Latest News | 27 April 2021

Bondholders embrace casual workwear revolution

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Vibrant Accountancy and Colleague Box are embracing the casual workwear revolution by ordering their own bespoke range of clothing.

Both firms have called upon the expertise of Derby independent clothing label MrShaw to come up with their own range of branded business workwear.

According to MrShaw, more firms are looking for workwear that bridges the gap between the home and the office.

The company believes it is experiencing the first indication of the untapped demand for bespoke items such as corporate hoodies and T-shirts after receiving interest from traditionally white-collar firms.

MrShaw, which was founded by Karl Shaw in 2016, made its name locally by designing a range of T-shirts, hoodies and sweatshirts all inspired by Karl’s love of Derby and his memories of growing up in the city.

Earlier this year MrShaw – whose brand ambassadors include Derby County TV presenter Owen Bradley and former Rams footballer Shane Nicholson – produced a range of clothing in conjunction with Derby Brewing Company.

However, this year, MrShaw supplied its first-ever clothing collection, designed solely for a company, after it supplied T-shirts and hoodies for Duffield Road-based accountants Vibrant.

It has since been asked to supply a bespoke range for Derby letterbox gift company Colleague Box and says that more orders from other local companies are now in the pipeline.

Karl, who also runs city design agency Silver Birch Creative, said that while branded workwear is traditionally associated with supermarkets, factories and hospitality venues, interest from companies who are more associated with a formal suit and tie approach has slowly been growing in the background.

However, the lockdown and home working, which has seen staff doing business while wearing their own casual clothing on video calls, has accelerated the move toward a more relaxed feel both in and out of the office.

In turn, companies are now looking for ways in which they can embrace the changing trend with clothes that both reflect the new casual feel and incorporate their own professional branding.

Karl said: “Home working and appearing on Zoom calls or whatever has meant that we’re used to seeing our colleagues and even our bosses in a more relaxed style and so it’s no surprise that companies are exploring having their own range of casual clothing.

“People identify strongly with labels and they give a sense of belonging, so, as long as the design matches the feel of their brand and looks good on the wearer then I would definitely see designer casual corporate wear as an area of huge untapped potential post-lockdown.”

Bev Wakefield, a director at Vibrant Accountancy, said: “We like to see ourselves as more informal and less stuffy than a traditional accountancy while still appearing professional, smart and distinctive and this new clothing allows us to do that.

“We were already moving in that direction, but lockdown has certainly changed things to the extent that if you wear formal clothing when you’re sitting at home taking part in a Zoom call then it just looks wrong.

“We already work with Karl but when we saw his work with Derby Brewing Company we asked if he could design us our own range too.

“We’re delighted with the result and really happy to have used a Derby designer.

“We could have easily gone online to find a supplier but we’re proud of our city and really pleased that MrShaw has incorporated the spirit of Derby in our new clothing too.”

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