New affordable softshell offers ‘fitted’ silhouette and maximum decoration options

Orn launched the new Skimmer Classic Softshell (4600) in January, in response to regular customers asking for a more cost-effective softshell option, reports managing director Ivor Tunley. “We have the excellent Tern jacket, which is a very high specification and performance jacket, but for indoor or more price-sensitive contracts, that just doesn’t always work. And so the Skimmer was born.”

Softshells have had a massive impact on the workwear market, explains Ivor, and will continue to do so. “I think it will become the most popular option between a low cost fleece and a wet weather garment just because of its versatility. The property that most appeals is its combination of cost, appearance, durability and wearability.”

Stocks of the Skimmer arrived in the UK in February, although key customers had already been shown the prototypes for some weeks before, Ivor reveals. The feedback has been “massively positive”.

Being a mid-weight softshell it could be worn in an office environment, on a shop floor, or just as comfortably outdoors or in a vehicle


There are a number of key design details that he is keen to highlight: “As with all our outerwear, we have a genuine YKK main zip with our industry-leading lifetime warranty. The style itself has a side panel that creates a ‘fitted’ silhouette and is very comfortable to wear. Internally, there are large storage pockets on both the left and right side, and the main panels have all been left clear to maximise the decoration options of the style.”

The Skimmer is currently available in blue and black, the brand’s bestselling contract colours, with plans to extend the colour range once the style is established. Ivor adds that a female version “is on the radar!”.

From a decoration point of view, he says, “Embroidery looks and works best, and the softshell fabric provides an excellent base for embroidery, but the product can also be heat sealed or screen printed – it all depends on what the customer is looking for. However, as our market is primarily workwear, we anticipate embroidery being the prime method of logo application.”

The sectors this jacket will appeal to are vast, explains Ivor. “There is no limit to where it could go! Being a mid-weight softshell at 290gsm it could be worn in an office environment, on a shop floor, or just as comfortably outdoors or in a vehicle. We see the main market as being where a fleece has historically been worn – the Skimmer provides a smart and more durable alternative

The stretch fabric gives a comfortable fit