Bristol Uniforms is widely recognised as one of the world’s leading designers and manufacturers of head-to-toe protective clothing for firefighters – commonly referred to as PPE (Personal Protective Equipment). Today, we design and make specialist protective wear for the emergency services in the UK and to firefighters in over 110 countries around the world.
Bristol, which employs over 100 people in the UK, is not only a leader in product design and development, but has been active for many years in helping the appropriate authorities in the UK and Europe to develop performance standards. Around half our sales are exported.
Our garments are not only technically sophisticated but also made in a vast size range and use a combination of fabrics, which are often expensive, to give the garments the performance for which they are renowned. We first invested in CAD software and tested all the various software packages available at that time; we chose Assyst Bullmer because it was the only one that could meet our rigorous requirements.
The software gave us the precision we demanded in our patterns and also let us create designs that completely met our customer’s requirements. Cost savings became evident soon after implementation as the software was used for our fabric costing and production lay planning.
Shortly afterwards we bought our first automatic cutter but we continued to expand and then needed to add a second machine. At this time many clothing manufacturers were moving production out of the UK but we chose to keep control of our cutting quality and fabric use and expanded cutting in Bristol.
We decided to change our cutter supplier for the next purchase and our second cutter was an Assyst Bullmer Procut.
Continued expansion since has meant that we added a third, and then a fourth cutting machine, for which we have also stayed with Assyst Bullmer. Ours must be one of the UK’s largest clothing cutting rooms and has been a powerful resource for us as we have grown.
We like the reliability and low running costs that we found with our first Procut and continued to experience these with our subsequent investments. If maintenance is required we are soon in direct contact with an engineer at Assyst Bullmer, the problem is fixed quickly, and cutting has ceased to be a problem for us since we bought our Assyst Bullmer cutters.
Ian Mitchell, Joint Managing Director Bristol Uniforms