 2020. 06 - SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2019

Chic China International Fashion Fair, Asia’s largest bi-annual fashion and lifestyle trade show, will present its next edition on 11-13 March 2020 at the National Exhibition and Convention Centre in Shanghai. Having just closed the doors on its autumn show, which ran from 25-27 September 2019, focus is now being placed on the event’s March 2020 edition. Encompassing all fashion segments, Chic’s offer includes a wide selection of kidswear presented within its own show-inshow, Chic-Kidz. Successfully launched in March of this year, Chic-Kidz made its debut with over 50 brands covering children’s and teens’ fashion, school uniform, kids’ swimwear, designer brands and more. In terms of exhibitors, it welcomed market leaders including Balabala (Semir Group), Mini Peace (Peacebird) Elephant, Eton Kidd, Hush Puppies, Water Baby and Xtep Kidz. International kidswear brands including Sanetta, Affenzahn, Kukukid and Efvva also used the fair as their entry platform for the Chinese market.

NEW FOOTWEAR TRADE SHOW Sole Fashion is a new, brand-focused trade show for the men’s, women’s and children’s footwear sectors. Taking place at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry, the show’s first edition is on 16-17 February 2020. Penny Robinson, organiser of Sole Fashion, says: “I am delighted to be working with the UK’s footwear industry to deliver an exciting new trade event focusing on branded footwear. There is still a strong desire for the industry to showcase their collections each season. However, participating brands demand to see a realistic return on investment. The cost-effective and clear pricing of stands makes Sole Fashion more accessible.” Sole Fashion is a twice-yearly trade exhibition. The show’s second edition will take place on 9-10 August 2020.

In total, the March 2019 event saw 1,365 exhibitors from 16 countries presented within 117,200 sq m of exhibition space, attracting 103,722 trade visitors. Similar stats are expected for the March 2020 show, which will see Chic-Kidz located in Hall 2.1 of the National Exhibition and Convention Centre where it will once again cater to all market needs for babies, children and teenagers.

TOBY TIGER TURNS 21 At a time when ethical and sustainable fashion is firmly under the radar, organic childrenswear company Toby Tiger is celebrating an impressive 21-year milestone. Zoe Mellor founded Toby Tiger back in 1998 after spotting a gap in the market to make practical and environmentally friendly children’s clothes. Since then the brand has remained true to its ethos, going on to win accolades including Gold in the Best Ethical Brand category at this year’s Loved By Parents Awards. Other developments for Toby Tiger include a new and improved website. Designed to make wholesale ordering easier, the site also allows trade customers to manage their account and preview upcoming season collections. Toby Tiger is certified by the Soil Association and is also Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS).



NEW FOR SPECIAL OCCASIONWEAR New childrenswear brand Amarah London offers special occasion pieces for girls aged 2 to 12 years, including bespoke christening gowns and party dresses. Using colour and playful trimmings, the brand creates fresh and girly designs with signature looks including fabric mixing and hand detailed finishing. Following its launch at Pure London last year, the brand is now taking another major step with its first fashion event. Sponsored by the Hilton Hotel London, the magical tea party themed function will allow guests to indulge in tea party treats whilst the brand’s mini models take to the runway. The event takes place on 26 October 2019 at the Hilton London, Angel Islington, 53 Upper Street, London.

LAMBORGHINI X KABOOKI KIDSWEAR COLLECTION Danish kids’ apparel company Kabooki has been appointed to create a new childrenswear collection for the super sports car brand Automobili Lamborghini. Starting from the a/w 20 season, Kabooki will work with Lamborghini to develop the premium kidswear line. The international boys’ collection will comprise a top-to-toe range in sizes 4 to 14 years. “Lamborghini is the dream of so many children,” says Katia Bassi, chief marketing and communication officer for Automobili Lamborghini. “Our new premium kidswear line enables youngsters to enjoy and participate in the Lamborghini lifestyle.”

Future Brands Limited, a member of the Batra Group of companies and a master licensee of the Russell Athletic® brand, has a new license partnership with Brand Machine Group (BMG). The license agreement enables BMG to design, manufacture and market childrenswear, accessories and essentials within the UK and EMEA region. Available for girls and boys aged 0 to 15 years, the collection includes athleisure T-shirts, sweats and accessories. From September 2019, BMG is working with retail partners and independents to launch the collection.

BASE DESIGNER CHILDRENSWEAR TO OPEN NEW STORE This October, independent childrenswear retailer Base is opening its first store outside the South East at Birmingham’s Grand Central. The 3,500 sq ft unit will stock labels including True Religion, Lacoste, Versace, Moncler, Fendi and Ellesse x Base. The new store, Base’s seventh in the UK, represents the first stage of the retailer’s expansion strategy. “We spent a great deal of thought on where the best location for Base would be as we expand,” says Marc Granditer, MD of Base. “Birmingham is the second-largest city in the UK and with its affluent customer base and huge footfall associated with Birmingham New Street station, Grand Central was the ideal destination to launch Base outside of the South East.”

ISBJÖRN OF SWEDEN WINS BÄST-I-TEST AWARD Sustainable children’s outdoor clothing and accessories brand Isbjörn of Sweden has won the Bäst-i-Test for its Penguin Snowsuit, which marks the sixth consecutive time it has scooped the accolade. Scandinavian Online Test Institute Bäst-i-Test (Best in Test) conducted the field test assessing various winter jumpsuits at a forest school day-care centre during the winter season in Sweden. Used daily over a three-month period, the products were subjected to all weathers and outdoor activities. The Penguin Snowsuit scored 10 out of 10 points for longevity, outstanding functions, quality and comfort.

MODA TO RELAUNCH FOR FEBRUARY 2020 UK fashion and footwear trade exhibition Moda will deliver an all-new show in February 2020 to meet the changing needs of brands and buyers. The relaunch will include a refreshed image, a new shell scheme and an improved floor plan. The event will also have new dates, new halls within Birmingham’s NEC, a re-edit and newly curated sectors. As the UK’s national footwear show, Moda will also see the largest gathering of footwear brands in the UK. A new edit of kids’, contemporary, classic, sports, fashion and office footwear will be available for a/w 20. Moda takes place on the 23–25 February 2020 in halls 6, 7, and 8 of Birmingham’s NEC.

NEWS IN BRIEF Best Years, which specialises in children’s knitted and crochet soft toys, is expanding its offer with a new range of ethical wooden toys. Launching in October, hero products in the wooden toy range include a London bus, which comes complete with 25 hand-painted wooden passengers. Other items include a push along dinosaur, a puzzle clock and a stacking rainbow.

Kidunk Clothing has won Gold in the European Product Design Awards for its range of kid-proof play clothing. The awards celebrate international innovation and ground-breaking products by designers who strive to improve daily lives with practical and well thought out design. Previous winners include Philips, Baby Tula, Doona, Meri Meri and Flying Tiger Copenhagen. Kidunk is created by award-winning children’s designer and former Gro Company design director, Lisa Joyce.

Children’s and women’s online jewellery brand Lily Belle is being made available to trade for the first time. Moving into wholesale is one of the first initiatives of the brand’s new owner Sarah Patterson, who bought Lily Belle earlier this year. Designed for comfort, the kids’ collection features stretchy bracelets in a choice of colours and designs for ages 3 to 12 years. A matching Mummy & Me range of bracelets is also available. SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2019 - 07


NCWA NEWS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S COMMENT I dare not write this month about Brexit, for by the time you read this we might have a new Prime Minister, a new Government, Parliament sitting again, or even a new agreement with the EU likely to command majority support in both Houses of Parliament. What I can say, however, is that a number of issues have been clarified over recent weeks. We now know what will happen, both with and without a deal, on such issues as the status of EU citizens already working in the UK and the CE mark. With regard to importing and exporting (probably the most important issue for manufacturers/suppliers, agents and retailers), a number of questions still have to be resolved, but we do know that if you do either you should register for an EOR1, an Economic Operator Registration Identification. In the meantime, work on Standards affecting childrenswear continues apace. The European (CEN) Working Group on the Safety of Childrenswear has met three times this year and is due to meet next in January 2020. Interlaboratory trials are being organised so that Test Methods on the Security of Attachment of Buttons and Metal Mechanically Applied Press Fasteners can be agreed. A revision of the Cords and Drawstrings Standard, EN 14682, is under way and comments on the Mechanical Safety of Childrenswear Technical Specification have been reviewed. Do remember that it is your responsibility to make and sell safe products. In order to do this, be aware of what is in the relevant Standards and where necessary carry out a risk assessment. So, do not assume your products comply with the Cords and Drawstrings Standard unless you have looked at the definition of what can constitute a cord or a drawstring. Did you know that this includes a chain and a stitched-on bow? Incidentally, Brexit will not affect the work within the Safety of Childrenswear Working Group as BSI, the British Standards Institution, will remain a member of CEN, the European Standards Organisation, which is independent of the EU organisations. Having said that, the EU Commission does have the power to “mandate” CEN to carry out a piece of work, as it did when it asked CEN to look at Cords and Drawstrings. The only difference will be that the UK will have no influence on what the Commission decides. If you would like to talk to me about any of the issues above or indeed anything else, please do not hesitate to contact me at NCWA, 3 Queen Square, London WC1N 3AR, tel: 020 7843 9488; If you are not a member, do look at our website, You can easily join online and membership starts at only £100 (+ VAT) per annum. Elizabeth P Fox Executive Director

NCWA COUNCIL: Chairman: MARK BARNETT, Barnett Agencies Vice Chairman: IMRAN HASSAN, Lilly & Sid Imm. Past Chairman: SHARON BEARDSWORTH, RSB Associates Treasurer: DAVID BURGESS, David Luke Ltd — COUNCIL MEMBERS: NUALA MCKENNA Nuala McKenna Agencies Agent, DIANE SHAW Agent SARAH TAYLOR Agent, DANIELE SISMONDI Brand Stable Agent RACHEL RILEY Rachel Riley Manufacturer, EMMA-JANE ADAM Love My Smalls Ltd Manufacturer DAVID PARKER Baby Melanie Retailer, SHOSHANA KAZAB Kidswear Collective Retailer JENNY ERWIN Arnotts Retailer President: KEN SCATES Marketing consultant Executive Director: ELIZABETH FOX


FTCT RETURNS TO THE TEXTILE FORUM Fashion & Textile Children’s Trust (FTCT), a charity that provides financial support to families in the UK fashion and textile industry, will once again be present at London’s Textile Forum. There, FTCT will speak to visitors about its work and also sell raffle tickets to help raise funds for its financial grants for children of UK fashion and textile families. Taking place at One Marylebone on 16-17 October, Textile Forum is a luxury fashion fabric event for designers looking to source top quality fabrics, trimmings, labels, buttons and garment manufacturers for childrenswear, womenswear, menswear, bridalwear, lingerie and accessories.

KATHRYN’S INTRODUCES PHILOSOPHY Liverpool childrenswear boutique Kathryn’s has been selected to represent the brand Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini Kids for a/w 19. Collection highlights include wool bouclé and printed faux furs for jackets and coats as well as puffer jackets with the Philosophy logo. Elsewhere, dresses and blouses feature alongside sweatshirts and T-shirts, which are combined with skirts, embroidered leggings, shorts, fleece trousers and jeans that are overdyed in two colours featuring tears, sequins and rhinestones. An accessory collection is also available including matching backpacks, hats and headbands. Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini Kids collection is available for 4 to14 years and is produced and distributed by Gi. Mel, a leading Italian company in the children’s clothing sector.

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THE NATIONAL CHILDRENSWEAR ASSOCIATION OF GREAT BRITAIN AND IRELAND Membership is open to everyone involved in the British childrenswear industry. Associate membership, open to non-British organisations, is now available. Membership costs from £100.




Children’s designer clothing retailer Kids Cavern has opened a brand-new store at intu Trafford Centre. The new shop, the retailer’s third premises, stocks over 120 designer brands for boys and girls aged 0 to 16 years including Fendi, Dolce & Gabbana, Givenchy, Armani Junior, Lanvin, DSquared, Moschino and Hugo Boss. Commenting is Tracey Shelvey, owner and CEO of Kids Cavern. “We are thrilled to reveal our new store at intu Trafford Centre. The new premises will allow us to offer even better service to our loyal customers in the Greater Manchester area who have always supported us.” Alison Niven, centre director for intu Trafford Centre, adds: “We’re delighted to welcome Kids Cavern to intu Trafford Centre. Its impressive selection of fantastic designer childrenswear is bound to appeal to fashionconscious families and put a smile on the little ones’ faces.” Established in 1989, Kids Cavern opened its first flagship store in Liverpool’s Cavern Walks shopping centre. A strong base of loyal customers then led the retailer to larger, more spacious premises in the city’s Metquarter. Now, with additional stores in both Kirkby and Manchester, Kids Cavern continues to cultivate its growing reputation as a one-stop-shop for luxury childrenswear.

Childrenswear brand Frugi is celebrating 15 years of ethical business with a unique view into its organic cotton production in India. A mini-series titled ‘15 years of Frugi’ takes a behind the scenes journey to India visiting the brand’s organic cotton farmers, tailors and factories. The series also highlights the Frugi supply chain, which is certified by the Global Organic Textile Standards (GOTS). Commenting is Frugi CEO Hugo Adams, who joined the Cornwall business last August. “Lucy and Kurt created a business 15 years ago that has seen exceptional growth year-on-year because they stuck to their beliefs of strong, ethical and environmental values. In an age where everyone is talking about fast fashion and asking who made their clothes, it is refreshing to know that Frugi has always done this and is only doing more. “In January, I visited our factories in India,” continues Adams. “I met the farmers who grow our organic cotton and the factory workers that turn this into yarn and cut the cloth that makes our clothing. It was an incredible journey and a great way to celebrate 15 years of Frugi.”

MONCLER ENFANT EXCLUSIVE COLLECTION AT CHILDRENSALON Childrensalon, the largest online retailer for children’s designer fashion, has announced the debut of Moncler Enfant Exclusive Collection, which is available online at and at Designed by Moncler for the Childrensalon customer, the capsule collection marks the first time Childrensalon has collaborated with the luxury fashion house to create a childrenswear range. Drawing inspiration from the ready-towear adult lines, the limited-edition Moncler Enfant Exclusive Collection offers 12 mix and match sports luxe styles. Pieces include puffer jackets, hats, logo tape T-shirts and tracksuits for boys and girls age 4 to 14 years.

PIGEON LAUNCHES LARGESTEVER COLLECTION Oxfordshire baby and children’s clothing brand Pigeon has launched its largest seasonal collection yet for a/w 19. Available for 0 to 8 years and made from 100 per cent organic cotton, new prints include moose, raccoons, Inuit girls and boys, polar bears, leaf designs and giant spots. The collection also features two new fabrics - lined muslin and velour alongside fleece, Breton stripes and printed interlock. Key styles include reversible winter shifts and lined cord trousers and dungarees. Also, new dresses with smocking, piping and embroidery details; fleecy-lined snuggle suits and gilets; quilted jackets; and new hats and matching snoods. Aside from the knitwear, the entire collection is GOTS certified. Reflecting the new a/w 19 collection’s Inuit print, Pigeon is supporting True North Aid, a Canadian charity dedicated to supporting northern indigenous communities in Canada through practical humanitarian support.

NEWS IN BRIEF Sue Bolton of Bolton Consultancy will be presenting a seminar entitled ‘Know More About Products You Buy’ at this year’s Schoolwear Show on 13-15 October 2019 at Cranmore Park, Solihull. The session, which is sponsored by the Schoolwear Association (SA), will run throughout the trade show as part of the SA Seminar Programme. A specialist in the technical aspects, performance and safety of children’s clothing, Sue Bolton will provide attendees of the seminar with a technical workout across design, mechanical, chemical, ethical and sustainable issues. John Lewis Partnership has appointed Dame Clare Tickell and Michael Herlihy as its first independent directors. The new roles - both full-time and in addition to the three non-executive directors that sit on the Partnership Board - aim to provide insight and challenge to the Partnership. “The independent directors are new roles as part of our review of the Partnership’s governance structure,” confirms Sir Charlie Mayfield, chairman of the John Lewis Partnership. London based Leonie von Schweinitz is the new owner of Annafie, the timeless brand of clothing for babies and children. Schweinitz is keen to maintain the brand’s values, including high-quality fabrics, hand smocking and embroidery. Staying faithful to Annafie’s original ethos, therefore, she is currently designing new additions to complement the current collection with a focus on durable, easy-to-wear pieces, which allow children to play and explore freely.




