Magazine - SpringSummer '19 Issue 3


Kicking us off in issue 3, is our behavioural economist, Roger Martin-Fagg, who has given us his thoughts on Brexit. Our award-winning Design team have been on their travels, bringing the best from Beijing and Barcelona to this issue’s Trend Guide. Over at the Logistics Centre, Logistics Operations Director Steve Cassapi, takes us through what makes the LC such a resounding success.
With Summer imminent, we look at how our designs can help combat the extreme heat for those who work in high temperatures, while also looking at the innovations that 3D printing offers us.

Issue 3 - Spring/Summer 2019






1 Spring/Summer 2019



One year on

from the new

Regulation, how

has the world

of PPE been



The Better



A sustainable



Dimensions goes back

to school to shine a

light on the nursing



Brexit by


Roger Martin-Fagg


Extreme weather:

How to combat

extreme heat

in the workplace


The Trend Guide

Volume 4


What is 3D printing

and how can it help

you and your business?


We take a look at the

logistics centre; the

people and operations

that keep Dimensions



News round up


2019 Charity


2 Spring/Summer 2019



Welcome to the third edition of the Dimensions Magazine,

which is full of new features we’re sure you’ll love. If you’re

giving us a read for the first time welcome and if you’re a

returning reader, welcome back!

Kicking us off, is our behavioural economist, Roger Martin-

Fagg, who has given us his thoughts on Brexit. Our awardwinning

Design team have been on their travels, bringing

the best from Beijing and Barcelona to this issue’s Trend

Guide. Over at the Logistics Centre, Logistics Operations

Director Steve Cassapi, takes us through what makes the

LC such a resounding success.

With Summer imminent, we look at how our designs can

help combat the extreme heat for those who work in high

temperatures, while also looking at the innovations that 3D

printing offers us.

And last, but not least, don’t forget to follow all of our

social media channels. Find us on Twitter and Instagram

at @dimensions_mwuk, and on LinkedIn, at Dimensions

(MWUK Ltd). If you like the issue, let us know, by tagging

our accounts and using the hashtag, #DimsIssue3.

Have a great summer,

Hayley Brooks

Managing Director

Dimensions (MWUK Ltd) @dimensions_mwuk dimensions_mwuk

web: tel: +44 (0)1332 856 800 email:

Spring/Summer 2019 3






4 Spring/Summer 2019

With an increased focus on global

sourcing practices, the BCI believes it

can transform the textile market and

make it more sustainable. We caught

up with Ken Wright, Head of Fabric

Technical and Natalie Walsh, Senior

Account Manager to understand the

Better Cotton Initiative’s principles and

how we have implemented them into

our own supply chain.

What involvement does Dimensions

have with sustainable sourcing


Ken: Dimensions is keen to ensure our

sourcing practices are sustainable, so

over the past 7 years we’ve explored

the possibility of implementing a

number of initiatives, including Fairtrade,

Cotton Connect & The Better Cotton

Initiative. The Better Cotton Initiative

is a good case study because it is the

largest cotton sustainability programme

in the world!

What is the Better Cotton Initiative?

Ken: The Better Cotton Initiative, or

BCI, is a not-for profit organisation, that

exists to transform cotton production

worldwide, making Better Cotton a

sustainable mainstream commodity.

What does the BCI aim to do?

Ken: The BCI has four specific aims:

1. To reduce the environmental impact

of cotton production

2. To improve livelihoods and

economic development in cotton

producing areas

3. To improve commitment to, and

flow of, Better Cotton throughout

the supply chain

4. To ensure the credibility and

sustainability of the Better Cotton


How is Better Cotton defined?

Ken: The Better Cotton Principles and

Criteria lay out the global definition

of Better Cotton, by upholding the

following seven principles:

1. BCI Farmers minimise the harmful

impact of crop protection practices

2. Promote water stewardship

3. Care for the health of the soil

4. Enhance biodiversity and use land


5. Care for and preserve fibre quality

6. Promote decent work

7. Operate an effective management


When these 7 principles are followed,

the cotton that is produced is

measurably better for the environment

and farming communities. This is how

Better Cotton is defined.

Who is involved?

Ken: The BCI has over 1,100

members, including retailers, brands,

suppliers and manufacturers. There are

also 1.3 million BCI registered farmers.

These farmers produce 3.3 million

metric tonnes of Better Cotton every

year, which is enough for 2.5 billion

pairs of jeans!

Where do Dimensions fit into this?

