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New tariffs on goods imported into the UK

Before we left the European Union, the price you saw at checkout was the price you paid with no tariffs. Our departure has brought some changes. The UK now charges duties on some goods & packages arriving from Europe. The amount charged depends on the total value & comprises import VAT & duty.

 

up to £39-should be free of tariffs
£39-£135- just import VAT
Over £135 will have import VAT & duty + handling fee.

 

Unfortunately, these costs are only payable once the goods arrive, so are not part of the checkout price. For further information visit: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/tariffs-on-goods-imported-into-the-uk

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Fashion vs style.What do fashion consumers want?

Fashion vs style. Is being on-trend important to you? Or do you believe fashionable attire is frivolous, not serious business? Have you ever asked why you feel this way? 

“Fashion changes but style endures.” Coco Chanel.

The great Coco Chanel in her famous quote has pointed out the one thing we sometimes forget; fashion is a trend, while style is unique to us. 

What do fashion consumers want?

Many studies on what motivates people to buy what they do. A Study of Clothing Purchasing Behavior By Gender with Respect to Fashion and Brand Awareness” claims the principal reasons are:

  • Fashion trends are an important factor in clothing choices for women, while the brand profile is a stronger driver for men.
  • They showed the men in their study buy more clothing to conform to fashion.

Fashion vs style: Comparisons & contrasts of the two.

Style is individualistic. Dependent on you knowing what suits you & what you feel comfortable in. timeless.

Fashion is generic. Dependent on, you know what’s currently trending in the fashion world. Seasonal.

Where do you buy your clothes?

With clothing, where you shop depends on how much of your money, self-esteem & time you’re willing to spend. A need to control how others see you may also drive it (see below). Unless you make your clothes from scratch, the stores you use will fall into one of the following tiers:

  • Haute couture
  • Luxury Fashion
  • Bridge Brands/Diffusion Lines
  • High Street
  • Fast Fashion

Haute couture

According to Thorstein Veblen, high demand merchandise increases in price because buyers regard it as a status symbol; a commodity consumed conspicuously. The goods Veblen are referring to are designer, luxury items with a well-established status. Not sold in conventional shops, these items are highly desirable to the masses. Consumers regard them as being more valuable because of their higher price.The very items which fall in the haute couture range.

Haute couture is a special classification designed by the French government. For a fashion house listing by Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture, it must adhere to the following rules:- 

  •  designs made-to-order clothes for private clients, with over one fitting,
  •  using an atelier (workshop) that employs at least fifteen full-time staff. 
  • must also have twenty full-time technical workers in one of their workshops. 
  •  must present a collection of no less than 50 original designs — both day and evening garments — to the public every season, in January and July.

 The small volume of clothing produced means only a select few can afford it. The entry price for an Haute couture garment is somewhere near about £10,000.

Luxury Fashion

 “Some people think luxury is the opposite of poverty. It is not. It is the opposite of vulgarity.” Coco Chanel.

 Unlike Haute couture, the luxury fashion niche is not completely handmade. They are not mass-produced, which keeps the volume low enough to still offer the desirability which comes with having limited availability. Most items are priced high enough to maintain the feeling of being a part of an elite market. The brands in this tier appear to be changing what they deemed to be quality materials (fur, silks, precious stones & metals) to appeal to the need to reuse & recycle.

Bridge Brands/ Diffusion Lines

This market became big in the ”90s-’00s when designer brands blew up. Bridge products had the look of designer merchandises made from less costly textiles. The brands within this level offer great quality clothing at a more reachable price point, so they were at the top end of affordable goods. They aimed this market at a younger demographic that was aspiring to wear designer clothes. It’s all but disappeared because of more affordable luxury brands like Michael Kors & Burberry cutting into this market.