Stephen Sidkin is a partner at Fox Williams LLP

AGENCY AND DISTRIBUTION – THE OPPORTUNITIES PRESENTED BY BREXIT Could there be opportunities for suppliers and principals and distributors and agents alike as a result of the UK leaving the EU, as is expected, on 31 October 2019 without a withdrawal agreement being in place? The question may seem counterintuitive. But where supplier or principal is looking to exit a distributor or agent, Brexit could well turn out to provide an opportunity to do so. However, the same may also be the case for the distributor or agent which is acting for the supplier or principal.

WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT? Distributorship and agency agreements exist (as do all contracts) to regulate the relationship between two parties in respect of a particular issue. But unlike other commercial contracts, the law of many countries provides specific protection for distributors in the event of termination of the distributorship agreement. The same is true – but for even more countries – in respect of agency agreements. As a result, if the supplier gave notice to the distributor in accordance with the terms of the distributorship agreement, the supplier may be presented with a claim for compensation by the distributor for the loss of the distributorship agreement. Where the same notice is given by a principal to terminate an agency agreement, a claim for compensation can be compounded by a claim for the other statutory rights that the agent may enjoy.

WHY THEN THE POSSIBILITY OF BREXIT OPPORTUNITIES? Many distributorship and agency agreements will contain force majeure clauses. The literal meaning of force majeure is an unforeseen circumstance that prevents the fulfilment of a contract. So far, so good. But: • Experience shows that many force majeure clauses are poorly drafted in terms of when they operate and what are the consequences of the occurrence of an event of force majeure. • Can it really be said that the occurrence of a hard Brexit and its consequences is an unforeseen event?


It has also been recently argued by the European Medicines Agency that the consequences of the UK leaving the EU meant that a lease of its offices had been frustrated – resulting in the EMA not being liable for its continuing lease obligations. However, this argument was rejected by the English High Court. The upshot of this is that as the distributorship or agency agreement cannot as a matter of English law be ended as a result of Brexit occurring, then it must be the case that both parties are required to continue to perform it. As a result, it will not be possible for the distributor or agent to claim that it has been unable to do this or that as a result of Brexit. Non-performance is likely to provide an opportunity for the termination of the agreement. Following on from this, the supplier or principal should consider the provisions in its agreement that deal with the distributor or agent’s performance obligations. Nonperformance of a particular obligation may provide the opportunity to claim that the distributor or agent has committed a breach so allowing the agreement to be terminated for cause – and putting the supplier or principal in the position where they can avoid a claim for compensation.

BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR The downside, of course, is that distributor or agent may claim in the event of non-performance by supplier or principal.

AND FINALLY It is possible that the agreement will be governed by law other than English law. Indeed, in the case of agreements where one party is in the EU and there is no express reference to the law of a particular company, EU law will determine which country’s law (that of supplier or principal or distributor or agent) will apply. This is important as the laws of many member states of the EU may take a different view as to the effect of Brexit – so resulting in termination of the agreement or a claim for damages by the distributor or agent in any event. © 2019 Fox Williams LLP


RETAIL THERAPY We reveal our favourite independent boutiques, as well as news from the world of childrenswear retail. OTHER KIDS 108 Leigh Road, Leigh-on-Sea, Essex SS9 1BU Located in the heart of Leigh-on-Sea in Essex, Other Kids is a children’s shoe shop which, as well as providing a specialist shoe fitting service, stocks a range of children’s clothes and accessories. The business’s owner Gemma Simpson was formerly a PA at Wolverine Europe. However, on completing a course with the Society of Shoe Fitters, she used her experience working in various fashion offices, including footwear, to launch Other Kids in May 2017. “Opening a store, website and running a business single-handed when your child is 18 months isn’t for the faint-hearted,” says Simpson. “It’s been hard work, but I’m proud of the great reputation I’ve built up in just two years and moving to a larger store in July has been a great achievement.” Other Kids’ new, modern and on-trend store offers a fun and friendly atmosphere and a wide range of footwear brands including Bobux, Froddo, Veja Kids, Young Soles, Petasil, Bo-Bell, Superga and Grass & Air. Simpson has also introduced childrenswear, gifts and accessories from brands such as Little Cotton Clothes, Another Fox, Wild Hearts Wonder and


Meri Meri. Plans for the business include enhancing the website to provide online customers with as much advice on fit as possible. Simpson is also taking advantage of her new location by getting even more involved with local projects. Another shop could also be on the cards.

“It would be great to open a second store in a similar seaside town,” says Simpson. “My online customers tell me there is a big demand in so many areas for a shop that provides a professional shoe fitting service with our fashionable and ethical brands.”



CISSY WEARS 13 Coal Drops Yard, London, N1C 4DQ Cissy Wears, a concept store offering design-led products for the modern family, has relocated to Coal Drops Yard, the retail development that forms part of the King’s Cross Central development scheme in London. Owner Nicola Eyre has been on the hunt to find the perfect location for her business for some time. Coal Drops Yard ticks all the boxes; easily accessible, delivers footfall, family-friendly and an abundance of great neighbouring stores and brands. The new shop is coordinated in the classic Cissy Wears muted colour palette; think very minimal and full of texture. In terms of stock, it offers the retailer’s full range of children’s clothing, footwear, interiors, toys and gifts, plus added homewares. There is also a host of in-store experiences lined up including events with Bobo Choses, Repose AMS, Alexandria Coe, Neu Oil, Wolfsister, Lakshmi, with more to be announced.


LITTLE BROGUES BRANCHES OUT WITH SECOND SHOP Windermere children’s footwear independent Little Brogues has opened a second store in Kendal. With the original shop having grown significantly, owner Simon Dernie felt confident to expand. Opening in August in time for Back to School, the bright and child-friendly shop offers pre-walkers through to school shoes with everything in-between. Brands include Start-rite, Noel, Camper, Bobux, Froddo, Clarks, Dr. Martens, Saucony, Skechers, Hummel, SaltWater, Shoo-Pom, Geox, Bogs, Lurchi, Ricosta and Term. Six months after opening her Sheffield-based, eco-conscious children’s lifestyle store, Small Stuff, owner Hellen Stirling-Baker decided her website needed an upgrade to better reflect the business. Launching in August, the new site unites the business’s online and offline offering. Taking the same colour palette as the store and the company logo, the website is designed to be as seamless as possible. Based on customer feedback, it uses specific product categories to ensure shoppers can quickly and easily find what they’re looking for. Other new features include Apple Pay and Google Pay. The site also enables customer accounts, which in time will include a loyalty points scheme, plus wish lists that can be used privately or emailed to friends and family for gift ideas. Other highlights include customers reviews, a chat option and multi-currency payment. Plus, if you’re local to the shop, you can pick up online orders in-store for free.

QUINN HARPER OPENS DEBUT STORE Sloane Stanley has signed children’s luxury occasionwear brand Quinn Harper for its first bricks and mortar store. The 1,019 sq ft boutique located at 331 King’s Road in London showcases Quinn Harper’s occasionwear designs together with a range of premium accessories. In addition to its retail offer, the brand is also offering a bespoke children’s hairdressing service. The opening of Quinn Harper’s first retail site coincides with the launch of its ecommerce business.

NEWS IN BRIEF Puddleducks Designer Children’s Wear, an independent boutique in Uppermill, Oldham that caters from birth up to 14 years, recently celebrated 25 years in business. To mark the occasion the retailer held an event at the store featuring a candy cart with sweets for children, fizz for parents, plus free giveaways with every purchase. The shop also ran a raffle, with all proceeds going to Francis House Children’s Hospice.

Newbie, the Swedish lifestyle brand for children, has opened a 900 sq ft store at Meadowhall, Sheffield’s leading shopping and leisure destination. The new shop marks one of Newbie’s first to open in the UK outside of London. Newbie is one of four new retailers to recently sign leases at Meadowhall as the centre records its twelfth consecutive month of year-on-year footfall growth.

British brand Baby Kingdom Collection is continuing its growth plans with a partnership with John Lewis & Partners. The premium baby toiletries manufacturer’s range of products is available to purchase online, including the new Luxury Gift Set. Since launching last November, the brand has been establishing a string of partnerships across the UK, Europe, Asia and the Middle East and is now looking for worldwide potential partners. SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2019 - 13








Sisters Constance and Jacquelynn Wong, born and raised in Los Angeles, California, are the founders of childrenswear brand Wee Monster. Wee Monster’s mantra that “kids should be kids” sees it move away from gender-typical styles in favour of edgy and simple streetwear designs. It then combines these with the latest trends for boys and girls age 1 to 12 years. Themes for the s/s 20 collection include pizza, love, rock and roll and old school vibes. Wee Monster’s entire collection is made in Los Angeles using highquality fabrics that are always pre-washed and pre-shrunk. Wholesale prices on request.

After becoming a mum, Maria Araújo was inspired to create an affordable childrenswear brand akin to those in her home country of Portugal. In late 2017, she launched her ethical and sustainable childrenswear label Beatrice & Bee. The brand’s children’s clothes are handcrafted in small ateliers in Portugal using 100 per cent organic fabrics, with special attention to detail and limited quantities. Collections focus on pastel colours, floral and vintage prints and Peter Pan and frill collars. Key pieces include traditional and stylish rompers, dresses, sleepsuits and pyjamas for newborn up to 6 years. Wholesale prices £24 to £44.








New British childrenswear brand JuJuni is passionate about creating organic and ethical dungarees. Made from organic cotton needle corduroy, the dungarees are designed with practicality and an environmentally conscious lifestyle in mind. Available in six colours for 6 months up to 5 years, every aspect of the dungarees is ethical, from the Corzo buttons made from the tagua nut through to a cut that fits over cloth nappies. Other features include adjustable button-up straps, generous turn-ups and zip leg openings. JuJuni also offers an ethical range of organic cotton T-shirts. Wholesale prices £27 for dungarees and £17 for T-shirts.

One of five 2019 Global Change Award winners and the first UK winner of the award, Petit Pli was founded in 2017 by trained aeronautical engineer, Ryan Mario Yasin. The brand specialises in outerwear suits that grow with children by embedding a patent-pending structure that expands bi-directionally to fit ages 9 months up to 4 years. Created using recycled fabrics, the suits are breathable, lightweight, rainproof and windproof. Petit Pli is open to collaborating with stockists, plus its designs can help reduce inefficiencies for retailers with respect to inventory size requirements. Wholesale prices on request.

Fiona Di Carlo launched childrenswear label Ellie + Lion in July. The modern range of gender-neutral clothing for 0 to 4 years uses hand-drawn animal motifs that are digitalised to create a clean, geometric effect. Ellie + Lion doesn’t follow seasons or trends but focuses on timeless, functional pieces that are made to last. The new all-season collection, Face the Animals, is made from organic cotton and offers minimalist basics including a one-piece suit with an S-shaped, two-way zipper. To raise awareness of protecting wildlife, proceeds from every sale from the new collection go to Wildhood Foundation. Wholesale prices £6 to £16 SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2019 - 15






Leg warmers

Little Pack of Positivity - Alphabet of Emotions flashcards





Airport cut out, colour and play set

Bear plate




Possibly the cutest baby socks in the World!

Contact: Ben Sharman 07770 494 846





INFLUENCER ADVERTISING – IS IT WORTH IT? Paul Herbert, a partner at London law firm Goodman Derrick, discusses the ins and outs of influencer advertising including the special care required if children feature in marketing communications.

Influencer advertising is an increasingly common component of brands’ marketing strategies. Its inherent effectiveness is that it is seen as a more “natural” form of marketing and can allow brands access to new, previously inaccessible audiences. However, those very qualities can also create problems, particularly around transparency. So, brands need to be aware of the rules and traps to avoid potential negative impact on their reputation. Influencer advertising is a form of advertising whereby brands market their products by engaging with an “influencer” (a person who has a large following on social media platforms) who can exert influence over the buying decisions of their audience. The most common forms include: • Affiliate marketing – the use of hyperlink/ discount codes on the influencer’s social media page so they are then paid on a per sale or click basis. • Advertorials - this involves influencers working with a brand to create content for the influencer to post on social media. • Brand ambassadors – where an influencer is paid to represent a particular brand. Influencer marketing is regulated by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) and the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) – the body responsible for writing the Advertising Codes. Influencer marketing is governed by the CAP Code and the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations (“CPRs”). More recently the CMA and ASA have produced specific guidance, “An Influencer’s Guide to making clear that Ads are Ads”. The main issue with influencer marketing is that if marketing is not clearly identifiable as such, consumers may be misled into thinking the influencer is giving an impartial opinion as a consumer. The CAP Code requires: • That all “marketing communications must be obviously identifiable as such” – it is recommended that labels such as “Ad” and “Advert” are used, which should be prominent and obvious; and 18 - SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2019

• That “marketing communications must not materially mislead or be likely to do so” - a misleading communication may include hiding material information or exaggerating claims. The CMA Guidance also requires influencers to make clear if they have received any kind of reward e.g. gifts, money, free services or the loan of a product and any relationship they may have with a brand. For the CAP Code to apply there needs to be both payment and control by the advertiser. Payment is not limited to money, freebies are also caught, as is being paid as a brand ambassador. Control can include anything from a brand setting out what a post should contain to having the power to request changes, e.g. where a brand pays an influencer to post a picture on Instagram with their product and to use specific hashtags. Where influencers are receiving money or freebies but the brand has no control over what the influencer produces, the CPRs would still apply. Correspondingly, if you’re not paying an influencer, be aware, there may still be an element of control which could stymie the advertisement. Special care is required if children feature in marketing communications since these must not contain anything likely to result in a child’s harm and must not exploit a child’s credulity, loyalty, or vulnerability. An example of influencer marketing gone wrong concerned an Instagram post of Louise Thompson (of Made in Chelsea). It included a picture of Louise wearing a Daniel Wellington

watch and cuff, and captioned: “Sippin’ [sic] on yummy coconuts 3x size of my skull! Wearing my @danielwellington classic petite Melrose 28mm watch and matching cuff… you can get 15% off using the code ‘LOUISE’.” The ASA held this in breach as it was not clearly identifiable as marketing and notably, failed to use the identifier “#ad”. Tips • Be prepared - ensure any agreement with an influencer clearly identifies their obligations such as the inclusion of identifiers e.g. the hashtag #ad and makes clear that the influencer’s content will be an advertisement/ sponsored post. • Be alert – keep tabs on what your influencers are posting, one wrong post could have a detrimental impact on your brand. • Be aware - different platforms have different features and requirements e.g. on Instagram you can use hashtags and captions to make your followers aware of advertising, whereas on YouTube the video title and the description bar can be used. Detractors decry influencer marketing as renting out opinions for cash, but it does have a place in the marketer’s toolkit as long as the influence element does not eclipse the equally important transparency element. Paul Herbert is a partner at Goodman Derrick, the London law firm.


15:17 - A NEW BREED OF DEPARTMENT STORE CWB’s Laura Turner learns more about 15:17, a new chain of community focused department stores set to rejuvenate the UK high street. British retailing is undergoing the largest change in 50 years. Today’s consumer is demanding a different type of shopping experience and new UK department store chain 15:17 is stepping up to meet this need. What we’re talking about here is much more than just a concession space. Imagine a store where alongside shopping and browsing, you can also take an exercise class, see your optician, meet friends for lunch, attend a fashion show, visit a hair or beauty salon, entertain your children - even pick-up a weekly veg box from the local farmers’ market. The 15:17 store concept is designed to offer all of these things; bringing leisure, pleasure and service back to the UK high street. What 15:17 is creating is a community within a community, where national meets local and both flourish together. Furthermore, 15:17 is utilising empty high street units left by retail giants such as M&S and BHS. This means all of its department stores will take anchor sites offering between 40,000 and 100,000 sq ft of space central to town centres with high footfall.