Natalie: Dimensions is committed to

sustainable sourcing, so when one of

our largest clients, asked us to help

them with their overall sustainability

strategy, we were more than happy to

help and they set us the goal of moving

all conventional cotton to BCI Cotton

by 2020, to fall in line with their overall

sustainability strategy as a business.

What did Dimensions do to help?

Natalie: The first step to help reach

our customer’s objective

was to identify the amount of cotton

they purchased from us each year.

To achieve this, our forecasting team

calculated the amount of cotton within

this customer’s uniform range, and

used our state of the art forecasting

software ‘TXT’ to calculate the annual

usage of each garment within the range.

From this we were able to accurately

assess the gross cotton usage per year.

What happened next?

Natalie: We liaised with the BCI to

better understand their principles and

how we could implement them into

our own supply chain, and also to begin

to build relationships with its certified


By 2014, we had fully implemented

BCI cotton into our supply chain – this

was 6 years ahead of schedule!

This is an accomplishment we are all

still very proud of!

Are other customers able to work

with Dimensions to source BCI


Natalie: Yes they can, because we put

in the hard work 5 years ago, we now

have the infrastructure in place so that

we can source Better Cotton for any

customer. We want to supply Better

Cotton to as much of our customer

base as possible so please do get in


Spring/Summer 2019 5





A pioneering team has been working on an innovative project

to widen recruitment to the profession who believes that

attitudes and ideas are formed as early as primary school and

considers a child’s dressing up outfit to be a key part of this


Colin McNulty, senior nurse manager with NHS Grampian,

said: “If you look at a typical nurse’s costume for a child, the

uniform often comes with a cape and hat, even though these

haven’t been standard uniform for decades. The tools they

have may be limited to a thermometer and a fob watch,

suggesting that nurses do little more than take temperatures or

measure pulses.

“We are delighted to be working with NHS

National Services Scotland and the Scottish

Government on such an innovative project. Not

only are we passionate about great uniform,

we’re passionate about people and it’s great that

we can have a positive influence on our younger

generation and their career choice.”

The reality of modern day nursing couldn’t be further from this

but first impressions matter. If this is what very young children

are learning about nursing then they may decide it is not the

job for them in years to come. As a qualified male nurse I

wanted to change the message.”

As such, Colin approached senior managers within NHS

Scotland and also at the Scottish Government to ask if childsized

versions of the national nursing uniform could be

made. Having gained permission, the project team worked

with Dimensions to arrange for the miniature uniforms to

be produced and launched the initiative at Braehead Primary

School, Aberdeen and Duddingston Primary School, Edinburgh.

Hayley Brooks, managing director of Dimensions said: “We are delighted to be working

with NHS National Services Scotland and the Scottish Government on such an innovative

project. Not only are we passionate about great uniform, we’re passionate about people

and it’s great that we can have a positive influence on our younger generation and their

career choice.”

Fiona McQueen, chief nursing officer said: “This is a fabulous initiative devised and

developed by NHS Grampian in partnership with NHS Lothian and local schools, to inspire

the next generation of the nursing workforce. I wholeheartedly support the approach to

showcase the breadth and diversity of nursing and midwifery careers. We are delighted that

Dimensions are able to provide gender neutral child size tunics to challenge crucial early

perceptions of what it means to be a nurse.”

Led by NHS Grampian and NHS Lothian, the pilot project will run in seven Aberdeen

primary schools and a further seven schools in Edinburgh. Feedback will be gathered from

teachers and pupils alike for full evaluation and consideration of future roll out. Partners

from SG, DYW and NES are involved to maximise opportunity for future impact.

6 Spring/Summer 2019


By Roger Martin-Fagg BA HONS

What are the key indicators

currently telling us about the

next two years?

Forecasting the economy is

a mugs game, if a forecaster

makes the correct call then it

is more a matter of luck than

skill. As I write this there is

still no agreed way forward

for Brexit both in timing

and content. This being said

there are some indicators

which to date have never

yet failed to forecast the

economic cycles’ ups and


The first is the money supply.

We all depend on a money

inflow to live our lives: for

those in work it’s our salary,

for those not in work it is a

student loan, a pension, or

universal credit. This money

flow creates £2.1 trillion of

income and expenditure.

The growth of our economy

(i.e. our real income)

requires an ever increasing

supply of money.

The numbers are: for a

2.5% real GDP growth rate,

with an inflation rate of 2%,

we need the money supply

to be growing at 5% per

annum. If money supply

grows faster than this we

get inflationary pressures

particularly seen in house

price increases. If it grows

less than than 5% we suffer

lower growth and less house

price inflation.


