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5 Most Common Employee Uniform Complaints, and How To Turn Gripes into Useful Insights

Introducing a new uniform policy to your business can be very exciting, however it always pays to understand what your employees think to help advise your new uniform. Help yourself by being proactive and engaging your workforce to address any potential concerns, early in the process. In DOTAMOS S.A.S We’ve put together the 5 most common corporate uniform complaints, and provided you with tips on how to answer them in a way that will put smiles on everyone’s faces.

 

1) “My workwear is uncomfortable”

 

One of the most common complaints made by employees about their uniforms is that it is uncomfortable. The important thing to understand is why they are uncomfortable, so you can do something about it. Is it a poor fit, or is it poor fabric quality, is there another feature on the garment that is irritating your staff? Ill-fitting uniforms in some jobs can not only be uncomfortable, but it can make the employee feel self-conscious about their appearance – which may affect their job performance. Most reputable uniform suppliers will assist you to measure up your staff, or give you the tools you need to make the task easier. If budget allows, aim to get a sizing grid to use in your office when sizing up each employee. A sizing grid is a set of garments in all the common sizes you will likely need for your workforce. This allows employees to try on a sample of the actual garment to check it fits. This way they feel in control and can choose a size they feel comfortable in.

 

2) I don’t feel like “me” in a uniform

 

Conforming to a uniform can be confronting for some, or considered to be less glamorous by others. Common feedback is that employees can’t express themselves and they find uniforms “unflattering”. This can cause cultural unrest in your team if you don’t pay attention, resulting in underperforming, disgruntled individuals who may not feel as confident in a uniform they have not had input in. Where possible, allow some flexibility in the uniform policy for individuals to express themselves. That may come in the form of allowing them to choose what items in the uniform range they want to wear on a given day, or the flexibility to add complementary accessories, neck ties or shoes of their choosing.

 

3) I haven’t been issued with enough uniforms

 

Some companies make the mistake of not supplying their employees with sufficient quantities of their uniform, which can result in additional stress for the staff member to ensure they have a clean uniform to wear each day. Ideally you want enough uniform items to easily rotate between wearing, dirty, washing and drying at any given time. Consult your staff on the preferred number of items they feel they need to comfortably manage their uniforms on a weekly basis. Where possible, allow them the option to buy additional garments, at their own cost, if they require more than the allocated uniform budget.

 

4) The uniform is outdated

 

Updating or establishing a corporate uniform can find itself at the bottom of the priority list for many companies as they look to meet targets, achieve goals, and manage the day-to day operations. Staff morale can take a hit when they realise that other companies have kept up with trends to evolve their corporate uniform, and they haven’t. This can lead to feelings of embarrassment, feeling out of place or unconfident on their way to and from work. Align your uniform objectives with your brand objectives. If you are aiming to for your brand to stay relevant and in touch with the latest trends in your industry, you should not underestimate the power of a relevant corporate uniform to help your brand stand out in customer’s minds. Ultimately, you want your employees to genuinely like their uniform and feel proud wearing it.

 

5) The uniform isn’t communicating properly

 

Some companies operate on an “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” rule, but when it comes to uniforms you might want to reassess its relevance every couple of years. This will help you make sure the uniform still aligns with your company’s vision and customer base. Uniforms used to be just that – a uniform. These days, uniforms have a more sophisticated approach, where different departments can have purpose-specific, complementary uniforms, that are appropriate to their different roles. Where possible, involve your employees in the decision-making process when kitting out the different teams in your business.

 

In summary…

 

People are always going to complain, but gaining appropriate insights early in the process will help you understand your employees viewpoint, their concerns, and importantly, identify ideas that could add value to the uniform program. Emphasise that it’s more than just a “corporate uniform”, but an opportunity to show off your brand in its best light, and advertise the business in a way that amplifies the success of the company as a whole.

 

If you are unsure how to manage a change to your uniform program, get in touch and the team here at DOTAMOS S.A.S  will help guide you through the process. Our style experts have retail, styling, and fashion experience, and can help you create a unique uniform program specifically for your business.

The No. 1 Sin Companies Commit When Rebranding…

Uniforms are often one of the last things that is considered during a rebrand or venue fit-out. Make sure your halo is shining bright when you undergo a rebrand. Read on and get the uniform component right.