Examples of designer & bridge brands/diffusion lines:

Dolce and Gabbana -D&G (discontinued)

Ralph Lauren-Lauren 

Donna Karan -DKNY 

Calvin Klein- CK 

Prada-Miu Miu (discontinued)

Marc Jacobs- Marc (discontinued)

High Street

Inexpensively priced mass-produced clothing accessible to all, this market level sits close to the bottom. Typical high street consumers include both males and females, whose finances & lifestyles dictate their purchases. During the COVID lockdowns, this tier has taken a hammering. The sellers who could have opened /improved their online presence, Those who have stuck strictly to bricks & mortar selling are struggling to stay afloat.

Fast Fashion

Fast Fashion is where you will find the bulk of the well-known, affordable brands. This tier employs fad imitation, accelerated production, and low-quality materials to produce inexpensive styles. Fast fashion is a phenomenon in the industry where the process of production gets new trends to the market quickly and cheaply. Because of the large amounts of ” micro seasons” with much of the clothing not lasting very long, fast fashion is becoming problematic. 

“Fast fashion isn’t free. Someone somewhere is paying.”

— Lucy Siegle

What is the psychology of fashion?

According to Dr Jennifer Baumgartner in a Forbes article;

“Americans rely on clothing as an economic and social indicator because there aren’t official marks of rank such as a caste system or aristocracy,

Fashion psychology exposes important connections linking apparel characteristics & unspoken cultural preferences: Wearing particular clothing/brands/labels show what ‘tribe’ you belong to & how much money & influence you have. Here are a few theories that show this in action.

One hypothesis called enclothed cognition (see below) explains not only how the way our clothes make us feel about ourselves but also what meanings society ascribes to them. It showed wearing particular items of clothing & accessories signal both to ourselves & those around us who we are (example spectacle wearer =brainy).

The researchers gave out white lab coats to test subjects. Some were told that it was a doctor’s coat & some that it was a painter’s smock. All completed the same tasks. Those wearing the “doctor’s coat” were more vigilant and alert. Their clothing motivated their acts

Hemline index theory

Economist George Taylor in 1926 came with what’s known as the hemline theory. The theory states when the country is in recession, most women wear longer hemlines. During affluence times, hemlines become shorter. I mention this because it appears in some western countries, economists are using this fashion trend to determine the health of their economy.  Marjolein van Baardwijk & Philip Hans Franses appear to have confirmed Mr Taylor’s hypothesises looking at data collated over 80 years. Unfortunately, it doesn’t explain what drives this trend. Just for fun, look at the men’s underwear index that’s used by Alan Greenspan! Never miss another article. Join our newsletter.

sources: https://aliciaamyjones.co.uk/the-market-levels-of-fashion

https://www.investopedia.com/terms/t/thorstein-veblen.asp

https://www.businessoffashion.com/education/fashion-az/haute-couture

https://www.bbc.com/culture/article/20181210-what-does-luxury-mean-now

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Style personality quiz

Have you ever thought about what your dress style says about your personality? Maybe you understand your motivation for dressing the way you do & which to mix it up every once in a while. Either way, take this fun personality quiz to find your real style.

What's your natural style?

People copy the latest fashion worn by celebrities & believe they are stylish. Your dress style has more to do with knowing what suits, feeling comfortable & choosing items you'll wear again & again. Take this quiz to see if your choices are right for your personality!

Don’t forget your infographic!

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New year resolutions

The holiday season is here again. The time of year when, people of strong faith or no faith at all, run out & spend money on stuff for people we spend the rest of the year avoiding. This year is even more poignant as shopping on the high street has become a badge of honour.

For this reason, this is a post dedicated to New Year’s resolutions. Their history, failure rates, psychological reasons we still keep making them.

History

The Mesopotamian Akitu festival dates back to the third millennium BC. It lasted twelve days, beginning on the first New Moon after the Spring Equinox. The legend is the festival was to remind the king his role was to serve the god, Marduk.
Part of the festivities involved the king being stripped of his fineries & slapped in the face by a high priest!* Another involved the people promising the gods to pay their debts & return anything borrowed over the year.

The Romans carried on this tradition & in 46BC, Julius Caesar declared 1st January to be the first day of the new year. They promised the god Janus they would be good for the year to come.
In medieval times, knights took the peacock vow. Their resolutions concerned defending the Holy land to the death.

