Category Archives: Made in Britain

Cross Back Aprons to Fit

About 6 months ago, Liz from the design team came upstairs to the office to show us a new prototype apron she had made from striped navy and white denim with red straps.  I jumped up in excitement because I immediately fell in love with it.  I’m always one for a stripe, especially one that gives a nautical feel.  This, along with a pop of colour from the red strap had me completely smitten! 

Liz, seeing my excitement, offered to let me try it on and once I was strapped into it.  I realised that although I loved the look, the actual brilliance of this apron is the cross back which makes it fit like a glove.  I never really appreciated that the cross back, as well as creating a stylish look, is a fantastic way to make a standard apron fit all sizes of people.  The cross back allows the straps to shorten and lengthen at the neck which means all heights are catered for, this also applies to the width which accommodates all body shapes and most importantly makes it really comfortable to wear, almost like a dress.

For restaurants, cafes and hotels with a number of staff, cross back aprons are definitely the way to go to suit everyone.

Have It Your Own Way

There’s something incredibly satisfying about seeing a product design and knowing it can be brought to life. We gets lots of enquiries here at Impact Trading for garments such as Pantone colour matched t-shirts or polo shirts with contrast collars and buttons. Our job is to take your ideas and basic sketches and make them into a reality.

Using the highest quality fabrics we offer options of customisation and embellishments that really reflect your brand. Our aim is to produce something truly unique and exclusive to you; and let’s face it, it’s all in the detail, the smallest thing can make the biggest difference. The button, the placket, the collar, the piping, even the little neck label with your company logo. These can all be produced in your company colours, or maybe even a contrast colour to make them really pop!

Our fabrics include all the usual cottons and poly-cottons but more wonderfully and very recently, organic cotton, a fabric choice we are very proud to offer!

All the fabrics available can be dyed to your choice of Pantone colour and receiving your little lab dip fabric swatch in the post is always an exciting moment.

We do our best here to make things simple and as quick as possible for you without compromising on quality. We manufacture in Europe in around 8-10 weeks and we keep in touch throughout the process, so if you are looking to enhance your company image then bespoke manufacture might just be the route for you.

Pantone dyed polo shirt, Pantone dyed buttons, bespoke woven neck tape.

Apron Strap Style

If you are looking for something really unique that makes your brand stand out, apron straps are a great way to make an impression. At Impact Trading and Cotton Roots we are constantly developing new styles with different fabrics and material and colours to fit with our customer’s branding and to create inspiration for new customers. 

Customers can choose stock webbing that’s plain or striped, to completely bespoke webbing that can be printed with a particular image or design. You can even have bespoke webbing that is woven in your brand colours. If webbing isn’t your cup of tea you can have self-fabric straps, which are made from the same fabric as the apron, or a completely different colour or type of fabric to add a little bit of texture or contrast.

Some more unusual options are leather straps which are often made detachable so that they can be removed when washing the apron. If you like the look of leather but need it to be more practical and washable, a faux suede can be used instead which gives you the industrial look. Extra little details include choices from a range of neck sliders, both metal and plastic and adding contrast stitching, bar tacks, studs or poppers.

As well as a choice of interesting fabrics and materials for your apron and straps, you can also choose the style of straps and apron you want.  Standard bib aprons either with or without adjustable straps are a very popular choice, but cross back straps, waist aprons or a completely bespoke design are also available for you to choose from.

The Michel and Alain Roux Apron

We have recently had the honour of working with Maggie from the Michelin star restaurant, The Waterside Inn, in Bray which is run by chef patron Alain Roux.

They were looking for a bespoke, made in Britain apron to sell in the restaurant gift shop and came to Impact Trading with a strong idea of what they wanted. Katt from our design team began transforming the sketch they sent to us full of bespoke ideas, into a reality.

Every component and detail was thought out, sampled and put together. The apron includes woven labels, printed logo, webbing and a beautifully embroidered motto “Taste, season, taste again”. The navy Pantone colour has been matched throughout, and coordinates perfectly with pastel blue of the apron.

Michel, Alain and Maggie were delighted with the results so the Roux apron went into production here at Impact Trading which is based on the edge of Milton Keynes on beautiful Rose Lane Farm.

The team at Impact Trading loved working on these aprons as they had unique features, such as the embroidery which is much wider than anything we would normally embroider. The aprons also had a many elements which required precise detail, for example the top stitching for the pen pocket within the larger pocket.

Alain and Michel proudly wearing their aprons

These bespoke aprons made by Impact Trading in Britain are available to buy from the Waterside Inn online shop here

Work Wear Uniform Trends

For a long time hospitality wear has remained very stagnant, traditional black trousers and skirts, white shirts and blouses were the simple, go to outfit.