“A well planned, stylish uniform can make a world of difference, with the power to leave a strong brand impression and improving employees attitude towards their job”

Uniforms are often overlooked as critical brand touchpoint and are frequently left to the last minute. However, a rebrand is a fantastic opportunity to re-engage staff with the brand and foster a sense of belonging that has been proven to impact performance. A uniform can say who you are, what you’re about, and where your company is going.

Given the time it takes to design and manufacture a uniform range, it’s worth getting started as early as possible. It’s important to work with a quality uniform supplier that is experienced in not only delivering uniforms, but also the logistics, quality control and embellishment that contribute to a successful uniform rollout. Understanding your brief, the market sector you operate in, your competitors, and the physical working environment is imperative to achieving the best solutions for your budget.

Here’s some tips to consider when planning your new uniform program:

  • Consider the different body shapes of your employees – you want the uniform to fit well on everyone.
  • Create a uniform that is consistent with your brand colors, but not overwhelming. Try to stick to three colors or less. Remember that while your corporate color might be really bright and vibrant, it may not look good worn against a range of skin tones.
  • Have flexible options with the basics that make up your uniform. Take bottoms for example, allow staff to choose from a few styles of pants or skirts to ensure the style is the most complimentary to their body shape. This allows employees to have some control over what they wear so they feel more confident.
  • Ensure garments can be altered or custom ordered for that perfect fit.
  • Give your team members an opportunity to get fitted or try on size samples before ordering. This will decrease the chance of ill-fitting or wrong sizing being ordered – which may impact costs and lead times.
  • Be prepared – think about what you want your company to achieve, and how your team should dress to reflect this.
  • Think about the activities your staff will be performing in their uniforms, and choose garments and fabric that will support that.
  • Consider accessories. Would belts, ties and pocket squares, scarves, cufflinks or shoes help to complete the look?
  • How will your staff be identified to customers? Will you need name badges?

Another area of uniform procurement that is important, but easily overlooked, is stock forecasting and management. A uniform supplier that is experienced with larger scale projects will be able to demonstrate their forecasting tool, make recommendations for minimum order quantities, as well as indicate lead times, product lifespan, and appropriate stock levels. Accurate stock level forecasting is important, as it can minimize both cost and lead time, and ensuring items are in stock, in the right sizes, when you need them, is a key service requirement.

“For any company considering a rebrand, the uniform is an opportunity to instantly distinguish your brand in the marketplace”

It is a cost-effective marketing strategy, designed to create a memorable brand image. New uniforms are the finishing touch that bring together a company’s image.

Let DOTAMOS S.A.S to help you to create a memorable brand image for your company.

DOTAMOS S.A.S designs, procures, and manufactures ready-made and custom uniforms for businesses across a range of industries including corporate, retail, hospitality, health and medical, construction, mining and logistics, and education. We have showrooms located in Medellín, Colombia. We have developed a reputation for quality, affordability and timeliness of delivery.

Get in contact today and the team here at DOTAMOS S.A.S will help guide you through the process. Our style experts have retail, styling, and fashion experience, and can help you create a unique uniform program to elevate your brand, engage your staff and refresh your corporate look for the next few years