Psychology of resolutions

According to Statista.com in 2019, these were the most common resolutions made by Brits:

More exercise: 47%

Losing weight:44%. Improving my diet:41%. Saving more money:31%. Taking up a new hobby:18%

According to YouGov, more exercise is the top resolution for Americans as well.

Approximately 80% of all resolutions get broken. A primary reason that people break their resolutions is they set too many or unrealistic resolutions. Resolving to visit the gym when you can’t afford the membership will fail. You will need another person to fall head over heels in love with you for you to find the love of your life. How can you control get less stressed? 

They are victims of False hope syndrome, characterised by unrealistic expectations about the likely speed, amount, ease and consequences of changing behaviour.

How to get better results

  • Make sure the task you are planning is achievable.
  • Check your efforts once a month.
  • Phrase your goals in the affirmative; “I will” do something not “I will stop” doing something.
  • Be sure in your on mind what you can change & what you can’t.
  • Be sure the results you’re expecting relate to the goal you’re setting.
  • Make sure you have the correct tools/frame of mind to complete your goals successfully.
  • Understand how difficult changing behaviour is. Things don’t just change, effort needs to be taken.

*If the king cried, it was believed he was Marduk’s choice for the next year. 

Never miss another post. Join our newsletter. 

sources: 

https://www.ancient-origins.net/news-general-human-origins-religions/babylonian-akitu-festival-and-humbling-king-002128

https://pubsonline.informs.org/doi/abs/10.1287/mnsc.2014.1901#

https://www.history.com/news/the-history-of-new-years-resolutionshttps://www.statista.com/chart/20381/most-common-new-years-resolutions-gb/

https://today.yougov.com/topics/lifestyle/articles-reports/2020/01/02/new-years-resolutions-2020-health-finance

https://slate.com/human-interest/2014/01/new-years-resolutions-are-lame-the-peacock-vow-is-awesome.html

https://www.nature.com/articles/0801705.pdf?origin=ppub

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Burn body fat: Does wearing hoodies while working out help?

Many of us exercise to burn body fat. Hoodies for running a good idea? To answer the question, you need to understand a few things. First, why do you want to use a hoodie when you run? If the motivation is to lose weight, then you need to understand how the body stores & uses fat. If the driver is comfort, then you need to be conscious of problems that come with training in hoodies. Below are some points to be aware of whatever you choose to do.

Imagine your body is a vehicle. To run, you need fuel. When you fill-up, it gets stored in the tank. When needed, your body sends signals triggering a discharge of energy.

Two energy sources the body uses are glucose & fat. Some organs in the body, primarily the brain, use the enzymes made from glucose exclusively to function. However, most use energy converted from fat. 

How does your body get its energy?

Two energy sources the body uses are glucose & fat. Some organs in the body, primarily the brain, use the enzymes made from glucose exclusively to function. However, most use energy converted from fat. 

Approx 60-90 mins of exercise will deplete stored glucose, which makes the body use energy stored in fat cells.* These cells live in the adipose tissue as fatty acid chains.

The body creates energy from these stores to carry out all of its functions. When you move stored carbohydrates, fats & glucose get transformed to a coenzyme called Adenosine triphosphate (ATP). This enzyme is the form of energy that allows you to move. It is also necessary for these other metabolic actions:-

Basal functions: many continuous chemical processes keeping you alive (breathing, carrying oxygen around your body, etc.)

    • Digestion: breaking down what you eat & drink takes energy. Your body uses your carb, sugar & fat stores to do this.
    • Cell repair/renew (anabolism)

How does exercise burn body fat?

When you exercise, you boost the blood flow to your muscles, speeding up the conversion of fat to ATP (see above). By-products of this process are carbon dioxide released through breathing & water expelled through sweat & urine. It is this loss of fluid that causes short-term weight loss.

What is happening in the short term?

What is happening in the long term?

