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Universal Textiles Launch a Female Friendly Safety Shoe!

Universal-Textiles-Blog-Amblers-Safety-Sophie-SmithUniversal Textiles are delighted to be launching a female friendly safety shoe from UK protective footwear label, Amblers Safety. The ‘FS706 Sophie Shoe’ has been exclusively designed by Miss England 2015 bronze finalist and building surveyor, Sophie Lydia Smith.

Sophie recognises that there is a real issue with the lack of women in the construction profession and has decided to do something about it to drive a change in industry. Her contribution to this has been substantial including a weekly column, giving talks to schools, colleges and universities and she has appeared on national television on a number of occasions.

Challenging the current ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) across the industry, ‘Amblers Safety’ is embracing the need for women’s safety shoes and are building a range specifically for the growing market.  The new styles meet the brand’s philosophy of ‘tough, working, comfort’, whilst remaining affordable for the everyday worker.

The new shoes combine feminine touches with safety features required in PPE industry including a steel toe cap and steel midsole. Sophie, leading by example, has developed an athletic design built for women who are constantly in motion, who want their footwear built for more than just the job and can transition easily from the jobsite to managerial areas.

Sophie Lydia Smith, says, “Have you ever noticed that industries lacking in women often involve safety equipment?  The shoes are fitted, smart and can be worn in the office as well as on site.  The idea is that women shouldn’t have to change their shoes from normal courts to rigger boots every time they have a site visit while often males have a shoe that fits both specifications.” Universal-Textiles-Blog-Amblers-Safety-Sophie-Shoe

She continues, “I am very passionate about making the construction industry as accommodating to women as possible as we represent only 11%.  I believe that by bringing out female friendly safety shoes we can take another step further to achieving the objective of closing the gender gap.  The shoes not only comply with the safety features but they are stylish, comfortable and can be worn in the office as well as on site!”

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New Year, New You: Our 2015 Fitness Picks

yellowWith 2015 finally here and Christmas but a distant memory, the time to be making New Year’s Resolutions is officially upon us. Whether you stuck to the promises you made back in January 2014 or not, now is the perfect time of year to rest, recharge and reflect upon the months to come, and if the first wish on your list is to get back into shape following the annual festive blowout, Universal Textiles has everything you need to kick start your journey to a new you this new year. Take a look at our top picks for New Year’s fitness below!

Signing up with the local gym is the end result of many a New Year’s resolution, and with a variety of machines in place to tone and train different areas of the body, it’s a great way to get an all-over workout.  This Mens Gildan Performance Vest is a great choice for those looking to keep cool whilst working out, with its sleeveless build and special moisture-wicking fabric helping to move sweat and excess heat away from the body. For women, this Spiro Performance T-Shirt is another great choice, with its quick-dry polyester build helping you to avoid excess perspiration.

Combining effective, aerobic exercise with relaxing, therapeutic motion, swimming is a great way to get fit, with around 3 million of us in the UK making a splash on a weekly basis. These Mens Aqua Sphere Montreal Jammer Shorts are the perfect way to get a streamlined swim, with their chlorine resistant build and breathable, high stretch fabric allowing you to exercise in comfort. For women, this Aqua Sphere Rachel Swimming Costume offers similar benefits, with a supportive bra-style back and UV protectant build helping you to get the most out of your swim.blackshoes

Going for a regular run can be a great alternative for those looking to take care of their body without hitting the gym, allowing you to avoid costly monthly fees. A sturdy and supportive pair of shoes like these Hi-Tec Ladies Covent Garden Trainers is a must however, with their glass fibre stability shank and waterproof leather upper helping to keep feet safe and dry whilst you’re on the move. For men, these Skechers Flex Advantage Trainers boast a memory foam insole and a shock absorbing midsole to keep feet both comfortable and stable, with built-in mesh fabric panels to allow effective ventilation.

Be sure to check out our full range of sports and fitness gear at Universal-Textiles.com, with athletic clothes and accessories for men, women and children all available at great prices!

Happy New Year from everyone at Universal Textiles!

