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Peppermint Mocha BrownNEW Jade PENCARRIE: 0800 252248 | PRESTIGE LEISURE: 0800 6521234 RALAWISE: 0800 212180 | RALAWISE IRELAND: 1 800 599599 Scanfor more info 02 images JUNE2024 SHOPTALK 04 Editorial 08 Print Shop Pooches # 103 Pippa and her pups from Supacolour 18 Decorated product of the month 22 Readers’ choice 76 Up close & personal Maria Palma of Wilcom NEWSHUB 06 Industry news One+All invests in solar energy, Colormaker celebrates sustainability advances, Sabur releases Neolt DTF cutter, and Fresh Air welcomes the first Spyder III system KNOWLEDGE BASE 28 Business Clinic Redundancy law changes, and the future of Royal Mail 30 Anatomy of an embroidery This intricate piece, created by Alice Slater of Londonbased embroidery house Hand & Lock, showcases a wide variety of techniques and demonstrates what is possible when top-notch embroidery skills are combined with a highly creative imagination 36 Talking trends: Organic & recycled apparel Tracy Richards of Neutral reports that consumers are making the move to conscientious consumption and, what’s more, they are prepared to pay a premium 48 Lighting up your path Make your designs shine this summer with some bright advice from Dominic Bunce of embroidery digitiser David Sharp 50 Digital helpdesk Want to know whether a hot wash will trash your carefully applied DTF print, or if a fast spin cycle will compromise its longevity? David Sweetnam, director of lab services at Keypoint Intelligence, reveals the results of his independent DTF wash tests 58 How sustainable is DTF? Andy Hancock of Indie Ink weighs up DTF printing from a sustainability perspective and suggests a four-point plan that all DTF users can follow to minimise their environmental impact 68 Higher tension, lower stress! Will Pearson of Phantom Screenprint argues that too many printers are burying their head in the sand when it comes to mesh tension. Here, he shares his cure for your shop’s tension headaches 70 Two routes to beanie perfection Liz Woodhouse of Embroidery Academy shares two ways to stitch a design onto a beanie 72AskTony This month, Tony takes a wander down memory lane to answer the question: how and why did discharge printing on garments come about in the UK? PRODUCT FOCUS 38 No longer niche? More decorators are now insisting on blank apparel made from organic cotton and recycled fabrics. We review the latest styles for your ‘planet-conscious’ customers 52 Unsung heroes If digital printers are the stars of DTF printing, then items of ancillary equipment are the essential supporting cast. We review the latest innovative solutions on the market 60 Everyday essentials Screen inks, digital inks, HTV, DTF films and powders, threads, backings… Our round-up of garment decoration consumables has something for every print and embroidery shop 66 Dishing out style From smart shirts and polos to versatile aprons and accessories, blank garment suppliers offer a well-stocked menu of customisable items for your hospitality and catering industry customers. We tuck into this year’s tastiest options INDUSTRY SPOTLIGHT 32 Go-getters Brian Withey reveals how Birmingham garment decorator Printigo set up in a once derelict supermarket and has never looked back CONTENTS 34 32 66 6402 68 72 52 36

Peak NEW Performance. © 2024 – Beechfield Brands Ltd. All Rights Reserved. BEECHFIELD.COM NEWB189RLaser Performance Trucker 04 images JUNE2024 Published by: 360 Communications Ltd Images, 360 Communications Ltd, Citibase Brighton, 95 Ditchling Road, Brighton, BN1 4ST, UK 01273 748482 | Advertising: Editorial: Production: Subscriptions: Publisher/advertising: Jonathan Vince | Features editor: Rachael Glazier | Features writer: Mark Ludmon | Publishing assistant: Gaby Bowring | Design/Production: ATG Media | Printing: Stephens & George Ltd| Goat Mill Road,Dowlais, Merthyr Tydfil, CF48 3TD(issn 0966 7512) Opinions expressed by contributors in this magazine are not necessarily shared by the Publisher. Editorial contributions are invited, on the understanding that the Publisher has the right to alter or abridge all such material as he sees fit. While the greatest care has been taken to ensure accuracy, the Publisher accepts no liability for either errors or omissions. EDITORIAL SIGNUP! Register now to receive your own FREE monthly copy of Images: UPDATE CONTACT DETAILS Moved to new premises? WFH? Update your details online: JUNE2024 VOL.33 NO.6 DIGITAL / SOCIAL 1Apr-30 Apr, 2024 Reach: 3,444 What do you want? Imagine you have been invited to sit down with the leaders of the UK’s main political parties ahead of next month’s general election. This is your chance to tell them, face-to-face, precisely what you, as a small business owner, manager, or employee, need from the next government in order for your garment decoration business to grow and succeed over the next five years. They are all ears: what would you say? Interviewed on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme the morning after Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced the 4 July election date, Martin McTague, the national chair of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), argued that a strong economy and return to growth are essential and that the people who are best placed to deliver that are the nation’s 5.5m small business owners (and 16m small business employees)... provided they are prepared to invest in their businesses. For that to happen, he called on the next government Users: 530 Views: 20,696 digital edition JUNE 6, 2024 The Green & New Promo Show London, UK JUNE 11, 2024 The Green & New Promo Show Leeds, UK JUNE 18, 2024 Print & Stitch Croydon, UK JUNE 20, 2024 Print & Stitch Newport, UK JULY 9, 2024 Print & Stitch Leicester, UK SEPTEMBER 12, 2024 Promotion & Branding Show Nottingham, UK SEPTEMBER 24, 2024 Print & Stitch Norwich, UK SEPTEMBER 25, 2024 The Big Promotional Trade Show Manchester, UK SEPTEMBER 26, 2024 Print & Stitch Haydock, UK OCTOBER 2, 2024 Promotion & Branding Show Belfast, UK INDUSTRY EVENTS to be brave and introduce a Small Business Act that addresses the following issues: late payment, which is crippling small businesses’ ability to invest; business rates – a reform has been promised for years; and fair access to finance. Martin also called on the next government to tackle the Employment Allowance and to upgrade it in line with inflation to help with recruiting and employing staff. Furthermore, he cited the red tape and friction that is discouraging many small businesses from even attempting to export their goods and services. To address this matter, he suggested building a better relationship with the EU as a starting point. These are the FSB’s election demands; do they chime with yours? Is there other legislation you would like to see introduced? Share your thoughts with us and let’s make sure the voice of the UK garment decoration industry is heard. Jonathan Vince Reach: 244,894 Web page views: 43,096

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The Print Cave UK This vibrant gold-glitter design was printed on workwear by The Print Cave UK in Witham for Mole Valley Mulch. DECORATOR REPORT INDUSTRY NEWS 06 images JUNE2024 One+All invests in solar energy at Bangladesh supplier One+All has invested in a solar energy system at one of its key suppliers in Bangladesh as part of its efforts to become the most sustainable schoolwear supplier in the UK market. The solar photovoltaic system at New Horizon Bangladesh, the company’s largest ‘Tier 1’ overseas supplier, will contribute to reducing the manufacturer’s greenhouse gas emissions. It will also help lower One+All’s overall carbon footprint – part of its commitments as a business certified as a B Corp, which requires high standards of social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability. Over 70% of One+All’s production comes from Bangladesh, and the business has built close working relationships with all of its Tier 1 suppliers. Neil Ward, managing director of One+All, said: “With our investment, we’re strengthening our suppliers’ opportunity to invest in more sustainable solutions for the benefit of their own companies, their local communities, our business and the entire green transition.” Follow the links to the news stories online Mimaki to launch carton ink cartridges internationally New carton ink cartridges are to be launched globally by Mimaki, replacing traditional plastic cartridges with an environmentally friendly paper alternative. Mimaki Engineering Co has announced that it is introducing the carton cartridges for Mimaki ecosolvent printers after successfully bringing them exclusively into the Japanese market a year ago. The new cartridges are due to be available in the UK and Ireland later this year, through Mimaki distributor Hybrid Services. Mimaki has not commented on whether it plans to introduce them for other printers. By transitioning from plastic to paper, Mimaki has achieved a 68% reduction in plastic usage per cartridge. This approach is projected to eliminate around 44 tonnes of plastic and 65 tonnes of CO2 emissions annually. The lighter weight of the carton ink cartridges translates to an estimated eight tonne reduction in CO2 emissions during transportation, further contributing to a decarbonised society. Recognising its groundbreaking design and eco-conscious packaging, the ink cartridge received the Industrial Packaging Category Award at the 2 Japan Packaging Cont imagesm Fespa Global Print Expo to return to Berlin in 2025 Fespa has confirmed that it is taking its Global Print Expo and European Sign Expo events back to Messe Berlin in 2025. After taking place in Amsterdam in March, the exhibitions for screen, digital and textile printing, signage and visual communications will take place in the German city from 6 to 9 May. Features for 2025 will include the return of the bi-annual Fespa Awards as well as Personalise Make Wear, World Wrap Masters and Club Fespa. Michael Ryan, who is head of Fespa Global Print Expo, said: “We’re looking forward to welcoming exhibitors – as well as visitors – to Messe Berlin next May for an event that I am confident will help printers and signmakers uncover new technologies and solutions to expand their business and unleash their full potential.” The new solar energy system at New Horizon Bangladesh Fespa Global Print Expo was last at Messe Berlin in 2022 at the2023 gContest. Carton ink cartridge from Mimaki

