Coronavirus restrictions are taking a toll on fashion brands

As the Coronavirus continues to spread, fashion brands across categories are seeing the effects in the form of store closures, travel restrictions and a forced change in the way they work.  In global fashion, China is a key manufacturing hub and consumer market. It supplies more than half of all textile manufacturing in the world. The virus, which is still in the early stages, is currently infecting an estimated 20,000 people across 26 countries with the majority in China. Brands are still assessing what the impact will be, but several sources said it will have a major impact if things continue to get worse. Beth Cross, co-founder and CEO of boot brand Ariat said that, even in just the last week, there have been noticeable effects. The company’s Chinese office is closed until next Monday, and five U.S.-based employees who went home to China for Lunar New Year are stuck in the country and cannot return. A Chinese company that handles much of Ariat’s supply chain logistics is closed until next week, and the factories the company works with in China have shut down, as well, with no indication of when they may reopen. The brand’s sales in China are only a small portion of the busine...

Laying a foundation for worker safety truly starts from the ground up. Footwear safety is paramount

Laying a foundation for worker safety truly starts from the ground up. Footwear safety is paramount for skilled craft trades across the board. One small misstep or incident can result in varying levels of injury, causing lost time and compromised well-being. Finding protective footwear that is not only comfortable for workers, but also protective, is key to starting the workday out on the right foot. Craftsmen know they need the right tool for the right job. That same theory applies for footwear. When looking at a specific trade – in this case, working with and around electricity – special attention must be paid to footwear to reduce the possibility of electrocution or other electricity-related incidents on the jobsite. There are three general classifications for safety footwear from an electrical standpoint, and all three have very distinct purposes.Non-conductive footwear. Non-conductive footwear often is classified with an “EH” rating. This safety standard is designed to provide a secondary source of protection when accidentally coming in contact with live electrical circuits to reduce the potential of electric shock. When it comes to safety toes, EH-rated boots can have stee...