Whether you’re introducing a uniform for the first time, or simply refreshing your staff image, there’s a lot to consider when choosing your workwear. To help you make an informed decision, we identify below three of the most common challenges:
After investing in a smart uniform, you’ll want it to look its best for as long as possible. So, beware of fading. We imagine your staff want to come to work looking clean and smart – this means they are likely to wash their uniform regularly (depending how many of each garment they have been allocated). In addition, if their job involves anything physical or messy, they’ll probably wash it at a high temperature. Both frequent washing and high heats can lead to colours fading. If staff work outside, the sun could also contribute to further bleaching.
You can reduce the likelihood of fading by carefully considering the fabrics used. Often, uniforms are made of natural cotton as it has a reputation for being breathable. However, it doesn’t hold its colour or shape as well as synthetic fabrics such as polyester, which wash more reliably. By selecting the right mix of fabrics – for example a cotton-polyester mix – you could achieve the best of both: a breathable uniform that retains its true colour and shape for longer.
When choosing your uniform, it is important the garments are available in the full range of sizes. However, this isn’t limited to the sizes you may find on the high-street. If you are mandating a uniform for staff, you don’t want to exclude anyone based on their size or shape, as this could be unpleasant for the individual and potentially lead to accusations of discrimination against your company.
To avoid this, you should select a range of garments which caters for the entire spectrum of sizes – including petite and plus size garments, as well as maternity wear. Check in advance that these sizes are available, so you don’t have any surprises further down the line should a staff member require a less common size or fit.
For many companies, one of the key objectives when introducing a uniform is to make their staff stand-out. Thanks to innovations in printing and embroidery, many workwear items can be personalised with your brand. However, these garments are often generic products which can be branded for any company. So, although your staff will be identifiable, they may not look unique.
If you really want your staff to stand-out, there are bespoke options available. There are manufacturers out there who can design and produce a uniform specifically for you, including the specific style, fabrics, features and colours you desire. The feasibility of this option will depend on your scale and budget. There are often large minimum order quantities, commonly around 500 garments. However, some workwear suppliers – like WorkwearTeam – can underwrite this stock, so you only pay for individual garments as you order them.
Another handy tip: when placing a bulk order, it’s essential to have a good idea how many of each size you will need, so you don’t have to place costly follow-up orders. If you have any purchasing data from past uniform orders, this can help make an educated forecast to use as a stock profile.
We hope these tips will help you choose a durable uniform that will give staff of all shapes and sizes a smart, professional image.
For more tips about how to choose your uniform – or to discuss our range of garments – contact one of our workwear specialists today.