There’s an interesting new feminism narrative happening in clothes, which is focusing less on the end product (although that is still important) and more about who’s involved in the supply chain. Women entrepreneurs make up a big percentage of the sewing industry, but they are rarely acknowledged. When Anne Muir, co founder of our favourite waterproof outerwear brand Protected Species told us using all women in the supply chain was an integral part of their design philosophy, I asked her to write a post for us.
We also have a wonderful give away offer of EITHER a City Walker or a White Mac from the range. I have had my Parka for a coupe of years now and it has been a totally brilliant, much admired coat. I can not recommend them highly enough. Details below.
“One of the luxuries of creating a brand and new product is that you can choose who you work with (the rest is just really hard work!) We set out at protected Species to reinvent waterproofs for women and we felt really, really strongly that they had to be all about women in every aspect. We wanted our coats to fit in with the busy, multi-faceted lifestyles we all have.
We wanted to be the antithesis of outdoor brands which are masculine and whose women’s ranges tend to be pinked and shrinked (love this description, may have to nick it- A). We felt we needed expert women involved throughout our supply chain, from design to manufacture, because we think it makes a tangible difference to the product.
Specialist fabric supplier and developer – our fabric was developed by Greta who is based in Taiwan where she owns and runs a successful mill specialising only in waterproof fabric. She is all about innovation and what they do is very highly skilled and technical. She understood what we wanted and why we wanted it (had to be about wearability, comfort, fitting in with all the parts we play, effortless and something that fits in with our day to day wardrobes). She is incredibly passionate and talented – a true entrepreneur.
Our manufacturing base – we work with a small, highly specialised factory in China which is owned and run by Carrie, a young, talented woman who set up her own factory as she saw a gap in the manufacturing base in China for highly specialised, low volume high quality sportswear. Again, very technical and highly skilled all-female workforce – its no sweat shop. The factory is attached to her house and has a co-operative type feel. She works with smaller brands, specialises in performance clothing and supplies a lot of European team sportswear as well as smaller UK brands. She is an integral and important part of our development team – she understood the flattering cut and fit we wanted as well as the clean, minimalist design we stick to (she added to a lot of that with laser cutting techniques). She calls her work “artwork” and it is.
Overall very passionate, very strong, highly professional and entrepreneurial women. What it means is that our product has had a women’s eye throughout its development – we think you can see it.”
To win a beautiful City Walker (£149.00) or White Mac (£179.00), let us know below what essential detail you would include in any waterproof jacket design -silly or sensible, we don’t mind. I’d like a removable warm inner lining for mine for when it gets really chilly, then I wouldn’t have to buy any other coat evs! Leave your comments below, the winner will be be picked out of a hat by Anne on Friday 20th May. Good luck!
Well. Some way of stopping the following from happening would be fabulous: whenever I am cycling along in the rain with my rain jacket fastened, it (the jacket) always, always manages to end up enveloping and attaching me to the bike seat. Which is so annoying as I can’t jump on and off at lights/road ends/whatever with ease. I have no idea how this happens or how to stop it other than unfastening the coat which would be daft in the rain (it seems to be raining all the time when I’m cycling). Must go and have a look at these rain jackets anyway.
LOVE these jackets and have been coveting one since your first post about them. I would second the removable liner for cold weather and would add a hood that can be tightened with a cord so it doesn’t blow down when it’s windy ( not a glamorous look admittedly, but it’s my bugbear with most of my hooded jackets!)
I’m another cyclist with a keen interest in stylish waterproofs! If I can suggest two features, the first addresses Sue’s problem above: a back vent which opens with a zip up from the hem will stop the coat catching on the saddle. Also, narrow reflective piping on selected seams which will look a smart grey in daylight and catch the attention at night. I don’t think you need to be a cyclist to appreciate these features!
Love the white Mac and the black jacket. Can we have khaki too? Agree on the hood cord, but would add an adjuster so that the hood can be made smaller. Mine falls down over my eyes when I am walking the dogs in the rain because I have a small head. Some hoods have a strap which kind of gathers a section of the hood at the back to make it smaller. That would be good.
Also agree on the cycling comment. The coat needs to cover a cardigan or fleece, otherwise the undergarment is longer than the coat and that gets wet too.
Easily cleanable! that white mac is gorgeous but I fear it would become a light grey mac in next to no time in London. A mac made from a fabric that cannot stain or wrinkle a la the film “The man in the white suit’. Also it has to have a centre zip, for those hot sweaty moments! And a detachable lining would be great.
You’ve got it spot on with the warm lining, I’m always cursing satin like nines on winter coats – so chilly!
I would just like to have a mac with a detachable warm lining and one that is flattering to wear – I have just to find one, I always tend to look like a sack of potatoes tied up in the middle!
I would love a waterproof parka or jacket that could stop too much water getting onto my wrist or forearm if I left my hand for any reason when out in the rain, without having a visible elastic or velcro cuff. I wear glasses and walk a dog, and even with waterproof gloves it’s always my wrists that get wet because I need to move my arms up. And yes to a detachable lining!
Zip pockets. And a really good flap on them so you can get into the pocket without the inside getting wet.
Beautiful coats — instead of the hood, however, I would love a rain hat that goes with it, practical but feminine with a slightly wider rim.
I second the zip pockets & flap request please! An inside pocket can be very useful as well.
