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]