We all have two different sweat glands; eccrine & apocrine glands. Eccrine glands positioned all over the body are mainly used to regulate body temperature. Most are in the forehead, palms of the hands & soles of the feet. The type of sweat they produce is sheer & odour-free. The rest of the body has apocrine sweat glands. They’re mainly on the scalp, in the groin, & armpits. The sweat produced in these areas smells.
Logically, training in extra clothing increases the amount you sweat, which works great for releasing toxins. The problem is, this can cause you to overheat if you’re not careful.Logically, training in extra clothing increases the amount you sweat, which works great for releasing toxins. Problem is this can cause you to overheat if you’re not careful.

Raising your temperature from wearing extra layers speeds the cycle, shortening the time before you consume energy generated from fat. 

Regular emptying of these fat cells in the adipose tissue through activity makes them shrink in size.***For this reason, wearing a hoodie (or extra clothing) will help indirectly in dropping body fat. 

Wearing it after a workout helps regulate how quickly your body cools down, just like tracksuits (see below).

Once you exercise regularly, you’ll appreciate warming up in your hoodie. Athletes frequently don hoodies while working out to get warmed up quicker, as hoodies help keep heat. Warm-up with or without extra clothing for the following reasons; 

  • Stretching out your muscles before running helps your performance & helps blood flow better to all parts of the body.
  • Less likely to injure yourself by keeping your muscles warm.
  • Being comfortable aids focus your mind before your run/workout. 

Also, cold muscles can become pulled muscles if you run, especially if you’re racing in cold weather.

When you wear a hoodie and run, your body heat raises more. Blood circulation increases & your heart rate goes up. This helps the body break down body fats (see above).

Are tracksuits better than hoodies for burning body fat?

As mentioned above, clothing used as a means of burning body fat works better after working out than wearing during training. Tracksuits are designed for athletes to keep their bodies warm before or after a competition, because the more energy the body spends trying to stay warm, the less it has for muscle movement; this will affect performance & possibly cause discomfort. 

In cold weather, tracksuit material can protect your skin from wind & rain while you run.

Unfortunately, jogging bottoms, sweatshirts & traditional hoodies can become very uncomfortable when wet. 100% cotton clothing may be better for the environment but, cotton is not great for wicking away moisture.
Though advances in workout clothing fabrics have led to a decline in the use of sweatshirts & jogging bottoms (sweatpants), they are still useful in training. 100% cotton may be better for the environment & comfy. It’s not great for ‘wicking away’ moisture which can lead to chills.

*If you have ever heard of hitting the wall, physiologically your body is switching from using sugars to fat to produce energy.

** Calculate your BMR  

***However, the number of cells developed in adolescence remain the same number.

sources:
https://www.healthline.com/health/sweating-working-out#why-you-sweat
https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/metabolism
https://livehealthy.chron.com/lose-weight-running-sweat-shirt-6529.html
https://www.britannica.com/science/adenosine-triphosphate
https://www.statista.com/topics/1743/running-and-jogging/
https://squatwolf.com/blog/gym-hoodies/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anabolism

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 Print on demand in the UK

Official UK Government statistics for 2018-19, show a decline in traditional printing. Catalogues, magazines & other printed paper products aren’t in demand. Even so, a Sept 2020 Printweek article predicts future significant growth in the UK print on demand, direct-to-garment (DTG) market. 

Sustainability advantages of on-demand production and the rapid growth in online retail are the way forward. This type of production, together with a 50-year-old innovation, known as drop shipping, is changing the way we all shop.

How dropshipping started

Mail-order businesses were widely used in the 1950s & 1960s on both sides of the Atlantic. This business model grew from the need of large companies to store large amounts of stock. Organizations who sold their items through both catalogue & shops would traditionally fill the postal orders by taking stock directly from the shelves.
To make sure there was enough stock, big warehouses were prepared to store large amounts of stock.

Companies which exclusively sold via mail-order started to list these same items in their catalogues, at a marked up price. When an order came through, the company purchased the item from the warehouse. The item would be shipped to the customer address straight from the warehouse. This is ‘dropshipping’.

