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New hi-viz t-shirts that also look good

Written by Fiona June 11 2010

I love new fitness/outdoors kit. And especially if it’s a whole new concept. Today I’m wearing my new Hello Jo t-shirt. The t-shirts look like the usual kind of t-shirt. They are made of soft, cottony material and have various funky designs. Mine says “I want to ride my bike”. Which suits me well! But the innovative thing about Hello Joe t-shirts is that they come in a range of fab hi-viz colours. This means that if you’re riding a bike, say to work, then you will be easily seen by other road users. These t-shirts are ideal if you want to wear normal-ish looking clothing but you still want to be highly visible.
I think these t-shirts will be a hit with commuters of people who use their bikes in towns and cities for getting to social events, work, friends etc… Since I’m always on my bike, running somewhere or walking, the t-shirt will be perfect for my lifestyle. The t-shirt will be particularly useful in the summer when I’m less likely to wear my hi-viz cycle jacket (because it’s too warm). I do not own any other hi-viz short-sleeved sports tops (why don’t more companies make nice-looking sports tops and t-shirts in hi-viz hues?) and I loathe the look of those hi-viz vest things that some folks put over their other clothing. And so my Hello Joe t-shirt is likely to be very well worn.

The t-shirts are the brainchild of Gill Black and Shona Kydd, two friends who met at a Yum Cha lunch in Sydney in 2003. Countless wine fuelled evenings in Cargo Bar sealed their friendship but it was in the much less salubrious surroundings of their true home, Hammersmith, that they decided to set up Hello Joe.

The inspiration came from watching a fashion-conscious friend put on a luminous vest, in a material resembling plastic, with what appeared to be silver masking tape across the back, ready for a cycle ride along the Thames tow path. Gill said: “We’re still not clear why he felt he needed to be highly visible to the ducks but we did notice that these horrid vests were everywhere and we decided there had to be a better way.” So they created something that would get people seen on the street, without making them embarrassed down the pub. Something that people would want to wear even when they weren’t riding a bike or going for a run.

For the time being there are four designs for both men and women’s fit. The next stage will be sweatshirts, waterproofs and a children’s range. (That’s good then, because when Little
Miss Outdoors first saw my t-shirt she asked if there were children’s sizes.)

I do wish I’d thought of the idea… but I wish Hello Joe all the best with their innovation. The t-shirts look good, feel great to wear and offer fab visibility when on a bike or running. Brilliant!

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