I remember as a student I worked as a waitress casually for a catering company and also in a cafe and restaurant, for each job it was a staple items in my wardrobe.  For employers it was an easy uniform option, something that staff would already have or could easily get.

In the last few years at Impact Trading and Cotton Roots we have a noticed a big change, both in office wear and hospitality uniform. Office wear has started to move away from suits and ties to smart trouser and open collar shirts.  Dress down Friday is becoming common place in many offices and branding and web agencies actively encourage relaxed and individual clothing in order to create an inspirational environment.

Hoteliers and restaurateurs have also started to realise that uniform plays a significant part in the overall branding and is an important part of the experience for customers. 

Bespoke Denim Apron with Faux Suede Cross Back Straps

At the moment we are noticing a huge trend towards an industrial feel in restaurants and hotels. Lots of hard surfaces in different textures such at concrete, wood and metal.  The uniforms reflect the industrial revolution era with braces, flat caps, waistcoats which then have a modern twist of jeans and chinos to go with them.

Hard wearing fabrics such as canvas, denim and leather feature heavily within this look.

This break away from the conservative traditions of black and white means that staff uniforms and venues can really stand out from the crowd and provide customers with a completely immersive experience.

For more information on branded uniform and bespoke aprons please call Impact Trading on 01908 511395 or email [email protected]

Why Buy British?

More so than ever people are interested in the provenance and sustainability of the products they buy and that’s one of the reasons why our output is 25% up on the production levels of the early eighties. And it’s continuing to rise. You wouldn’t be the first person to think that Britain doesn’t manufacture anything anymore, but you’d be wrong! Britain is producing high quality goods and they are in demand!

Buying British isn’t about parading about with the Union Jack, it’s about choosing good-value British basics and locally sourced goods.

But why should we buy British? Or buy local? It’s a good question. But there are many economic, social and environmental reasons for it.

1. It’s environmentally friendly

Lots of people would like to do more to conserve and protect our natural resources, but don’t know where to begin when it comes to being environmentally friendly. We all have a role to play when it comes to supporting an eco friendly environment and buying British (or buying local) means we are taking responsibility for the environmental impact of our own consumption. Nowadays, eco friendly products are readily available; and so too are British goods. When you buy British, you create a smaller carbon footprint. It’s as simple as that! Mass produced products are often flown into the UK from the other side of the world, leaving a massive carbon footprint behind it and buying British Made goods helps counteract this. People are now more aware than ever. The UK trend reflects a global rise in interest in environmentally friendly products, with consumers prepared to pay more to protect the natural world doubling in recent years.

2. You are investing in quality

Globalisation has opened up many opportunities and has helped provide mass volumes that retailers need, but it’s also changed the way businesses think. Globalisation is about producing the largest amount of products for the cheapest price, rather than focusing on quality. British made products may be more expensive but are often better made, meaning that you have long, lasting products.

3. It helps create employment

Wouldn’t it be nice to help boost the British economy by keeping people in jobs? Local business has the opportunity to place people in careers, educate them and promote a good work ethic. When buying British Made products you are helping to keep the manufacturing market in the UK exciting and vibrant.

4. Your spending will boost the local economy. 

When you buy local more money stays in the community. Research on spending by local authorities shows that for every £1 spent with a small or medium-sized business 63p stayed in the local economy, compared to 40p with a larger business.

So how do you know when it’s Made in Britain?

In January 2011 cooker manufacturer Stoves commissioned independent market research among 1,000 British adults which found that almost half of those surveyed admitted confusion about which brands could still claim to be made in Britain. More than a third (37%) of those questioned stated they would buy British if it was easier to identify authentic made in Britain products.

Introducing the Made in Britain Marque

The idea for a logo to identify products made in Britain was conceived by Stoves following their research. The marque is designed to be used by British manufacturers on their marketing material, websites and products to help consumers and businesses understand the origins of the goods they are purchasing. The chosen design was unveiled in July 2011 and in November 2012 a committee was formed to oversee the marque and assist with the ongoing promotion of the campaign.

In 2013, further research was carried out by Make it British, which found that many people were willing to pay more to buy British, particular the older generation. Superior quality, support for the UK economy, and job creation were the main reasons cited for their choice.

In June 2013 the logo was redesigned the new one is based on a quadrant of the Union flag.

Their mission:

“To be the definitive Made in Britain campaign, endorsed by government, supported by manufacturers and recognised by consumers, at home and abroad.”


Their Objectives for 2015:


So will you buy British?