With wider usage of the Internet for shopping, stores which traded like this in the past shifted their presence online. Many have come & gone but some have managed to stay the course. But the main winners are the ones which started as selling platforms. Amazon, Etsy & eBay. 

These platforms have transformed how people can sell online. No need for specialised & costly online stores. Just list your items on their platforms & they’ll drive the traffic to your items! 

You still need products to sell. You can either buy ready-made items or create print on demand pieces ( Printful ).

 

What is print on demand?

Bespoke or custom-made items are based completely on the specifications of the person ordering. Fabrics, measurements, etc are all determined by the customer.
Print on demand takes white-label goods & customizes with designs provided by store owners/ individuals. These items are then sold under their label/name
Whether custom-made or print on demand, articles are only made when ordered. Because of this, unlike traditional drop shipping or high street stores, no inventory or bulk buying is needed, making them greener options.

At Cool Sarky Prints, we primarily use Printful, because of their setup. Both novice & skilled business owners looking for balanced responses to modern shopping habits they can upscale, use Printful. Printful is one of the most successful print-on-demand firms, in the UK & worldwide. They offer a variety of merchandises which businesses & individuals can customize. Helpful additions like mockup generators & logo design aids are useful for entrepreneurs. 

Companies, such as Printful, Printfy or Redbubble, not only print but drop ship the finished article. This makes it an affordable option for online stores & their customers. Firms wishing to use fewer resources & energy stocking products have the flexibility to do that.
If a product doesn’t sell, production can be stopped almost immediately, without losing money or wasting stock. This is a virtue from a customers point of view. According to the Harvard Business Review, buyers often say they want to purchase from brands that adopt sustainability in production. This article also revealed that certain kinds of products with sustainability claims had twice the growth of their conventional equivalents.
The two main techniques for designing t-shirts are direct to garment (DTG) & screen printing. Unlike pre-printed stock, print on demand goods can conceivably take 2–4 days to be fulfilled. Shipping times are separate to this.

DTG vs screen printing

Screen printing needs a “screen” (a stencil for non-techies.) Layers of ink get applied to the garment surface. Different colours use different stencils, one at a time. The more layers your design has, the longer it takes & the more concentrated the image on the material. Because screen printing is time-consuming, it is principally used to print articles in large volumes. The possibility of overstocking is high, so is problematic for producers trying to be greener.

Digital printing requires your artwork is prepared by a computer and then printed straight onto the surface of your merchandise. The way it’s printed onto the fabric is similar to the way inkjet printers print on paper/card. Compared to screen printing, designs with more detail show up better using DTG. Because there’s virtually no setup time, it makes it easier to set up small print runs. This has led to the ability for customers to design & print their designs very quickly & cheaply.

Which is eco-friendlier?

Traditional screen printing use inks which contain PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride). PVC is is a dense plastic substance produced from vinyl chlorine. DTG printing uses water-based inks.
Water-based inks are very useful because of their versatility and ability to print a wide variety of items. They are great on items like stickers & stationery. T-Shirts & sweatshirts. A benefit of water-based inks is that designs using them can be ironed, while plastisol prints cannot because the iron melts the ink.

sources:
https://www.customink.com/help_center/screen-vs-digital-printing
https://hbr.org/2019/07/the-elusive-green-consumer
https://www.contrado.co.uk/blog/when-did-drop-shipping-start/

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Print File Recommendations

Design with background still in place.

Our t-shirts designs use a print file in the direct-to-garment (DTG) technique. The only two formats that used for printing are PNG & JPEG image formats. Because of this, you should only add colours you want to show in the final design. One way to achieve this is to create a vector image & export as a PNG/JPEG file.
If you have artwork that’s inside a coloured box you don’t want to have printed on your t-shirts, or
you need to cut out an object from one picture to set it into another you will need to remove the background.

You must have an image with at least a dpi(dot per inch) of 250-300 & to make sure it prints sharply, 14-inch x 14- inch/35.56 cm x 35.56 cm is the file size we recommend. 