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INDUSTRY NEWS 08 images JUNE2024 # 103 Pippa and her pups Whether it’s pedigree pups or mangy mutts, decorators’ dogs are valued members of staff at embroidery and print shops from Barking to Furness. This month we have Pippa and her pups from Supacolour in Corby, Northamptonshire Fullname: Pippa & The Pups Breed: Poochon Age: Pippa is three years old and the puppies were just seven weeks old when this picture was taken. Time at company: Three years for Pippa; the pups are currently undertaking apprenticeships. Jobtitle: Receptionist Job description: Letting the owners know of any visiting guests, signing for parcels and, most importantly, being friendly and welcoming! Special skills: Hiding socks. Favourite colour: Purple 528C – it’s the colour of Pippa’s favourite ball! The incredibly cute puppies and their mum, Pippa [inset] PRINT SHOP POOCHES Print Shop Pooches is sponsored byMumbles, ‘the home of brandable furry friends’ Follow us on Facebook: @imagesmaguk Sabur releases Neolt DTF cutter in UK A new cutter has been released into the UK garment decoration sector to make direct-to-film (DTF) production fully automatic. Manufactured in Italy, the Neolt XY cutter uses up to 10 vertical cutting knives paired with one horizontal blade for cutting media up to 800mm wide. With a small footprint, it has an internal compressor and built-in LCD screen. Its automatically set registration marks mean it integrates with Flexiprint and Ergosoft RIPs. The Neolt XY cutter is available in the UK through digital textile print and ink specialist Sabur. It works on its own or in conjunction with Sabur’s range of Sabtex DTF machines. See the DTF ancillary equipment showcase on page 52 for more information. The Neolt XY cutter for DTF production fromSabur The Prestige Leisure team with styles from the Jack & Jones // Produkt blanks range Prestige launches new blanks range from Jack & Jones Prestige Leisure has launched a new and exclusive brand, Jack & Jones // Produkt, bringing the fashion retailer into the world of blank clothing. Each garment is produced using organic and recycled materials and dyes, reflecting the new brand’s focus on sustainability and crafting retail-inspired garments at a high quality. Prestige, a supplier of blank garments to decorators across the UK and Ireland, describes the move by Jack & Jones as “the first blank garment range to be introduced by a major retail fashion brand”. The range features unisex garments including a classic T-shirt, an oversized T-shirt, a classic piqué polo shirt, a crew-neck sweatshirt, a hooded sweatshirt and a zipped hooded sweatshirt. Best known for its menswear, Denmark-based Jack & Jones has over 1,000 stores in 38 countries and also sells to consumers through retail partners and its website.

JERZEES® apparel is designed for passionate and creative decorators who take pride in their craft and their ability to exceed customer expectations. OUR PRODUCTS FOR EUROPE! THE APPAREL FOR YOUR GENERATION DO WHAT MATTERZ Member of amfori, the leading global business association for open and sustainable trade. For more information visit JERZEES.EU

INDUSTRY NEWS 10 images JUNE2024 View daily news updates at: Vastex combines powder-to-film coating with curing Vastex International has unveiled a system that combines powder-to-film coating and integrated curing within one unit that takes up less than one square metre. The Vastex PTF-100 Powder-To-Film Coating System for direct-to-film (DTF) printing is now offered with an integral Vastex D-100 Conveyor Dryer. Vastex PTF-100 Powder-To-Film Coating System with integral Vastex D-100 Conveyor Dryer Strong start for 2024 Print & Stitch shows This year’s programme of Print & Stitch shows enjoyed a strong start when the first event of 2024 in Glasgow broke last year’s attendance record. It brought in 116 visitors at the DoubleTree Hilton Strathclyde to find out about the latest technology and new products for printing, embroidery, digitising, ecommerce software and consumables. April’s show featured 20 exhibitors, including three new to the show for 2024: Kustom Kit, Behrens Group and United Brands of Scandinavia. In addition, two brands that have just launched in the UK – Jerzees from Fruit of the Loom and Russell Europe, and Printer from BTC Activewear – also made their debut. The next Print & Stitch shows are at Hilton London Croydon on 18 June and ICC Wales in Newport in south Wales on 20 June. Register to attend for free online. Print & Stitch in Glasgow in April 2024 Colormaker celebrates sustainability advances Colormaker Industries, the manufacturer of Permaset inks, has celebrated its progress in increasing the sustainability of its production. It organised a Sustainability Celebration event at its base at Brookvale in Sydney in April to mark the launch of the groundbreaking project to adopt Relectrify’s ReVolve battery energy storage system. Made from nine second-life Nissan Leaf EV batteries, it is the first in the world to be fully certified, commissioned and operating commercially – in this case, acting as a solar sponge. Two years in the making, this is a major milestone on Colormaker’s pathway to ‘Net Zero’ carbon emissions by 2025 as its paint and ink production can now be completed entirely with electricity produced by its solar array and stored in the ReVolve battery. The event, hosted by managing director David Stuart, also celebrated Colormaker winning the Solar Alliance’s 2023 Solar Champion Award, the 2023 Northern Beaches Council Business Sustainability Award and the Business NSW Excellence in Sustainability Award for Metro Sydney. First Nations artist Blak Douglas on the didgeridoo at Colormaker’s Sustainability Celebration [L-R] James Griffin MP, Colormaker managing director David Stuart, Northern Beaches mayor Sue Heins and federal MP Zali Steggall at Colormaker’s Sustainability Celebration Soyang DTF and dye sub open days Soyang Europe has announced a series of open days at its base in Accrington, Lancashire, where it will be showcasing large-format direct-to-film (DTF), dye sublimation and printer/cutters. The open days take place on 25, 26 and 27 June, between 10am and 4pm each day. Visitors are invited to view a wide range of hardware products across printing and finishing, as well as industry-leading super-wide format materials.

