Co Armagh teen's waterproof clothing brand to keep sober people dry from alcohol spills

A man from Co Armagh has designed a new brand of stylish waterproof clothing to help people avoid getting soaked with alcohol spills on nights out.

Joe McClelland, 19, from Newtownhamilton, has released a line of waterproof t-shirts called Sober Clothing to stop such spills ruining nights in pubs and clubs. Around a year ago, Joe made the decision to go sober, but still enjoyed going out with his friends.

However, when he looked back at photos of himself the day after, he saw he was often drenched in alcohol. Becoming increasingly frustrated by this, he decided to take matters into his own hands and designed his own brand of waterproof clothing.

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Speaking to Belfast Live, Joe said: "I went on a load of nights out myself and I was in my auntie's house scrolling through photos after one particular night and noticed I was absolutely soaked. I realised that was happening all the time on nights out.

"I knew there was waterproof clothing but couldn't find anything that was stylish that you could wear on nights out. I found a supplier who said it would be no problem to get something together.

"She asked if I had a brand name or logo, so I thought since I don't drink I'll maybe call it "sober." She sent me out a sample order of the product and I couldn't believe it worked so well."

Back in March, Joe shared a video of him unboxing and trying out the shirt on TikTok and was blown away by the response it received, and realised how in demand such a product was. He said: "I did an unboxing video which I posted on TikTok and the views went through the roof, everyone loved the product. From there, I decided since everyone loves it I may put in a bulk order to see how it goes."

Since then, he has received numerous questions from people who want to know more about whether they can be washed and how long they will remain waterproof for.

Joe McClelland (left) testing out the Sober Clothing waterproof t-shirts
Joe McClelland (left) testing out the Sober Clothing waterproof t-shirts -Credit:Submitted

He added: "It's 100% cotton and will always stay waterproof no matter how many times you wash it. It's a simple 30-30 wash, but you can't tumble dry or iron it, it has to line dry."

Joe's decision to go sober a year ago was sparked when he and his friend decided to train for a triathlon. Giving up alcohol due to the rigorous training, he began to enjoy life without it, and realised he didn't need an alcoholic drink to enjoy himself anymore.

"When I was younger, I was a big drinker, I would be out every weekend and couldn't take it easy, I had to go full in. Then my mate and I decided to sign up for a triathlon and due to all the heavy training, we thought we would have to stop going out drinking every weekend," he explained.

"After the nights of not drinking every weekend, we started to see we were having just as good a night without it, there was probably no point in drinking at all. For me, realising the benefits of not drinking, I thought there was no point in sticking with it. I've been sober for just over a year now and have no interest in turning back at all now."

Due to the demand for Sober Clothing, Joe said they will be launching new products in the coming weeks due to feedback they have received.

He said: "Over the next few weeks, we'll be launching women's crop tops which we think will be a huge hit. We've had a lot of requests for them, I put up an Instagram poll asking for what designs people were interested in and it had a lot of demand.

"We also had many comments from people who do still drink but said they'd still love to have one of the t-shirts, obviously they're not sober, so the next launch will be a t-shirt featuring the "sober" with a line through it which rules out the soberness for some people. I like having a good community around us and having everyone involved in the design and what tops they like best."

You can find out more about Sober Clothing by clicking here.

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