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Our Top Picks For Men This Summer

Shopping for summer may seem simple on paper, but if you or your loved ones are struggling to beat the heat during the warmer months, being a savvy shopper can really pay off. We’ve gathered together our top menswear picks for the summer, with hints and tips about what to do to survive the season and stay sweat-free.

Whilst style is definitely important, the composition and colour of an item can play a bigger part than you might think. Lightweight polyester tops like this Just Cool Men’s Plain Performance T-Shirt, are a prime example, with the fabric incorporating a special moisture-wicking fibre to help keep sweat at bay. Avoiding black and other dark colours is another top tip, with these darker shades being scientifically proven to absorb more heat when exposed to direct sunlight.

In professional environments the standard shirt and tie are inescapable, even in summer. But those wishing to keep their cool when at work whilst also staying in their boss’s good-books should stock up on short sleeve shirts, such as this Fruit Of The Loom Poplin Shirt, blending practical heat-management with an office-friendly finish. With a light polycotton blend, it’s the perfect choice to boost personal ventilation.

Whilst sweaty feet are undoubtedly embarrassing, they can also lead to a number of genuine health complaints, including athlete’s foot. Though many choose cotton socks by default, these are often a major cause of the problem, with cotton tending to hold onto moisture rather than dispersing it. These Men’s Wool Blend Socks are a far safer option, with their wool rich build allowing feet to breathe easier and stay ventilated during warmer weather.

If you’re keen to free your feet even further, a pair of good quality sandals can go a long way to keep them cool and dry. These Surf Men’s Closed Toe Sandals offer efficient ventilation without sacrificing comfort or stability, making them the perfect choice for casual summer wear. For added accessibility, these Floso Men’s Stripe Palm Print Flip Flops are another great option, boasting a vibrant palm tree design and a pocket-friendly price-tag.

For further inspiration visit the Universal Textiles menswear section, with shorts, shoes and much more also on offer!

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Our Top Picks For 2014’s Summer Of Sport

With the World Cup, Wimbledon, Tour De France and now the Commonwealth Games all taking place, 2014 has truly provided us with a summer of sport. If watching the efforts of the world’s top athletes has inspired you to get moving, Universal Textiles has got everything you need to exercise in comfort and style. We’ve gathered together our top sporting picks from our range of swimwear, clothing and accessories, with everything at excellent prices. Happy shopping!

Whether you’re at the beach or the pool, swimming is a fantastic way for people of all ages to exercise, providing an effective sweat-free workout during the warmer months. Made of lightweight material and a special quick-dry fabric, these Aqua Sphere Mens Tiber Swimming Shorts are a great choice for swimmers of all capabilities, and for women, this Aqua Sphere Lazer Swimsuit is an eye-catching choice, boasting high UVA protection and a supportive cross-back design.

Football fever may now be cooling off following Germany’s triumphant World Cup victory earlier this month, but those in love with ‘The Beautiful Game’ can always keep the dream alive on their terms until 2018 rolls around. Available in a variety of different colours and designs, this Errea Long Sleeve Football Shirt is a stylish choice for men looking to take to the pitch, and these Puma Mens Kratero Football Boots are great for maintaining your footing when conditions are against you.

Without a doubt rugby is one of the toughest sports around, and, with that in mind, players need clothing to match. Produced by leading rugby kit brand Canterbury, this Mens Short Sleeve Hooped Rugby Jersey is certainly up to the challenge, and for smaller players looking to score a try, this matching Kids Short Sleeve Rugby Top is the perfect choice, with sizes to fit boys from six to fourteen years of age.

Cycling can be a great way to fit some quality exercise in around your daily life, whether you’re heading out on a weekend bike ride or simply riding to work. Made from a special performance fabric that’s designed to keep you cool and dry, these mens and womens Spiro Cycling Jackets are the ideal way to work out and stay comfortable, and with their cushioned padding these mens & womens Spiro Bikewear shorts are great for preventing aches and pains from occurring the following day.

Check out or new Sport section at Universal-Textiles.com for more of our top quality sportswear!

