Briggs Safetywear is launching its new Iconic Corporate & Print Wear collection next month. Here’s an exclusive preview for Images readers

November sees the launch of the new Himalayan Iconic Corporate & Print Wear collection from Briggs Safetywear. The company is promising that new garments will bring fashion and fit to the fore of corporatewear design, alongside fitness for purpose and maximum decoration potential. More than 70 years ago, the Briggs family set up a business supplying everyday shoes to the high street through its own long-established retail stores. In 2011, the Superhouse Group of India bought the safetywear part of the business, creating the company Briggs Safetywear.

The Superhouse Group is a conglomerate that produces leather goods and textile garments, and has a turnover of US$200 million, more than 5,000 employees, nine units involved in manufacturing footwear and shoe accessories, four modern tanneries and a number of garment manufacturing units, including a textile factory in India supplying workwear. It’s a major player on the workwear stage.

And it’s this manufacturing might combined with Briggs’s in-depth knowledge of the PPE and workwear market that allowed Briggs to move from supplying the well-known Himalayan safety footwear brand to creating a range of Himalayan garments. Now in its seventh year, the Himalayan clothing brand currently includes a well-established range of polos and trousers, along with a jacket, hoodie and softshell.

So what prompted the development of the soon-to-be launched Himalayan Iconic Corporate & Print Wear collection and its focus on the corporate and printwear market? Briggs’ sales director Guy Lomas, explains: “Briggs already has a limited range of workwear products and with the support of the group’s manufacturing capabilities it was an obvious move to extend the clothing range into the corporate and printwear market under the already established Himalayan brand.

The Blizzard softshell

Bullet trouser

Dri-Tech Polo

“The main design concept for this collection is to make it print ready for the embroidery decoration market, and to ensure that key print size areas are maximised. All products feature triple stitching on all main seams, with longevity of product and wearability comfort being paramount.”

There are eight styles in the new collection. The Dri-Tech Polo, in 100% polyester fabric, is undoubtedly the standout design and the one that Guy is predicting will be the range’s bestseller. “It’s a really nice product innovation. I think the polyester polo shirt with its technical breathable fabric will replace much of the poly-cotton polo market over time as the price difference is not as high as one might think and the benefits are endless, particularly in warmer weather.”

Polo potential

The Dri-Tech Polo comes in both women’s and men’s styles, with Briggs emphasising the importance of women’s fitting throughout the new collection. Guy comments: “Delivering women’s fitting is central to delivering the fashion element to the range as a whole. More and more women are in the workplace, with a particular uplift in distribution centres, and it is essential for the fitting of product for both men and women to portray the right company image.”

The lightweight Dri-Tech polo promises comfort, durability and breathability. There is a choice of seven colours – white, navy, black, bottle, royal, graphite and red – and, like all the tops in the new range, the women’s style is available in sizes 8-22 while the men’s ranges from XS-5XL.

Also new is the Classic polo, a polycotton style (50% cotton/50% polyester) in a 245gsm fabric, which also comes in a choice of the same seven core colours.

Next up is the Team sweatshirt, a polycotton, unisex style that comes in six colours: navy, black, bottle, royal, graphite and red. “We’ve used the same six colours for the sweatshirt, microfleece and polos, with an additional white option for the polos, to ensure that everything is matching,” explains Guy.

The unisex microfleece – named Polar – is a great style for those who need to keep warm, but also want to look stylish, while the softshell Blizzard (men’s and women’s style available) has numerous functional design features, including lots of pockets, and comes in three popular shades for jackets – navy, black and graphite.

Briggs Safetywear’s 65,000 sq ft distribution centre in Leicester

The new collection also features three trouser designs, the first of which is the Active Trouser (men’s fit only). This is a basic combat style that is available in black and navy. The Bullet features internal knee pockets as well as combat-style pockets. It is available in five colours and two leg lengths, as well as a complementary women’s fit, in sizes 6-24.

The final trouser in the new collection is the men’s-fit Titanium. It is a similar design to the Bullet, but also includes two hi-vis strips. It is ideal for council and bin workers, explains Guy, and comes in navy, royal and bottle. Like all the men’s trouser styles, the Titanium comes in waist sizes 28”-52” and in three leg lengths: 29”, 31” and 33”.

The new styles reflect the growing influence of the high street and the move away from the ‘practicality over aesthetics’ approach that’s traditionally adopted by companies when designing workwear. “Fashion has had a massive influence in the workwear and safety footwear markets over the last decade and the Himalayan brand has been breaking the boundaries in terms of design,” says Guy. “As part of a shoe company that supplies big high street brands, our in-house designers have propelled Himalayan to its current position as one of the best recognised brands for styling of safety footwear. Fashion and fitting will continue to be the big drivers in the PPE market, while exceeding the required safety standards will always be at the forefront of product development.”

The new collection is only the beginning, however: “Our long-term plan is to extend the Himalayan workwear range aggressively using the group’s massive resource. We are already sampling more trousers and other garments over and above this new collection, so there will be new Himalayan product coming each and every year to keep the range fresh and fit for purpose in the fast-moving world of printwear,” Guy reports. All the new styles will be available from 4 November 2017 for next day delivery from the company’s 65,000 sq ft distribution centre in Leicester. “Company logos can be applied by the usual application methods, and particular detail has been taken to ensure the products are ‘print easy’ and ‘print ready’ garments,” Guy adds.