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INDUSTRY NEWS 14 images JUNE2024 Paula O’Brienhas joined digital print specialist Ricoh UK as the new board director of sales, succeeding Glenn Griggs who stepped up to CEO last year. She has more than 30 years of sales experience across a range of digital services and IT portfolios. Most recently, she headed the enterprise retail division at Amazon Web Services where she was responsible for driving year-on-year growth as well as spearheading key strategic initiatives as part of the UK senior leadership team. As director of sales, she will be leading a team of over 250 salespeople in the UK, responsible for delivering growth and driving value for Ricoh’s customers within the direct sales channel. Bianca Akrapovichas taken on the role of brand manager for Russell Europe at FOL International. She has assumed responsibility for the brand’s marketing activities across Europe. Returning from parental leave, she is taking on the new role after joining FOL International in 2016 and overseeing marketing of the Fruit of the Loom brand for several years. Bianca said: “I am thrilled to be able to accompany this quality-focused brand as we break new ground in the area of team and corporatewear and to get dialogues started with existing and potential customers.” Lou Emilia Tassonehas been appointed as a junior digital marketing specialist as part of FOL International’s digital marketing team looking after its three brands – Fruit of the Loom, Russell Europe and Jerzees. She will be based at the group’s headquarters in Kaiserslautern in Germany. CHANGING FACES Paula O’Brien Bianca Akrapovic Follow us on LinkedIn @ImagesMagUK The new Epson 76-inch SureColor SC-F11000 dye sublimation printer Epson adds 76-inch SureColor dye sub textile printer Epson has extended its SureColor range with a new 76-inch dye sublimation printer for high-speed, high-volume textile production. The SureColor SC-F11000 has been designed for maximum up-time thanks to the new optional Jumbo Roll, weighing up to 300kg. This enables continuous production and reduced downtime due to less frequent media changes – ideal for uninterrupted highvolume production. The printer is suited to applications in fashion, sportswear, home furnishings and soft signage. The SC-F11000H version features CMYK ink configuration and includes the addition of one of three ink sets: orange and violet; fluorescent yellow and fluorescent pink; and light cyan and light magenta. Phil McMullin, head of sales for commercial and industrial at Epson UK, said: “The SC-F11000 offers the highest throughput of all Epson LFPs and is equipped with four PrecisionCore Micro TFP print heads and a ‘hot swap’ bulk ink solution that’s designed to keep businesses running.” Glenn Chamandy to return to Gildan after CEO and board quit GlennJ Chamandy is set to return to the helm of Gildan Activewear after its new board of directors resigned and Vince Tyra stepped down as CEO after only five months. Following pressure from shareholders led by investment firm Browning West, Gildan announced on 23 May that the new line-up of directors would not stand for election at the upcoming annual meeting on 28 May. Tyra, who took over as president and CEO of the Canadian garment manufacturer in January after Chamandy was forced out in December, left with immediate effect. It means that the outgoing board has halted discussions about a previously announced sale process initiated after an approach from an unconfirmed potential buyer. Browning West, a long-term shareholder of Gildan Activewear with around 5.7% of the company’s outstanding shares, announced that its own eight-member slate of directors would be the only candidates to stand for election at the annual meeting. Along with Chamandy, they are Michael Kneeland, Michener Chandlee, Ghislain Houle, Mélanie Kau, Peter Lee, Karen Stuckey and JPTowner. According to Browning West, preliminary results indicated that an “overwhelming majority” of shares were voted in support of its full eight-member slate before the board’s resignation. In a statement, Browning West co-founders Usman S Nabi and Peter M Lee said: “Our directors are eager to begin working toward their common goal of delivering enhanced shareholder value, which begins with reinstating Glenn Chamandy as CEO.” Glenn J Chamandy

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INDUSTRY NEWS 16 images JUNE2024 Follow us on Threads: @imagesmaguk Russell launches Authentics teamwear Russell Europe has launched Russell Authentics, which combines the brand’s bestsellers with sustainable newcomers. The styles in the new collection are described as sporty, comfortable, allround teamwear pieces as well as “extra durable, easy-care and versatile”. They are designed to be perfect canvases for decoration and are suitable for a wide range of professions. All are available in a range of sizes and colours. The line-up includes the Authentic Sweat styles (262/271B Authentic Sweat/265M Authentic Hooded Sweat/270M Authentic Quarter Zip Sweat), the Authentic Classic T-Shirts (180M/B/L) and the all-new Authentic Eco Polo570M. Fresh Air welcomes first Spyder III system in the UK Exile Technologies has installed the first Spyder III computer-to-screen system at FreshAir. The London-based garment decoration shop has been using the Spyder II system since 2018 but needed a supplementary system to cope with demand – the company has nine automatic screen printing presses and the capacity to print 40,000 garments each day, and can need 200 or more screens a day during busy periods. “The system is very