Expect more from your workwear

This is the first in a series of blogs relating to specifying, buying and branding workwear, safety wear and promotional items. The options for corporate personalised workwear are endless so I will address each topic in a separate article over the coming weeks and months. This initial blog takes an overview of the various issues and problems when buying workwear, that I will look into in more depth.

Please get in touch if you have further questions my contact points are at the end of this page

Every organisation is unique with different demands and pressures on its executive and workforce. Therefore it is essential when choosing workwear it upholds factors such as your brand image, safety, hygiene, comfort, functionality and durability.

Functional branded workwear is a major element of occupational safety and health at work, but it doesn’t stop there, it provides a great first impression for customers and suppliers, identifies your workforce to a wider market and gives your teams professional pride in the company they work for, however large your organisation.

Providing quality branded clothing to your team, that fits with your marketing brief, gives a positive business image and shows your employees that you care about their well being and comfort.

So what, as an employer or company buyer, should you consider before choosing your teams branded clothing and safety wear (PPE)?

  • Does it comply with EU and international law?
  • Does your work and safety wear provider visit your site to discuss specific issues and requirements?
  • Will the work and safety wear be different in summer and winter?
  • Do you require workwear for both a male and a female workforce? (See below)
  • Do different departments or specialist workers require diverse apparel and therefore different styles and colours?
  • Light or heavy weight indoor and outdoor clothing and safety wear or season dependent?
  • Should the clothing be breathable for working in hot environments?
  • Waterproof or shower-proof for outdoor garments?
  • Printed or embroidered image and branding?
  • Do the aprons, coveralls and boiler-suits need pockets?
  • Is it to be used in an ultra hygienic contamination free environment?
  • How should it reflect you corporate image?
  • Should the clothing be lined for working in cool surroundings?
  • Do you need winter and summer head-wear?
  • Should your workwear be fire retardant, tear resistant, have high visibility?
  • How many of each garment will your workforce require per week?

    Workwear is NOT just single sex

    As we have discussed corporate clothing and safety wear is a key consideration, and looking and feeling smart is what your staff expect, but one size doesn’t fit all!

    Many suppliers still just offer work and safety wear as same sex garments.

    In a number of professions women are in the majority such as childcare and veterinarian services, but in construction for example the number drops to as low as 10% of the total workforce and this is carried over into a multitude of business sectors and to some suppliers female designed work and safety wear is treated as a secondary market.

    In the fashion sector we are used to having clear distinction between menswear and womens'wear but when it comes to branded corporate clothing that doesn’t always apply particularly if the job is in a manual or blue collar environment.

    workshirt  workshirt  workshirt  chef shirt  puffa  gilet

    Consideration must also be given to maternity workwear for obvious reasons.

    Fit is vital when ordering your staff clothing and therefore products you choose must be created separately for both men and women…..same colour, same material, same branding, same comfort, but different patterns and design.

    It is even more vital when purchasing safety wear as the female form is typically smaller than a males and ill-fitting garments, safety goggles, hard hats, gloves are a hazard so must be specifically designed for the female form.

    safety wear.PPE

    Every businesses is unique.

    That is why our approach to helping yours is specific to you. Work wear for a factory is very different to a hotel, spa, pub, restaurant or bar but the same questions can be posed. Additional thought should be given to:
  • Do servers with aprons need pockets for their pens and notepads or electronic devices?
  • Should bar servers always roll up their sleeves?
  • In a gym, spa or hotel should all towels and robes be logoed ?
  • What textiles are best for spa and hotel robes, towels and bath/shower mats?

    In bars and restaurants, front of house staff turnover as a result of seasonal working can be high, so although the staff should look smart and professional look for economies in the purchasing of workwear. Polo shirts from a mid priced range should work well in 65%polyester/35% cotton and will look great, be easily washable and quick to dry with minimal ironing.

    In gyms clothing should be smart but incredibly flexible and issues of perspiration and odour have to be considered vital in your choices.

    gym wear,sports wear

    Be wary of where you brand gym wear as the reverse side of embroidery can rub and chaff during a workout or a strenuous team game.

    Be Colour wise with Colourways

    A colour may have the same name across different brands but that doesn’t necessarily mean it will be the same colour on different garments. Different materials hold the dyes in different shades.

    If you want the closest possible colour match for a range of different clothing items, its advisable to stay within the same brand. Another option is to mix brands and colourways e.g. a navy blue polo shirt with a heather grey sweatshirt or fleece.

    As stated in the introduction I have just scratched the surface with the issues surrounding specifying and buying work and safety wear, but I will be delving further into all the issues addressed here and many more besides.

    Download this blog as an article:

    Richard Woollam

    Partner

    Wear4Work Limited

    Web: Wear4Work

    Tel:     07484 106952

    Email:Richard Woollam    Richard@wear4work.org