15:17’S ORIGINS The visionary behind 15:17 is retail professional and company CEO, Mercier Mainwaring. With over 50 years’ worth of retail knowledge in high street and retail businesses, Mainwaring’s background includes work with M&Co, Etams and Debenhams as well as being the former MD of MK One. Prompted by multiple store closures and the subsequent demise of the UK high street, Mainwaring set about creating a store that provided a point of difference; something that would help regenerate the high street and support community growth. (By the way, if you’re wondering where the name 15:17 comes from, that was also Mainwaring’s idea. The answer is it was pulled from nowhere, it means nothing. However, no other business has that name or is associated with it, so it carries an air of mystery. It’s a good marketing tactic, it makes you question what it is – and believe me, there’s a lot to learn about 15:17.) 20 - SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2019

Other key players on the 15:17 team include Julia Reynolds, who is a non-executive board member. You may be familiar with Reynolds as the chair of leading organic childrenswear brand Frugi, but her previous appointments include CEO of Figleaves and Antler as well as director of buying and merchandising at Tesco where she was responsible for the launch of the Florence and Fred (F&F) clothing brand. Also adding to 15:17’s expertise is head of UK operations Arlene Bovill, formerly store performance and concessions manager for M&Co, regional controller for New Look, and Primark’s regional manager for Scotland.

THE DEBUT STORE OPENING The first 15:17 store opened at the end of August in Ayr on the southwest coast of Scotland. Residing in what was previously the town’s BHS store, its formation has been led by store operations manager Linsey McIlwraith who, by utilising her extensive industry contacts, has played an integral role in getting the business off the ground. “I come from a fashion buyer background and previously worked for a local independent department store looking after ladies’ fashion, lingerie and footwear,” says McIlwraith. “However, in February of this year I was a victim of redundancy when the store I worked for closed down. “It was at this point that I was approached by 15:17, initially on a freelance basis. As well as understanding concessions and being used to working with wholesale customers I have a lot of industry contacts, many of which are based on 10-year working relationships. Utilising this experience, I was tasked with approaching viable businesses to discuss the 15:17 concept and to gain constructive feedback on the idea. “By April I was offered a permanent position with 15:17, taking the role of store operations manager and overseeing the first store opening in Ayr.” Responsible for sourcing potential concession partners, McIlwraith has been busy bringing the 15:17 concept to life as well as overseeing the general day-to-day running of the Ayr store.


“I provide a source of continuity for partners as they work with me from start to finish,” she continues. “I have worked with a lot of our clients in the past so that all-important trust factor is already there. Having those strong client relationships makes a big difference, especially in a high-risk sector such as retail.”

HOW TO BECOME A 15:17 PARTNER As well as approaching partners, businesses are also welcome to apply for a concession via an enquiry form on 15:17’s website. There are currently no restrictions on who can apply, the concept is accessible for all. However, 15:17’s aim is to tailor stores to the local demographic and to avoid any form of saturation in terms of both brands and product. “We don’t want any partners to clash or compete, we want to maximise sales and for partners to complement each other,” says McIlwraith. “We will be working very closely with partners on each store set-up. We promote inclusivity and communication, so we will openly speak to partners about other brands and who they are positioned next to. Nothing is a secret.”

WHAT COSTS ARE INVOLVED? Partners pay a set monthly fee for a concession “space”, rather than a percentage of sales or income for example. This fee covers costs such as rent, rates, heating, lighting, waste disposal, high-speed fibre optic cabling, guest WIFI, staffrooms and washrooms, store security, marketing and an in-store manager. Sales staff can also be provided, with both manned and unmanned concession options available. Costs don’t cover fixtures and fittings, although 15:17 will recommend approved local shop fitters and electricians should those services be required. The monthly fee also doesn’t include stock, staff or public indemnity insurance – 15:17 just covers the insurance for the building and communal areas. Fees will vary depending on location and a concession’s position in a store, but they have been set to be affordable for all businesses, especially smaller brands wanting a high street presence. As an example, the monthly fee for Ayr within Zone A, which comprises the first 250 sq ft of the store, is £25 per sq ft. Zone B, which covers the rest of the store, is priced at £22 per sq ft. As well as being affordable, 15:17 concessions are also designed to be flexible. “We’ve kept the terms very simple to provide flexibility for both parties, with a short-term lease option of six months as well as yearly contracts,” confirms McIlwraith. “If a client wants to get out of an agreement, we require notice on the fourth month of a six-month lease and on the eighth month of a yearly agreement.”

PRODUCT MIX AND IN-STORE SERVICES In terms of product, 15:17 brings together childrenswear, womenswear, menswear, footwear and home décor from both local and national brands. Childrenswear partners at the Ayr store include Little Lord & Lady, Ziggle and Jacob Matthews. There is also children’s footwear from London Rebel, which includes the brands Puma, Under Armour and Asics “Currently we are working with local and national brands, but a multi-brand retailer would also be welcome,” adds McIlwraith. “As long as there isn’t a saturation of product - a big factor for us - and the fit is right, then a multi-brand retailer concession would also be possible.” Services offered by 15:17 stores will be tailored to the local area, focusing on public amenities that customers can’t get

“ WE’VE KEPT THE TERMS VERY SIMPLE TO PROVIDE FLEXIBILITY FOR BOTH PARTIES, WITH A SHORT-TERM LEASE OPTION OF SIX MONTHS AS WELL AS YEARLY CONTRACTS.” elsewhere. For instance, the Ayr store includes a hair and beauty salon. There is also a small-scale food market and a restaurant serving local produce. As McIlwraith notes, the stores will also act as community hubs, making practical use of space during quieter times. “Lots of community-based groups and charities struggle to find free spaces to host meetings, so we will provide this service on a weekly or monthly basis free of charge,” she says. “In line with our community store ethos, we also want to provide services for parents and children. We want 15:17 to be a destination where families feel welcome and catered to. For example, we have a non-supervised play area in the Ayr store’s restaurant and we offer face painting at weekends. “Moving forward we want to introduce more kids’ experiences such as pottery painting as well as running seasonal events for Christmas and Easter. The Ayr store is actually the venue for this year’s Tanfest, Ayrshire’s family Halloween festival.”

THE FUTURE OF 15:17 By offering a fresh spin on the traditional department store concept, it would be fair to say that 15:17 has no direct competition - it is refreshingly unique. It’s also something you may well see on a high street near you in the not too distant future because over the next two years, 15:17 has the ambitious target of opening a total of 30 stores. The next opening will be in Southport later this year followed by another 10 store openings in early 2020. “Effectively we are providing a department store offering with a twist - expect the unexpected,” concludes McIlwraith. “We are creating bright, welcoming, community stores that are inclusive and offer something for everyone together with a few surprises in the mix. “Our plans are to continue offering a point of difference that plugs a gap in the market for a community department store. Over time we may make small adaptions, but our attention will always remain on providing a community-focused offering.” SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2019 - 21


MORI’S NEXT MOVES Akin Onal, founder and CEO of organic babywear brand MORI, shares the company’s latest developments.

Laura Turner: Firstly, what’s the story behind MORI? Akin Onal: I started MORI in 2015 when I was shopping for a gift for my niece. I noticed a gap in the market for an online-first baby brand using fabric that is truly suitable for a baby’s sensitive skin and special enough to gift. I realised there was a lot left to innovate in terms of fabrics. Baby’s skin is exceptionally sensitive and they find it difficult to regulate their temperature. By overlaying innovative fabrics with minimalist Japanese aesthetics, MORI was born. I come from a region of Turkey that is well known for its high-quality textiles and my close family and friends are among our trusted manufacturers. Our product team has a combined experience of over 40 years in developing babywear and childrenswear and we involve our customers in every stage of product development. It is important to us that each product purchased from MORI is designed to ease parents’ lives. Our Clever Sleeping Bag, for example, was the result of months of product trials combined with conversations with sleep and maternity experts to ensure it creates a better sleep for baby. The materials and fabrics we use are the results of extensive research. We travelled far and wide to sample the very best baby clothing and learn from parents and experts about what they 22 - SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2019

really need. We craft our signature fabric from bamboo and organic cotton as it is ultra-soft, naturally breathable and thermoregulating, making it the perfect layer next to a baby’s sensitive skin. The fabric is also highly durable, meaning it stays soft wash after wash. Now, over four years later, we have extensively expanded our range to include clothing for children up to 4 years. In the last year alone, we have sold over 50,000 of our bestselling Sleepsuits and nearly 10,000 Clever Sleeping Bags to more than 35,000 loyal customers across the world. LT: Can you tell me more about your debut standalone store? AO: Yes, we are excited to say we are opening our first MORI store this autumn on Northcote Road in Battersea. We have been planning to open a retail store for quite a while and have spent a considerable amount of time researching the London retail landscape to understand where our customers are. This location is widely known as London’s “Nappy Valley” and Northcote Road offers a great local atmosphere. At MORI, we have successfully been able to create a strong brand and product following through our online webstore and our presence in key wholesale accounts around the world. What we have been missing is a physical brand-owned store where we will finally be able to give

customers the immersive MORI experience and connect with our local community. Our high-quality design and fabric softness are harder to translate through a screen, which has been a barrier when our main point of communication has been online. LT: What look have you gone with for the store? AO: It has been designed in collaboration with the award-winning interior design agency, FormRoom. When we set out the design for the store, we wanted it to be a physical representation of our product and branding aesthetics; timeless, modern, functional and gentle. Opening a physical space allows us to control the smallest details, such as the sensory elements that we aren’t able to create through our online channels. The thinking behind the store design was very much around taking our local customers into consideration. As the location has a definitive atmosphere we wanted it to feel like home, where mothers can come in and feel comfortable to relax in the lounge area and breastfeed. The flow of the store has consciously been designed to showcase the quality and craftsmanship of our products. It will offer expecting mothers a place where they can come in and learn about what they might need when baby arrives within an environment that does not feel overwhelming. Our customers will be able to purchase all of MORI’s bestselling products


in-store alongside plush toys and some products specifically for mums from our friends at HATCH. LT: Will you be introducing any in-store events? AO: Yes, definitely. MORI is much more than a brand that just sells baby clothing - community is at the heart of everything we do. MORI is a brand that supports and helps families make the journey of parenthood a little bit easier. We have previously hosted some great customer events where we invited mums to meet and connect with each other and get advice from our specialists. With this retail space, we are excited to have a home where we can do this more regularly. LT: Are there plans for any more stores? AO: The long-term plan is to definitely open more physical stores. We can’t say much at this stage, but the opening of the Northcote Road store is just a small preview of what’s to come. LT: Can you tell me more about your collaboration with The Gruffalo? AO: ‘The Gruffalo by MORI’ collaboration has been a year in the making - we were thrilled when Magic Light Pictures reached out to us about collaborating for the character’s 20th anniversary. The Gruffalo is one of the world’s best-loved monsters and is such a memorable part of family storytime, making this the perfect partnership for MORI. As a brand dedicated to helping to improve a family’s sleep, we believe that storytime is an essential part of a child’s bedtime routine and helps to strengthen bonds between families. The design team took our MORI signature style and bestselling shapes to create a keepsake collection featuring the much-loved characters, designing four unique prints across sleepwear and daywear. This will be our biggest collection launched to date and has truly been a collaborate labour of love.

America. We are also pleased to announce that MORI will now also be available at London’s historic department store, Liberty’s. We have recently started to work with some partners to help us leverage the awareness for the MORI brand in key territories outside of the UK. Our partners are AB Showrooms in the US and International Kindermoden represent us in the DACH region. In wholesale, we have also recognised that our accounts have been looking for more of our bestsellers. With this in mind, we are launching our first wholesale exclusive collection this September. We have already had great feedback from buyers who saw the range at Playtime New York, so this will no doubt be the first of many exclusive collections. LT: Are you showing MORI at any upcoming trade shows? AO: In September we showed our collection at Kind & Jugend in Cologne. Our plans for 2020 are to showcase MORI at Pitti Bimbo in Florence in January and at Playtime New York in February.

sustainability throughout production, but we also recognise that we need to talk to our customers about sustainability. We need to keep the conversation around sustainability going so that it becomes a natural practice for future generations. I started the business with the conscious mindset of respecting nature and producing our products using sustainable resources and organic materials that are trusted. We carefully select who we work with and foster the relationships within our supply chain. We work with trusted factories in Turkey, which is key to reinforcing our sustainability message and ensuring fair and safe working conditions. Just to give an example, we recently had the managing director of our factory visit our office and we spoke about the new site they have been building. The factory where MORI’s products will be produced has been built using sustainable, recycled materials and will be powered by solar panels and a new water system that recycles rainwater for the whole factory. This is a great sustainability approach for our production, but we know that there is still a long way to go.

© 2019 J Donaldson/ A Scheffler. Licensed by Magic Light Pictures Ltd.

LT: Do you have any more collaborations lined up? AO: Working with Magic Light on ‘The Gruffalo by MORI’ collaboration has been such a great experience and we are eagerly anticipating our customers’ reactions to the collection. In terms of future collaborations, it’s important that we work with brands that share a similar ethos to MORI. Following ‘The Gruffalo by MORI’ collection, we are now exploring the other wonderful stories from Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler.

LT: Are there any other new additions planned for the collection? AO: As MORI grows, so do our collections and our category ranges. As a brand that is known for being an expert in sleep, we are continuing to expand our sleep category. We are also growing our day apparel for babies and toddlers whilst introducing new product category launches for the nursery. For the remainder of 2019, we are launching over 10 new collections including ‘The Gruffalo by MORI’, a festive Christmas collection and our organic knitwear collection.

LT: What is your strategy for wholesale? AO: At the moment wholesale contributes 10 to 15 per cent of our business. Outside of our strong online presence, MORI products are stocked at 215 locations globally, with 110 of those stockists across the UK and North

LT: Where do you stand on sustainable fashion? AO: As a founder of an apparel business I recognise that I have a responsibility to the environment, our customers, my team and my family. To make some strides in improving our impact on the environment we consider

LT: What’s next for MORI? AO: We recently secured over £4 million with our Series A funding, meaning our opportunities for growth are exponential. With this investment we will now continue our growth in the UK, further expand into international markets with a special focus on North America, open more branded storefronts and grow our internal team at MORI HQ. We have big plans to grow our unique direct-to-consumer subscription membership programme called ‘The Sleep Club,’ which is already disrupting a very crowded traditional market in the UK. The team is working on investing further in technology to scale the service to a wider audience while allowing more flexibility to its members. We are also eagerly awaiting the introduction of Sleep Club to our US customers in 2020. SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2019 - 23


WHY GEN Z PARENTS ARE INCREASINGLY MOVING THEIR SPENDING AWAY FROM LOCAL TOWN CENTRES Parents Insights, the UK’s only online data portal specifically designed to provide insights on parents in the UK, from expecting mothers all the way through to parents of 4-year olds, reveals its newest findings. Parents Insights recently issued its latest Leisure Measure report focusing on the offline lives of parents, from expecting mothers through to those raising babies and toddlers up to age 4. The report examines the data collected by surveying 2,500 parents over the preceding 12-weeks, assessing how they spend their time, what they enjoy doing and what they are currently consuming. Generation Z (those born after 1995), like their parents, is a generation of consumers whose lives are filled with advertising. But for retailers, oddly enough, it is more difficult to make money on Gen Z than on their parents. The fact is, unlike the X and Y generations, Gen Z takes a lot of time from the moment of choosing a product through to its purchase. Since our last report, the percentage of parents shopping in local town centres has been dwindling. Overall, the number of parents reporting to shop in local town centres fell by 5.2 per cent to its lowest level of 55 per cent. Furthermore, these younger Gen Z parents are the least likely age group to shop in local town centres, with 45 per cent of under-25s shopping there decreasing by 21 per cent since the last period. Instead, these parents have shifted their spending to other locations. Based on Parents Insights’ data, discount outlets have increased by 25 per cent with under-25s who cite “getting the best prices” as outlet shopping’s most appealing factor. Online shopping has also increased in popularity for Gen Z parents, from 29 per cent for August to October 2018, to 37 per cent now, with convenient shopping hours being one of the main pulling factors. However, overall, online shopping still ranks behind the local town centre as a shopping destination (36 per cent). Shopping Location 60%



0% Local town centre


Retail park

Indoor shopping centre

Nearest big city centre

l Expecting l 0 - 6 months l 6 m - 2 yrs l 2 yrs - 4 yrs


Discount outlet

Offline retailers are trying to consider the habits of Gen Z. Many of them no longer object to the actual transformation of their stores into showrooms with pop up events, where young people come to see, touch and review items they’ve seen online. For the purchase to be completed, retailers open online stores - allowing them to purchase goods through fashionable, digital technologies. As we draw towards the Christmas trading period, town centres could look to attract sales from Gen Z parents by playing to their key strength for this demographic – good transport links and easy accessibility – for which they outrank all other shopping destinations. Alternatively, smaller town centres could challenge city centres by increasing their offering of restaurants and live events. This is a brief snapshot of our capabilities, but it’s clear the attitudes, behaviours and consumption of young parents are changing significantly. We are offering brands an immersive planning meeting to illustrate how data and insights can help inform advertising, content, licensing, product and marketing planning for 2020. To download a complimentary Parents Insights report, visit or to organise a meeting please call 0330 159 6631.