The chart shows us that money supply is currently growing at 2%. If there is no improvement in this number then

the UK will be close to recession or actually in recession in the first quarter of 2020, and UK house prices will

stagnate. It also means employers will find it very difficult to raise salaries and profits simultaneously. It is of course

possible if productivity can be raised.

Spring/Summer 2019 7


CPI 1.8% M4 2%

March 2019

Real Money in +0.2


12-18 months

March 2020

Real GDP out +0.2

Another way of expressing this is by using the pipe analogy.

The economy is a big pipe, money (water) goes in one end it

flows (money changes hands as people earn and spend) and

assuming no leaks the same amount comes out the other end

(this is nominal GDP) after about a year. The next chart gives

the evidence.

CFOs are reacting to a weaker domestic outlook with a sharper focus on cost

control and building up cash. UK corporates are placing as much emphasis on

defensive balance sheet strategies as they did during the height of the euro crisis

and immediately after the euro area referendum.

Source: Deloittes June 2018

8 Spring/Summer 2019

The money data tells us that business

will be challenging for the next 12

months regardless of the political

situation. However if Parliament

can agree a way forward which is a

managed exit or even no exit then in

my opinion, money supply will quickly

recover back to 4-5% per annum and

there will be no recession.

Many commentators are suggesting

that all the UK needs to do is agree

a comprehensive trade deal with the

USA and we could export our way to


A key forward indicator is the difference

between the yield of short and long

dated bonds. The yield curve measures

the gap between the interest rates (or

yields) on three-month and ten-year

government bonds. Central banks

largely determine short-term interest

rates. Long-term yields are influenced

by market expectations for growth and


When markets anticipate a slowdown,

expectations for growth and inflation

fall, dragging down ten-year yields. In

the jargon this is a flattening of the yield

curve. When ten-year yields fall further,

below three-month rates, as they did in

the US briefly last month, the curve is

inverted. This signals that markets think

that short-term interest rates are too


Each of the last seven US recessions

have been preceded by an inverted


The yield curve in the USA indicates the USA will be going into recession next year.

As I said at the beginning forecasting is a mugs game. But the forward indicators are telling us to be prepared

for a difficult two years. An economic historian would simply tell us that a recession happens every 10 years

so it is inevitable in 2020.

Prepared April 8 2019

Spring/Summer 2019 9

One year on from the new


how has the world of PPE been affected?

One year on from the introduction of the new PPE

Regulation, we caught up with Dimensions’ Quality

Assurance & Production Manager, Mick Spencer to find

out how Dimensions has tackled the legislative changes.

We can carry out quick audits to ensure products have

the correct technical files, while ensuring we conform

to the standard and meet the requirements of the

regulation. We can also identify products that

What practical difference has moving

from the old PPE Directive 89/686/EEC

to the new Regulation 2016/425 made?

Making the workplace safe is the first priority which

includes providing instructions, procedures, training and

supervision to encourage people to work safely and


However, should personal protective equipment be a

requirement, our customers can have peace of mind

that all the necessary steps are being taken to assure all

our items of PPE will be in conformance with the new


This will provide the confidence that our customers

are investing in a product that will protect their greatest

asset: their workforce.

require ongoing testing and surveillance as part of the

manufacturing process, which led us to notice that

customers required hi-vis garments to be post-branded

with large logos. This led to some concerns, as we

felt larger logos could render the garments to a nonconforming


Under the new Regulation, if we as a business postbrand

a garment, we change status from distributor to


Has it led to a general improvement in

standards and compliance?

The PPE Directive was over 20 years old and needed

updating in order to meet current technology, while the

What does this mean to Dimensions?

Having a dedicated coding system of PPE items has

greatly improved the access speed to products.

10 Spring/Summer 2019


new Regulation (2016/425) provides a level playing field

for suppliers as well as enhancing end user safety.

Have we seen any older products

disappear from the market as a result

of the Regulation?

We have found some suppliers have dropped certain

styles in favour of new development. The change has

brought about a new enthusiasm to shake up styles that

may not have changed in over two decades.

We have also seen a lot of products fall into ‘category

1’ type PPE, which is for items that provide a ‘minimal

risk’. The services of a notified body are not required

for this category, as items can be ‘self certified’.

‘Category II’ and ‘Category III’ items must be certified

by a notified body.

