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Uniform Clothing Blog
Parkex, Europe’s largest parking exhibition and conference, is always an exciting time of year for us at Keltic. It’s the time when we showcase our latest parking uniform innovations, and even more importantly when we get to meet all our lovely customers and potential customers!
It’s a great opportunity to come together with people you don’t necessarily see during the year, to consolidate existing relationships and build new ones. We’ll be showcasing both our civil enforcement officer uniform innovations (for on street enforcement) and our parking attendant uniform new additions (for off street staff).
First off, we’ll be demonstrating our new Magnum Strider – we’ll be chucking water, chemicals and all sorts of “nasties” at it, to demonstrate its water-repellant hydrophobic technology. We’ll also have data to show how well the Strider performs in comparison to other leading brands in terms of durability and slip-resistance, with reports and pictures from the Health and Safety Executive.
We’ll also be showcasing our Patrol Range – our flagship range of parking enforcement uniforms, which includes our superb lightweight summer range and our Patrol Anorak and Blouson, the most waterproof and breathable parking jackets on the market, available from stock in 30 colours.
The other main innovation we will be unveiling is our brand new Patrol Cap. Parking Review recently heralded the 50 year anniversary of the traffic warden – and whilst the rest of the uniform is unrecognisable, the peaked cap has remained unchanged – until now. The Patrol Cap is the next generation peaked cap – lightweight, breathable, waterproof and comfortable. See it for the first time at Parkex 29-31 March. For a sneak peak see our Parkex Ad for information.
At Keltic, we’re so confident in our garments that we can arrange a FREE TRIAL – see our friendly exhibition staff for details. We’re also offering 10% off all first-time orders placed by 30.04.11 – again, please see our exhibition staff for details.
We’re at stand P90 – opposite the restaurant and near the Parkex café. This year we’re encouraging customers to book appointments with myself or our exhibition team, to make sure we get to see everyone – please contact us to arrange your appointment.
The world of security clothing may be a million miles from the catwalk, but like every type of work wear it has changed and developed over the years, influenced by a number of factors. This blog post takes a look at what those factors are, where we are now, and what we can expect in the future.
Whereas high street fashion takes its cue from celebrity culture and the catwalks of Paris and Milan, security clothes have previously taken their cue from closer to home – the good old English bobby on the beat. In the hit ITV show Heartbeat, actor Nick Berry modelled the archetypal ’60s police uniform, complete with tunic and traditional helmet.
Uniforms vary from force to force, but generally in the late ’70s and ’80s there was a move away from tunics and helmets towards nato jumpers and uniform caps – and again with the security industry followed suit (pardon the pun!).
During the nineties and noughties there has been a move towards fleeces with epaulettes and radio loops. Interestingly, however, security clothing is only just picking up on this development, and the majority of security guards are still wearing jumpers – or suits.
And that’s the other trend – with the retail world developing so much since the days of Heartbeat, the role of security guards and police has diverged further, and now a security guard in a security suit is common in retail, company offices and government buildings.
However, the more casual police-type look of fleece/jumper with police style polywool trousers, smart trousers with combat pockets to store notebooks and similar equipment still prevails as the most popular security clothing. And the tried and trusted security shirt has remained pretty much unchanged over all this time!
Today, the key point of differentiation for the security guard from the police and other personnel is the outer jacket – in the British weather, for security guards that work outside, or do a mix of inside and outside work, this is the face of their company to the public. There is a trend away from the bog-standard yellow hi vis jackets toward different colours of jackets such as blues, maroons, blacks, many of which fit better with company or client colours, and provide differentiation in a crowded marketplace.
Finally, having gone from head to toe, you have the good old police boots. For many years Magnum boots has been the favoured brand. This is still the case, but the trusty Magnum Classic and Magnum Patrol are making way for new alternatives such as the Magnum stealth and Magnum Strider.
We’ll be regularly blogging about the changing face of security clothing so check back for more updates, or sign up to our newsletter to be kept up to date with new developments.