When using transparency in your print file, these effects could happen so you should bear this in mind when creating your design:-

  • White garments = no white under base, transparencies will print out fine
  • Non-white, light-coloured garments = white under base will be difficult to notice but might shine through semi-transparent areas 
  • Dark-coloured garments = white under base might be visible as small white speckles in semi-transparent areas 

It might be better to use the halftone effect instead.

Design without background.
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The reusable face mask: a few things to know

Whatever your current situation the face mask debate must be exhausting you. Is using a face mask necessary? Should you use disposable or reusable masks? Here’s the lowdown. Wearing a cloth face-covering helps shield others you meet. It helps to keep COVID-19 in check when you’re in an enclosed space where it’s hard to keep apart (inside shops or on public transport).

The only time you should wear a surgical mask outside of a hospital is if you have an underlying health problem.*
Everyone else should be ok wearing a fabric mask. The best choice of fabric mask should have three layers, be able to withstand a hot wash.

Do not share your mask

Ask yourself. Would you share the unwashed undies of your incontinent, bedbound favourite uncle? If not, why would you share your mask?

Make sure it's clean

Washable face masks aren’t the same as underwear. Don’t think turning them inside out is acceptable. Come to think of it, neither is wearing your knickers 2 days on the spin. Might get run over by a bus. Then what will your mother say?

Cover your nose & mouth.

 Doctors have yet to confirm Covid-19 can be spread through excretions from the chin so wearing it there makes no sense

Wash hands before using.

 If you’re a child this advice isn’t about keeping the Covid-19 virus a bay. It’s just good sense. Do it thoroughly & often. If you’re an adult, do you need to be told?

*www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public/when-and-how-to-use-masks

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Customise your own item

Our trade is funny, stylish t-shirts to match your personality & do as little harm to the planet as is possible. We do this by only printing our pieces once you order them & using eco-friendlier items wherever possible.

Now we’re allowing you the option of adding your very own slogan or image. You can easily customise and create your t-shirt in a matter of minutes.

Here’s a short guide on how to create your design. Make sure you have your design/slogan before you start

The image on the left is used to show the change.

Ready to try it for yourself? Press  one of the buttons below to get your items today.

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Best Richard Pryor quotes

Richard Pryor is undoubtedly one of the best stand up comics to have ever lived. He’s been an influence on many great comedians.

The late great Bill Hicks cites him as one of his influences. For  your amusement, here are some for the best quotes ever uttered by the great man himself. Enjoy!

It’s been a struggle for me because I had a chance to be white and refused.

If I thought about it, I could be bitter, but I don’t feel like being bitter. Being bitter makes you immobile, and there’s too much that I still want to do.

Richard Pryor

I won’t talk about what it was like in prison, except to say I’m glad I’m out and that I plan never to go back and to pay my taxes every day.

There was a time in my life when I thought I had everything – millions of dollars, mansions, cars, nice clothes, beautiful women, and every other materialistic thing you can imagine. Now I struggle for peace.

When that fire hit your ass, it will sober your ass up quick! I saw something, I went, Well, that’s a pretty blue. You know what? That looks like… FIRE! Fire is inspirational. They should use it in the Olympics, because I ran the 100 in 4.3.

Richard Pryor

 Everyone carries around his own monsters.

 

 

Richard Pryor

I’m for human lib, the liberation of all people, not just black people or female people or gay people.

 

 

Richard Pryor
.

Rosa Parks showed us all that one little person can make a whole bunch of noise without so much as a whisper. She showed the world that the color of your skin shouldn’t determine what part of the bus you sit in… as you ride through life.

 

Richard Pryor

You can have a film and have 200 white people working on it, and nobody finds anything wrong with that. But if you insist on having a black crew, all of a sudden there`s something wrong.

I live in racist America and I’m uneducated, yet a lot of people love me and like what I do, and I can make a living from it. You can’t do much better than that.

Richard Pryor

Quotes taken from
https://www.brainyquote.com/
https://www.quotetab.com/