Is market surveillance of

manufacturers’ compliance with

the underlying test standards good


PPE should always undergo continuous surveillance to

ensure that items do not change over the course of its

certification life. Periodic site audits and product testing

should be undertaken in conjunction with a notified


With this Regulation (2016/425), the market

surveillance authorities have clear enforcement

guidelines, which will strengthen any shortcomings

previously identified by industry professional.

Are manufacturers providing the

necessary documentation to buyers

and/or distributors when they ask for


It is surprising how well the suppliers have responded

to the changes. As well as our own internal systems,

websites have been rebuilt with clear links to important

documentation, user information sheets have also been

reworked to include additional links to key documents.

These changes are exactly the reasons it was necessary

to bring things up to date through the new Regulation.

Do people think there is a case for

further regulation and testing?

Through the practise of continuous improvement we

should always consider the possibility of additional

regulation and testing. We are in an industry where

we are protecting the most important asset – the

employee. This should always be taken seriously.

Spring/Summer 2019 11



I have worked in uniform manufacturing for 40 years, with most of this

time spent producing for the Ministry of Defence. My first experience of

technical safety wear was producing Admiralty foul weather jackets for

the Navy. The complexity of these garments provided the motivation

to move into other specialist areas personal protection. I was the

senior training instructor for the uniform division of Coats Viyella with

responsibility for training the factory sewing machine instructors.

Following the launch of the Personal Protective Equipment at work

regulations in 1992, I created a standards team. We covered all PPE

items head-to-toe, I went on to develop a PPE advisory team that

would visit our customers to assist with the risk assessment and selection

of safety wear. I am currently responsible for PPE across our group


Did you know...

We have a PPE steering group here at Dimensions to ensure we are the

forefront of the latest developments in the PPE world.




12 Spring/Summer 2019

How to combat extreme heat in the workplace

In this, the first of a two-part series, we’ll look at how

those who work in exceedingly hot temperatures can

stay comfortable enough to be productive, proactive and

maintain an effective workflow. Ahead of the summer

months, it’s time to look at extreme heat, and how we can

help those who work in such conditions to be comfortable,

while staying cool.

Readers may remember from our last issue, we covered the

epic Lyke Wake Walk that an intrepid team of Dimensions

staff took on, covering 40 miles inside just 24 hours across

the Yorkshire Moors. It, by chance, was the warmest day of

the year, which meant everyone involved in the walk had to

take precautions throughout the day, including keeping their

fluid levels high.

Both mainland Europe and the UK went through a

period of extremely hot weather in the summer of 2018,

setting records across the continent. Temperatures hit a

sweltering 46c in Portugal and Spain, while wildfires were

commonplace throughout Germany and Greece, with

droughts and hosepipe bans implemented across the region.

In the UK, last summer was regarded as the joint hottest

summer on record, according to the Met Office, with

Faversham, Kent attracting the hottest day of the year, on

Thursday 26 July, when temperatures reached 35.3c. The

extreme heat highlighted the wider issue of global warming,

with annual rises in temperatures continuing to pose

worldwide challenges.

Paul took on the extra challenge of wearing a suit made from

the 37.5 technology – while it was cooler in the evening,

the suit would do its job of keeping him warm, and in the

burning heat of the day, it would revert to keeping him cool.

It may be said that Paul did bring along a spare change of

clothes, in case the technology wasn’t all it was cracked up to

be, but Paul started and finished the walk, in style, wearing

his 37.5 technology-based suit. An incredible feat, made

even more incredible by such technology.

Technology put to the test

While all of the above stretches the boundaries for even

the most fervent sun-worshipper, could you imagine having

to work in those circumstances? Fortunately for many

workplaces and office spaces, amenities like air conditioning,

mean that many don’t have to worry about excessively hot

working conditions in the workplace.

There, however, is the issue with many professions, which

involve the great outdoors, where air conditioning isn’t an

option, and even further the need for heavy duty protection

gear can impact the user’s experience, that bit extra – posing

the issue of comfortability over usability.

At Dimensions, there are a number of innovations we use

when combatting the extreme heat. One of which is the

revolutionary 37.5 technology, which helps to regulate core

body temperature for wearers. A brilliant example of the

benefits of 37.5 in action, is the story of Dimensions’ Fabric

Technical Assistant Paul Mellor and the Lyke Wake Walk.

Paul on the challenge in his 37.5 technology-based suit.

Spring/Summer 2019 13

Senior Designer at Dimensions, Sally-Anne Rowe is a big

fan of the technology, and had this to say about it: “37.5 is

a game-changer in that it is an amazing technology that has

been developed.