Meet the new consumer: habits and purchasing trends

The 2019 Survey Results Using Consumer Types to Understand the Path to Purchase is a report published in July 2019 under the direction of Amrutha Shridhar (Research Consultant at Euromonitor International) that provides information so that companies can better adapt to the demands of their potential customers and thus increase their sales. This Euromonitor International study defines the different kinds of consumers that currently exist globally:
Impulsive Spender: this profile represents 15% of consumers worldwide. They are bargain lovers and buy impulsively when they find a good offer. They don’t use to worry about the future but live in the short term.
Conservative homebody: with 13% of total consumers, this profile bases its purchasing decisions on the value for money of the products. Home and family are their main motivations, they like to go unnoticed and prefer others to decide for them. They are not especially materialistic and have a rather conservative profile although they sometimes enjoy trying new things.
Minimalist Seeker: they make up 12% of global buyers. They have a simple aesthetic and way of life, they live in a modest environment and do not care especially about their physical appearance. They don’t like well-known brands and use to buy only the essentials. In fact, they prefer to repair their old products than to buy new ones.
Secure Traditionalist: with another 12%, this group avoids buying at all costs. They never bet on premium brands or products and prefer to save money than spend. They are not loyal to brands since they choose the lowest price.
Undaunted Striver: they represent 10% of total consumers globally. They love new technologies, go to the latest fashion and care a lot about their image. They enjoy trying new things and often look for Premium brands products. They live in the present, prefer to spend than to save and their purchases can be impulsive.
Empowered Activist: 9% of buyers belong to this group. They are convinced that their small daily actions can make a difference and contribute to a better world. They are very aware of the global problems and, as a consequence, they value the quality and durability of the products and are willing to pay more for it.
Inspired Adventurer: this 8% of consumers like trying new things. They love adventure and have a special interest in living abroad and being self-sufficient. They are cautious when it comes to spending money since they care about the future and this leads them to save. They look for quality products even though they don’t care what others think of them.
Digital Enthusiast: with 6% of the total, these buyers are technology lovers. Sometimes they enjoy virtual experiences more than real life. They usually make their purchases online and love trying new products, always at affordable prices. They are not interested in the latest trends, well-known brands or environmentally friendly products.
Balanced Optimist: this 5% is cautious, prefers quality over quantity and studies value for money before buying. It greatly values health and personal well-being and, as a result, bets on ethical and durable products. Occasionally, however, these consumers allow themselves small whims in the form of non-premeditated purchases.
Cautious Planner: the remaining 4% of consumers are the opposite of Impulsive Spenders. Their purchases are premeditated, they only buy really necessary articles and they are very faithful to the brands. Although they are savers, low prices are not a key issue. They bet on traditional channels, avoiding eCommerce and credit cards.

Polos and Work Shirts: The pick of everyone for Business Uniforms

It’s always exciting to start a new job at a reputable company, but if the required uniforms are uncomfortably stuffy, the anticipation of clocking in may decline a few notches. Polos and work shirts are definitely the preference when it comes to uniform gear.

One of the benefits of dispensing Polos and work shirts to employees is the easy upkeep. There’s nothing worse than the look on a supervisor or manager’s face when an employee shows up in a wrinkled garment. While it is possible to wrinkle Polos, it would take a lot of effort, such as scrunching the shirt into a ball, running over it with a steam roller and then attaching it to a flag pole to flutter in the wind! As long as the worker washes, dries and hangs up the Polo or work shirt in a normal and proper way, they should be able to walk into work wrinkle-free. Really, the only concern at hand for management is making sure the Polo work shirt is tucked into the dress pants or jeans and not stylishly (and sloppily) hanging loosely over the waist line.

Employees prefer polos as work shirts because they simply are more fun and comfortable. These duds are less confining and resemble the casual attire many people would likely wear during their everyday lives rather than a button-down, stiff dress shirt.

Solid color Polo work shirts also add a bit of excitement to the atmosphere of a retail store or restaurant for business patrons. They project a lively and playful environment which sends a message of light-heartedness and sincerity. Additionally, providing employees with matching Polos and work shirts will send a message to customers that help can be attained by simply tracking down an eye-catching red work shirt, for example.

For a retail business, such as an electronics store, it is probably best to keep the Polo work shirt direct and modest as to express the utmost professionalism and business-like atmosphere. Name tags would be a nice addition to add a personable touch to the customer-salesman relationship. Instead of blue jeans, require employees to present themselves in a more salesman-type way, accompanying the Polo work shirt with dress slacks or kaki pants and comfortable, yet clean and tidy, shoes.

However, in a restaurant scene, the more fun the ambience the better. Encourage employees to not only display name tags, but also sport entertaining (but tasteful) pins or broaches and colorful animated buttons. This adds a memorable experience to the paying customer. Because most restaurant workers are required by the health department to secure long hair, providing employees with solid color baseball caps that coordinate with their Polos or work shirts will add to finesse of the uniform. Not only will instituting Polo work shirts into uniform requirements for your business add a controlled and professional appearance to your sales floor, but it was also instilling a high-spirited and lively attitude in your employees, as they will feel more comfortable and less confined in their work uniform.