20/12/2017 20:04

for Schoolwear Specialists

13-15 October 2019 |


28: NEWS 33: THE SCHOOLWEAR SHOW What’s in store for this year’s exhibition

46: BEING CLEAR ON TRANSPARENCY Rowlinson furthers its commitment to people and planet

36: SHOW STOPPERS Product developments launching at The Schoolwear Show 2019

48: INDUSTRY INSIGHT David Luke’s MD Kathryn Shuttleworth provides her viewpoint on industry topics

40: A CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER An open letter from the executive of The Schoolwear Association

51: TIME FOR CHANGE Association of Suppliers to the British Clothing Industry conference examines the industry-wide sustainability challenge

43: TALKING SHOP Schoolwear retailers discuss Back to School

54: BACK TO SCHOOL REPORT Mintel’s findings on Back to School spending 55: USING INSTAGRAM TO BUILD YOUR SCHOOLWEAR BUSINESS Top tips from social media and online marketing expert Alex McCann 58: TALKING POINT Q&A with Andrea Grant, owner of Old School Uniform




DAVID LUKE GAINS SCS CERTIFICATION In 2018, to strengthen its eco-credentials, David Luke embarked on the process of third-party certifying the recycled content in its uniforms. After evaluation, SCS Global Services has certified that the polyester fabrics David Luke uses in its Eco-uniform products contain post-consumer waste. (Between 30 and 100 per cent of the fibre in the materials is recycled post-consumer waste.) The schoolwear supplier can now incorporate the globally recognised SCS Kingfisher Certification Mark across all marketing materials and customer-facing resources for the certified products. David Luke was the first schoolwear business within the industry to introduce recycled polyester to its product portfolio, launching its Eco Blazer in 2010. Currently, it is the only schoolwear brand that can claim it has achieved SCS Recycled Content Certification.

REDUCING THE IMPACT OF TEXTILE MANUFACTURING Many retailers are thinking about take-back schemes and what they can do to ensure the items they sell don’t end up in landfill or incineration; Recyclatex could be the answer. The Recyclatex Group operates a nationwide clothing, textile and shoe collection service throughout the UK. Comprising companies with over 500 years’ combined experience in the industry, Recyclatex offers a professional bonded reuse and recycling service with one point of contact. Together, the group of companies offers a nationwide service to retailers, schools, charities, local authorities and local community groups. For retailers, the group can offer tailor-made solutions to promote ongoing textile collections including in-store collection points, external banks or through courier collection.


From 1 October 2019, the Charles Kirk brand will be distributed by Coolflow Schoolwear from its business operation in Leicester. Worthing based schoolwear specialist Charles Kirk has been run for over 75 years by the Horton family, who are experts in the manufacturing, supply, embroidery and printing of knitwear, sweatshirts and accessories. With the turmoil caused by Brexit and the demise of the textile industry, the Horton family has decided that the reduced sales of UK made products and the costs of maintaining machines in Sussex is unsustainable. Therefore, following the retirement of directors Charles and Deborah Horton, the manufacturing operation in Worthing will be closed “We’ve enjoyed great success since my grandfather got involved with Charles Kirk in 1953 and we are excited to see the next stage in the evolution of what we have built,” says Charles Horton. “Distribution and manufacture of the Charles Kirk brand via Coolflow Schoolwear will achieve a shorter and leaner supply chain allowing the products to remain competitive in an extremely challenging and ever-changing market.” Over the last 30 years, Charles Kirk has worked closely with Coolflow Schoolwear. The partnership initially saw the fabrics manufactured in Leicester being used for sweatshirt garments made in Worthing. As the schoolwear industry moved their supplies offshore, Coolflow Schoolwear sourced knitwear (Coolflow and Coolacryl) and sweatshirts (ColourPlus) from

Europe and then Asia. The Loyal family, who run Coolflow Schoolwear, share Charles Kirk’s values of product quality, customer service and attention to detail. The technical knowledge of yarns and fabrics held by the Coolflow team, along with the facility to manufacture in the UK as well as offshore, will continue to provide the service and high quality of garments that customers are accustomed to. To ensure the continuing success of both brands, Coolflow has installed a new computer system - an upgraded version of the current Charles Kirk system – which stores all of the information for bespoke garments, making it easier for future production purposes. It will also be offering an online ordering service in 2020. “By shortening the supply chain we will ensure a sustainable and competitive supply of quality uniforms into the schoolwear industry,” says Dan Loyal, MD of Coolflow. “The business will enter into the digital era enabling higher levels of customer service.” In further developments, Coolflow Schoolwear is introducing Micro-Fresh Technology across all of its acrylic blend sweatshirts. Developed in the UK, the innovative treatment gives long-lasting freshness and allows garments to be washed at 30°C, resulting in lower energy consumption and reduced carbon footprint. To complement this, it is also introducing compostable bags across all of its ranges.

SMARTSTART SCHOOL UNIFORM PROJECT TURNS FIVE This year marks the 5th anniversary of SmartStart, a free school uniform programme run by Manchester children’s charity Wood Street Mission. SmartStart offers families a practical support package including school uniform, sportswear, winter coats and accessories. In 2018, a growing group of partners and supporters helped the charity to reach 3,199 children from Manchester and Salford. Along with uniform sets they supplied over 1,100 winter coats, 578 backpacks and water bottles, 650 sportswear sets, 381 revision guides as well as hats, gloves and socks.

The Wood Street Mission charity relies heavily on the support of the local community and welcomes donations of new and good quality school uniform and school accessories.



BE SCHOOLWEAR OPENS SEVENTH STORE BE Schoolwear, the schoolwear specific division of family business Border Embroideries, has opened a new store named BE Schoolwear Borders. Located at the company’s headquarters in Greenlaw, Berwickshire, BE Schoolwear Borders marks the business’s seventh store. It is also the company’s first branch to trial a new free Click & Collect service for online customers. Prior to the store’s opening, there was no specific schoolwear shop within the Scottish Borders. Furthermore, there was nowhere locally selling uniform for associations such as Cubs, Scouts, Brownies or dancewear - all of which BE Schoolwear stocks and successfully sells in its other stores.

All Shorts Schoolwear’s range of Back to School products now includes a selection of children’s multi-purpose adaptive aprons that are highly suitable for wheelchair users. Supplied plain or with a pocket, the wipe-clean aprons are edged in soft, durable bias binding. They are also fully constructed from BS compliant, longer-lasting material comprising a PVC coated front on a nylon backing. The aprons have an easy to use hook and loop neck closure allowing those with basic motor skills to dress independently. Both apron styles come ready supplied with fully extendable detachable side ties.

MAPED HELIX UNBOXES NEW DESIGNS IN PICNIK RANGE Maped Helix’s new Picnik range of lunch boxes, lunch bags and water bottles are available in a choice of prints and eye-catching colours. The Picnik lunch box, which is designed to keep food fresh for the school day, incorporates a simple one-movement lid design for easy opening as well as three compartments to store food and removable, dishwasher-friendly trays. Alternatively, there is a lunch bag with a handle and shoulder strap, a water bottle holder and a name cardholder. The range also includes water bottles in both 430ml and 580ml sizes that are designed with a protective cap and one button opening system as well as an automatic seal to prevent spillage.




Tie & Scarf Company, a family-owned business that has been involved in the manufacturing of clothing and accessories for over 160 years, has relocated to new premises. The firm moved into its new 10,000 sq ft warehouse and office space in Heywood, Greater Manchester, on 23 September 2019. The new site is situated at Unit B 8 Bay C, Heywood Distribution Park, Heywood, OL10 2TS. Investment in larger premises will now facilitate the company’s continued growth in the school tie market. Schoolwear retailers can view Tie & Scarf Company’s latest product range at this year’s edition of The Schoolwear Show.

Rowlinson Knitwear has been named as the UK’s 5th Best Workplace™ for Women. The award, which recognises Rowlinson’s commitment to workplace equality and creating a great employee experience for all colleagues, falls within the small business category of the Great Place to Work® Programme. “We are so proud of the steps we’ve taken to make this a great workplace for our whole colleague community,” says Nicola Ryan (pictured), Rowlinson’s part-time director of People Services. “It is our commitment to practices including childcare support, remote working and flexible working, which we afford to all employees, that make us a great workplace.”

This summer saw school uniform retailer Grays Schoolwear trial SEN inclusive Back to School shopping sessions for children with disabilities. To make the shopping experience less overwhelming, the retailer took extra care to reduce any unnecessary sensory stimulations. It also made store adaptations including dimmed lighting, no music and fewer staff members. This was in addition to providing one-to-one appointments, personal shoppers and staff with SENCO training. Following an overwhelmingly positive response to the sessions, which were introduced following feedback from parents, Grays Schoolwear is now planning more similar events for the future.

This October is International Walk to School month, an annual campaign to promote issues including healthier lifestyle habits and conservation of the environment. Living Streets, the UK charity for everyday walking, will be running a number of initiatives for school children during the campaign including a five-day walking challenge and Happy Shoesday, a fundraising event on 1 October to raise money to create safer streets.

The new North West Family Business Awards organised by The Family Business Network will take place in the Concorde Hangar at The Runway Visitor Park at Manchester Airport on 6 March 2020. Developed following the successful Family Business Awards in Cumbria, the North West Family Business Awards champion and represent family businesses of all sizes and ages and from all sectors. Entries open at midnight on the 10 October 2019 and close on 16 January 2020.

NEWS IN BRIEF Diamond Textiles, a supplier of fabrics and garments to the schoolwear market, has launched a new and improved website. Leicester based Diamond Textiles has over 20 years’ experience in manufacturing high quality, durable fabrics, specialising in fleece fabrics and schoolwear. The company’s latest products will be available to view at this year’s Schoolwear Show.




WINTERBOTTOM’S SUPPORTS GREAT NORTH AIR AMBULANCE Winterbottom’s Schoolwear has chosen the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) as its charity of the year. GNAAS, which is not NHS-funded, offers pioneering pre-hospital care to the scene, rescuing hundreds of patients with severe injuries or illness every year. The schoolwear supplier has already hosted a series of bake sales as well as yoga and Pilates classes as a way of raising money. To raise further funds, Winterbottom’s has donated over 1,000 items of surplus garments. “We pride ourselves in designing and manufacturing high-quality products,” says Winterbottom’s marketing manager, Christianne Kania. “This means we can give them a new lease of life by helping to raise money for a fantastic cause. It also assists to minimise the impact that the clothing industry is having on the environment.”

MISKITS LAUNCHES GIRLS’ FOOTBALL TEAMWEAR MisKits is a new concept of football teamwear specifically tailored for girls, including customised kits for schools, clubs and teams. Founder Paul Deakin, who has a sports science degree and 20-years’ experience as a PE teacher, launched the brand to help address the problem of girls having to wear ill-fitting, bland football kits that are essentially made for boys or men. Kits include shorts, a T-shirt and socks. Base layers and a high-performance accessories set featuring two headbands and two wristbands are also available. All of the kits are made from highperformance materials and include a super stretch motion fit and tailored form design as well as UV protection, stay cool technology and material that is hypoallergenic, antibacterial and odourless.


Almost a quarter of a million children in the UK – the equivalent of 219,000 – are unhappy with their lives according to new figures from The Children’s Society. Data from the charity’s annual Good Childhood Report, which examines the state of children’s well-being in the UK, also reveals children’s happiness with life is at its lowest since 2009. Findings show that one in eight children are unhappy with school, a key well-being measure that is at its lowest since 2009. Evidence from year 10 students suggests bullying and not feeling safe at school are among a range of factors linked to low well-being. The research also found links between income poverty and financial strain and unhappiness with school. The most common worries amongst 10 to 17-year olds are crime, the environment and information sharing online. “Today’s young people are becoming progressively unhappy with their friendships as well as their appearance and school,” says Mark Russell, chief executive at The Children’s Society.

“They’re also burdened with fears ranging from worrying about the future and not having enough money to not feeling safe at school and bullying. “We are urging the Government to introduce a national measurement of well-being once a year through schools and colleges for all children age 11 to 18 so that we can really listen, respond and show young people they matter.”



This year’s Schoolwear Association (SA) fundraising evening, The Greatest Schoolwear Show, will take the theme of the popular musical film The Greatest Showman. Taking place following the first day of The Schoolwear Show on Sunday 13 October 2019, the evening will be hosted from The Village Hotel in Solihull. As well as a three-course dinner, The Greatest Schoolwear Show also promises a night of thrills and entertainment as well as a table prize raffle. Furthermore, the evening will include the third annual Schoolwear Association Awards ceremony, with a presentation on the night exclusively revealing this year’s winners. The Greatest Schoolwear Show starts at 7.30pm and the dress code is black tie. For further information on the event please contact Marie Bradburn at

School uniform provider Stevensons is launching a new school shoe section branded Shoe Hub within five of its branches. The new Shoe Hub areas offer a range of school shoes from suppliers such as Clarks, Start-rite, Kickers and Pod. As well as in-store sections in four existing branches, Stevensons has also been testing a stand-alone Shoe Hub pop-up shop in Harpenden. This will help demonstrate whether these smaller types of units offer an additional opportunity to expand their retail footprint, either at key times of the year like Back to School, or on a more permanent basis. “We want to be seen as a one-stop-shop for schoolwear for busy, time-strapped parents,” says head of retail, Natalie Poulakas. “Introducing key school footwear ranges in a number of trial stores is definitely a step in the right direction.”

magicfit offers the complete schoolwear package... H Special socks H Standard socks H Budget reward socks H Game socks H Special sports socks H Cotton tights H Opaque tights H 50/50 cotton/acrylic knitwear with colour lock technology H In-house CAD design service H Free sock sampling H Healthy stock levels all year round on plain coloured knitwear H In-house embroidery service produced at cost price

MANUFACTURERS OF QUALITY SCHOOL SOCKS, KNITWEAR AND TIGHTS Tel: 0116 277 3857 or 0116 277 9789 | Fax: 0116 278 4395 | Email:

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The Schoolwear Show is the biggest event in the schoolwear industry calendar, and this year’s show is bigger than EVER! Join us in October to meet new and existing suppliers and see new products and innovations during three days of great networking opportunities. There will also be a number of exciting additions such as daily seminars which will be free to attend. Follow us: @SchoolwearShow TheSchoolwearShow




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CWB TAKES A LOOK AT WHAT’S IN STORE FOR THIS YEAR’S EDITION OF THE SCHOOLWEAR SHOW. The Schoolwear Show is an annual trade exhibition dedicated solely to the independent schoolwear retailer. In addition to a host of networking opportunities and the chance to discover the latest product innovations, the event enables retailers to meet existing suppliers face-to-face as well as sourcing new ones. Amongst this year’s 45 exhibitors, new signings include Froddo, Artie Kids, Makura, Hunter, Madeira and Totto. Furthermore, The Schoolwear Show is free to attend, with visitors also receiving a free lunch and refreshments together with free parking.