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Wimbledon 2014: Our Top Tennis Picks

Wimbledon 2014 is well under way, and to celebrate the efforts of the talented players taking to the court to battle it out for this year’s top honours we’ve gathered together our favourite picks from our range of sportswear and athletic accessories. Whether you’re the next Andy Murray or simply starting out, we’ve got everything you need to get active this summer. Who knows, maybe it’ll be you lifting the trophy this time next year! Happy shopping!

Stable and supportive footwear is an important consideration when it comes to any sport, and tennis is certainly no exception. Boasting a specially designed shock-absorbing midsole and carefully engineered side vents, these Skechers Diamond Back Tevor Mens Shoes are the ideal choice for men who take their sport seriously, and these Skechers Ladies Flex Appeal Trainers offer similar benefits for female feet.

Sports socks are also vital for protecting hard-working feet during tiring athletic activities, helping to prevent painful blisters from popping up. These Mens Plain Sports Socks are a simple but effective choice, with a cotton rich build that also incorporates elastane for a comfy stretch fit. Ideal for both men and women, these Kariban Trainer Sport Socks are another great option, offering a thinner blend of material and a lower, more subtle cut.

Come rain or shine, you’re guaranteed to work up a sweat whilst playing tennis, and therefore lightweight clothing is an absolute must. For men, these Kariban Sports Shorts are the perfect choice, boasting an elasticated waist and special quick drying fabric. Skorts are also popular amongst female players, blending together the lightweight build of a skirt with the added modesty that shorts provide. This Rhino Performance Skort is a great example, with its stretch fabric build also allowing athletes to move freely on the court.

Of course, with all this new gear, you’re going to need something to put it in! This Sols Calcio Sports Holdall is perfect for storing everything from clothing and accessories to personal items, and even comes with a special compartment for shoes and boots. This Bagbase Sports Gymsac Bag is also great for those looking for a lighter, brighter option, coming in a selection of eight vibrant colours, each with a bargain price-tag of just £1.49.

Be sure to check out our full range of sportswear and accessories at Universal-Textiles.com!

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Our Father’s Day Gift Guide

Father’s Day is fast approaching, but if you’ve yet to pick up the ideal present to show your dad you care on June 15th, don’t panic! We’ve gathered together a few ideas to suit everyone from working dads to new fathers, so check out our gift guide below (and don’t forget to pick up a card!) Happy shopping!

Balancing family and work can be a difficult task for modern men, so there’s no better time to reward today’s busy working fathers. This Quadra Portfolio Briefcase Bag is a perfect choice, boasting a detachable shoulder strap and an internal organiser that’s built to house everything from notebooks and stationary to phones and wallets, and this Premier Men’s Business Tie is great for office-proud dads, with twenty four colourful designs on offer.

Whilst socks might have a reputation as something of a cliché catch-all gift, no-one can deny that they ultimately make a practical present that everyone can make use of. These Honeycomb Top Argyle Socks are a smart choice that’s perfect for almost any occasion, but for those looking to make more of a statement this Father’s Day, these Greatest Dad Novelty Socks are a fun way to show you care, and even come in a special gift box, perfect for gift-wrapping.

If you’re buying on behalf of smaller shoppers, this pack of three children’s bibs will make a great gift for new dads. With a fun ‘I Love My Daddy’ message and a choice of boy’s baby blue and girl’s soft pink shades, they’re a fun and easy way to show some appreciation this Father’s Day, and their cotton rich build will also ensure that babies stay clean and comfortable throughout dinnertime.

Slippers are another great gift idea for Father’s Day, ensuring that your dad’s feet are kept comfy and warm throughout the year. These Men’s Suede Mule Slippers are a great lightweight choice for dads who want easy on-off access, and these Mirak Stag Men’s Classic Slippers are a perfect for those who prefer a more secure, fitted feel, with each design available in a selection of different colours.

Be sure check out our full range of menswear at Universal-textiles.com!

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Our Top Footwear Picks For Summer

One of the best things about the onset of warmer weather is finally being able to swap our bulky winter wear for clothes that are lighter, brighter and ready for the beach, and footwear is certainly no exception. So if you’re all set to stow away your boots and wellies till later in the year, now is the perfect time to invest in some shoes that’ll let the sun find your feet. Check out our top summer-friendly footwear choices below!

