During lockdown, press releases have become increasingly random, but I'm always on the lookout for something original. So I perked up at the idea of a "virtual launch event" for Offensive Fashion, mainly because I had no idea what this might be like. When I registered my interest, the brand sent me a party box for the event containing a very nice Offensive polo shirt that feels both soft and very durable, plus a silicon resistance band, sleep goggles, a plastic beer stein, a bottle of beer and the makings of a gin and tonic. Clearly this was going to be a party. I got everything ready, put on the shirt and clicked in at the designated time.
Like every meeting during this quarantine, the event was held using Zoom, so it was just a bit chaotic, but also good fun. It opened with brand ambassador Olivia Cox, a TV presenter and fitness blogger, leading the audience in a home workout. I didn't have enough floorspace to do most of her exercises, but I put the silicon band to use as possible while watching her work up a proper sweat.
Then another brand ambassador, Manchester's DJ Jazz Purple, who has produced music with Becky Hill, Tinie Tempah and others, chatted about creativity during lockdown. He has created an Offensive Soundcloud playlist to offer an escape at the end of a day working from home. Here's a LINK >
This was followed by a gourmet burger demonstration that was a bit cruel, because there were no burger ingredients in that box. Barbecue expert Daniel Cooper led the audience through the process of making the perfect burger, from mincing the steak (there was also a vegan variation) to cooking it on a BBQ in his back garden.
To distract us from our rumbling stomachs, a third brand ambassador, British catwalk model Pascal Wilke, joined us from his home in Germany to discuss fashion issues during lockdown. Wilke's ethos is to stay cool and not take life too seriously.
Along the way, everyone participated in an Oktoberfest competition, pouring that beer into the stein and holding it out at arm's length as long as possible. This was the only point where we could see the other Zoom participants and cheer each other on. I managed to keep mine aloft longer than I expected, but lost the will long before the eventual winner.
The event didn't contain much information about Offensive, other than being able to see everyone in their crisp shirts and a running conversation about sustainability, healthy living and eco-awareness. So I did a bit of research...
Offensive Fashion launched this spring with a range of sustainable T-shirts and polos and a goal to be "feel-good clothing" that starts a conversation. As cofounder Simon Bradberry says, "Our brand is for people who are 'on the offensive' - ready to embrace the opportunities life offers and take on whatever it throws at them. Our garments are inoffensive to the planet, and possibly the most comfortable thing you'll have in your wardrobe!"
Cofounder Tamsin Bradberry explains: "Given our passion for the wellbeing of people and planet, we're excited to produce ethically made garments that feel good to own and wear, avoiding the need to buy throw-away garments on the high street." A primary goal was to make garments that are long-lasting but made in a fair way that has a low environmental impact. There's even a mental health element, as each garment comes with a smile-inducing tag that doubles as a positive vibes bookmark.
For information: OFFENSIVE FASHION >
NB. In case there's any doubt, I was not paid to write this. But I did get a free shirt and a couple of drinks!