Business Brains

CEOs turn to bulletproof business wear

CEOs turn to bulletproof business wear

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Do carbon nanotubes and comfort mix in the business realm?

We've seen anti-surveillance clothing for the masses, but does military-grade protective gear have a place in the business world?

Garrison Bespoke tailor Michael Nguyen believes so. This month, he asked his employees to indulge in an unusual exercise -- repeatedly stabbing him with hunting knives -- in order to test out the tailor's latest product, a "bulletproof" three-piece suit.

The Toronto-based store co-owner was unharmed, thanks to a tweed vest, suit jacket and trousers hand-crafted with a lining of thin carbon nanotubes. According to the tailor, the clothing is able to protect the wearer from dangers including knives, shrapnel and bullets.

While I'm no stranger to Kevlar -- which is often used in motorcycle protective clothing and has saved my skin before -- the carbon nanotube woven material is 50 percent lighter and 30 times stronger than steel.

Usually, you would find the tubes used in the military, but Garrison's suit takes such protection in to the realms of business, finance and politics.

Nguyen commented:

"Many of our customers work in finance, mining and oil, and are often travelling to dangerous parts of certain countries. They could dress in casual clothes to not stand out, but they wear suits to make a good impression and be taken seriously. It only makes sense that they should have access to one that will make them look professional, but also feel safe."

If you're looking to buy the three-piece suit, you're looking at a starting price of $20,000. When asked how much protection such a suit could offer, firearms expert Ronald R. Scott told the Globe and Mail:

"A bullet-resistant suit probably wouldn't offer much protection from multiple rounds from a machine gun, but it would offer some safety from a 9-mm bullet, knife attack or even fragmented glass and metal from an explosion."

While several customers have already ordered the bulletproof wear, it may not be that the purchase is due to safety worries. The novelty factor, a party conversation, or sheer extravagance -- in the same manner as collecting luxury cars that never leave the garage -- could be the source. But if the suit looks good -- and offers a layer of protection -- for those with deep enough pockets, why not invest in additional protection?

Via: The Globe and Mail

Image credit: Flickr

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Charlie Osborne

Contributing Editor

Charlie Osborne is a freelance journalist and photographer based in London. In addition to SmartPlanet, she also writes for business technology website ZDNet and consumer technology site CNET. She holds a degree in medical anthropology from the University of Kent. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure