If lifejackets looked a bit more fashionable far more people would wear them

A couple of weeks ago I bought a ski helmet. I’ve been meaning to get one for a few years.

I notice that the majority of skiers and boarders wear helmets these days and it’s mainly the older skiers who are the resolute bobble-hat refuseniks. And I can see that while safety is important wearing a helmet has caught on because there are so many cool designs to choose from.

They have become must-have fashion accessories: camo-pattern helmets for boarders, white and pink ones for girls, lime green versions, ones with cartoons or graffiti.

Why can’t manufacturers of lifejackets do the same thing? Why can’t they design types you’d like to wear because they look good, fit your self-image and make you feel cool.

Why can’t clothing companies use their many fresh-faced ambassadors to make wearing a lifejacket a fashion statement? That would help them sell more and get more people wearing them, something nearly everyone agrees would be an excellent thing.

Spinlock and Kru make lifejackets that fit and look better but I still think manufacturers are not getting it. Why do lifejackets have to be red or navy or black and look so boring?

Imagine if there were Roxy or Quiksilver style lifejackets that the young or perpetually youthful wouldn’t mind being seen in. As an example I’ve Roxied-up a boring red lifejacket, pictured above.

The blunt truth is that safety is not a big seller. Kit gets bought as a necessity and forgotten. Lifejackets are often unworn and unmaintained. You don’t rush out and buy one every few seasons – as lots of people do with outdoor clothing –  and full featured products are hard to sell at a premium.

I think it’s time for the companies who make personal safety gear to get a bit more creative in order to create a trend.