Friday, 12 October 2018

Briers Lady Gardener Gloves: sexism in gloves!

I'm a disappointed bunny today.... yesterday I started a new pair of gloves,  which is nothing new in itself, as I get through gloves very quickly.

*shakes head and grumbles “you can't get the quality, these days: gloves used to last for years and now it's barely five minutes” grumble grumble*

Usually they go through at the tips of the fingers, particularly (but not always!) on the left hand, and I know that I am not alone in this: I'm still searching for a gardener who wears out their right-hand gloves, so that we can do a swap of our orphans.

Or, a decent glove that lasts longer than a couple of weeks.... 

Anyway, yesterday I started this new pair:

now, when I buy Briers gloves, I usually go for the ones called Professional: I must have had dozens of pairs of these over the last few years, getting through them faster and faster as the quality - which was excellent when they started - deteriorated.

Along with deteriorating quality, they also went up in price, to the point where a £6 pair of gloves is now £14.99, so I started looking for alternatives.

On the rack, at the garden centre, they had these ones: “Lady Gardener”, price £6.99.

They appeared in most aspects to be exactly the same as the Professional Gardener - fake leather palms, strange cut-out patch on the index finger knuckle (for ease of bending?) Velcro tab for fastening. The only difference seemed to be the colour - you can just hear the marketing department saying “ooh, ooh, let's make them pink, we'll sell lots of them!” and one lone voice of common sense reminding them that not all females swoon over pink... so they made them dark purple instead.

 OK, that's acceptable.

So, I put on my dark purple “Lady” gardener gloves and started working - oh, hello, what's this? There's a hole in them - ALREADY????

Look closely at the third finger, on the picture above.....

Unbelievably, the stitching on the finger had a gap in it.

There is no excuse for this - it's called “skimping”. It's where they cut the garment (whether it's clothing, gloves, shoes, anything) with such tiny seam allowances that the slightest lack of concentration by their machinists means that there are gaps in the seams, where the stitching has missed the seam allowance altogether.

 Here - right - I've pushed my finger through the hole to give you an idea of the size.

This is despicable: do Briers really think that just because we are female, we don't deserve decent quality? Do they think that we will accept poor quality stitching on our “Lady Gardener” *spits the phrase* gloves, because we get poor quality stitching on our everyday clothes?

Now don't get me started on the poor quality of female clothing - it's the reason I wear men's clothes for work, including boots: clothes allegedly designed for women are invariably made from inferior materials, badly cut, poorly assembled, with fewer pockets, and those they do deign to provide are much shallower than men's. Unfair! Oh, and they usually cost more, too. Super unfair!

So, Briers, I am very disappointed that your so-called Lady Gardener range is the right price, but definitely the wrong level of quality.

I'm contacting them today to see what they say.... and I'll let you know.

Actually, the story is even worse: I went to fling these gloves into my box of "things which I have been sent to review", and in it I found another pair of them, from several months ago, possibly a year or more ago.

It's clear that I threw them in there, in disgust, because they had worn through at the finger tips in an unreasonably short time. I can't remember if I ever got around to reviewing them ("oops!"), which will teach me to do the reviews asap, to save me buying a crap product if I have already tried it!

 The packaging and the product code are different - this pair are item B0648 whereas the ones above are B6036 - and they're a different shade of not-pink, but they didn't last very long at all.

As you can see from this close-up (right) the index and second fingers on the left had both went right through, and this was in probably no more than a couple of days' use.

Who exactly do they design them for, I wonder?

I was going to say something like "Elderly ladies who do a bit of light dead-heading?" but all the elderly ladies I know are demon gardeners, who work nearly as hard as I do!

So, let's wait and see what Briers have to say for themselves....

..... update,  an hour and a half later:

A nice lady called Amy from Briers contacted me,  confirming that this is not the level of quality they expect from their gloves, and offering to send me a replacement pair straight away.

So, providing that the replacement pair are fine (and I'm sure that she'll check them carefully before packing them, won't you, Amy? *laughs* ), it looks as though you can buy Briers gloves with confidence, as they do indeed stand by their guarantee.

I do like a happy ending! 


Did you enjoy this article? Did you find it useful? Would you like me to answer your own, personal, gardening question? Become a Patron - just click here - and support me! Or use the Donate button for a one-off donation. If just 10% of my visitors gave me a pound a month, I'd be able to spend a lot more time answering all the questions!!