Throughout summer, slip-on shoes are a must. A popular, sun-friendly style for men in recent years has been the espadrille, and these Mens B&C Vibrant Slip-Ons are a prime example. Lightweight, stylish and made from 100% cotton, they’re ideal for warmer weather. For women, these Riva Catch Leather Moccasins are equally easy to put on and kick off at your leisure, and in a choice of three colours, you can mix and match to make the perfect summer outfit.

Sandals are one of the easiest go-to options for all ages through the warmer months. With two adjustable Velcro straps and a specially-sculpted footbed, these Hi-Tec Owaka Mens Sandals offer a comfortable, supportive fit, and the sturdy rubber outsole ensures stability and grip whether you’re out and about or relaxing at home. The Hi-Tec Ladies Indra Sandal offers similar benefits, and these Skechers Boys And KangaRoos Girls designs are great for letting smaller feet breathe.

If you’re looking for summer footwear with the ultimate in on-off accessibility, flip-flops are easily the way forward. With a lightweight build and a thick wedge outsole, these Syros Womens Flip-Flops are the perfect choice for relaxing on the beach or pool-side, and with a stylish pattern of pewter and silver studs, flip-flops have never been so fashionable. For men, these Floso Camouflage Wave Print Flip-Flops are ideal for slipping on whether you’re heading to the coast or out into the back garden, and are designed to dry quickly in the summer sunshine.glagla2

Whilst they’re great for casual wear, flip-flops and sandals aren’t the ideal choice for hitting the gym. Those who wish to keep their feet cool whilst also keeping active through the warmer weather need look no further than the Glagla footwear range. With a patented ventilation system that keeps feet an average of 6 degrees cooler than a standard shoe and discharges twice as much moisture in the process, the Glagla Classic Trainer (available for both men and women) is a great choice for working out through summer without excess sweat.

Click here to check out our full range of footwear for further inspiration!

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Grab Some Great Warm Weather Bargains!

With Summer not officially kicking off until the 21st of June, there’s still a little way to go before the weather permits us to slip on our board shorts and take to the beach, but with
sunshine said to be on the horizon, it’s never too early to stock up on a few summertime essentials. Universal Textiles has everything you need to make sure that you and your loved ones take advantage of any warm weather that comes our way.

Even though we Brits are always keen to welcome the sun back after months of dull, grey winter weather, keeping cool soon becomes our immediate priority. With that in mind, designs like this Womens Diamond Pattern Summer Dress are a great way of balancing style with practicality throughout periods of hot weather. Made with 100% cotton, the dress flows freely and leaves your arms and shoulders open to the air, helping you soak up the sun without overheating in the process.

For men looking to beat the heat this year, these Brave Soul Over The Knee Cargo Shorts are perfect for getting out and about whether you’re taking to grill for an early barbecue or simply lounging in the garden. Their 100% cotton build means that you’re guaranteed comfort and softness, and with a total of five pockets, there’s plenty of room for your phone, wallet and keys. Try pairing these with this Front Row Mens Denim Shirt for the perfect sun-ready outfit.

It goes without saying that kids should always make the most of warmer weather whenever the opportunity presents itself, and in the likely event that they’ve already outgrown last years’ sun-friendly garments, these Brave Soul Denim Shorts are perfect for kids embarking on outdoor adventures. With its cute, Hawaiian flower pattern and strappy design, this Floral Pattern Dress is another great option for girly girls looking to have fun in the sun throughout the coming months.

By now we’re sure you’re more than ready to stow away your winter wellies and trade them in for something lighter and brighter. These Mirak Mens Yachtmaster Slip-On Shoes are a great casual and colourful choice, perfect for pairing with cargo or board shorts, and these comfortable Cotswold Summer Sandals are perfect for ladies looking to relax with friends at informal warm weather get-togethers.

Be sure to check out our full range of shirts, shorts and dresses at Universal-Textiles.com!

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How To Update Your Office Wardrobe

shoesFor some, the importance of dressing for the workplace can get lost during the hustle and bustle of the early morning rush, but in order to perform to the best of your ability you need to be comfortable both mentally and physically in the clothing you select. If you or your loved ones’ workwear wardrobe could do with a little updating, check out our selection of great quality shirts, ties, shoes and accessories below, perfect for any worker looking to be the envy of the office.