NEW CONTENT FOR 2019 As well as being the biggest event in the schoolwear industry calendar, this year’s exhibition will also play host to a new programme of seminars and lively panel discussions sponsored by the Schoolwear Association (SA). Running throughout the show’s three-days and taking place in a new Seminar Zone sponsored by the SA (see floorplan page 35), the free-to-attend sessions will cover the industry’s most pressing topics as well as helping both retailers and suppliers to plug knowledge gaps, develop new skills and grow their businesses. For 2019, the schedule comprises six new topics including new concept discussions with Q&A time. All sessions will run for approximately 30 to 40 minutes and will accommodate 30 seated places. Delegates wishing to secure a place are required to pre-book via The Schoolwear Show website.





This year’s programme includes two SA Seminars that will take place throughout The Schoolwear Show. Firstly, there will be a session hosted by Click Business Solutions, which will cover an evolution in tendering solutions. Titled ‘Win & Keep Winning Tenders’, this seminar will also include a Q&A session. Meanwhile, ‘Know More About Products You Buy’ will be presented by Sue Bolton of Bolton Consultancy. Specialising in the technical aspects, performance and safety of children’s clothing, Bolton Consultancy offers confidential advice on textiles, textile products, clothing and related consumer products. In her seminar Bolton will provide a technical workout across design, mechanical, chemical, ethical and sustainable issues. Again, Q&A time will be provided.

Further complementing the SA programme will be a series of retailer panel discussions, the topics of which are as follows.

SA PANEL DISCUSSIONS Three panel discussions under the title ‘Clear and Present Danger - What the SA is Doing to Counter Threats’ will take place every afternoon of The Schoolwear Show’s three days. Here, the Association will tackle the biggest issues currently affecting the market. Amongst the key topics up for discussion will be the Welsh statutory guidelines that became active on 1 September 2019, including what the SA is doing in Wales and how the development affects England. Attendees will also hear what SA executive members have to say about all issues relating to statutory uniform guidelines for England. Additionally, following the DfE stating that there is a “renewed vigour” to make the guidelines into statutory guidelines, the SA will also be addressing the issue of politicians and pressure groups. Via a panel discussion, delegates will learn more about the SA’s ongoing work in this area, how they can get involved in supporting this work, as well as the opportunity to ask questions of SA executive members. Finally, the SA will be highlighting a fighting fund it has opened with the aim to raise £100,000 between now and Back to School 2020. The fund already has pledges for over £30,000 - those wishing to contribute can do so at the SA stand at The Schoolwear Show or online by contacting

Session 1 | Sunday 13 October 3.30pm Every Child is Worth it The SA is proud to have been campaigning on the issue of ‘Every Child is Worth it’; demonstrating some of the excellent work that goes on in retail in order to support vulnerable families as well as various work with schools to assist those that most need it. With the interest that has come from MPs and the media in recent months - claims that school uniform is a problem for those in poverty and encouraging schools to dumb down the uniform in order to deal with this - it is important to showcase how the market already responds to affordability issues. Also, why it will not support those in poverty to simply reduce uniform standards in schools. Join this panel discussion to discover how the retailers the SA talks to are introducing schemes into their business with positive results. Participating retailers include Siobhan Margetson (Schoolwear Centre) and Peter Dalton (NexGen Clothing). — Session 2 | Monday 14 October 11.30am Sustainability - Long Live Uniforms When measured by the number of wears per purchase, school uniform represents the most sustainable clothing that children can wear. The statutory guidelines introduced in Wales, which are likely to come into force in the rest of the UK at some point in the future, are placing affordability ahead of durability. Within the school-specific sector there is a strong argument to make about the life expectancy of school uniform as a sustainability point. Equally, as the rejection of fast fashion grows, it is important to make a stand within the market to support second-hand schemes that clearly demonstrate why better uniforms mean they have a longer life. This session will allow attendees to meet retailers that have successfully introduced second-hand, re-use and recycle schemes into their business; providing both a positive message and positive action. Participating retailers include Susan Jarah (The Green Shop), Jan Richardson (Total Promotions) and Mark Stevenson (The Stevenson Group). Introducing the session will be Kathryn Shuttleworth. — Session 3 | Monday 14 October 3.30pm Social Media Know-How Keyboard warriors are a worry for all small business owners and as a result, this fear can lead to inaction when it comes to online activity. A strong digital presence is now imperative for all modern businesses. Therefore, understanding the different ways to plan a digital strategy, implement it, and also respond effectively to those inevitable Back to School complaints is important for everyone. Attend this panel discussion to hear how other independent schoolwear retailers are using social media positively within their business. Furthermore, learn some dos and don’ts of how best to handle customers online. Participating retailers include Rachel Vose (Petites Modes) and Luke Conod (The School Uniform Shop). —



TIMETABLE Sunday 13 October 2019 11.00am Win & Keep Winning Tenders – Proven Ways 11.45am Know More About Products You Buy – A Technical Workout 2.00pm Win & Keep Winning Tenders – Proven Ways 2.45pm Know More About Products You Buy – A Technical Workout 3.30pm Every Child Is Worth It – Retailer Panel Discussion + Q&A 4.15pm Clear & Present Danger – What the SA is Doing to Counter Threats —

Tuesday 15 October 2019 11.00am Know More About Products You Buy – A Technical Workout 11.45am Win & Keep Winning Tenders – Proven Ways 12.30pm Clear & Present Danger – What the SA is Doing to Counter Threats —

SHOW INFORMATION The Schoolwear Show takes place on 13-15 October 2019 at Cranmore Park, Solihull.

Monday 14 October 2019 10.00am Know More About Products You Buy – A Technical Workout 10.45am Win & Keep Winning Tenders – Proven Ways 11.30pm Sustainability – Long Live Uniforms – Retailer Panel Discussion + Q&A 2.00pm Win & Keep Winning Tenders – Proven Ways 2.45pm Know More About Products You Buy – A Technical Workout 3.30pm Social Media Know-How – Retailer Panel Discussion + Q&A 4.15pm Clear & Present Danger – What the SA is Doing to Counter Threats —

The opening times are: Sunday 13 October 9.00am – 5.00pm Monday 14 October 9.00am – 5.00pm Tuesday 15 October 9.00am – 3.00pm For further information and visitor registration go to You can also follow The Schoolwear Show on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube – use the hashtag #TheSchoolwearShow to join the conversation.

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Charles Kirk







William Turner

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Europa Sports

KK Schoowlear


David Luke

Join us in October to meet new and existing suppliers and see new products and innovations Gymphlex There will also be a number of exciting during three days of great networking opportunities. additions such as daily seminars which will be free to attend.

Diamond Textiles


National Weaving

Top to Toe

The Schoolwear Show is the biggest event in the schoolwear industry calendar, and this year’s show is bigger than EVER! Lollipop



David Luke

Maped Helix

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SHOW STOPPERS CWB takes a look at some of the latest product developments launching at this year’s Schoolwear Show.




BANNER For Back to School 2020, Banner has added three new colour options in both the boys’ and girls’ Signature jackets. The new colours bottle, maroon and royal, together with the existing colourways of black, navy and steel grey, provide an even wider choice for schools to coordinate or mix and match with other garments across Banner’s uniform range. Another new addition to Banner’s stock supported schoolwear range is the new Eco Tartan pleated skirt, a high-quality sustainable product made from 100 per cent Eco fabric. The combination of 65 per cent recycled polyester and 35 per cent Viscose gives the skirt its eco-credentials. One hundred per cent of the recycled polyester yarn is made from synthetic renewable fibre with recycled PET from plastic bottles that would otherwise end up in landfill. The skirt includes stitched down knife pleats, a side zip and an internal waist adjuster. It is available in three colour combinations - mixed multi, grey tonal and navy tonal – and a variety of lengths, with waist sizes ranging from 22” to 40”. The skirt also coordinates with all colours in the Signature jacket and the rest of Banner’s jacket, blazer and knitwear ranges. Successfully launched for Back to School 2019, APTUS Essentials, Banner’s entry-level sportswear range for the primary and secondary market, is also expanding with the new primary house colourway of emerald/white in the junior Training Tee. The crew neck-style short sleeve junior Training Tee is now available in six primary house colour options - emerald/white, red/white, royal/ white, bottle/white, gold/white and white/navy - and can be worn with the training shorts or slim fit leg training pant and layered up with a full zip training top. Customers can mix and match APTUS Essentials products with Banner’s APTUS Performance range to create a whole new coordinated look to suit all budgets or to find the perfect balance between technicality and functionality. 36 - SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2019

With over 130 years’ experience in the stationery world, Maped Helix’s latest premium range of writing pens offers a new collection that comes in 100 per cent plastic-free packaging to cater for today’s eco-conscious consumer. Still the classic writing accessory, the new Helix Oxford fountain pen range expands on the wellknown Oxford navy blue pen as the brand introduces its range of new coloured barrels; blue, pink, graphite, stainless steel and rose gold. Additionally, for the first time ever, the Helix Oxford ballpoint and rollerball pens will be available in blue ink and feature a smooth, consistent ink flow. The new writing range also includes ballpoint and gel pens in a variety of brightly coloured inks with useful innovations such as comfortable curved grips and precise needlepoint nibs.




DAVID LUKE David Luke will be presenting its new Juco Sportswear collection in its entirety at this year’s Schoolwear Show, including multiple colourways and options for retailers to present to their schools. The supplier’s suiting options also continue to develop for 2020. This includes the introduction of Eco Trousers and Eco Skirts to pair with the current Eco Jackets and Eco Blazers. Finally, David Luke is unveiling a number of product developments at the show that it will be seeking feedback on before taking them into production. This includes innovations and updates to current designs which, based on retailer feedback at the pre-production stage, will allow David Luke to develop improved products. Examples of samples that will be showcased include new suiting options, developments within the junior range to include pinafore dresses and also additional skirts and shirt styles within the senior range.



TRUTEX At this year’s Schoolwear Show, Trutex is set to launch a range of cultural uniform following increased demand by schools and retailers. “Our range of schoolwear has always been about inclusivity, in size and availability,” says Matthew Easter, managing director of Trutex. “We’ve seen increasing demand for cultural garments such as long length skirts and full arm polo shirts, so we are happy to increase our offering to ensure that we are able to accommodate these differing requirements.”

For 100 years, Madeira has led the market in the production of high-quality embroidery threads. With distribution centres around the globe and a company-wide dedication to providing superior customer service, Madeira has worked alongside schoolwear manufacturers and suppliers for years to ensure customer satisfaction through product quality, availability, service, colour selection and consistency. In such a fast-moving industry, continual research and development keep Madeira at the forefront. This includes producing technologically innovative products such as the HC (High Conductive) embroidery thread for smart textiles and new Weblon backing. Weblon is a backing specially designed to stabilise performance fabrics and is essential for anyone embroidering school sports kits. It is also soft against the skin and due to its light composition does not ‘bulk up’ embroideries. As a responsible and environmentally ethical company, Madeira also maintains ISO 9001 standards. Madeira threads fall within Oeko-Tex Class I or II – suitable for babies/safe for direct contact with skin.




WILLIAM TURNER Established in 1969, third-generation, family-owned business William Turner specialises in producing premium quality school ties and accessories. Through its trusted schoolwear retailers it has provided generations of school children with hand-made quality British manufactured ties. Stocking the widest range of stock ties in the UK, it has also expanded its product offering over the years to meet the changing needs of schools and school children with an exceptional variety of bags, badges, craftwear, winterwear and accessories. Building on its proud heritage and pedigree, the company continues to evolve to take on the challenges of a rapidly changing world. Visit William Turner’s stand at The Schoolwear Show to see how it is ‘going green’ for future generations. William Turner has always taken its responsibilities as a business very seriously and has been dedicated to working for the good of communities and the environment, but now, more than ever, it is focusing on sustainability and the future of our children’s planet. At the Schoolwear Show, you will be able to find out more about the company’s growing green credentials and green product offering including new Eco bags, EcoPure biodegradable water bottles and of course, Eco ties.



At this year’s Schoolwear Show, Rowlinson will be showcasing its all-new eco range of school blazers and jackets. Specifically designed for the schoolwear market, Performa® Eco Blazers offer value and practicality with classic blazer styling. A traditional three patch pocket blazer manufactured from recycled polyester, Performa® Eco Blazers are available for boys and girls in five colours black, navy, royal, maroon and bottle. Meanwhile, combining eco credentials with great fit, Performa® Eco Jackets are the tailored choice for environmentally conscious parents and schools. Also made from recycled polyester, Performa® Eco Jackets are long-lasting and practical. Jackets are available for boys and girls in two colours - black and navy. Designed to withstand the rigours of school life, both Performa® Talent Blazers and ROWLINSON Performa® Eco Jackets are machine washable at an environmentally-friendly 30 degrees. Both styles can also be quickly embroidered with the school’s badge for a personalised look thanks to Rowlinson’s five-day embroidery service.


FRODDO Making its Schoolwear Show debut this year is leading children’s footwear brand Froddo. Froddo is a premium brand designed and manufactured by Ivancica in Croatia. As well as over 70 years’ experience in the shoemaking industry, the company places great importance on care for the local community and the environment. All materials are Chrome VI free (no harmful chemicals) and are sourced from within the EU. Froddo also works closely with specialist podiatrists to create footwear that provides good support for young feet to help ensure healthy foot development. Amid the brand’s Back to School bestsellers for girls is a leather-lined and cushion padded black patent shoe with toe protection and arch support in sizes 25-39. Also, T bar black patent leather school shoes in sizes 25-35, which also feature classic style leather lining, cushion padding and arch support. Key styles for boys include a black leather shoe with double Velcro straps and toe protection in sizes 25-35, which as well as the standard features also includes a removal insole. Another key style is a unisex brogue available in sizes 31-39, which again is leather lined and cushion padded with arch support for added comfort. FRODDO



MODERN CO-ORDINATED RANGES THAT ARE ETHICALLY SOURCED AND AVAILABLE TO ORDER FROM STOCK ALL YEAR ROUND Visit the Banner stand at The Schoolwear Show and view our latest product range for 2020 including the NEW Eco Tartan Pleated Skirt together with our full schoolwear and sportswear collections. For more information contact our Business Development team: T: 01225 710769 E: W:


A CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER An open letter from The Schoolwear Association addressing the current threats to the market and what it is doing to counter them.

