We’re getting really excited about the forthcoming release of the milestone t-shirts.
A couple of weeks ago, we updated you on the process of bulk fabric production. We’re jumping around a bit – next week we’ll bring you the production process.
However we wanted to focus on the design of the t-shirts, as some of you who are active on social media may have seen that we had the samples of the t-shirts at the London Marathon Expo (excuse our iPhone photography).
It was fantastic to meet so many parkrunners and event directors at the expo, and to give them a chance to see, touch, feel and even try on the t-shirts. Feedback was so positive and encouraging.
Here’s Tom, parkrun UK MD with the volunteer t-shirt (photo credit: Pita Nadine)
A design process is very much about gathering feedback from a variety of stakeholders as well as from sources like trends, fabric innovations and so forth. Tribesports think the most important stakeholders are customers themselves – so as you no doubt saw with the volunteer colour and logo vote, our milestone t-shirt design process has also involved talking to parkrunners to see what you wanted.
The initial concepts are refined down into final design selections and the first 'tech pack' is created for each product. The tech pack is the product bible, providing every intricate detail about the requirements of a product, from design, fabric and trim selection to sizing, care label and swing tag information. It is used to ensure that the design team, fabric mill and manufacturers are all aligned on the exact requirements of a product. As they work through the development process, the technical pack is kept updated with up-to-the-minute feedback and edits.
With our production partners selected, we then worked on the development of the technical fabrics, trims and construction methods to be used across the range. This is a comprehensive process, putting together the right mix of technical features, weight, hand-feel and durability of each material and testing their performance until they reach the correct standard and can be signed off.
Once the fabrics and trims are finalised, the production team follows the tech pack to create product prototypes. During the prototyping stage, the fit and function of each product style is reviewed by our design team and edits are made to the tech pack ready to share with the manufacturer for the next stage of the process.
Each product goes through multiple prototypes as our designers and garment technicians fit and test the product on real sportspeople to ensure that it looks right, feels great and moves in the best way. The first prototypes are made in 'sample size' (at Tribesports, this is M for women, L for men), but as we progress through the process and get closer to the final version of each product, we receive prototypes in all sizes for wear testing.
Much of the feedback during the design process, as well as the questions and conversations we had with parkrunners at the expo followed a similar theme – so we’ve brought them together below – and in doing so they should therefore explain a bit more about the design decisions and the shirts that are coming.
Sizing and fit
All t-shirts are regular fit – they have an athletic cut i.e. they are technical with ergonomic seam placement, but they are not fitted like our Tribesports performance retail range. We can’t stress this enough! parkrun milestone t-shirts are not slim or fitted t-shirts. Do we hear a sigh of relief, and a release of sucking your tummy in?
All club t-shirts (including volunteer) are available in men’s and women’s, whilst the youth t-shirt is available in unisex.
In the design process many people said that the previous milestone t-shirts came up quite small or had inconsistent sizing. Bigger brands often do these type of t-shirts as part of a commercial range, where quality, colour and sizing can be inconsistent.
Tribesports have created a new and specific parkrun block (size and fit) for these milestone t-shirts that provides consistent sizing within men’s and women’s and youth. So if you are medium women’s in a 50 t-shirt, you’ll be a medium women’s in a volunteer t-shirt and so forth.
We’ve tried to ensure that the t-shirts are true to ‘expected’ size. Expected is different for different people of course, but we’ve used our experience to provide an industry standard. You will find detailed size guides during your ordering process.
All t-shirts have a crew neck, including the women’s. This is a change from the past, but we heard overwhelmingly that this was the preferred neck on technical t-shirts. On the women’s we have also expanded the neck wider than the men’s (you can see this in the black 100 t-shirt example in the pics) to provide a comfortable and aesthetically fashionable look. Women at the expo really liked this move to a crew neck.
Technical volunteer t-shirt
The volunteer t-shirt is a technical t-shirt – so many people we met assumed this would be a low quality cotton t-shirt – that just isn’t in Tribesports DNA, and the volunteer t-shirt is a full technical t-shirt at the same spec as the other milestone t-shirts. Volunteers run too right?
These are the technical features that we’ve packed into the milestone t-shirts:
We look forward to explaining more of the production process over the coming weeks in the build up to the release of the t-shirts.
In the meantime, you can check out our performance technical range here.