“Paul’s example of wearing it during the hottest day of the

year, while taking on the Lyke Wake Walk challenge is a great

way of showing its benefits in action. It has proved useful in

tackling both the heat and cold, for us, as designers.

“Obviously the technology can be used in a multitude of

different garments too – we often end up giving samples of

our 37.5 socks out at exhibitions we attend!”

A key design feature of uniforms in the 21st century, is

wearability, as business look more towards the wellbeing of

their employees, not just in their workwear but with aspects

such as mental wellbeing, as well as ensuring staff are eating

and drinking the right things, as well as comfort!

Sally-Anne adds: “We’ve found that more and more now,

customers want the best for their employees, with many

wanting as wider range of uniform options as possible, to

cater for different needs.

“37.5 is a game-changer

in that it is an amazing

technology that has been


“This means that uniforms with layering systems have

become more of the norm, allowing wearers to self-regulate

their temperature as the weather around them changes

during a work shift – no more will workers have to commit

to one temperature!”

Another way of staying cool in extreme temperatures,

can be eyelet mesh. It can be implemented for use on

underarms and on the backs of garments, with breathability

being the key to its successful use. It has even been

mooted as an addition to headwear, through providing a

breathable mesh for sun hats, again giving the wearer that

level of flexibility that can help them to adapt to changes in


“We’re looking at using eyelet mesh throughout different

ranges of garments that will enable a user to react to their



“Perhaps you’re starting work early and there’s a chill factor

in the air – which is fairly common in the summer months

as the mornings get earlier – you’re going to have extra

layers on. But by midday, when the sun is at its peak, the

temperature has risen dramatically, with technologies like

eyelet mesh, the user finds it far easier to stay cool, with the

vents and breakable mechanic allowing for removal of the

clothing if necessary.”

There are also innovations in the works at Dimensions

that focus on accessories to combatting extreme weather.

Fabrics that regulate the heat and sun, with UV protection

woven into them are also of increasing significance for many

customers, as they look to combat the dual threat that overexposure

to the sunshine can cause to employees.

The above technology not only works to provide clothing

that is adequate for dealing with warmer temperatures,

but also, importantly, looks good. Keeping our customers

looking good, is an inherent part of the business, it’s

something we pride ourselves on, “We help people love

how they look” is our company motto

Sally-Anne added: “Whatever innovations we use, whether

it’s to keep you warm or to cool you down, we can promise

that our customers will continue to look good and feel good

– it’s what we do best!”

If your business

requires any form

of clothing to keep

cool this summer,

get in touch to find out more.



look out for our guide on how

to tackle the extreme cold

with our hints and tips.

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49 Spring/Summer 2019

You might have heard of 3D printing

before, whether it be through a crazy

viral video, or word of mouth, there

have been various amazing creations

put together via what is effectively an

array of futuristic lasers for a number of

years now. The technology has often

been heralded as “future tech”, and

something that many of us will be using

sooner than we think, but, what exactly

is 3D printing and how will it change the

way the world operates?

3D printers build parts based on one

sole principle: a digital plan brought into

real-life reality, turning virtual schematics

into a tangible, physical product. What’s

revolutionary about it, is that no special

tools are required: that’s no tools with

specific moulds to cut into, due to the

specific build platform, which works

with the layer-by-layer technology.

1981 was the earliest record of 3D

printing, by Japanese inventor Hideo

Kodama, who was the earliest to

use the layer-by-layer approach for

manufacturing. Fast forward a decade,

into the 1990s and the development of

the tech, saw it applied towards industrial

prototyping and production applications.

This was also around the time that

computer-aided design (CAD) tools for

3D printing became the norm, before

the first 3D printed working kidney was

created in 2000 – although it was a 13-

year wait to see it transplanted into a

patient’s body.

The next step saw the first 3D printed

prosthetic limb, printed in 2008. This

was a revelation, and the costly limb that

was initially created, has led to further

prosthesis being made available at far

cheaper prices. The immediate past few

years have seen the explosion of 3D

printing usage itself in the public eye:

NASA created a food printer, Urbee

made the first 3D printed prototype

car, medically the technology was used

further, for organs and tissues, as well

as prosthesis. The cherry on top of the

cake was in 2013 when US President

Barack Obama mentioned 3D printing

as a major issue for the future, in his State

of the Union speech. This cemented the

term “3D printing” in the minds of the

masses: 3D printing had arrived.

As you can see, the rise of 3D printing

from a niche, little heard of process,

to the rapidly growing juggernaut it is

today wasn’t exactly a quick transition.