The schoolwear industry and those that are employed in it work tirelessly to deliver products that we believe are vital to millions of school children every single year. However, there are currently political challenges on the horizon that are only set to increase pressure on us all. Now is the time for everyone to come together and really promote the benefits of school-specific uniform – for schools, pupils and parents – and to be proud of what we achieve as an industry. You will likely have recently seen an announcement regarding changes to the statutory guidance for school uniform in Wales. As the executive of The Schoolwear Association we are determined that our voice is heard and that this clear and present threat is alleviated not just in Wales, but across all of the UK. Not only will we continue to work closely to educate political parties and pressure groups, but a full programme of activity to speak directly to decision-makers in schools is currently underway. Headteachers and Governors across the UK will be contacted directly through multiple channels to reinforce the importance of school-specific uniform, not just to their schools, but also to the pupils that attend and parents that purchase the uniform. We exist as an association to not only support our members and the best interests of the industry, but to assist decision-makers in schools in making the best choices with regards to their uniform policies. We have set up a ‘Clear and Present Danger Fund’ to help fight the ongoing and upcoming battle the industry faces and this starts with legal advice that we will be sharing with members and schools on how changes to statutory guidance will impact them in the immediate future. We want to work closely with schools and are confident most know the benefits that a consistent uniform delivers, but this message needs expanding and reinforcing to ensure they are in our corner if pressure builds further from decision-makers of the industry. Changes and influence on the industry are not just about cost and value for money, there are some changes that The Schoolwear Association welcomes. The new guidance in Wales means schools will also be expected to deliver a uniform policy that is genderneutral; this is something that we fully support and we are proud to say has already been adopted by many members. A good quality, smart and consistent uniform fosters a feeling of pride and belonging among pupils. It presents a school’s brand and image to the wider community and upholds its reputation as a respectable and effective institution. It also promotes safety on school trips or when children are out in the community since teachers can quickly see if anyone is missing. School uniform can also have a significant impact on pupils’ concentration levels, helping to avoid distractions and even reduce


levels of bullying. A consistent uniform acts as a social leveller within schools as all children wear exactly the same clothes, which prevents a focus on the socio-economic background of pupils – also helping to combat bullying. In our experience, many parents prefer school-specific uniforms rather than cheaper versions from supermarkets or high street chains because they last longer and can be handed down to siblings. They can prove to be a more environmentally sustainable alternative to the now-ubiquitous fast-fashion culture. A quality uniform can be taken to swap shops and uniform banks, as well as being passed on to siblings or a friend’s child. The cost savings makes its value better than ever. We understand the struggle some families face with the costs of uniform, which is why we launched our Every Child is Worth It campaign. We’re proud to serve families in their communities by providing high-quality clothing that can withstand the daily activities of school life. Those families that might struggle to purchase school uniform can seek help in budgeting for the expense that is offered by many of our retailers. It’s likely you will be reading this letter before or at the annual Schoolwear Show in Solihull. We urge everyone to try and attend The Schoolwear Association Retailer Panel Discussions if you’re at the show as they will be tackling many of the challenges the industry is facing and will allow a number of different voices and opinions to be heard. You don’t have to be a Schoolwear Association member to attend all the seminars and retailer discussions, but having seen the benefits to your business of joining the SA, you’ll have an opportunity to do so at the SA stand right next to the seminar area. If you’re serious about your business, then joining your trade association will give you lots of advice on how to improve your ability to retain and win business in the future. If you have any further questions about how the change in guidance will impact on your business, please do not hesitate to get in touch. Yours sincerely, Executive of The Schoolwear Association

For further information on The Schoolwear Association visit or contact

Visit us at The Schoolwear Show 13th –15th October 2019 0161 480 8582 |


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TALKING SHOP Schoolwear retailers discuss this year’s Back to School. SALLY STEPHENSON, DIRECTOR, THE PENCIL CASE “This year’s Back to School was better than in 2018. We exceeded our sales target and found sales were more smoothly spread across the summer, which meant the last week of August was not quite as manic as in previous years. If there was anything that suppliers could do to help our business further it would be to improve stock holding and delivery service. A notable trend we identified this year was girls wanting cropped, tight-fitting, ankle grazer style trousers. We also sold more 40” chest jumpers than we ever have before. We’re now focusing on upcoming plans for the business. This includes improving our website in order to increase our customer base for plain school uniform, Scout and Guide uniforms, ballet and school stationery.”

TIM JAMES, CO-FOUNDER, SCHOOLBLAZER “This year’s Back to School brought three key trends to light at Schoolblazer. Firstly, we saw growth in transgender and transitioning uniform, where girls want to wear boys’ uniform and vice versa. In our view, this is a very different issue to that of non-gender stereotyped schoolwear, although we saw growth in that area too. Another development we saw was increased interest in ethical trading and as a member of the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI), we can only see this growing. Enquiries aren’t coming from the schools as such, it’s primarily from parents and older students. When we go into schools, we are encountering searching questions around the factories we use and the issue of modern slavery; sourcing in the UK or Europe does not let you off the hook. Interest in ethical trading will only increase and with it comes the need for transparency and open discussion about what you are doing as a business to support it. Children are genuinely interested to know. Finally, whilst second-hand school uniform has always been available, we are now seeing more children paying attention to it. Previously the purchase of second-hand uniform was something instigated by parents. However, it is now becoming something children want as they take more interest in the circular economy and how to prevent textile waste from going to landfill. I believe the issue of reusing school uniform has huge potential and is a real plus point for the schoolwear industry. Quality school uniform is more expensive up front, but it is also durable and made to last and therefore highly recyclable for years to come.”

ALEX GANI, BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR, SCHOOL UNIFORM DIRECT / THE DIRECT CO GROUP “This year’s Back to School was our most successful yet with around a 5-7 per cent increase in like-for-like sales. This was partly due to improvements to the services we offer making our teams more efficient. In terms of shopping trends, we are finding parents are buying fewer plain items such as trousers and skirts for primary school age. We believe this is most likely due to these products being widely available and advertised by many of the supermarkets. We’ve also noticed a number of our primary schools are opting to move away from the polo and sweatshirt combo to a more traditional tie and V-neck jumper. Some are introducing blazers for their upper years too. For secondary schools, we are seeing the popular uptake on technical sportswear as well as a move towards suit style blazers and jackets as opposed to a three-pocket traditional blazer. Manufacturing from the Far East is looking to be more and more complicated for the suppliers, coupled with bigger requirements being demanded by the manufacturers to suppliers. However, suppliers need to have the ability to bring in quick turnaround top-ups on special and bespoke items of smaller quantities. It will be a common request, but better stock holding and quicker lead times would really help our business. Our focus now is the upcoming Schoolwear Show, where we will mainly be looking at sportswear offerings to introduce to schools and update any that haven’t yet moved to the technical options. Elsewhere, we have some exciting developments in the pipeline that will be unique to the schoolwear industry. We’ll be ready to launch in 2020, so watch this space.”






“Back to School was excellent for us this year, one of the best we’ve had by far, mainly due to bringing in our imported blazers and bespoke tartan skirts that we produce ourselves under the name Tru Schoolwear. We also didn’t increase our prices like some of our competitors, despite our suppliers’ prices rising. Instead, we absorbed the increases in order to provide a normal service to our customers. New initiatives we introduced this year included giving a five per cent discount to parents that work for the NHS or in the schools we supply, which was very well received. As well as school uniform, the discount also included Guide, Brownie, Rainbow and Scout uniforms. Another change we made was carrying double the amount of stock this year compared to last, ensuring we always had items ready to sell without making our customers wait. We have great links with everyone at The Schoolwear Show and I’m looking forward to attending this year. I particularly want to see Rowlinson’s new range. Its sweats and knits are unbeatable in terms of quality, delivery is five-star, and I’m very pleased to hear it is now doing blazers too. Plans for the business are ongoing but include opening a couple more branches. We already have a big store in Accrington but we are running out of space with the growing number of schools we supply. Hopefully, we have another exciting year ahead.”

“In this industry, we are all used to experiencing the huge increase in demand for schoolwear over the last few weeks of summer. However, this year we experienced a greater increase in sales over the last few days than ever before; we saw over 20 per cent of our annual revenue in the eight days leading up to the first day of term. I can’t think of another industry that experiences such an immense spike in sales, let alone one that is so heavily reliant on bespoke items. On the whole we had a fantastic summer with an overall increase of 7.5 per cent in like-for-like sales. Improvements to our service this year included refinement of our internal systems that allowed each shop to take deliveries of stock in the evenings, which proved very successful. We also updated our website and trialled a ‘free delivery to school’ option at the checkout. We did this for 50 of our schools and processed a bulk delivery to them each week. It was really helpful for those on the go parents who may not be at home through the day to take delivery. In terms of product trends, we’re receiving ongoing requests for slimmer fitting garments such as shirts, trousers and tracksuit trousers, which we don’t envisage slowing down. Girls’ sports leggings, which have taken a couple of years to get going, are now also very much in demand. In terms of how suppliers could further help our business, having the ability to place our orders online and also to have an ‘instructions’ section next to each order line is now of huge importance for us, particularly over the summer months. If this was industry-wide, it would really help. We’re now looking forward to attending The Schoolwear Show, which is always a really enjoyable couple of days. It’s a great opportunity to catch up with suppliers and other retailers and to discuss the trials and tribulations of Back to School. As always, we will also be on the lookout for any improvements to garments or indeed anything at all new to the market that will help our company to drive forward. On the topic of developing the business, we are always looking towards controlled expansion and this autumn we are in the process of acquiring two new schoolwear businesses. The investment will take us up to 10 retail outlets, providing our team with an exciting new challenge over the coming months.”

LUKE CONOD, MANAGING DIRECTOR, SCHOOL UNIFORM SHOP “We have had a good Back to School. Sales were strong, driven by a combination of several new uniforms being introduced for current schools, new schools coming to us for their uniform requirements and through the expansion of our David Luke Eco-uniform range in-store and online. This year has highlighted that is becoming more and more important to schools and students to have ethically sourced and sustainably produced uniform. Subsequently, we are delighted to have been awarded The Good Shopping Guide Ethical Accreditation Award 2019. Going forward, it would be great to see more investment in consumer marketing on the ethics and sustainability of purchasing quality school uniform that lasts; it’s something that really sets us apart from the ‘stack it high, sell it cheap’ throwaway mentality of the supermarkets. Based on this year’s Back to School, plans for the business include improving our offer of add-on purchases both in-store and online. Elsewhere, we will also be encouraging our team to spend one day a year - where they would normally be at work - contributing their time to local charities and good causes.”


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BEING CLEAR ON TRANSPARENCY In a move to further its commitment to people and planet, Rowlinson Knitwear is on a mission to use the power of business as a force for good by becoming a Certified B Corporation. CWB reports.

Guided by the core values of trust, care and be better, Rowlinson Knitwear has made ethical practices part and parcel of its business model. Since becoming the first schoolwear supplier to bring an Oeko-Tex certified product to the market in 2007, the firm has been steadily cultivating a company-wide ethos that prioritises both people and planet. However, Rowlinson’s ethical journey is now approaching a pinnacle. With the support of its new sales and marketing director Matt Clark - former commercial director at Nielsen Ireland - Rowlinson is focusing current and future strategies to meet the ultimate goal of becoming a Certified B Corporation. Not only that, but it is also planning to achieve The Planet Mark accreditation. “The Planet Mark certification programme recognises a commitment to continuous improvements in sustainability,” says Clark. “This will help us to measure and reduce carbon emissions, energy and water consumption, travel and the amount of waste we create. Certification 46 - SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2019

is an important step for us as we strive to reduce our negative impact on the planet.”

MAKING THE GRADE So how do you become a Certified B Corporation? Certified B Corporations, also known as B Corps, are a new kind of business that balance purpose and profit. Becoming one, however, is no mean feat. B Corps are legally required to consider the impact of their decisions on their workers, customers, suppliers, community and the environment. As well as being the gold standard for good business, it is the most powerful way to build corporate credibility, trust and value. Going beyond product or service-level certification, it is also the only accreditation that measures a company’s entire social and environmental performance. From supply chain and input materials through to charitable giving and employee benefits, B Corp Certification is proof a business

is meeting the highest standards of verified performance. To achieve the status, businesses must go through what is called the B Impact Assessment, which evaluates how the company’s operations and business model impact its workers, community, environment and customers. The Assessment is scored out of a possible 200 points, with a minimum of 80 points required for a company to qualify. Rowlinson’s role model and main inspiration on its journey to becoming a B Corp is the outdoor clothing company, Patagonia. Holding an impressive 151.5 B Impact score, Patagonia’s products represent function, repairability and durability and are designed to last for generations or be recycled so that the materials in them remain in use. Inspired by Patagonia and its practices, Rowlinson has already managed to eliminate two tonnes of the plastic annually used to protect its garments by simply folding them differently.



Whilst Rowlinson has a number of new initiatives underway to support its goal, much of what will qualify the business as a B Corp is already in place.

COMMITMENT TO CARE Caring about how it does business is Rowlinson’s mantra and within this, it prioritises being a caring employer. “Until now the most significant step in the firm’s history was in 2015 when we became employee-owned,” continues Clark. “As well as being an ethical investment, implementing this fair-for-all philosophy has resulted in increased productivity, enhanced customer satisfaction and retained profit, confirming that ethical business also makes commercial sense.” The same year Rowlinson transitioned to employee ownership, the company’s commitment to caring for its people and its core values was strengthened further through its first Investors in People (IIP) Gold Standard accreditation. Two years later it was also the first in the schoolwear market to become a foundation member of the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) to drive improvements throughout its supply chain. By 2018, Rowlinson had published its first Modern Day Slavery Statement. It had also become an accredited Living Wage employer, meaning everyone who works for the business receives a minimum hourly wage that is above the statutory minimum hourly rate. Rowlinson was also the first schoolwear manufacturer – and the first clothing manufacturer in Greater Manchester – to become Living Wage accredited.

CHANGING LIVES Rowlinson invests heavily in socially responsible initiatives and one of its proudest accomplishments is a project that gifts water filters to workers in its Bangladeshi factory. Launched in 2014, the programme sees everyone employed by the factory, regardless of position, receive a water filter to take home to share with family and friends after two years of employment. Based on the success of the project,

both in terms of loyalty and more importantly the far-reaching health benefits, Rowlinson has since reduced the qualifying service time down to one year. Furthermore, an additional project for the Bangladeshi factory launched this year granting access to the Amader Kotha Worker Helpline. Established following the Rana Plaza tragedy in 2013, the confidential telephone helpline enables people working in the manufacturing sector in Bangladesh to report and resolve safety issues as well as any other work-related concerns. In conjunction with its partner New Horizon, Rowlinson is providing the people who make its garments in Bangladesh with free-of-charge access to the helpline. Other humanitarian schemes Rowlinson is involved in include supporting work to promote women’s health as well as tackling period poverty in its local communities. It has also signed the Responsible Sourcing Network’s Cotton Pledges, which means it will not source cotton from Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan until forced labour in its cotton sector is eliminated.

A TRANSPARENT APPROACH TO BUSINESS A fundamental element of being an ethical business is being a transparent one, an approach that Rowlinson has embraced wholeheartedly. As part of this agreement, the company is mapping all of its supply chains. In 2017 it published its tier 1 suppliers, which include two factories in Dhaka, Bangladesh, one of which manufactures Rowlinson’s cotton knitwear and sweatshirts, while the other produces sweatshirts and the company’s new eco blazers and jackets. There is also its acrylic knitwear factory in Egypt and its polo factory in the Philippines. For each of these sites, published information includes the location of the factory, the type of goods produced, names of the Rowlinson QC colleagues based at each site as well as the number of employees and a gender breakdown. For further transparency, Rowlinson mapped its tier 2 supply chain last year.


To help meet the B Impact Assessment criteria, Rowlinson is currently working hard on reducing its environmental impact as a business. For this reason, by the end of 2019, it is pledging to be carbon neutral and to also comply with ISO14001 (the International Standard for Environmental Management Systems). Similarly, as a Sedex member, Rowlinson is completing Sedex Members Ethical Trade Audits (SMETA), enabling it to conduct high-quality ethical audits that cover all aspects of responsible business practice across Sedex’s four pillars of Labour, Health and Safety, Environment and Business Ethics.

USING BUSINESS AS A FORCE FOR GOOD Becoming a B Corp will be the ultimate public declaration of Rowlinson’s longstanding work to protect people and planet, representing over 10 years of striving to meet the highest standards in social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability. On joining this global movement, Rowlinson will become part of a network that revolves around attracting like-minded followers, sharing knowledge and being responsible for its broader impact on employees, communities and the planet. It’s time for businesses to be more than just their numbers. It’s time to be responsible. SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2019 - 47


INDUSTRY INSIGHT David Luke’s managing director Kathryn Shuttleworth provides her viewpoint on a range of industry topics, from sustainability and the role of independent retailers through to business ethics and future market trends.

