Aquaculture is an evolving sector and as such presents a range of challenges to suppliers of wet weather gear. Gone are the days of a one-size, one-weight approach to professional aquaculture gear. Professionals now rightly demand more. Indoor facilities, varying climates, unpredictable weather and compliance with stringent health and safety regulations means aquaculture gear has to satisfy a range of exacting criteria while remaining comfortable and keeping the wearer mobile.
Stormline was founded more than fifty years ago and we’re proud of our heritage of innovation. Whatever tools and technology we’ve had at our disposal we’ve maximised to create garments that offer the greatest degree of protection at the lowest possible expense to the wearer – and we’re not just talking about the price tag. Our gear has always been designed to reduce wearer fatigue. Tired workers are not happy or productive workers.
But times change. Stephenson’s Rocket was once the cutting edge of steam locomotion. It’s essential that companies like ours keep up with the times to ensure that they’re delivering the best possible solutions to the newest and most pressing problems.
Our newest products aim to do that. But it’s not just a case of innovating for the sake of it. Customers are a huge part of our product development process, so we’re laser-focused on solving the problems they tell us about and not the problems we speculate that they may have.
For example, the 255 PVC jacket, features a raglan sleeve to make it easier for the wearer to stay dry while retaining full and unrestricted arm movement. This is the fruit of direct feedback from customers. So too is the 640 bib and brace, engineered to make aquaculture work easier. Aquaculture professionals have to do a lot of kneeling down. So we made a bib and brace that took the impact. It includes a double-layered knee with knee pad.
Materials are an important consideration too. We mainly use PVC because it offers the best protection again the elements. There are two things to consider when choosing the right kind of PVC for a particular piece of gear. Comfort is the first one. If it’s too heavy, it’ll weigh the wearer down. If it’s too light, it won’t provide adequate protection and it won’t last as long as needed. Value is another. Heavier PVC costs more. So we need to balance the need for our customers to stay protected with their frankly stated desire for a product that offers genuine value for money.
Materials aside, we can achieve value, comfort and protection in other ways too. Technical detailing has a strong influence on how a garment performs relative to the work being done by the wearer. The key is including only the technical detailing that will help the wearer do their job better. If they’re working inside, they won’t need a hood. If they’re likely to be wearing gloves, they’ll need a bigger zip so they can grip it better. Welded seams, something you’ll find on all of Stormline’s wet weather gear are a universally valuable technical detail. They make our garments more robust and longer lasting, increasing the lifespan and over time improving the value for money. More robust garments don’t need replacing as often, afterall.
Our advice for anyone shopping for wet weather gear for aquaculture is to ensure they find a garment that lets them work unhindered, provides sufficient, but not excessive protection, and is long-lasting.