Dimensions’ Senior Designer, Sally-

Anne Rowe explains why Dimensions

has been investing in 3D printing over

the past few years:

“3D printing has

massively exploded

within the last

decade, and right

now, it’s more

affordable and

quicker than it’s

ever been before.“

50 Spring/Summer 2019


“The low start-up costs meant that it was a no-brainer for us

to get involved with the technology. For an initial investment,

it has provided a lot of benefits, the main one being that it can

bring a prototype to life within the same day at a very lowcost

to us.”

And that is really where the benefits of 3D printing begin

– it is cost effective to run and allows for a precise level of

customisation per intricate part, to be implemented. It is

perfect for testing out ideas in the real world, cutting down

the time between getting them off paper and into a physical

product. Normally, prototypes can take a number of weeks

to get from start to finish, between outsourcing the work and

the manufacturing itself taking place, but the technology has

drastically reduced this.

“A button, for example, takes just 30 minutes, while something

bigger, like a pair of glasses can be completed in just three and

a half hours – which is staggering compared to what has gone


Not only that, but 3D printing has opened up possibilities

to play with different types of materials. This, in particular,

is where 3D printing’s benefits expand the capability and

offerings for a business like Dimensions, as Sally-Anne explains


“3D printed fabrics have been created that aren’t malleable,

such as traditionally harder items, i.e. metals and plastics.”

“We might not be quite there yet with more comfortable to

wear items, but if the technology continues to develop at the

rate we’ve seen to date, then it will not be too long before it


At the moment though, printing is often used to supply

customers with badges, tie-pins and cufflinks, smaller, intricate

items that can work alongside the traditional orders of uniform.

2012: The first

prosthetic jaw was

printed and


The future of 3D printing is unknown, as it is such a developing

market, but there are an untold number of potential possibilities

for the medium to take. One theory is that the technological

developments will continue, to eventually change the nature

of commerce itself. Current consumers will be able to

become manufacturers themselves, jump up the user chain

by using their own 3D printers to create products - rather

than engaging in the necessity of trade in order to purchase

products from other people and corporations.

3D printing isn’t just set to revolutionise the fashion industry

though. No, it looks set to continue to impact upon a number

of different industries, from energy use to waste reduction,

further developments in medicine, art and construction, the

possibilities are endless, and the future of 3D printing is sure to

impact on every single one of us.

The printer is also a hit with potential customers: “We’ve taken

our 3D printer to a lot of trade shows and exhibitions, and

it’s gone down really well with crowds, attracting interested

people across to our stand and getting them to engage with

us. Even if they’re not necessarily interested in taking up any

3D printed objects with us, it can be a fantastic icebreaker,

which can lead to fruitful conversations.”

Above: A 3D printer in action.


If you’re interested in finding out how 3D printing could help

provide your business with a solution, then get in touch with

us at

Spring/Summer 2019 51









Don’t forget to keep up to date

Spring/Summer 2019 52



The people and operations that keep Dimensions ticking

With over eighteen million garments

dispatched by Dimensions every year

in order to clothe clients with uniform

across the globe, the distribution and

processing of such a large quantity

of items requires an equally large

operational centre.

This is where the MWUK Logistics

Centre (LC) comes in. Based in

Derbyshire, just a stone’s throw away

from the Castle Donington head

office, the LC is renowned for its size,

perfect for millions of garments! The

group’s three corporate apparel brands:

Dimensions, Alexandra and Yaffy, are

serviced by the centre’s 630,000 sq ft

facility, equating to almost TEN football

pitches. Hundreds of staff are employed

at the centre, to ensure its operation

runs like clockwork, as orders are

actioned within just a few hours.

But how is such an operation kept in

shape, and, most importantly, kept

running like clockwork? We caught up

with Dimensions’ Logistics Operations

Director, Steve Cassapi, in the first of a

two-part look at the centre.


As the old adage goes, “a company is

nothing without its people”, the same

is true for the workforce at the Logistics

Centre. With over 300 staff on-site, the

employees of the LC are the ones that

really keep the lights on at the centre,

both literally and metaphorically. Steve

is keen to emphasise the high-quality

level of work that these employees

produce, day in, day out, with some

statistics you simply wouldn’t believe…

“The people we employ to work

here, are exceptional people. We

have hundreds of ‘subject matter

experts’, who really understand what

our customers’ needs and wants


“There are instructions, of course,

to be followed. Department

area leaders talk to the account

management team, to ensure that

instructions are correctly cascaded

down the line, but we rely upon

them to continually improve our

systems and to be our experts.”