Laura Turner: What challenges is the schoolwear sector facing? Kathryn Shuttleworth: There are many. The volatile economic and political backdrop is impacting on all businesses, especially importers dealing with the prolonged devaluation of the pound. At David Luke, we’re working hard to minimise the impact of price increases because we’re acutely aware of the wide-ranging pressures on consumers and retailers. For schoolwear specifically, a renewed focus on uniform cost from politicians and attempts to dumb down the overall quality and specification is disturbing. How vote-winning this will be is hard to say, but we all need to work together through The Schoolwear Association to help ensure there are high levels of understanding about the benefits of school uniform. The schoolwear market is also going through changes we haven’t seen before in terms of national-level supply and consolidation. Those outside the schoolwear market might think this is a normal development in the sector’s evolution and there is opportunity for vertical and horizontal consolidation, but we don’t believe there are improvements being brought by these changes. School uniform suits a localised and specialist supply route, which is hard to scale. Service isn’t just related to getting generic product on time, it’s also about responding to the nuances and needs of individual schools and parents. It remains our view that this is best achieved through the hard work and dedication of a network of independents around the country. We will keep working hard to support independents in managing this shared challenge whilst also staying competitive and agile for the future. As a company our focus will always be on putting more into our products, but in the past we have been accused of over-engineering school uniform when affordability is more in demand. However, our view is that we are moving to a time where less is more: consuming less and 48 - SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2019

buying fewer, but better things. This sustainability aspect fits in with our ethos. As easy as it could be to source cheaper, we don’t believe this represents best value and it would ultimately erode all that we have built up. We need to be providing garments that not only satisfy the durability needed for everyday wear, but also for an afterlife, as second-hand clothing becomes a norm in society. LT: What market trends are you seeing? KS: As previously mentioned, there’s a wider acceptance of second-hand clothing, so we plan to work with retailers to find solutions to positively incorporate this into trading. There are some wonderful examples of how it is already being done and it’s important we share more of this best-practice around the trade. In terms of David Luke product, as we predicted last year there has been an increase in sales of shorts due to the warmer weather. Girls’

trousers, skorts and skirts are also gaining in popularity alongside gender-neutral garments. With the widening interest from some politicians in school uniform, we also expect to see a slowdown in heavily bespoke items in the state school sector. Our expertise in producing traditional bespoke blazers will continue to be in demand, but we foresee the trend for new academy trust schools stipulating very customised garments reducing with outside pressure. LT: Where do you see opportunity? KS: As consumers start to become more socially conscious in their buying decisions there are opportunities for our sector to demonstrate the added value we can offer beyond the supermarkets. We can provide retailers, schools and parents with a socially-responsible position that makes their support of our product a strong proposition. Leading the way in our industry


with sustainability issues has helped David Luke’s growth over the years, but this is not the only social issue people care about. It would be good to see the market championing other causes that are important to schools and parents, which we also intend to do. LT: How did this Back to School compare to last year? KS: We’ve made a lot of changes since last year to handle the intense peak. We have a great team at David Luke and within our operations departments we have invested in people and their training to ensure they are empowered and can make decisions quickly at critical times. We also invested in embroidery machinery earlier this year and the response has been great, so I can only see that growing. I’m now looking forward to talking to customers to understand how it has gone for them and learn what else we can do to keep improving. LT: What’s the latest on your new sportswear brand, Juco? KS: We will have the full Juco collection at The Schoolwear Show, with many colourways and options for retailers to show to their schools. Recycled polyester is included in the vast majority of the range, so we’re thrilled that it can be part of the Eco-uniform story so early on. Developing Juco has allowed us to update our sportswear offering with products that are more desirable amongst wearers compared to our more traditional items. As well as a long history in sportswear, we have a wide array of sporting backgrounds and experience within David Luke that enables us to confidently position ourselves in this space. Our product developer, Jen Nairne, has worked on top sportswear brands and has applied that experience to the fit and styling requirements we had for Juco. I also used to play netball for England up to Under 21 level (I know, it’s a while ago now) but I still play today and have also taken up lacrosse later in life. For me, starting a new sport and feeling selfconscious was an insight into how school children often feel. Not being considered good enough, or not looking right, are some of the main reasons for not continuing to play sport, especially for girls and women. We want Juco to stand for more than just aspirational elitism, it’s about participation for us. We want it to be accessible for all; all shapes, sizes, abilities and confidence levels. LT: Do you have any other product developments? KS: Our suiting options continue to develop for 2020. We’re introducing trousers and skirts to pair with our Eco Jackets and Eco Blazers to enable schools to put together a cost-effective suit. Thanks to our stock investment and service delivery ensuring retailers can give the best option for schools wanting quality and

continuity, the depth of our offer on blazers and jackets also continues to expand. LT: How is your 16 under 16 campaign developing? KS: Our campaign to find 16 young environmentalists continues to evolve as it goes into its second year. The group we brought together has maintained contact over the past year, with some of them coming together for more localised events. It’s also been brilliant to see some of our 16 buying their own Ecouniform from their local independent retailer. They have been fantastic ambassadors for David Luke; many of them have had press coverage, written articles, met royalty, visited parliament and continue their activism, all whilst proudly wearing our Eco-uniform. Coming up next for 16 under 16 will be new entrants and graduations, with our 16 Under 16 alumni acting as mentors. LT: Do you have any other eco-initiatives? KS: It’s our 10-year Eco-versary in 2020, so we’ll be celebrating that at The Schoolwear Show by demonstrating the authenticity of our position on sustainability. Current initiatives relate to supply chain transparency, sustainable packaging and garment afterlife, which we will be sharing more information on at the show and in our catalogue. We’re also delighted to confirm that we are the first supplier to achieve the SCS accreditation, which certifies our recycled polyester as post-consumer waste plastic bottle content, ensuring that we give full visibility and assurance to increasingly discerning consumers. Our overall sustainability agenda is

they can benefit from our association. Likewise, we will be very involved in the retailer panel discussions at The Schoolwear Show, bringing together some best-practice from the market to enable everyone to learn from each other and collectively improve what we do. LT: Do you face any hurdles being a female business leader? KS: I’m lucky enough not to see the gender inequalities that can exist so I’m possibly a little blind to the challenges some women in business face. It just seems normal to me to have women well-represented to achieve a balance and understand various viewpoints. I’m not sure we have tackled diversity generally as a market though - I was at a meeting recently where I was outnumbered by men 15:1 - but we have a wider challenge than just encouraging women to take leading roles in business. If we are to stay agile for the future we need to look at various aspects of diversity including race, age, gender and sexual orientation. Otherwise, we will all be making very blinkered decisions based on our own biases. LT: What motivates you as an MD? KS: I’m constantly inspired by people who overcome adversity and push through in the workplace. It’s incredibly humbling when you see what people deal with in their lives. Within the work/life balance, work doesn’t always have to be the bad guy (or girl), it can also be a focus to take people’s minds away from tough things. It can provide purpose, both within own individual lives and when working collectively for a greater good.

“ AS CONSUMERS START TO BECOME MORE SOCIALLY CONSCIOUS IN THEIR BUYING DECISIONS THERE ARE OPPORTUNITIES FOR OUR SECTOR TO DEMONSTRATE THE ADDED VALUE WE CAN OFFER BEYOND THE SUPERMARKETS.” far-reaching with an impact assessment that covers the whole supply chain and garment afterlife. With our newly appointed Sustainability Lead, Samantha Leigh, we are in a great place to be able to set pledges for 2020 and beyond and deliver on them in a genuine way. Sam’s background is in design and garment tech, so she has a deep understanding of garments and the supply chain to ensure we can achieve both our ethical and durability objectives.

LT: What are the most important business lessons you’ve learned? KS: It’s hard to say because it’s a continual learning curve – what’s right one day isn’t necessarily right the next. However, my dad, with his generosity of spirit, is my greatest mentor. He’s always said, “The more you give, the more you get back”. With my dad’s ethos instilled in me, I don’t do it for what I can get out of it, but for what I can put back in.

LT: Will David Luke be hosting more retailer events? KS: Yes, we’re currently planning events for next year to provide knowledge-sharing across the industry. Our digital marketing event with Google earlier this year was a great success and as it is such an important issue for small businesses we are planning further work in this area. We also have ideas for how we can bring our partnership with Eco-Schools to retailers so that

LT: What are your plans for the business? KS: The short-term plan is to navigate the choppy waters ahead and the long-term plan is to navigate the choppy waters ahead! The overriding point we’re focused on is keeping pace with the changing environment and market by listening to our customers and constantly improving what we do for them. SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2019 - 49



A classic three patch pocket blazer.


A fitted academy-style jacket.




TIME FOR CHANGE Sustainability is a hot topic for all businesses involved in the clothing industry, including schoolwear. Here, CWB highlights some of the keynote speeches from an Association of Suppliers to the British Clothing Industry (ASBCI) conference examining the industry-wide sustainability challenge.

Sustainability is no longer just about doing the right thing, delegates at the latest ASBCI conference were told. It is about building resilience into businesses, of future proofing, and improving efficiency. Non-sustainable business practices are not efficient business practices. Chasing profit at the expense of people and planet may have got us into this mess, but reframing sustainability in terms of increasing revenue and reducing waste might be what gets us out of it. Action is needed, urgently. Sustainability is evolving at a rapid pace. Sweatshops and water pollution are now just two issues in a long list that includes deforestation, animal welfare, landfill, pesticides, microfibres, plastic pollution, modern slavery and so many more. Global society is facing a complex web of interrelated issues and it is no longer possible to focus on one area in isolation without the risk of unintended consequences in another. Sustainability must be viewed and tackled in the whole but its very complexity risks businesses, as well as consumers, simply switching off. Speaker after speaker reiterated the point: it is the businesses that adapt; that adopt new, green technologies and build sustainability into their DNA that will survive and prosper. “There are storms ahead,” said one speaker - and weathering those storms means abandoning the old business models. Assuming the infinite availability of finite resources is nonsensical and solving the problem isn’t just about closing the loop. It means tackling overconsumption and the negative consequences of a throwaway culture. There was much talk about rediscovering an emotional connection with clothing, but also a recognition that we cannot afford to wait for, or expect, the consumer to change their behaviour. We already know what needs to be done; now it’s time to do it. “Ethics aren’t working fast enough,” said Daphne Guelker from UL Consumer Retail Services as she opened her presentation on modern slavery, which affects 25 million people

worldwide. Guelker highlighted red flags that brands and retailers should be aware of in their supply chains - such as subcontracting - as when work is subcontracted the risk of exploitation rises significantly. The main risk for clothing, however, is migrant workers, both refugees and imported workers. Asylum seekers are often not declared, not paid the minimum wage and may be children. Imported workers pay recruiters to find them work, then find themselves in a strange country and are unable to leave because they may be in debt, have no papers and no social network. To combat this, brands and retailers should adopt the employers pays principle in respect of all costs of recruitment, map labour supply chains and identify the agents and countries where most labour comes from and assess recruitment agencies and their practices. Ensuring the sustainability and continuity of the textile industry in South India has been the focus of a Shop Direct labour initiative, Carly Bilsbrough told delegates.

The initiative aims to tackle labour violations, poor employment practices and working conditions in mills employing young female workers in Tamil Nadu. In collaboration with two other brands and a local NGO, Shop Direct worked with local communities in schools and with village elders. It educated teachers and students about labour laws, child rights and recruitment through mediums such as theatre and adolescent peer groups as well as setting up vigilance committees. The project is also working with agencies on best practices in recruitment, greater transparency on contracts and matching workers to roles. The next phase will work with mills on policies and procedures and effective grievance systems. “We are not living within the means of our natural resources,” said Lucy Murphy from technical services provider, Shirley Technologies. “If consumption continues at its current rate, we’ll need three times as many natural resources by 2050 compared to 2000.” Oeko-Tex introduced the Sustainable Textile




Production (STeP) certification in 2015 to help production facilities measure and communicate their sustainable manufacturing achievements and Murphy outlined the steps that two mills in Pakistan have taken to achieve the certification. These include modifying dyes to reduce chemical use and waste, water reuse, renewable energy, and investment in advanced manufacturing technology such as a caustic soda recovery plant and heat recovery boilers. Replacing coal and diesel-powered machinery with natural gas also helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions, while wastewater cleaning and filtration systems prevent environmental pollution. “As consumer pressure increases, it is the businesses that take responsibility, use innovative technology and plan effectively that will survive,” concluded Murphy. “In the UK each year, £140 million of clothing is sent to landfill – a waste of a valuable resource,” said Vanessa Wakefield from Recyclatex, a group of textile reuse and recycling companies. While some forward-looking brands and retailers operate initiatives such as take-back schemes, leasing, resale and repurposing, these business models are relatively small and the system remains dominated by open-loop recycling models. Projects to develop fibre-tofibre recycling on an industrial scale are at various stages, but funding can still be an issue. A major attitude shift is required to put the supply chain in place to make use of this resource. Because, as the population grows and the pressure on land use increases, recycling will become more of a priority. “We need to get to a closed-loop system so that instead of incineration or landfill, we have green factories producing new fibres from old and the only waste is compost and water,” said Wakefield. Garry Knox from GreenEarth Cleaning argued that sustainable aftercare is a vital element of making fashion circular and avoiding the take, make, dispose model that has dominated for so long. Kinder cleaning can keep garments in use longer, in a better condition, and therefore more likely to be shared and reused, helping to reduce the use of future resources. GreenEarth is a silicon-based dry-cleaning solution that is kinder to clothes, the environment and human health than the most common dry-cleaning fluid, perchloroethylene, which is a petrochemical and subject to phase out in a number of countries. Dry-cleaning is also a closed-loop system that doesn’t discharge microfibres into water systems and GreenEarth is now working to develop a solution for the wet-cleaning industry. “The average life of a garment is 2.2 years,” said Knox. “If we can make garments just last nine months longer, it can have a significant impact on the environment.” Andrew Morgan from thread manufacturer Coats talked candidly about the company’s 52 - SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2019

journey to develop a proactive sustainability strategy. This year Coats committed itself publicly to forward-looking targets for the first time. These include reducing water use; reducing energy consumption and sourcing from renewable sources where feasible; the addition of ZDHC standards to Coats’s existing effluence standards; broadening its community engagement activities; reducing waste; and switching all premium threads to 100 per cent recycled polyester by 2024. “As an industry, we’re facing storms ahead,” said Morgan. “At Coats we are a tiny player - what we provide is less than 1 per cent of the weight of a product. But we want to participate in the collaborative enterprises needed to face up

consumer interest in vegan alternatives. Sustainability is often cited as a reason, but it is not as simple as that. Not using leather simply creates another waste stream. To achieve the performance and durability of leather, alternatives require added chemistry including PU coatings, which make them hard to recycle or incinerate. There are two competing issues – animal welfare and plastic pollution – and they can’t be addressed in isolation. “We need to look at sustainability as a whole,” said Hughes. “The world is facing multiple and interrelated challenges and unless we can understand the bigger picture in which these challenges fit, we will only be providing superficial solutions.” “Is profit a bad thing?” asked Jackie Lewis

“ WE NEED TO LOOK AT SUSTAINABILITY AS A WHOLE. THE WORLD IS FACING MULTIPLE AND INTERRELATED CHALLENGES AND UNLESS WE CAN UNDERSTAND THE BIGGER PICTURE IN WHICH THESE CHALLENGES FIT, WE WILL ONLY BE PROVIDING SUPERFICIAL SOLUTIONS.” to the storm. We are looking for people to work with to make the circularity of garments more realistic and thread can play a role in this.” Almost a third of all fibre used in textiles is cotton. It is the number one raw material used by M&S and Phil Townsend outlined the retailer’s journey towards sourcing more sustainable cotton, which began in 2007. Starting with a commitment to source 50 per cent more sustainable cotton by 2020, M&S has this season seen its entire clothing range made from 100 per cent sustainable cotton – one of the first retailers to reach this milestone. Key to this achievement is the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI), the largest sustainable cotton programme in the world. Townsend illustrated the impact of BCI with two case studies, including a joint project in Telangana in India working with 35,000 farmers that is now self-financing. The project achieved a 30 per cent reduction in waste and a 50 per cent reduction in pesticides while increasing yields and profits for farmers. “BCI is one of the most successful raw material initiatives in any industry,” said Townsend. “While there is still more to do, it shows that we can transform a global commodity and put it on a more sustainable footing.” Peter Hughes from Eurofins / BLC Leather Technology Centre addressed the complexity of sustainability in the context of the rise of vegan products, particularly alternatives to leather. Leather is a by-product of the livestock industry and therefore must bear a share of its environmental and animal welfare concerns - growing awareness of which is increasing

from apparel technology company Alvanon as she made the business case for sustainability and argued that it is “just a new buzzword for efficiency”. “We need to change the language we use,” said Lewis. “That it’s the ‘right thing to do’ doesn’t motivate businesses to change. But, if we tell them they can make more money, be more productive, reduce waste and drive their reputation − that might do something.” Lewis’s five steps to a sustainable business start with giving people the training they need to make the right decisions. “Do your designers have the skills to create sustainable products?” asked Lewis. “It also requires transparency,” she continued. “If you don’t know who makes your clothes, you need to. And giving back. Less than 0.2 per cent of the revenue in this industry is given back to the communities in which it operates. We can do better. Then efficiency – if businesses aren’t run efficiently, they aren’t run sustainably. Do you really need first stage samples? Finally, privacy. This is a newer concern but a growing one and businesses need to respect customers’ data in an increasingly digital world.” The UK’s per capita consumption of new clothing is the highest in Europe and 300,000 tonnes end up in household waste every year. Changing that is going to take a sea change in business practices, technology, infrastructure and consumer behaviour. And it has to change, because we only have the resources of one planet to draw on. Business as usual is no longer viable, no longer linear. The success stories of the future will be circular.