similar [to the Spyder II] and both Spyders are working side by side so we can get some great numbers out daily,” reported director Lee Craze, who has also purchased two new V-Lux exposure units from the manufacturer. “The new Spyder III gives us the ability to run higher screen rulings to boost our stencil image quality,” he added. The Spyder III was officially launched in the UK in February and received its mainland European debut at Fespa Global Print Expo in March. It has a new 1,200dpi Xerox industrial print head and can be used with any type of emulsion without compromising imaging speed, promises Exile. It can produce a typical T-shirt screen stencil in 60 seconds or less, and comes with tri-lock mechanical registration, or an optional MHM-compatible four-point pin registration system. “Artwork is applied and positioned digitally, with 0.01% accuracy, directly on to a coated screen,” said Exile. “This eliminates the need for manual and labour-intensive film registration, thereby streamlining the entire screen preparation process. The combination of mechanical registration and digital image placement eliminates any human error associated with manual film placement and translates into significant reductions in press set-up times and dramatic increases in screenroom productivity.” Managing director Mark Evans reports that Exile Technologies is currently talking to several existing Spyder customers about upgrading to a Spyder III, with the option of trading in their existing Spyder IIs. While a company as large as Fresh Air will see a quicker return on investment (ROI) than most, says Mark, he expects a company making 80 screens a day to achieve ROI in 18 months. “This does not take into account the potential opportunity cost benefits obtained from freeing up press time,” he adds. “Even one extra job per day can have a substantial benefit – especially in smaller screen shops that may be running at near 100% capacity.” The new Spyder III (left) alongside the Spyder II at FreshAir The Authentic Sweat and Men’s Authentic Hooded Sweat JUNE2024 images 17 INDUSTRY NEWS NH Computer-to-Screen THE DIGITAL SCREENROOM III V-LUX & EXILEʼs Digital Screen room solutions automate the screenmaking process by imaging digital stencils directly on to coated screens with fully automatic digital registration. - - Tel: 01582 573980 Styler2 FREE • Eliminate Film • Reduce Labour Costs • Digital Registration • Reduce Exposure Times • Faster Press Setup • Improved Image Quality After imaging the screens are ready for immediate UV exposure with no need for a glass or vacuum. Computer-to-Screen ETC Supplies moves from Glasgow to Hereford ETC Supplies has relocated from Glasgow to Hereford. The company has moved to Rotherwas Industrial Estate in Hereford to be based alongside the UK team of Halco Europe, which acquired ETC Supplies last year. In a statement, the company said: “The move is in line with the strategy of pushing the company forward, with a larger warehouse space to house much more stock, as well as larger office space, so we can continue to grow our team too.” ETC Supplies and Halco Europe’s UK base in Hereford Adjustable exhaust now standard for Vastex EconoRed dryers Vastex International’s EconoRed conveyor dryers will now be equipped with an adjustable exhaust as standard. The exhaust optimises the curing of printed textiles, direct-to-film (DTF) films and powdered adhesives while cooling the skin of the enclosure and minimising wasted heat. Using a damper control knob, the volume of exhausted air can be adjusted from 100% to 10% according to the size, weight, throughput and ink type used for printed garments and the dwell time for curing powdered adhesives on DTF or screen-printed transfers. Excess air flow unnecessary for exhausting of fumes is diverted and filtered to cool the double-wall skin of the heating chamber for worker safety. Retrofit kits will be available for upgrading existing EconoRed dryers with adjustable exhausts. Adjustable exhaust on Vastex EconoRed dryer

Ink maker Avient remains ‘positive’ on sales Sales growth in the Americas and China is offsetting “softer demand” in Europe, according to Avient Corporation, a manufacturer of screen print inks and other materials. In the first three months of this year, the group has reported sales of $829 million (£663.3 million) – a drop of 2% compared to $845.7 million (£676.6 million) in the same quarter in 2023. However, the group celebrated “a positive start to the year”, pointing towards first-quarter earnings per share (EPS) from continuing operations rising to 54 cents compared to 23 cents in the first quarter of last year. Avient is a global manufacturer of screen printing inks for the textile industry and of specialty inks for industrial applications through its Avient Specialty Inks business. Its ink brands include Wilflex, Rutland, Union Ink, Printop and QCM. Laughing Whale Print & Embroidery This highly creative jacket design was DTF printed by Laughing Whale Print & Embroidery inWhitby. DECORATOR REPORT INDUSTRY NEWS 18 images JUNE2024 Read our full-length Decorator Reports online: Wilflex is one of Avient’s screen print ink brands DECORATED PRODUCT OF THE MONTH Created by Quality Patches, which is based in the US, these embroidered patches are “by far the most popular patches” the company produces, confirms senior sales and marketing executive Leena Habib. “We started creating embroidered patches on transfers about a year ago just to experiment and find ways to make the ironing-on process easier for customers,” she explains. “We sent out a few patches with the transfer backing to customers and they loved them, so now they’re part of our customisation process!” Made using rayon thread for its durability, the patches are easy to apply, says Leena, who recommends applying them to cotton or polyester for the best results. Simply pre-heat the garment for 15-20 seconds, then press the patch for around 180°C for 30 to 60 seconds (the settings might need adjusting depending on the garment). The company offers a 10-piece minimum order quantity with a lead time of two weeks after placing the order. “We’ve been in the industry for over 15 years so we have a pretty decent understanding of our customer’s needs and always do our best to leave our customers happy,” adds Leena. @qualitypatchesofficial Embroidered transfer patches are a popular choice with customers, saysLeena

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INDUSTRY NEWS 20 images JUNE2024 Stay in the picture with our Instagram feed: @imagesmaguk Castore acquires Infinity Premium sportswear brand Castore has finalised the acquisition of Infinity Inc, a supplier of branded merchandise, clothing and uniform based in Leeds. Described as a new “partnership”, the deal is designed to strengthen Castore’s supply chain and enable greater speed to market when it is servicing both UK and international sporting partners. Infinity Inc, which was already a supplier to Castore, was founded by Darren Cohen in 1998 and has grown tooffer screen printing, embroidery, transfer printing and application, and fulfilment. Darren Cohen, CEO of Infinity Inc, said: “I am delighted to lead Infinity Inc into this exciting new chapter and partnership with Castore. With over 25 years of experience providing branding expertise, innovative solutions and world-class service, we look forward to supporting Castore with their vision to become the number-one British sportswear brand.” The deal is Castore’s first acquisition following a £145 million investment in November 2023 in a funding round led by Raine Partners, the growth equity arm of The Raine Group, an advisory and investment firm focused on media, entertainment and sports. One of Infinity Inc’s sportswear web shops Screenworks gains Gots sustainability certification Garment decorator Screenworks has achieved Global Organic Textile Standard (Gots) certification, confirming full traceability of its products. The achievements demonstrates the Suffolk-based company’s commitment to upholding high standards of organic and socially responsible manufacturing. By using Gotscertified materials and processes, it ensures products meet stringent environmental and social criteria from field to finished garment. It follows Screenworks’ partnership with Stanley/Stella, a sustainable garment brand. As an official dealer of Stanley/Stella, it can offer products made from organic cotton and recycled materials, aligning with its values of “eco-consciousness and ethical sourcing”. Operations director Alan Porter commented: “In a world where greenwashing is no longer tolerated and transparency is increasingly important, a respected label like the Global Organic Textile Standard (Gots) cuts through the noise. “This certification is a testament to our team’s dedication to building a sustainable business. It’s a big step on our journey but there’s much more to come.” Cotton produced according to the Global Organic Textile Standard[Credit: Gots] School uniform costs drop 4% in 2024 The average cost of school uniform in England has dropped by 4% in 2024. A new survey by The Schoolwear Association found that the average cost of compulsory secondary school uniform and sportswear items for a child starting secondary school in England in 2024 is £92.35 per pupil. This fall from £96.24 last year is in spite of continued inflationary pressure. In 2020 the cost of compulsory school uniform was more than £100 per pupil. The Schoolwear Association surveyed school uniform suppliers and retailers between December 2023 and March 2024, representing 347 secondary schools and around 366,000 secondary school pupils. The lower cost follows the statutory cost of school uniforms guidance introduced by the Department for Education in Autumn 2021 aimed at keeping costs down for families. The number of compulsory school uniform items including sportswear has been reduced by 7% on average since 2021. School uniform costs have fallen in 2024 partly due to fewer compulsory items [Credit: RDNE/Pexels]

STAY COOL THIS SUMMER EXP ERT Our shirts and shorts collection allows you to be smart and comfortable this Summer. The shirts offer a sun-protective roll up collar and the fabric has UPF 40+ sun protection, available in both short and long sleeved. Available from Ralawise, Pencarrie and Prestige Leisure. To view the full collection visit 22 images JUNE2024 INDUSTRY NEWS Follow us on X @imagesmaguk Adam Scriven, UK partner at Enemy Ink in Coventry, says his favourite product to decorate is the Women’s Relaxed Jersey Short Sleeve Tee (BE6400) from Bella+Canvas. This T-shirt is the print team’s go-to ladies’ garment, and really suits the touring music industry and conventions that the company is heavily involved with, explains Adam. “It comes in a good range of colours with a large print area, and is a great ethical option for all!” Adam has a top tip for decorating the BE6400: “Made from 100% cotton, the decorator’s obvious choice is to discharge print these garments, to retain the super-softness they deserve when decorated — our client base really love the end results with this combination!” @enemyinkuk Want to know what your industry colleagues really think of the garments and accessories