“Our pickers, packers, returners,

receivers – everybody is a subject

matter expert.”

It’s clear to see that Steve respects his

existing workforce of skilled workers

and he has a goal of continuing to

a company is

nothing without

its people

improve the high-level of service that

the LC currently produces – how does

Steve see this improving going forward?

“These people are an incredible

investment, and this is where I will

continue to invest during 2019/20,

in the training, development and

engagement of our employees.

“Our retention rate is really good in

this industry, we usually lose under

4% of employees at the end of a

turnover year. But that will get more

challenging over the next 18 months,

with the growth of the area [there

is a new distribution centre being

constructed in Long Eaton, minutes

from the MWUK LC] and over 6,000

new opportunities for people to seek


It looks like the new developments

in the local area will potentially entice

some existing staff, so to maintain

such a high-level of staff retention may

prove difficult. Amidst new challenges

and changes though, Steve thinks

the commitment to his employees

will ultimately help to keep integral

members of staff.

“Our wages have to be competitive

and reflect the new-look industry. 10-

15 years ago people went to work in

warehouses because it was regarded

as an ‘easy’ job, and it was a trade

that anyone could do. With all the

Spring/Summer 2019 53

Lean Six Sigma’s power to give people a sense of

“meaning and purpose cannot be underestimated.

complexities of our warehouse,

it does not warrant a base grade

operator wage, our people are

professional warehouse distribution

logistics operators and they are paid


“The recognition of our people is

vital to us. These are complex roles,

they are making decisions about the

quality of the products going into our

boxes each and every day for all of

our valued customers.”

What do we do?



As readers will have seen in our

previous issue of the Dimensions’

Magazine, Lean Six Sigma is a massive

part of the working culture of the LC.

The way of thinking means that every

single person is an integral cog in the

machine that is the Logistics Centre.

It is a form of devolution, giving more

and more opportunities to employees

across the workforce ladder, to become

empowered and make a difference

to not only themselves, but their

colleagues around them.

Steve explains: “Lean Six Sigma’s

power to give people a sense of

meaning and purpose cannot be


“It helps employees to feel like

they’re accomplishing their own

personal goals, as they progress

up the scale, achieving new belt

levels, but also allows the company

to continue to be successful, while

continuing to develop their people,

who then become more loyal to their


This spread of control and power

works in tandem with the spread of

subject matter experts that Steve talks

so fondly of. Lean Six Sigma is not an

easy way of working to implement into

a business, with many unsuccessful

attempts at other businesses who have

tried the same method, but by creating

a structure which saw training costs

put towards the people of the LC’s

development, it was found that big

forward steps were being made in a

quick amount of time.

“Within two months, the first year

costs of the programme were paid

for, after nine months, the year one

training cost had been repaid tenfold!

“It’s easy to see the benefits of

its implementation, both to the

individual, and to the business.”


When it comes down to it, there are a

number of different operations that the

LC carries out, but with automation not

on the cards any time soon, and a firm

commitment that PEOPLE are the life

and soul of the operation, it’s clear to

see the future Steve has envisioned for

the centre.

“We will continue to put our people

first, to invest in them and their

futures and to see them grow as

people – that is how our success will

continue. Not through machinery, but

through human beings.”

In Issue 4 of the Dimensions

Magazine, we will look at the

other stages in the LC story:

Processing and Quality Control

54 Spring/Summer 2019

Spring/Summer 2019 55

Spring/Summer 2019 56

Apprentice nominated

for Enterprising

Women Award

Dimensions’ Sales Operations apprentice, Dominique

Arthur, was a finalist in the “Apprentice of the Year”

category at the 2019 Enterprising Women Awards.

Dominique’s fantastic achievement came after her first

year at Dimensions, and led to her attending a Gala

Dinner, at Derbyshire County Cricket Club on Friday

8th March, aka International Women’s Day.

Dominique said: “It was a total surprise, I was really

shocked to be nominated for the award. I filled out

an application form, with the help of my manager, and

sent it off, more hopeful than anything. “When I was

announced as a finalist at the pre-award evening I was

amazed, especially considering there were so many

other nominations.” Originally from Surrey, Dominique

found herself in the East Midlands to pursue studying a

History degree at Loughborough University, as well as

playing for the Hockey team.

