Blog: Leonie BarrieCut and dried

Leonie Barrie | 23 February 2006

It’s good to see that Marks & Spencer is once again focusing on technical advances to improve its garments instead of concentrating on just the price and quality aspects of its ranges. The company always used to lead in terms of innovation, from the introduction of nylon in 1952 to the launch of colour-fast clothes in the 70s, and its current collections include genuine non-iron shirts, fresh-feet socks and non-polish shoes.

In its new ‘Look behind the label’ campaign it’s also shouting about the work that goes on behind the scenes, from the use of “over 350 testing centres worldwide to conduct up to 100 durability tests on samples of all our clothes before they appear in our stores,” to the application of “garment dyes that have been given a clean bill of health and can be safely applied to fabric and disposed of without damaging the environment.”

Its latest launch could win accolades too…at least if it follows in the footsteps of its predecessor. Working closely with Israeli tailoring supplier Bagir, in 2001 M&S launched an exclusive machine washable suit that is still said to sell at the rate of one suit every minute. In 2003 it received the ‘Queen’s Award for Enterprise Innovation.’ In 2004, Red Herring Magazine listed Bagir among the “100 Top Innovators in the World.”

The two have now teamed up again for the “world’s first” Wash & Tumble suit which is guaranteed to last through 20 machine wash and cool tumble dry cycles. And quite right too. M&S is not only extremely clever to show shoppers that they’re buying into a company that cares, but it’s also hinting at the added value that comes with a purchase from any of its stores.     

My tumble-dry suit


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