A crisp, clean Oxford shirt is a sure-fire way to make a good impression on your colleagues and superiors. This B&C Mens Long Sleeve Shirt is made from genuine Oxford fabric, and has a built-in Easycare finish to ensure that the product is protected against shrinking and creasing during washing and ironing. The female design makes use of the same technology, with both the collar and body also being tailored to be comfortable and flattering for women in the workplace.

Whether you prefer patterns or colours, skinny or standard or knotted or clip-on, a necktie can be a great way for men to inject a little of their own personality into an otherwise drab office uniform. This Premier Mens Coloured Business Tie is available in a choice of over twenty different block colours, with a shade to suit even the most discerning of workers, and it’s a steal with 25% currently slashed from the original retail price.

Perhaps one of the most vital aspects of a successful office wardrobe is your choice of footwear. Whether you’re attending meetings, delivering presentations or sprinting to catch the last train, sturdy and supportive shoes are essential. Crafted from real leather and incorporating soft internal padding, these Cotswold Mens Lace-Up Oxford Shoes are a great choice for the male worker looking to balance practicality with style.  Similarly, these Amblers Ladies Court Shoes boast a genuine leather build and a 1 ¼ inch heel, perfect for a busy day in the office.

Whether you’re looking after confidential papers or simply wanting to protect your shoesvaluables (not to mention your lunch) during the daily commute, a practical and smart-looking work bag can be invaluable. This Shugon Briefcase Bag boasts 11 litres of storage space, with its spacious inner compartment protected by both a zip fastener and a front-folding flap which can be clipped at the bottom for extra security. For those who need a little extra room, this Bagbase Portfolio Briefcase Bag has an extra 4 litres of storage, and comes in shades of blue, black and grey.

Be sure to check out our full range of workwear at Universal-Textiles.com!

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Why Supportive Shoes Are Key To The Future Of Your Feet

massivefuckingfootIt’s an unfortunate reality that people often underestimate the dramatic effects that their choice of footwear can have not only their feet, but also on their balance and posture throughout the wider body. With younger consumers in particular being tempted by the cheaper designs offered by some of today’s high street retailers, arch support is rarely high on the average shopper’s list of priorities, with many placing style firmly over substance. But as the old adage goes, you only get what you pay for, and with cheap but poorly designed shoes having the potential to lead to back pain and skeletal misalignment, supportive footwear is something that you can’t afford to scrimp on.

Though you may not know it, there are 26 bones in each of your feet, all of them working together to provide your body with the support it needs to bear the brunt force of walking and sprinting across a variety of different terrains both natural and man-made. With each step you take, your feet are working as your own personal shock absorbers, supporting the weight of the rest of your body as you go about your day.

According to the New York Times, modern people spend roughly four hours a day on their feet, with the average pair supporting a force equivalent to several hundred tons each day. When footwear is carefully designed to support the natural shape of your feet, your bones are kept in their proper alignment, allowing them to effectively absorb the pounding that flat, inflexible surfaces such as concrete and wood throw at them.PRINT

But with some of today’s all-too-affordable footwear, corners have often been cut, with thin and unsuitable materials being used in the manufacturing process. As a result, feet fail to receive the support that they need, which can cause the entire skeletal structure to become misaligned as other areas of the body (such as your back, hips or knees) are forced into helping absorb the impact. The end result can be persistent pain in not only your feet, but also in the spine, lower back and beyond, as well as a negative knock-on effect on your posture and balance.

So what can be done? Placing greater importance on the build of your shoes is certainly the best place to start, with the thickness of the sole and shock absorption performance being two key criteria. Skechers and Birkenstock are two of many companies that specialise in supportive footwear, with their specially designed footbeds offering comfort and support without compromising on style. For those who want as much support as possible, arch supports are another product worth investing in. These springy insoles are crafted to slip into your shoes and support the natural arch of your feet by filling the unsupported area with a comfortable bubble, usually filled with a soft, thick gel.

Click here to check out the Skechers and Birkenstock footwear that we currently have on offer!

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