Design

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7 Dec 2016

Professor George Havenith appears on C4’s Supershoppers

Dean of the Design School, Professor George Havenith appeared on C4’s Supershoppers programme in December 2016, testing expensive branded jackets against their high street alternatives using the School’s thermal manikin. 

C4’s Supershoppers looks at shopping tips and tricks on today’s high street and online stores. They compare various products and help the consumer make a better informed decision and larger savings.

On Monday 5 December, Professor Havenith, was featured as an expert guest. He tested a high end luxury designer puffer jacket with cheaper high street alternatives on a Newton thermal Manikin- which generates the same amount of heat as a person. 

Testing the coats in the Design School’s climatic chamber, George measured the amount of heat dissipated by the coats with a thermal imaging camera. Surprisingly, the results showed very little difference between the luxury designer jacket and the alternatives, which were over £300 cheaper. The camera showed that there was only a 5% difference in heat loss between the jackets. 

On the show, George said that, “The performance in terms of insulation performance is no way related to the price difference...The £300 [is] purely for the fashion statement of wearing the brand.” 

This has not been the only time George has been on TV talking about thermal jackets; in November 2015 he was on BBC’s Fake Britain, which looks at how people are being ripped off by fake and poorly made products in the UK. George once again investigated jackets: comparing premium Canada Goose coats with fakes in the climate chamber and examining the results with a thermal camera. 

The results showed that the fake coats had a third less insulation and could even be dangerous for people who rely on them for warmth in freezing conditions. 

George’s research primarily focuses on thermal physiology. For more information about George's research and publications, click here.


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