they decorate? Each issue, one reader tells us why they rate a particular product READERS’ CHOICE This Bella+Canvas tee is an excellent option for discharge prints, says Adam Half of used textiles ‘thrown in the bin’ Britons are putting almost half of used clothing and other textiles in the rubbish bin, according to new research. The Textile Waste Hotspots Report from Wrap, the climate action organisation, revealed that, on average, each person in the UK throws 35 items straight into general waste every year – 49% of used textiles. It also found that the textiles that do get donated responsibly have plummeted in price due to saturation of low-quality fast fashion on the market, resulting in less income for the reuse and recycling sectors. Wrap is calling on brands, retailers, investors and governments to support the UK’s textiles reuse and recycling sector through grants, investment and legislation, so that unloved clothes can catalyse a more circular fashion ecosystem. Textile waste[Credit: Wrap Waste Hotspots Report] Mi-Hub searches for Uniform Heroes A search for the Uniform Heroes of 2024 is underway. Run by global uniform supplier Mi Hub, it invites all public service workers who wear a uniform for work to enter. Four Uniform Heroes will be selected throughout the year and surprised on the job with a £200 voucher plus more surprise goodies. The open call for entries is running throughout 2024, closing on 31 December, via Anyone who wears a uniform for work is invited to snap a selfie showcasing their uniform and share why they love their uniform. Mi Hub launched the first annual Uniform Hero campaign and International Uniform Week in 2023 in collaboration with its family of brands, including Bristol-based Alexandra and Derby-based Dimensions. Mi Hub is looking for heroes

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INDUSTRY NEWS 24 images JUNE2024 Find our digital editions online: No Sweat begins sourcing from trade union-reformed factory Apparel supplier No Sweat has received its first supply of T-shirts from a factory that has been turned around thanks to trade union intervention. Jay Kerr, who runs the garment division at No Sweat, which campaigns against sweatshops, says the brand wouldn’t normally order from a factory such as Natchi Apparel in India, a division of the global apparel manufacturer Eastman Exports. In late 2022, however, Jay did an episode of the No Sweat Podcast on the murder of Jeyasre Kathiravel, an Indian Dalit woman garment worker who was allegedly killed by her supervisor at Natchi Apparel. “We interviewed the organisers at the Tamil Nadu Common Labour Union (TTCU) who Jeyasre was a member of, and which organised the historic campaign after her murder called Justice for Jeyasre,” explained Jay. The campaign resulted in the Dindigul Agreement, a landmark agreement to end gender-based violence and harassment in the factory. Thivya Rakini, the president of TTCU, explained how the factory had changed, with incidents of genderbased violence and harassment, and even verbal abuse or sexualised comments, now being reported and resolved quickly, with management being punished. “She spoke of a shift in the culture that this has caused and how it has put power in the hands of the workers,” added Jay. “This power is being seen in improvements being gained by the union that go beyond the Dindigul Agreement, such as health and safety regulations, an end of wage violations, improvement in the quality of the food in the canteen, the provision of transport for workers.” The factory is making No Sweat’s jersey-style, ringspun organic cotton T-shirts and organic tote bags. In addition, the brand is working with an “upcoming young designer”, Lisa O’Sullivan, to create hoodies that will be produced at Natchi and should be available in 2025. The sewing section at Natchi Apparel, the new supplier for No Sweat UK continues shift to organic textiles, says Gots report The number of facilities certified with the Global Organic Textile Standard (Gots) in the UK continues to grow as a new version is rolled out. The annual report from Global Standard, the non-profit that manages Gots, revealed that the number of certified operators in the UK increased to 112 in 2023, a rise of 6%. This matched a 6% increase in the UK market for organic textiles to £100 million, as revealed in the Soil Association Certification’s Organic Market Report. The new report from Global Standard has been published after the introduction of Gots Version 7.0 in March, encompassing compliance with new and upcoming supply chain regulations. More facilities gain the Global Organic Textile Standard. [Credit: Global Standard] Xinjiang cotton found in one in five textile products Traces of banned Chinese cotton have been found in 19% of samples of clothing and other textile products on sale internationally, according to a new study. Researchers from testing firm Stratum Reservoir and lab Applied DNA Sciences analysed the garments for traces of cotton from Xinjiang, a region in the far west of China. It followed moves internationally to ban imports of products from Xinjiang where it is reported that Uyghur Muslims are being subjected to forced labour – an allegation that the Chinese government strongly denies. The US introduced the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA) in 2021 to ban imports of cotton from Xinjiang. In March this year, the European Commission unveiled a proposed ban on products made under forced labour within the EU market which is expected to include Xinjiang. The UK government has so far resisted pressure to take action.

