Howsafe hits 40

Howsafe hits 40

In 2018 Howsafe celebrates 40 years in business. As we reach this milestone I’d like to express my deep gratitude for entrusting us with your business no matter how big or small you may be – and also how proud I am of the team who have helped build the business with us, many of them into two or three decades worth of service.

When Howsafe’s first iconic mobile shop took to the road in 1978, Grease was enjoying a theatrical run at the cinema, the Bee Gees were burning up the charts with Night Fever and our home city of Peterborough looked very different. The Power Station was still standing at the site that would later become Rivergate and although planning permission had been granted for the Queensgate shopping centre, the complex would not open for another four years.

I remember being ousted from my bedroom as a 10-year-old at our family home in the Stanground area of Peterborough to make way for the first office. The stock was back then stored in the garage and on a Bedford CF van – humble beginnings! It wasn’t long before rapidly growing stocks necessitated a move to our first commercial property on Eastfield Road in Peterborough. The location, just off Padholme Road and close to the city centre proved to be ideal for serving the city’s thriving business community. The premises was occupied later by another well known ‘P-Town’ business, Rudkins Electrical.

In 1983 the company outgrew its home and moved to a larger premises on Queens Drive West (formerly a bakery), a premises nestled between Aspect Photography and the Queens Drive Infant’s School. For a period the premises housed a shoe shop called ‘Penhaligon Footwear’, but for most of its life the showroom was dedicated solely to industrial workwear and safety equipment. A 110m² retail showroom space and massively increased warehousing capacity allowed Howsafe to increase its product portfolio and workforce to cope with the growing demand for PPE and expanding customer base.

As the business became busier so did footfall and parking at Queens Drive West became a real issue for the company and for residents. In 2007 the old site at Queens Drive West was redeveloped, and the old bakery was demolished and replaced with a residential development. At this time Peterborough’s Eastern Industry was expanding quickly. New trading estates were being built, attracting new and established businesses. Howsafe settled upon two brand new units (later acquiring a third) on the Edgerley Business Park, one of the new commercial developments off Edgerley Drain Road. It is at this location that Howsafe enters its fourth decade of trading.

To celebrate our Big 40 we have many things planned – starting with a bit of a re-brand which was already underway last year as our showroom had an overhaul during the latter part of 2017. This new branding including the new 40th logo will manifest throughout the company from our vehicles through to our social media.

We also plan to have a special offer, quiz or competition every month with big discounts or prizes that you can take advantage of throughout the year.

As part of our 40th we also plan to have a couple of open days where our trade customers will be able to visit, meet the team, check out our facilities.

Once again a huge thank you to all for getting us to our big 40!

Looking Good!

Looking Good!

van002The positive comments of a number of customers after debuting the livery of the Howsafe fleet’s first Ford Transit Custom recently got us thinking about our visual presence on the roads of Peterborough since the days of rattly old Bedford CFs and flared trousers. The Howsafe mobile shops and delivery vehicles have never been shrinking violets, evolving through a succession of striking colour schemes since 1978 to arrive at the current full colour design. The original in your workforce in safe hands logotype motif is still in use but not featured on the vehicles and colours have changed from red and royal blue to red, black and silver.

van001The Howsafe HQ itself, sitting on the edge of the busy Edgerley Drain Road has similarly become somewhat of a landmark; the large red branding lending itself as a navigation point to many a waylaid business traveler.

But even as design trends have waxed and waned the core of the business has remained very much a constant and we still strive to deliver upon the founding principles of the organisation: the best service and products at sensible prices 🙂

Our on-the-road shops have been a fundamental part of this mission, arming us with a unique service that has been saving our customers time and money since the 70s. Having this mobile infrastructure has enabled us to gear-up clients and their workforce on their own doorsteps and reduce the hassle of size exchanges and the inevitable returns. Most importantly, having a skilled and knowledgeable representative as a direct point of contract has helped us build some fantastic relationships that have spanned generations.

Whilst technology will continue to change the way we shop, we anticipate that in another three of four decades we will still be delivering our core ideologies, still supplying PPE and Workwear in Pterborough and still taking bold design decisions!

Click here to see our complete range of products.

MI5 on the hunt for Health & Safety head

MI5 on the hunt for Health & Safety head

For the health and safety experts who find the day job a little too pedestrian, a more glamorous position is up for grabs at MI5.

The British intelligence agency’s website is advertising for a Head of Health and Safety. The only potential problem for applicants is that the secret service have also shrouded the job description in secrecy –

“We can’t show you the buildings” explains the advert, “We can’t talk about the people you’ll work with. We can’t tell you much about the job. We can’t give you the exact locations. We can’t mention the kind of technology involved.”

It does go on however to explain that MI5 will offer a salary of up to £60,000 and candidates must have a NEBOSH Diploma or equivalent.

Interested parties should head over to the MI5 website.

The Crocodile at Work & Play

The Crocodile at Work & Play

With all eyes on Wimbledon, we thought it might be interesting to take a look at one of leisure and workwear’s most iconic designs and its roots in the glamorous world of the 1920s tennis circuit.

The modern polo shirt was invented by Jean René Lacoste, world number one in 1926 and 1927 and winner of seven grand slam singles titles.

Lacoste’s idea was to replace traditional tennis attire: the long sleeved shirt, tie and flannels, which he considered too cumbersome and uncomfortable.

His design was a white, short-sleeved shirt in a loose piqué cotton knit. It had an unstarched, flat collar with a three button placket that could be easily unbuttoned or turned up to protect the neck from the sun. The short sleeves wouldn’t roll down like traditional shirts and the material was more breathable. The tennis tail, where the back of the shirt is longer than the front is still a feature of modern garments.

Lacoste retired from tennis in 1933 and collaborated with clothing merchandiser André Gillier to market the shirt in North America and Europe. Together they formed the company Chemise Lacoste, adopting the iconic crocodile motif, which had been Lacoste’s nickname during his playing career. The company later caused a sensation when introduing the world’s first tubular steel tennis racquet in 1963.

Lacoste died in 1996, but his shirt is now worn worldwide for work and play.

This is nowhere more evident than in Howsafe’s wide selection of polo shirts with the famous pique knit. Click here to take a look at our range.

The Hoodie: A not so modern classic

The Hoodie: A not so modern classic

The hoodie is a garment that has a modern history going back around eighty years, but has its design roots in medieval Europe, when monks favoured a cowl-type hood attached to a tunic or robe.

The contemporary hoodie first emerged as a functional item of workwear in the US in the 1930s, where it was used to insulate workers from the chilling temperatures of upstate New York.

The term ‘hoodie’ was not officially coined until the 1990s, but it was two decades earlier when high fashion and street culture collided to popularise the design. Sylvester Stallone famously donned the hoodie as an item of training wear in the 1976 film Rocky.

Later, leading designers such as Norman Kamali produced their own interpretations of the classic garment, whilst it became somewhat of a uniform amongst the youth and in hip hop and skate culture specifically. Tommy Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren and others incorporated the hoodie into their collections and it was around this time that the fad for collegiate branding first took off.

Whilst the hoodie has had negative associations in recent years, and is seen by some as an icon of youthful rebellion, it remains very much an essential and workwear and leisure wear design, at home as much on the skate park as it is on the construction site. Simplicity, practicality and functionality will ensure that this sometimes controversial garment will be around for many years to come.

Click here to take a look at Howsafe’s hoodie range, all available with embroidery and printing.