The troubled United States Postal Service has figured out an innovative way to shake up its services while, hopefully, adding more, much-needed, revenue to its coffers. The organization, which has been in the news lately for all the wrong reasons, announced plans on Tuesday February 20 to unveil a range of apparel in 2014. The ‘Rain Heat & Snow’ collection, inspired by the motto, ‘Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stay these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds,’ aims to provide wearers with technologically advanced protection against extreme weather.
According to a statement from Postal Service Corporate Licensing Manager Steven Mills,
This agreement will put the Postal Service on the cutting edge of functional fashion. The main focus will be to produce ‘Rain Heat & Snow’ apparel and accessories using technology to create ‘smart apparel’ — also known as wearable electronics.
The items, to be developed in conjunction with Cleveland-based Wahconah Group, Inc., include jackets, hats, and other pieces equipped with device-friendly gadgets.
USPS has been struggling financially, as more and more consumers turn towards electronic methods of communication, such as e-mail. It announced that it was cutting Saturday delivery on February 6 and reported revealed a $1.3 billion loss in the first quarter of this year. However, this figure includes a ‘congressional mandate’ that had a $1.4 billion impact on the service–in 2006, it was given 10 years to dole out 75 years ‘ retiree benefits, and allegedly would have boasted $100 million in the black without the extra cost.
This is not the first time that the federal agency has gone down the fashion-route. In the 1980s, it sold themed ties, mugs and other accessories, but was ordered to stop after complaints that it was not ‘licensed to sell merchandise’ and was affecting private companies.