INDUSTRY NEWS 26 images JUNE2024 First commercial-scale plant recycling polyester garment waste opens The first commercial-scale recycling plant for post-consumer polyester garments and textiles has opened, providing raw materials for clothing production. With operations in Kettering in Northamptonshire, Project Re:claim is a joint venture between Salvation Army Trading Company (SatCol), the trading arm of The Salvation Army, and garment recycling specialist Project Plan B. The machine turns polyester waste into polyester pellets which can be spun into yarn for use in textiles along with other industrial applications. The pellets are expected to be integrated into the manufacturing processes of new products later this year. The system is on track to recycle 2,500 tonnes of unwanted polyester this year, with a further 5,000 tonnes in its second year. It was developed with Pure Loop, a specialist in plastic recycling. Recycled polyester pellets produced by Project Re:claim from garment and textile waste Project Re:claim’s recycling plant established by Salvation Army Trading Company and Project Plan B Small business confidence rises as recession ends Overall confidence among owners of small businesses has risen into “lightly positive territory” after a year and a half of languishing “below zero”, according to new research. With Britain coming out of recession thanks to a rise in GDP in the first three months of this year, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) found a corresponding upturn in sentiment about future prospects. Martin McTague, who is the national chair of the FSB, commented: “Our latest Small Business Index report for Q1 found that small firms’ overall confidence level rose into lightly positive territory after six straight quarters below zero, raising hopes that this year will be a brighter one for small business performance than the recent past.” Small businesses are more confident about future prospects. [Credit: Anna Nekrashevich/Pexels] New squeegee wash is ‘game-changer for screen print’ Easiway Systems has launched the Easisolv 401N Squeegee and Floodbar Wash, promoted as “a game-changer for screen printers”. Described as “revolutionary”, it features a “first-of-its-kind” formula that does not swell squeegee rubber, ensuring extended equipment life and consistent printing quality. Engineered specifically for automated cleaning equipment, 401N streamlines operations while effectively removing ink from suspension, simplifying cleaning and recirculation processes. Its versatile formula dissolves plastisol, solvent and UV inks, adhering to strict quality standards and restricted substances lists, including those of industry giants such as Nike, Gildan and Adidas. Easiway products are distributed in the UK through Screen Print World. King Charles III becomes patron of Printing Charity King Charles III has accepted the role of patron of the Printing Charity, taking over the role from his late mother. Every monarch since Queen Victoria has been patron of the charity, which dates back to 1827, and the King himself was charity president in 1977. The Printing Charity provides practical, emotional and financial support to individuals, business owners and their employees across the print industry. Neil Lovell, CEO of the Printing Charity, said: “His Majesty’s patronage is incredibly important to us, not just because of our long association with the royal family but as recognition of the work we do and services we offer for people who work or have worked in our sectors. “As we approach our 200th year in 2027, and we look to how best to develop our future services, it’s a real boost to receive this news and the continued recognition for our organisation.” The new Easisolv 401N Squeegee and Floodbar Wash Follow the links to the news stories online

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BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT 28 images JUNE 2024 Expert advice on the business of running a garment decoration company Q&A What do I need to know about the recent changes to redundancy law and how should I prepare for them? Most employers will be aware that employees on maternity leave, shared parental leave or adoption leave have special protections in a redundancy situation. They have the right to be offered a suitable alternative vacancy, if one is available, before being made redundant. This gives employees on these types of leave priority access to job vacancies or new roles over other redundant employees. Until recently, this special protection was limited to the period that the employee was on maternity, adoption or shared parental leave. What has changed? On 6 April 2024, The Protection from Redundancy (Pregnancy and Family Leave) Act 2023 came into force. The new legislation extends this special protection as regards alternative employment to pregnant employees and those who have recently returned from maternity, adoption and shared parental leave as follows: ■ Pregnancy Protection will start when an employee tells their employer they are pregnant. ■ Maternity leave The protection commences when leave starts and will end 18 months after the child is due to be born. ■ Adoption leave The protection commences when leave starts and will end 18 months after the child’s placement. ■ Shared parental leave Employees must not have taken maternity or adoption leave for this protection to apply. If the employees have taken six or more consecutive weeks of shared parental leave, the protection will apply during the period of leave and will end 18 months after the date of the child’s birth or placement. When do the changes apply? The new protection applies to pregnancies notified to an employer on or after 6 April 2024 and maternity/adoption leave ending on or after 6 April 2024. In respect of shared parental leave, the new protection applies to employees taking at least six weeks of shared parental leave which begins on or after 6 April 2024. If you have an employee who has notified you of a pregnancy or started leave shortly before these dates, extra care should be taken to ensure that the employer is applying the correct version of the rules. Preparing for the changes It is important for employers to understand how the new rules will work in practice. Failure to adhere to these new rules may mean that any dismissal on grounds of redundancy is automatically unfair and potentially discriminatory. Employees do not need two years’ service to bring these claims and compensation is uncapped. Getting it wrong may be costly and cause reputational damage to the business. Practical tips for employers to consider include: 1. Careful planning of restructuring and redundancies exercises. Given the extended protections, larger numbers of employees will possibly be eligible for protection at any given time. Employers should ensure that their records are kept up to date so that there is no scope to forget that an employee remains entitled to protection, even after they have returned to work. 2. Employers will also need to be mindful of taking steps to ensure that suitable alternative are identified so that employers do not inadvertently fail to offer a suitable alternative where one exists. This can be made more complicated in group companies where managers handling the redundancy process may not be aware of all opportunities across the business. It may therefore be necessary for employers to consider where information about vacant and new roles can be located by relevant managers. 3. Employers should consider updating family leave and redundancy policies to reflect the new rule, and ensuring that all managers and staff are aware of the updates. 4. Managers who might be involved in redundancy exercises should be given information and training about the new rules so that they can be factored into any planning processes. Managers should also be advised on how to deal with situations where other employees who are not subject to the special protections find their colleague’s priority access to job vacancies unfair. 5. The new protection is not the only issue for employers to consider when redundancy proposals affect new or expectant parents. Employers should be able to show that an employee has not been disadvantaged in a redundancy selection process because they are pregnant or have taken a period of family leave. Employees should also be given the same access to information and consultation as employees who are working in the business at the time of the redundancies. Failure to follow a fair redundancy process can lead to employment tribunal claims. Nicola Smyrl is a partner at Taylor Walton Solicitors, a multi-service, award-winning law firm, with offices in St Albans, Harpenden, and Luton. The new legislation extends this special protection