I really love the shape of all the coats – I think the City Walker would be especially flattering for those of us with *ahem* larger busts. I’ve been looking for something for a while now, and it’s quite tricky to find a coat that’s flattering, but doesn’t have too much material, while still covering up.
Nice deep pockets so I can bury my hands in them when I’ve forgotten/lost my gloves. I like the belted look but my waist (what remains of it) seems to be in the wrong place and I often have to move the belt holders. This can help with the sack of potatoes look.
Breathable – there’s nothing worse than a stylish look but a sweaty feel when you have to fasten because it’s raining!
The easy to clean thing (ideally stain proof!) is vital for me too, Devon mud contains iron oxide and whist it looks lovely in the summer in the winter it’s a total b-tard to remove from anything.
Definitely removable hood for the rare times I dare a bike in london
Easy fastening zips, with Velcro or buttons too. I hate faffing with the end of a zip for ages when I need protection from the weather. I run an education centre in Richmond Park, so I practically live in my coat and want one that I can throw on quickly whilst dashing around catching tadpoles with excited 6 year olds.
All the range is really stylish and all have hoods which is especially useful on a Mac (I always have to carry a brolly with my otherwise waterproof Mac which kind of loses the point!). On the parka and city walker internal ribbed cuffs would be great and internal pockets are always useful if you don’t want to carry a bag but one of those external small zipped pockets on the inside lower sleeve are great for when you don’t want to rummage in the larger pockets for a key item like an emergency fiver or your lip balm!
The removable warm liner would be wonderful! And I’d like a small inside pocket for carrying my ID. I often put my ID in the deep front pockets, but when taking my hands in and out I’m always concerned I will inadvertently pull the card out without noticing it fall.
I agree about the hood and detachable lining. A double ended zip so that you can sit in the car without the coat being tight around legs and flaps over the zip closed with poppers NOT Velcro which manages to catch,scratch and damage anything else it comes into contact with.
I like hoods with peaks on them to keep rain out your eyes, and cords to tighten them around your face. I also like rainwear that is cut slightly longer, is roomy around the arse area, but has some waist shaping, so it doesn’t ride up and give you a cold wet middle.
Needs to be breathable, I don’t like to feel as if I am a cook in the bag chicken. A good length covering my backside. Stylish and looks as good in the city as on country walks.
A hood with a cord would be my dream – otherwise your side vision is severely impaired on a bike – dangerous. As everybody says, a cosy lining. I have to say, though, these coats are already practically perfect in every way! (though I’d like to see them in beige/khaki)
An ultra-light weight, breathable fabric with a hood and pockets. One that would resist crushing if the showers turned to sun and I wanted to pop my waterproof in my bag. Have hankered after a stylish calf length version.
Hello, a reflective bit (that is not schoolchildish but that is subtle, part of the general design but that does the job) would be ideal for those murky, rainy, dark before it should be evenings. Cheers!
Brilliant suggestions womenfolk, keep em coming, you have until Friday, when Anne will pick a winner.
A warm layer around neck and wrists,length to top of boots,otherwise the bit in the middle gets wet.
Also, a removable over waistcoat that is reflective or has flashing lights,for dog walking in winter!
These jackets looks awesome but what I would really love is an excellent quality rain cape – something that is nice and long and can be chucked on over a big cosy jumper to keep off the rain on the school walk or taking the dog out. It rains A LOT down here in Auckland and it is really windy too – so a good hood is essential. I would just like to have something that I can throw on over my normal clothes and not feel restricted in anyway. Chunky knitwear and rain is a pain ! The ideal rain cape would have internal ribbed cuffs to keep it in place and lots of pockets to put all my different stuff in as I wouldn’t want to be carrying a bag in the pouring rain.
An internal zipped pocket just below the collar for my phone would be very useful – most ski jackets have them nowadays. That way I won’t always be fumbling for my phone amongst all the kid/dog detritus that finds its way into my pockets! Also a thin heat tech/thermal detachable lining that doesn’t add weight and make you look like a Michelin man. I quite like a cord you can pull in around the waist too to add shape to the jacket, and finally internal cuffs that are long and have thumbholes so your hands are half covered – great when you’ve forgotten your gloves! Colour-wise, khaki and navy would both be very stylish additions.
I would love to see these made from self-drying fabric that means you can take the coat off and fold it up and put in your bag, or hang it up without getting everything around it drenched. I’d love the white mac
a little pocket on the sleeve for an oyster card, like the ones on ski jackets, then there would be no fumbling in your handbag at the exit!
Love the minimalist styling.
I like large pockets that are roomy enough to easily accommodate hands and dog walking essentials, plus a phone and small purse for when I don’t want to carry a bag. An (easily accessible) separate protective pocket for my phone is always good too.
A thin, warm, removable lining would be fantastic. The Mac is just perfect otherwise as the fabric is waterproof/windproof and the styling is lovely!
an inside breast pocket:) this looks like a brilliant blend of an upscale clean look and durable comfort!
I was quite impressed while I was touring this wonderful article. I love this covering that is cleanable. All the range is really stylish and all have cover which is really useful. I also like rainwear that enhances your appearance. Women do not want to look dull and boring they want to look smart and lady like even in the rain. Brilliant suggestions on womenfolk. Love the minimalist styling and slim, warm, removable lining would be incredible. Good sharing.
Nice blog, Thanks a lot for sharing it!