Cardiff City Council have taken over parking enforcement from South Wales Police, and kitted out their team in a striking new look. The civil enforcement officer uniform (CEOs) will now be easy to spot in the Cardiff corporate colour. Sweaters, ties and hatbands are now all in vivid red providing a memorable image.
We designed and supplied the eye-catching new parking uniform for Cardiff. They decided to go for a bright uniform, making CEOs very approachable. They saw this as a fresh, inclusive, proactive and progressive uniform choice.
The traditional colours of black and navy will always have connotations of authoritarianism. The old-fashioned police look is slowly going from parking unforms the parking industry. To help this along, our designs have modern cuts and up-to-the minute fabrics.
Seven CEOs were involved in selecting the uniform, trying it for size, look and comfort, and offering their feedback. The main thing the CEOs focused on was comfort, they tried our garments on, walked around in them, and didn’t pull any punches! They liked the attention to detail in our clothing, the extra pockets and radio loops.
We design and develop all of our products with input from people who actually use the garments every day. The initial idea often comes about through feedback we receive – for example, we created our summer Patrol Mac after feedback that staff were getting wet in the summer, but that their winter coats were too heavy. The challenge we have successfully met is to design very high quality technical garments at a price that the whole parking uniform market can afford.
We believe that CEOs feel more confident about performing their job if they are wearing the right uniform for the circumstances and weather conditions. A smart uniform demonstrates to staff that their employer values them and the role they perform. Each time we have implemented a new uniform, there’s been a big boost in morale, with CEOs pleased to finally be issued with a uniform that is functional and keeps them warm, dry and comfortable.
Cardiff offered staff a choice of either long or short versions of Keltic’s Patrol Jacket which comes with zip-out fleeces for warmth and comfort. Trousers also come in different designs including cargo styles. We also have new non-slip super-comfortable CEO footwear, styled more like a trainer/walking shoe for both comfort and longevity – this is our new Magnum Strider shoe.
For the coming spring and summer Cardiff’s CEOs have been issued with Keltic’s Summer Patrol Vest to help them cope with warm summer conditions. The garment is made from a lightweight micromesh fabric like airtex, which allows the skin to breathe more effectively.
Our contract with Cardiff placed 60% weighting on pricing and 40% on quality and delivery times. We believe we have the most competitive prices, and add value by offering the best quality products and a very fast delivery. We offer local authorities a choice of more than 30 colours for their parking uniforms, so they can select colours that harmonise with their corporate image and differentiate them from the police and other on-street agencies.
For most of us, the peaked cap is forever associated with the uniform clothing market. Despite uniform clothes being modernised significantly, the peaked cap hasn’t changed in 50 years. We know the peaked cap is here to stay for a while longer, so decided to see if we could design something a bit more comfortable and up-to-date.
After spending some time chatting with purchasing managers and groups of wearers, we discovered that existing caps are fairly universally disliked – no real surprise there then! Wearers tend to find them uncomfortable, old-fashioned, heavy and sweaty – and they dislike the black shiny peak and strap. Baseball caps aren’t the answer because they’re too casual looking. One of our large customers have just moved away from baseball caps and back to peaked caps for their uniform wear.
Current caps soak up the rain – if you are lucky you might get a waterproof cover that looks like a shower cap – but that can make you more uncomfortable because it’s not breathable. Fabric technology has moved on dramatically in 50 years, so we decided to see how we could use this to make a more wearable and comfortable Cap.
The result is our new unisex Patrol Cap, made from highly breathable, waterproof, quick-drying fabric. It’s much lighter in weight and more flexible, and therefore much more comfortable. The style has been modernised too, with a more sophisticated, slimmer profile and a slightly smaller non-shiny fabric peak. The style has been described as evolution rather than revolution. This is one example of where we like to give our customers choice, and we constantly striving to innovate with the best fabrics and designs.
The Patrol Cap innovation comes hot on the heels of Keltic’s exclusive Magnum Strider shoe, the UK’s first shoe designed for civil enforcement officers. The Strider incorporates ion-mask hydrophobic technology which actually repels water. Our plan has been to change the parking uniform wear market from head to toe, and with the Patrol Cap, our new ranges of clothing and the Magnum Strider, I reckon we’ve done it!