However, she found the course wasn’t for her, so

decided to switch to a Business Administration Level

3 apprenticeship at Loughborough College and joined

the Dimensions team. Dominique explains: “I’ve

learnt ten times the amount I learnt at university, in

the same amount of time at Dimensions. It’s down to

the support of my team and managers, they’ve taught

me so much – I’ve gone from a blank piece of paper

to one full of knowledge. “I wasn’t encouraged to do

an apprenticeship when I was at school, and knowing

what I know now, I wish I had! I would definitely say to

people to think about doing an apprenticeship before

you do a degree, it doesn’t make you any less clever.”

Spring/Summer 2019 57



“They are very generous, supplying us with fabric for

prototyping and donate a large quantity of fabrics, with

functional technical qualities for the students to utilise.”

The project culminated in a presentation display, following

students presenting to their lecturers earlier in the day. The

evening event saw each created uniform on display, with

students, lecturers and family and friends able to observe.

Fashion BA (Hons) student, Chloe Twigg, said: “We had to pick

a work wear and try to improve upon a uniform that already

exists. “Dimensions visited us regularly, giving talks on industry

days and having different people from the business talk to us.

Second year students from the University of Derby’s Fashion BA (Hons) course have presented their uniforms of the

future, following a collaboration with Dimensions.

The partnership between ourselves and the university is in

its second year, and sees students take on the challenge of

providing uniforms to be used in years ahead, with our awardwinning

Design department setting the brief. Those who have

impressed in the past have been offered work placements.

Programme Leader of Fashion BA (Hons) at the University of

Derby, Colin Thompson said: “The Dimensions team came in

and thoroughly briefed the students at the start of the year, as

part of the Directed Projects in Fashion module.

“We have clear academic outcomes we’re aiming for and

working with Dimensions puts the students in direct contact

with industry, which is great for their development.

“Dimensions were hands-on and eager to come in and review

the work in progress, helping us to crystalise the project

brief, installing key themes and topics to be addressed by our


“It’s helped us to realise what elements to focus on, like

sustainability, which were incorporated into the finished


Above left: Second year student Rory with his design.

Above right: Colin Thompson, with Rhoda, second year student.

Fellow Fashion BA (Hons) student, Charlotte Cope, added: “I

met the CEO of the customer I designed a garment for, which

was amazing!

“Recycling was a big factor for me, which was emphasised by

Dimensions, so I focused on sourcing local materials for use

within my project.”

Dimensions’ Design Director, Clare du Mughn, said of the

partnership: “It has been great to work with the University of

Derby, who have a brilliant team that we work alongside.

“The students have been creating some fantastic work this year,

it has been a pleasure to monitor their progress throughout

the year.

“We took a student on last year for a work experience

placement and their contributions were fantastic, as they got

heavily involved in customer projects and attended external


Programme Leader of Fashion BA (Hons) at the University of Derby, Colin Thompson, with second-year

student Chloe Twigg.

The partnership is indicative of our commitment to the future

workforce, Clare mentions that if the opportunity arose, there

could be the potential for more permanent employment

opportunities: “In the future, if we are looking to add to the

team, the University of Derby will be my first port of call.”

58 Spring/Summer 2019




We hope you have enjoyed this

edition of our magazine which we

have developed to bring you the

latest in innovation, market trends

and industry news.

We’d love to hear your feedback and

any suggestions of articles you’d like

to see in the next issue! Email us at

Join the conversation:


We at Dimensions are delighted to announce

our charities for 2019, with the annual vote finding three

fantastic causes to support.

Dimensions (MWUK Ltd)


Fancy a chat about your uniform

needs? Give us a call today

01332 697045

or email us at:


Homeless charity, Doorways

Derby has been confirmed as

the regional charity, as they look

to provide food to the city’s less


Nationally, mental health resource

Mind, are set to benefit from the

team’s support.

Globally, Save the Children will also

be receiving donations as a result

of another year’s fundraising.



IN 2018

Spring/Summer 2019 59


PPE is changing. With the recent Regulation 2016/425 being

implemented, employers can now be fined millions if they do not

fall within its boundaries. To stay in line and not be fined, get in

touch with Dimensions for all your PPE needs!

of noise induced hearing loss is

preventable if proper hearing

protection is used.

It’s estimated that in 2018 non-compliance

cost businesses £79 Billion.

Wearing gloves reduces hand risk

by 60%

workers are estimated to be suffering

from work related hearing problems.

of workplace injuries involve hands

and fingers.

of workplace eye injuries are preventable

with the use of proper safety eyewear.

Last year Dimensions dispatched nearly

one million items of PPE and footwear.



Spring/Summer 2019 60

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