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PureGym offer apology for Luton & Dunstable gym marketing faux pas

Lee Hall



PureGym offer apology for Luton & Dunstable gym marketing faux pas

PureGym have had to apologise for the local Luton & Dunstable gym after a post of a ‘slavery-based’ fitness workout was published on their Facebook page – Five days into Black History Month.

If there was ever a lesson to be learned on cultural sensitivity, this marketing ‘faux pas’ would be it. The intense and insensitive workout was inadvertently promoted on the Luton & Dunstable PureGym Facebook page as ’12 Years Of Slave’. It would seem that the author of the post has leaned upon inspiration from the Oscar-winning 2013 film “12 Years a Slave”. Mistake number one.

Whilst it is obvious that there was no racist intent behind the post, the incident has raised a number of questions around companies and brands attempting to enter the choppy waters of political and social discussions.

Describing both slavery and the work out as ‘hard’, the author of the post goes on to describe the workout. ‘The twist to this is 1 rep of your 1st exercise, 2 of the second but before you move on to the 3rd exercise, which is also 3 reps, you must start at the beginning to move on. AND that’s how the entire workout goes.’

The workout itself consists of 100m sprint, push-ups, box jumps, deadlifts, burpees, and some good old squats thrown in for good measure. Nothing about this can be compared to a day of enforced enslavement. That is where the second mistake lies for PureGym. The author of this post clearly is not a marketing expert. Nothing about the post was written with racist intent. Nothing about the post was written with thought. It was an opportunistic move as the same post had been previously used a year ago by the author at a different location.

The sad thing about this whole car crash is a few hours before posting the advert for the ’12 Years Of Slave’ workout, the Luton & Dunstable gym posted an inspirational message about celebrating Black History.

A statement from PureGym has since apologised for the post, saying that it was a decision made by the local branch. The statement said: “PureGym apologises unreservedly for a post made today by our gym in Luton. This post is wholly unacceptable, was not approved or endorsed by the company and was removed as soon as it was brought to our attention. Each of our 271 gyms has its own social media channels which are run locally. We take this matter extremely seriously and are urgently investigating how and why this post was made.

Lover of all things FAST. If I am not in the office, you can find me near a track or under a car. I also work with great people in TrendLife's Editorial team.



Footwear review – On Running Cloud Hi Monochrome shoe

Lee Hall



Cloud Hi Monochrome SS20

Since the days humans put leaves on the soles of their feet, there has always been a trade off between performance and style. Across their range, Swiss-based On Running seem to have got the balance right between high performance running shoe and stylish wearable trainer. With more time to enjoy the great outdoors, we are reviewing On Running’s Cloud Hi Monochrome running shoe as part of our Get Active campaign.

Fashionable Functional Footwear

Finding truly-fashionable footwear for off-road walking and light hiking has always been difficult because of the trade off of durability and strength for looks and comfort. Many of us living in the Three Counties know the change from rural to urban settings could be as little as a few steps down an alley. And it is for this reason we have chosen to review the Cloud HI Monochome which seems to cover all bases.

The New Cloud HI Monochrome

Launched for SS20, the Cloud HI Monochome is a new version of the popular Cloud HI. Available for both women and men in a selection of bold colours, the Cloud HI Monochome has been designed and marketed for everyday use and light off-road hiking.

Before we get into the construction of the shoe, let’s take a moment to look at available colours. The Mens range is available in a safe all-year round navy, a striking camouflage “camo” green and plain tan. In order of preference, I would have to go Camo, Navy then Sand – Sand being a more difficult colour to match with jeans/trousers.

If you like to standout, the Women’s Cloud Hi Monochrome are available in three statement colours. These pastel based colours are Cashew, Endive and Mineral. With 2020 colour trends Cantaloupe and Mellow Yellow in mind, these inspiring colour choices will be a great addition to your wardrobe. The bold two-toned uppers are vividly brought to life thanks to the white lower.