CELEBRATING 10 YEARS OF ECO! 10 YEARS OF UNIFORMS THAT ARE A LESSON IN SUSTAINABILITY David Luke are proud to be celebrating 10 years of Eco-uniform at this year’s Schoolwear Show. Visit the David Luke stand to: • Sign up for your lesson plan resources • Have a one-to-one with an Eco-expert • Find out what sustainability means to your business


Register now to visit:


BRITS SPEND £1.2 BILLION ON BACK TO SCHOOL SHOPPING Global market intelligence agency Mintel reveals its latest findings on Back to School spending. New findings from marketing intelligence agency Mintel estimate that the Back to School market was worth £1.16 billion in 2018. This is an increase of 36 per cent on the previous year when it was worth £855 million. This also makes Back to School spending the third biggest retail spending event (excluding food and drink) after Christmas and Black Friday. Parents said they spent an average of £134 on school uniforms and shoes in 2018, a 6 per cent increase on the average £127 spend in 2017. Collectively, Brits spent a total of £510 million on school uniforms in 2018, up from £395 million in 2017. Several factors are contributing to the rise in spending on these items. For instance, 79 per cent of parents say they prefer to spend more on Back to School items that will last. However, the biggest increase in spending on Back to School items was on computing equipment. Brits spent a total of £130 million on these products in 2018 compared to £80 million the previous year. In 2017, 8 per cent bought computing equipment, rising to 11 per cent in 2018. Whilst this may appear to be a small increase, the typically higher value of such goods provided a real boost to the market. Spending on stationery saw the second-highest increase over the same period. Brits spent a total of £100 million on items such as notebooks, pens and pencil cases in 2018 compared to £65 million in the previous year. In other findings, nearly half (49 per cent) of parents claim there is more pressure now than previously to buy fashionable Back to School items. However, to save money and do their bit for the environment, a third (33 per cent) of parents say they have bought, or would buy, second-hand school uniform. Commenting is Mintel senior retail analyst, Samantha Dover. “The value of Back to School spending has shot up in the last year. This is due to more parents buying non-clothing items as well as an increase in the average amount being spent on school uniforms and shoes. “Pressure continues to mount on parents to keep up with the latest trends. There has always been an appetite for branded 54 - SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2019

products when buying things like trainers, bags and coats, which often aren’t part of the traditional uniform. “However, this pressure is moving into new categories like computing equipment and stationery as parents are keen to ensure their children are keeping up with their peers. “Price remains a driving factor behind a lot of Back to School purchasing. Competition in the school uniform market has particularly intensified in recent years, with discounters continuing to undercut clothing specialists. “However, strict school policies, as well as an increased interest in sustainability with most parents willing to spend more on clothes that will last longer, means that average spend on school uniforms continues to rise.” Essentially parents want convenience and value. For this reason, they find it helpful to have most of the Back to School items they need to buy all under one roof. In fact, 77 per cent say it is more convenient to shop at a retailer that sells a wide range of these items. Notably, while most customers (87 per cent) bought items in-store, a sizable proportion (42 per cent) also shopped online. Back to School shoppers do acknowledge that value for money has improved, with nearly two-thirds (65 per cent) saying there are now better options for some of the lower-cost Back to School products than there were previously. However, despite this improvement, over half (53 per cent) of parents still find the Back to School shopping period stressful. Dover continues: “One way for retailers to stand out in a crowded marketplace is to make the Back to School experience less stressful for parents. “British retailers could take inspiration from their European counterparts and, more specifically, Spanish children’s concept store Little Stories, which is a great example of how to improve the retail environment for both parents and their children. “It uses primary colours and cartoon motifs to create a child-friendly interior and in-store paths for children to follow. Plus, a half-height counter helping them feel part of the buying experience.”


HOW TO BUILD YOUR SCHOOLWEAR BUSINESS WITH INSTAGRAM Alex McCann, a long-standing social media and online marketing expert and founder of the social media marketing firm Altrincham HQ, shares his top tips on using Instagram for business. WHY INSTAGRAM?


There was a time when unless you were under 18, you wouldn’t be seen on Instagram. It used to be a place where teenagers went to avoid their parents on Facebook. But the world has changed and Instagram is a place for all ages, although 70 per cent of the 1 billion+ monthly active users are under the age of 35. Still not convinced that Instagram could be used for your business? Well, how does this sound: • 80 per cent of accounts follow a business on Instagram. • 500 million+ accounts use Instagram Stories every day.

What is the rhythm of the account? How often are you posting in the newsfeed? How often are you posting on Instagram Stories? On social media people like to know what to expect. They certainly don’t expect radio silence followed by a flood of photos when you get a spare moment. Set a realistic level of activity that you can commit to each week. In an ideal world that will be once or twice a day, so make sure you have a bank of content ready before you launch your account.

WHAT CAN YOU DO TO MAKE THE MOST OF INSTAGRAM FOR YOUR BUSINESS? When you think of Instagram, you need to think of the Five C’s of Consistency, which I’ll introduce you to now. CONSISTENCY OF MESSAGE The biggest mistake that people make regarding Instagram is thinking the only content that matters is the photos. The captions are Instagram’s most underrated feature and you need to place absolute importance on these. Words matter, they’re the messages you convey every time you post. Are your captions short, snappy and light-hearted? Are your captions lengthy, descriptive narratives that tell a story with a beginning and an end? What do you want people to feel when they see your posts? And more importantly, what do you want them to do after they’ve read them? These are all questions you need to think about before you click the share button. However, there is one area you should vary on Instagram and that is your choice of hashtags. Don’t use the same hashtags on every post. There has always been talk that Instagram reduces the reach of accounts that copy and paste the same hashtags on every post.

CONSISTENCY OF QUALITY CONTENT Instagram is glossy and the image of perfection. You need to set the standards high from the outset and stick to those high standards. That doesn’t necessarily mean spending money on a professional photographer for every photo, but it does mean having strong lighting for every photo and using editing apps such as Snapseed to bring your photos up to the right level. You also need to think about what your Instagram theme is. Is it just photos or is it video as well? Is your logo in every photo? Are there core colour schemes? Are the subjects of the photos uniform across the feed? Are you making the Instagram grid symmetrical and structured?

Your Instagram feed needs to look great at a two-second glance, but equally each photo needs to work as a standalone image, as once followed most people consume your content in the feed itself. CONSISTENCY OF ENGAGEMENT If you post and step away from Instagram then you’re using it all wrong. Engagement on Instagram is as critical as engagement on LinkedIn or Twitter. You need to engage with your target market, ideal customers and ideal referrers. Don’t sit back and wait for them to come to you. Keep your following list lean, follow just your ideal customers and referrers, and spend 20 minutes a day engaging with what you see on your feed. Engagement shows you care and more importantly, engagement builds real relationships. Social media without engagement is just broadcasting and won’t get you very far. CONSISTENCY OF RESULTS If you do all of the above you’ll get what you truly want - consistency of results, which you can define as more exposure, more new customers, more repeat customers and more sales - hitting those KPI’s for your business on a regular basis.

ABOUT ALTRINCHAM HQ Alex McCann is the owner of the social media marketing company Altrincham HQ. With over 14 years’ experience of social media and 20 years’ experience of online marketing in other companies, clients come to McCann when they want a veteran rather than a rookie. At Altrincham HQ, McCann works with businesses to make more of their social media marketing, delivering results via social media training or management packages. Voted the Best Social Media Company in Manchester at the Talk Of Manchester Awards, Altrincham HQ has helped thousands of businesses and individuals across the North West including BBC, Manchester City, Manchester Arndale, Selfridges, NHS, University Of Manchester and many more. For further information on Altrincham HQ’s services and training visit or call Alex on 07806 774279. Follow Altrincham HQ on Instagram at @altrinchamhq. SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2019 - 55


CONTACTS 0 15:17 A All Shorts Schoolwear 01782 970741 • Altrincham HQ 07806 774279 • Amarah London 07784 856409 • ASBCI 01422 354666 B Banner 0333 7000 888 • Beatrice & Bee • Brand Machine Group 0207 837 3838 C Catherine Tough 020 7729 2291 • Coolflow Schoolwear www. D David Luke 0161 272 7474 E Ellie + Lion 07624 92554 F Fearless Flamingo www.fearlessflamingo. com • Fox Williams 020 7628 2000 • Froddo 01707 888388 • Frugi 01326 558462 • FTCT 0300 123 9002 G Goodman Derrick LLP 020 7404 0606 I Isbjörn of Sweden 0046 8 5703 1918 J Juco 0161 272 7474 • JuJuni K Kabooki 0045 9627 5510 M Madeira 01765 640003 • Maped Helix 01384 286 860 • MisKits • Moda 0203 855 9550 • Mori 0208 0651 102 • My Little World 01473 487748

O Old School Uniform P Petit Pli • Pigeon 01865 379230 • Powder 0131 331 2908 R Recyclatex • Rowlinson Knitwear 0161 477 7791 S Schoolwear Association • Sole Fashion 0113 829 3100 T Textile Forum 07878 764645 • The Fox in the Attic 07979 928709 • The Insights People 0330 159 6631 • The Wood Life Project 07506 367277 • Tie & Scarf Company 0161 761 5151 • Toby Tiger 01903 766777 • Trutex 01200 421205 W Wee Monster 001 310 961 3634 • Wildchild London 07796 610174 • William Turner 0161 480 8582 • Winterbottom’s Schoolwear 01423 276160 • Wood Street Mission 0161 834 3140 Y Young Soles 07787 126973


MAKE CWB YOUR SOURCE OF ESSENTIAL INDUSTRY INFORMATION - IT’S THE TOOL OF THE CHILDRENSWEAR TRADE. CWB is the only UK trade magazine dedicated exclusively to the childrenswear industry. Read by independent retailers, department stores, manufacturers, agents and suppliers, it is an essential business tool for anyone involved in the childrenswear trade. Through its links with The Childrenswear Association (NCWA) and the Schoolwear Association (SA), CWB offers a forum for UK retailers, manufacturers and agents to exchange information, making CWB the number-one place to get your voice heard. Complemented by its website, CWB magazine will keep you abreast of key business issues and essential industry updates as well as offering fashion and trade show coverage, brand profiles, stock ideas and the latest news and views from the world of children’s fashion and independent retail.


CHILDRENSWEAR ASSOCIATION MEMBER (NCWA) / SCHOOLWEAR ASSOCIATION MEMBER £20 (UK/Ireland price) £40 (Postal address outside UK/Ireland) NON-MEMBER: £35 (UK/Ireland price) £65 (Postal address outside UK/Ireland)






WELDON AGENCIES Established for over 25 years, two generations, covering all areas of the UK. Representing leading brands from Europe, Canada and Russia. Catering for boys and girls 0 to 16 years. Styling from contemporary to traditional. FUN & FUN, LE CHIC, DEUX PAR DEUX, FOQUE, SARDON, LARANJINHA, JEYCAT, STEFANIA, ATTIC, CONDOR Weldon Agencies, Southport, Merseyside Tel: 01704 576033 Email:,

BamBam – innovative, high quality but also surprisingly affordable. Tel: 01442 248099 Email:


SCHOOL TIES UK Agents Required We are an exciting, globally established bag brand, looking to grow in the UK. With over 30yrs experience in the backpack and accessories market our products are high quality, durable, colourful and eye catching making them perfect for kids of all ages! If you are interested in becoming part of the Totto team and have an enthusiasm for growing new brands we would love to hear from you. Email: Tel: 07892 713258



For advertising opportunities contact



TALKING POINT ANDREA GRANT Owner of Old School Uniform

Old School Uniform is a new one-stop website for parents wanting to give away or sell second-hand school uniform. Within months of its official launch, the site already has over 95 per cent of UK schools registered to its service. CWB speaks to site founder Andrea Grant to discover what motivated her to create the platform and what the plans are for its development. Laura Turner: What led to the creation of Old School Uniform? Andrea Grant: The idea for Old School Uniform started in 2016 when my daughter was finishing her GCSEs. I began considering what I could do with her uniform once she had finished school, especially the skirt she never wore. I knew I couldn’t just approach someone at the school gates and I also didn’t want to give it to the school for them to sell on. I wanted to donate it to a parent who needed a cost-saving action. As we all know, the price of uniforms is not cheap. But how could I communicate to other parents that I had school uniform items they may want? I felt I surely couldn’t be alone in my thinking and that maybe there were other parents who wanted to give away or sell their unwanted uniforms to help with the cost of a new one? Even better still, there must be parents we can help without making it so visible by attending an open day where they can buy preloved items? No embarrassment, no shame, just one parent helping another. After a discussion with my husband, we decided that the only way to do this was to put the items on the internet. That’s when we decided to build a website that would allow other parents like us to give away, or for a modest price sell, unwanted school uniform items. The process was slow but by 2018 we had made the basic skeleton site live and continued to add improvements. It wasn’t until June 2019 we started marketing the site to schools and through social media and parents started registering. Since then the response has been nothing but positive. LT: How does the website work? AG: The process is simple. Parents register for an account and select the school of their choice. They then have the option to be alerted via email when uniform items have been added to the school. Once a parent has registered they can upload items to any school they choose, setting the cost from free to anything they want. Visitors can view all products on the site without registering. 58 - SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2019

LT: How many schools are currently signed up to the website? Are there any hotspots where you have a higher demand for your service? AG: We have over 95 per cent of the schools in the UK registered. It has only been a few months since officially launching the site, but Surrey stands out as a hotspot at the moment. In a year’s time we will have a better idea as more schools and parents will be using the platform. LT: What has the feedback been to Old School Uniform? AG: It’s been amazing. The goal was to make a difference to a few people’s lives but the emails we have received have been heart-warming with customers thanking us for the service and praising the concept of Old School Uniform. LT: The website also includes a blog. What kind of topics do you cover? AG: We try to cover a variety of general topics. For example, preparing for exams, children’s mental health and examinations and preparing a child for their mock exams. LT: You recently partnered with Stevensons, the UK’s largest independent school uniform retailer. What does this involve and how has it helped your cause? AG: Stevensons approached us after coming across the site. They commented on what a fantastic initiative it is and asked if it was possible to get involved. Stevensons shares our vision of supporting families and communities and reducing waste going to landfill and as such, wanted to be our main sponsor. Stevensons’ support has been instrumental in enabling our site to reach as many schools and parents as possible across the UK. LT: How can other independent school uniform retailers support your work? AG: We would simply ask all retailers to inform their schools and parent communities about what we are doing. Not only are they helping parents, but they are also helping the community and the environment.

LT: How big a part does the sustainability aspect plays for parents choosing to buy a second-hand uniform? AG: Sustainability in the home has always been a factor for parents, no matter how many years you go back – after all, parents have been passing uniform down within their own households forever. Old School Uniform is not just for parents or families who are struggling to make ends meet, it also helps those who want to help others. LT: Do you foresee the market for second-hand growing? AG: Yes, I do. In today’s climate, there are many savvy parents and families out there who are simply trying to save money wherever they can and don’t have a problem purchasing preloved school items. The stigma that used to surround second-hand or preloved items is definitely getting less, but still has some way to go. LT: What are the plans for Old School Uniform? AG: Our short-term plan is to increase visibility, awareness and registrations of the website and grow the number of active users. Our long-term plan is to become an eBay-style platform for old school uniform, but with a much more personal service.











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