Atlantic Fisherman May 2016

Posted on 07 November 2016

Climate taking fashion from the foredeck to the catwalk

By Ken Partridge.


Pop quiz: Name a product that's researched and developed, deigned, sourced and manufactured 100 percent within Nova Scotia? Think you have an answer? Hold on, there's something else to consider. It’s also marketed sold all over the world.


Still think you know the answer? Then add in this last element: it was recently showcased via fashion show in Halifax's north end.


Did that last one throw you a curveball? It's probably because you're unfamiliar with a little success story tucked away on the back curves of Thornhill Drive in the Burnside Business Park.


Climate Technical Gear is the originator of the Sevaen brand of industrial work clothes, designed to protect workers from the worst weather the North Atlantic can throw at us. It isn't exactly the type of clothing you expect to see strut the catwalk, but that's exactly how the company pitched its offerings

to a elect audience of buyers, customers, government and invited guests in late April.


"This is so cool," says Ben Neaves, CEO, Climate Technical Gear. "We have from time to time done little ‘fashion shows’ for our own staff... so they get to see the finished product bur they're far less formal than this. It has really come together to be quite the little show."


Partnering with local publisher Advocate Media Inc., the company recruited some of its own staff members along with a few Advocate volunteers to model the company's complete line of products. Garmen ts on display ran the gamut from a waterproof wind breaker all the way up to a complete suit capable of keeping you warm and dry in a sub-zero snow storm. There were also offerings for fish processing plants, Canadian naval personnel and even a level 4 pathogen protection hazmat suit for medical workers -that's the level needed to combat Ebola, in case you're wondering.


"I would love to see this create a solid recognition of what we do locally," Neaves says. "If we can get that message out there, that we're local and committed to staying in Nova Scotia, then getting that recognition would be a success."


Judging by the reaction of the audience, Climate seems well on the way to achieving that goal. Keith Colwell, Nova Scotia's minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, says he was favorably impressed with much of what he saw during the show.


"Definitely by the range and quality of the presentation” Colwell says. “lt's very professional. Actually, I think the better term is world class. That's what it is."


Rena Burke-Lahey of Louisburg Ships Supply made the trip all the way from Cape Breton to take in the show and wasn’t disappointed.


Models from the Climate Technical Gear 'fashion show' posed for group shots after the event, showcasing the varied nature of company's product offerings.- Stephanie Peters Photo


"The show had a huge impact on me," Burke-Lahey says. “I knew it was manufactured here, but I didn't know it was designed and researched and developed here too. I think that's important. Local is very important to me."


Even those with lots of previous exposure to Climate's products found out things they didn't know during the show. Amy Moulton from the Atlantic Policy Congress of First Nation Chiefs Secretariat Inc. says she has toured Climate plant in the past but ... "I was surprised to learn they do the hazmat products as well a the safety and survival gear. I would definitely come to another show and invite all my friends.”


Moulton is even willing to put her money where her mouth is when it come to buying from Climate.

"I actually tried on a jacket and I was wowed!”


So, would Climate consider doing another fashion show as Moulton suggests?

"Absolutely," Neaves says. “We’re already talking about how to make this a part of all our trade shows.”

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