Is the Cloud Hi Monochrome comfortable?

The answer is really dependent on your foot shape. If you have an extremely wide foot, it may not be the most comfortable shoe for extended walking. For the average foot, the Cloud Hi Monochrome is really comfortable. Little touches like the extended soft-touch tongue adapts to the contours of your foot, giving even more comfort to the step-in design. A vegan suede upper and taped-seam finishing offers a smooth look and feel. None of the materials have that ‘abrasive’ feel which you can get on common running shoes.

On Running Hi Cloud Monochrome

What materials is the Cloud Hi Monochrome made from?

The upper is made from vegan leather, suede and canvas whilst the sole is made from Helion™ foam that is resistant to changing weather conditions. Speed-lacing system for quick adjustment.

The lower section of the shoe is made from a foam construction that absorbs impacts and provides protection against injuries. The Cloud Hi Monochrome is a solid shoe but weighs only 292 grams. Speedboard™ built in the sole provides effective movement and efficient energy transfer from landing to take-off.

On Running Home Try On offer

You can currently test out any On shoes or gear in your home workouts for 30 days commitment-free. If, by the time the 30 days are up, you’re not convinced, On Running say you can send the products back for a full refund, no questions asked. There is a limit and terms are available online.

Is the Cloud Hi Monochrome worth buying

Most certainly yes. When you consider that most of the must-haves on the checklist are covered, the Cloud Hi Monochrome is great value priced at £159.99 RRP. Durable, fashionable and practical for most causal outdoor occasions, the Cloud Hi Monochrome is worth buying.

On Running Hi Cloud Monochrome

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Join Cooking & Carafes for a Pasta Making Workshop with a Twist!

Lee Hall



Pasta Making Workshop
Kate from Cooking & Carafes has added an array of Pasta Making Workshops to her events this year. She’s teamed up with different people and venues to give each workshop something unique and different.
The first of the events is Pasta & Pilates on 23rd February at the urban chic location of Benk + Bo near Spitalfields market. Enjoy an hour’s pilates session with Vicky Ford before rewarding yourself with a glass of Prosecco and antipasti. Then get stuck in as you learn to make fresh pasta!
Join Cooking & Carafes for a Pasta Making Workshop with a Twist!

Pasta Making Workshop with a Twist!

March sees two great events, starting with a pasta making workshop combined with Cheese and Charcuterie Tasting. Kate has teamed up with husband and wife duo, Suellen and Nick who run Gourmet Adventures to deliver the ultimate foodie night at The Mill House, Hertford. While Kate focusses on the pasta Nick will take guests through a tasting of two delicious cheeses and three charcuterie – all from British producers.
Next up is Food, Friends & Fiction with Author Lucy Knott and her sister, Kelly who form The Blossom Twins. This workshop combines a love for all things Italian, hosted at Signorelli, an Italian deli in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, guests will enjoy Olive Oil Tasting with Filippo Berio, a Q&A with Lucy about her latest novels set on the Amalfi coast, and of course Pasta making, finished off with some baked treats from The Blossom Twins.
April sees a new location for workshops in the picturesque village of Furneux Pelham. As an avid rider, Kate rides regularly at Brook Cottage Farm and can’t wait to host her first pasta making workshop in their newly converted hay barn!
Join Cooking & Carafes for a Pasta Making Workshop with a Twist!

Pasta Making Workshop with Cheese and Charcuterie Tasting

For this Pasta Making Workshop, Cooking & Carafes have teamed up with Gourmet Adventures to bring you a little extra indulgence in the session. Explore the tastes of two kinds of cheese and three charcuterie from UK producers, and learn to make pasta from scratch.

You will be welcomed with a glass of fizz on arrival, fresh bread, and Filippo Berio Olive Oil before you learn the art of pasta making; from making the dough to rolling it, and creating your very own handmade farfalle.

You can find out more information at including dates and prices.

