Coolflow Schoolwear is breathing new life into a name dating back more than 80 years by rebranding the business as Charles Kirk.
The Leicester-based company is taking on the name of the brand that it has been manufacturing and distributing since 2019 when Charles Kirk’s previous owners, Charles and Deborah Horton, retired.
It means that the Charles Kirk brand will continue in the schoolwear market, operating from Coolflow Schoolwear’s manufacturing and distribution centre in Leicester.
It also has a new logo, replacing the image of an elephant with a pink flamingo – a nod to Coolflow Schoolwear being the trading name of Flamingo Apparel Textiles.
Founded in 1939, Charles Kirk was run by the Horton family since 1953, manufacturing, supplying, embroidering and printing knitwear, sweatshirts and accessories, but they decided in 2019 it was no longer viable to operate the manufacturing operation in Worthing in West Sussex.
Coolflow Schoolwear, which was founded in 1987, is run by the Loyal family including managing director Dan Loyal. It showcased its new name and logo at The Schoolwear Show this week.
Announcing the rebranding, the team at Coolflow Schoolwear said: “Two extraordinary years have now passed where we have successfully continued to manufacture and supply the Charles Kirk brand, maintaining the high-quality garments and service levels Charles Kirk were so proud of, and thus we have undergone a major rebranding to bring Charles Kirk back to the forefront of our business.
“The Charles Kirk brand is one that links with high-quality knitwear and sweatshirts so it was important that this was maintained but rebranded in a way that gives our company a new lease of life and its own individual identity going forward.”
Coolflow Schoolwear’s email addresses will be updated to Charles Kirk “in the near future” and customers will be notified of changes in contact details.
Alongside the new name, more garments are now available under the Charles Kirk brand including blazers, trousers, skirts and sportswear, all of which can be personalised within its in-house embroidery facility.
In its statement, Coolflow Schoolwear added: “UK manufacture, something that is at the heart of the Charles Kirk name, is still available, along with the continuation of manufacturing in Europe and Asia.
“This not only allows us to offer competitive prices but also ensures that we are able to efficiently supply schoolwear with the fastest possible lead times.”