An online shirt specialist known for its quirky designs has announced plans to open its company headquarters in Manchester.

Male fashion retailer Blake Mill creates a range of patterned shirts, many of which conceal hidden meanings ranging from snapshots of brain activity to pound signs in polkadots.

One design features an embedded binary code conversion of NASA’s computer program for Apollo 11’s moon launch, created in celebration of the recent 50th anniversary.

Another depicts a series of tiny Shakespeares as both sock and buskin, the two ancient mask symbols of comedy and tragedy.

The accompanying product description states: “As our political structures seemingly crumble about us, and the sea levels rise towards the danger mark (about knee height in your sitting room) you can at least take solace in the fact your shirt reflects the near comic tragedy of modern living.”

Founded by fintech entrepreneurs Steve French and Ken Price, Blake Mill prioritises its ethical values and plastic-free packaging as much as the manufacture of its shirts.

In Benin, for example, they work alongside Ethical Africa Apparel to ensure workers are enrolled in worker empowerment programmes.

Suppliers are selected based on their capability and commitment to sustainability and the ethical treatment of their workforce and suppliers.

The company also pays obsessive attention to detail when it comes to the quality of each component of the shirt from the collars and buttons to stitching and seams.

“Manchester is a vibrant, energetic city and we are delighted to have located our new headquarters here,” said Ken.

“Manchester’s reputation as an important centre for business and as one of the most liveable cities in the UK make it the perfect fit for our company. We are looking forward to building our business here and to immersing ourselves in the spirit and culture of the city”.

Blake Mill is available online in the UK at www.blakemill.co.uk and around the world at www.blakemill.com.

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