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TrendLife Interviews: Men’s stylist Jez Djemil – MR. Barbers Hertford

Lee Hall



TrendLife Interviews: Men's stylist Jez Djemil – MR. Barbers Hertford

Keen to showcase the best in local talent, TrendLife Interviews would like to introduce Men’s stylist Jez Djemil of MR. Barbers Hertford.

Who was the first person you cut? How old were you and did you get paid?

Having trained as a hairdressers in hobs academy at the age of 17 and specialising in cutting, my first hairdressing experience was in Hertford town at Hobs. I can remember how difficult it was to gather the coordination of holding the comb and scissors together to be able to cut a one length.

Hob academy - Keen to showcase the best in local barbering talent, TrendLife Interviews would like to introduce Men's stylist Jez Djemil of MR. Barbers Hertford

I used to cut men’s and women’s hair whilst I was at Hobs and my first barbering experience I can remember was cutting my brothers hair on a model night. I used clippers for the back and sides which felt much more comfortable and enjoyable, this is when I realised I enjoyed cutting men’s hair more than women’s. As a trainee, I never got paid for my haircuts until I was 19 and working on the shop floor.

What route did you take to be come a stylist/barber?

I started at hobs salons in Hertford at 17 years old and attended The Hob collage in Camden London, this where Is where I gained my NVQ Level 2 qualification. After completing my NVQ I then went to the hob academy where I specialised in cutting and styling, this was to enable me to work on the shop floor. After working at Hobs for 4 years I then decided to change my path and go into the world of barbering.

Currently I am working in Mr barbers Hertford, I’ve been there since the shop opened and the shop is now coming up to its 1st year anniversary.

What do you remember about going to the barber as a kid?

When I was young everyone used to go to the same barbers as it was on the route to school and everyone seem to like their cuts. They were family run business owned by the dad and his two sons. I used to love having my haircut as a kid but I’ve always been very fussy about the way I wanted my hair to look and the way it was cut.

Knowing I was so particular about my hair I always thought I’d be able to become a barber and be that one person everyone wants to get their hair cut by.

What do you think the biggest men styling trend has been in 2019?

Although skin fades have been about for many years they seem to be becoming more and more popular in 2019. I say this year most guys are going short with their hair even down to clippers on top.

However kids seem to be going the opposite and keeping their hair longer on top and going back to the ‘curtains’.

And 2020, what do you think will be trending in a year’s time?

Next year in 2020, I think people will be going for a more textured style cut on top but still keeping the side short. This year guys have been growing their beards more than ever, next year I can see most guys keeping their beards and keeping them long.

There are plenty of barbers across Beds, Bucks and Herts to choose from. How do you ensure you keep clients happy and coming back?

The key to keeping happy clients is having good customer service and doing a good consistent job. The barbers is a good place for people to come and have a chat and to maybe talk to their barber about things they wouldn’t have the confidence to with other people.

Our booking system is now becoming popular in the shop, it allows the customers to chose their time slot and cut out the waiting time. As daily life becoming busier it’s become a popular option to book via the Mr Barber app.

If you are a good barber you should be able to maintain and gain new customers wherever you go.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever seen in your years in barber shops?

I’ve seen a few crazy things whilst I’ve been in the barbering industry, The funny ones are where customers have come in with a half shaven drunken haircut which their mates tried to do before a night out.

If you could style one celebrity client, who would it be and why?

If I had to style and cut any celebrities hair I’d have to choose David Beckham. He’s been known over the years for his iconic hairstyles and he is one of the top trendsetters in the world, his current hair style is one of my favourites so far.

Favourite stylist/barber?

My favourite hairstylist has got to be Vidal Sassoon, as he changed the world of hairdressing and has become one of the most influential hairdressers in history.

My favourite barber is Rob The Original, he’s so unique and collides the world of art and barbering into his cuts.

If you were not a barber, what would you be doing?

If I wasn’t a barber I would probably go down the creative route and do something in the world design. I’ve always been into drawing and creating my own style.

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