Thursday, 26 September 2013

Pay Day

It's finally come around again – the last Friday of the month, and for many of us that means one thing only. Payday!

If you're struggling for ideas of how to spend the weekend and need some inspiration, remember that the summer is not yet quite over and there is still some late summer outdoors fun to be had.

If you're feeling inspired by the recent Tour of England, this weekend could be a good opportunity to 'get on your bike'; take the kids out cycling or get fit with a friend. With more people taking up cycling as a hobby, to get fit or save on fuel costs, an increasing number of cycle paths are appearing. Cycle paths and projects up and down the country are detailed on the Cycle Route website –

Keep the kids safe on the road with a hi-viz vest.
View it here

This Regatta Packaway Waterproof Jacket is easy to carry
incase of rain. View it here


For those feeling less energetic, or if your outdoor plans get rained off, a trip to the cinema is guaranteed to lift spirits. The boys will appreciate Ron Howard's 'Rush', a biopic of F1 rivals James Hunt and Niki Lauda, staring Chris Hemsworth (so wives and girlfriends probably won't mind either!). There is still time for the ladies to catch romantic comedy 'About Time' – but don't forget your tissues! If you need to entertain the little ones, Dreamworks latest offering 'Justin and the Knights of Valour', about a young boy who dreams of becoming a chivalrous warrior, is bound to please the whole family.  

Friday, 20 September 2013

Bestworkwear in the Spotlight! products are in the spotlight thanks to the work of British artist Susie MacMurray. Her piece A Mixture of Frailties, currently on display at Danese-Corey in the heart of New Yorks’ gallery district, was created using rubber work gloves, purchased from Although she has had work shown in a number of international museums, this exhibition, titled Walking on the Rim of Night is Susie’s first solo show in New York.

The yellow washing-up gloves are turned inside out and stitched onto calico to create a stunning, textured ‘gown’ which invites the viewer to reach in for closer inspection.

The use of objects such as hairnets, rubber gloves or fish hooks in her work is a reference to the body (often specifically the female body) and the daily repetitive tasks and rituals which have traditionally been associated with the feminine. But the artist also points out that be it sewing, cooking and cleaning, working in an office or factory, digging in a mine or applying make up, to be human is to repeat things.

MacMurray has an ongoing interest in the rich tradition of the folk tale passed by word of mouth, and the powerful nature of fairy-tales which so often function as cautionary tales. In their original form they are such a far cry from the sugary world of Walt Disney. Turning the gloves inside out, as if peeled off upon finishing the chores, reveals a pure white fragile surface, and the gloves combine to create a glamorous gown a world away from the kitchen sink! The resemblance to a wedding dress is unmistakeable and not many women will fail to spot the irony! However, if you did attempt to wear this piece, the 3.25m diameter circular skirt would hobble you to the spot. The title A Mixture of Frailties refers to the vulnerability, which is a strength and weakness of the human condition. This garment could possibly be seen as a trap - be careful what you wish for!

But the sculpture can also be read to suggest that everyone, regardless of background, can be glamorous in any task. Perhaps had Cinderella not had a fairy godmother on hand, she may have created a similar dress!

'A Mixture of Frailties' was originally created in 2004, but the texture of the piece proves irresistible and after years of display and thousands of hands reaching in to touch, the piece became a little grubby and worn. Many of the gloves needed replacing and in 2013 Susie returned to to save the day!

So, if anyone would like to add a touch of glamour and do the dishes with a pair of 'A list' marigolds, the glove used in the artwork is product code 'HHMWM' available from, for all your workwear needs and happily-ever-afters!

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

It's Friday the 13th! Don't take any chances, is your PPE correct?

You may have felt like hiding under the duvet this morning, avoided stepping on the cracks in the pavement or taken an extra long diversion to avoid pulling out at 'that' junction. Did you know that many hospitals do not have a ward 13? Or that Apollo 13 suffered it's catastrophic failure on November 13, at 13 minutes past 1pm, or 13.13. It seems we are obsessed with the stigma attached to the number 13, and Friday the 13th sums up all our fears. But how many of us are still taking needless risks at work by using incorrect or insufficient PPE?

The range of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) is as diverse as the industries it covers, but on a basic level PPE should; protect the head and feet from falling materials; the lungs from dust, pollutants and chemical gases; the eyes and skin from from heat and corrosive substances and the body, as a whole, from extremes of hot and cold.

Your employer has a responsibility to ensure you are provided with the full, correct PPE required for your duties, but it is important for you to maintain the condition of your kit and watch for signs of wear and tear which could result in a loss of function. When not in use it should be stored in a clean, dry locker or cupboard and replacement parts should be sought in good time. Of course, if you are self employed it is your responsibility to ensure you are using the right PPE for your requirements, with research and careful sourcing.

Consider your working environment. You may choose a pair of steel capped safety boots to protect your feet from falling items; but if you work outside, or on slippery surfaces, a safety boot which includes an anti-slip sole would be a sensible choice. If you're protecting your feet from falling items, is your head suitably protected from the risk?

Respirators are a highly important piece of equipment for many lines of work. Whether you're sawing wood, welding metal or working around chemicals and gases, your lungs will be exposed to tiny particles or pollutants which can have an immediate or long lasting effects. You will need to carefully research the hazards you will be dealing with and the protection offered by the variety of respirators on the market.

High visibility clothing is probably the most widely used PPE, it's function is simple but invaluable; to ensure your co-workers and members of the public are aware of you and can take care when working or moving around you. This is especially important when working outside, in poor light or in a factory or warehouse where others are operating heavy machinery near to you.

B-Seen Hi-Viz Jerkin from

For those working in 'safer' environments, such as catering or healthcare, non-slip safety shoes are a must for when you are busy running around! Protection from cuts and infection is also an important consideration and a wide range of disposable and anti-cut gloves are available.

Whatever your requirement, we stock an impressive range of workwear and PPE online, at and you can find more information about PPE requirements on the HSE website: 


Monday, 9 September 2013

Back to School!

Well, that was it folks! The long summer break came to it's end last week. For many of our clients that meant returning to work in nurseries, schools and colleges and for many others there were tears, tantrums, proud moments (and relief) as the children started or returned to school. It's a time to reflect on summer fun, prepare for autumn and the colder months ahead and, of course, to rid your facebook friends list of people who recklessly post comments like 'Only 106 days to go until Christmas!'.

We may be suffering post holiday blues, but there is still a lot to look forward to in the autumn months; with Halloween approaching and the lure of Bonfire night to draw us from our comfy sofas and into a muddy field, to simple luxuries like putting your feet up and enjoying comfort food.

Autumn is also a great time for a wardrobe audit – away go the shorts, polo shirts and short sleeves and the favourite old pullover and waterproofs emerge from hibernation. If last winter took it's toll on your waterproofs and fleeces, you will find a stylish and practical range of work and leisurewear, from brands like Regatta and Timberland, on our website to help keep you cosy this winter!
Timberland PRO Euro Hiker Safety Boot
Regatta TRW428 Hi-Viz Breathable Shell Jacket

And, if you're still struggling to get into the mood for the new season, remember, there really are only 106 days until Christmas!