 

6 leading hospitality uniform trends for 2020/2021

If you are supplying your hospitality team with uniforms in 2020/2021 or planning a uniform refresh sometime soon, there are a few trends you need to know about to stay ahead of the competition. In Dotamos S.A.S we’ve explored 7 of the hottest trends hospitality businesses need to know…

1. Approachable & Relatable

First impressions matter, and staff uniforms set the tone for your customer service expectations. Embrace cool, effortless and approachable, but make sure the uniform is still functional and distinguishes your staff from your patron. Your staff should feel comfortable, and physically able, to do their job in their uniform. When organizing a new uniform think about the types of activities that your staff need to perform. For example, are they bending down or reaching up a lot? This often requires longer length shirts to maintain modesty and professionalism. Do they need to carry items with them, like notepads, pens or bottle openers and how does your uniform accommodate these to make it easier for your staff?  You also need to understand your customers and culture, to ensure the uniform communicates the desired brand voice.

2. Fashion Forward Updates

Who said uniforms can’t be fashionable? In a fast-paced market, companies can no longer expect their uniform style to be relevant for 5+ years. The industry leaders are all about implementing stylish and fashion-forward uniforms and reviewing them regularly. We recommend you plan to refresh your uniform every 3 years to ensure your team and brand stays relevant in your market. This can be done incrementally and subtly. Updating smaller items like aprons, or adding a custom scarf or bandana can be a powerful way to change a uniform look without draining the budget. Seasonal items can be a fun way to keep your staff comfortable but add some branding flair. Updating your uniform also keeps your employees interested in what they’re wearing. Block color and pattern mash-ups continue to inspire hospitality uniforms through 2019/20. Checks and chinos, and denim-on-denim aren’t going away anytime soon. Checks are also great for hiding those tough hospitality stains!

3. Statement Pieces

Don’t be afraid to make a statement when shouting out to the world who your company is and what you stand for. The best results come when you use a statement tee, polo or accessory that strongly represents the new look in a fun and flamboyant way. If you are rebranding or launching a new fit-out, a statement piece is often used for the launch month. Often these statement pieces become a staple in your uniform program. It sends a message to the market and your team about the changes you have made and sets the tone around brand expectations. Accessories such as belts, that tie into your color palette, are a nice finishing touch to your uniform and cool enough for staff to wear when off-duty. Dotamos S.A.S have a huge variety of accessories to choose from – check out our Facebook and Instagram for some inspiration.

4. Customization

Uniform customization is becoming increasingly popular. There are now so many affordable ways to customize a uniform so your brand stands out from competitors. Customizing aspects of your uniform is a great way to bring uniqueness and a design edge to your brand. ¿What about a t-shirt with the name of the employees?

5. Tailored chic

While most hospitality uniforms are still casual and relaxed, we’ll be seeing a lot of styles that have a more structured and “grown-up” look. The utilitarian look can be sophisticated too. With features such as patch pockets and eyelets – utility shirts add drama to hospitality uniforms. Light, soft, and stylish chambray is even more flexible than denim and a great choice when extra mobility is required. If you want a more tailored casual look – chinos, tee and a blazer give an instant update to your look and are available in a plethora of color options.

6. Sustainability

Sustainability is not so much a trend as it here to stay, but it’s a hot topic in many industries (and rightly so!) – and hospitality is no different. When curating a uniform program with sustainability in mind, opt for fabrics that are more sustainable, such as organic cotton, bamboo, or hemp to reduce your carbon footprint. Choose high-quality garments that will wash and wear well, which means a decrease in uniform replacements, and less impact on the environment through a reduction in ‘throw-away’ garments. Sustainability might also be a part of your brand story, and an opportunity to communicate this to your patrons, particularly those who share the same values.

10 questions to ask your staff before designing a corporate uniform

It’s surprising how important decisions, such as the corporate uniform, are made without consulting the staff who’ll be wearing it. Really, they should be the first people you talk to. Your staff should feel engaged throughout key parts of the process and be comfortable with the decisions being made. Uniforms should be designed to build team morale, help the wearer feel more confident, and ensure they help the employee do their job more easily. If they feel uncomfortable, self-conscious or unhappy with what they are wearing, this will reflect in their behavior, performance and could ultimately have a negative effect on your company culture, customer experience and job satisfaction.

Getting their buy in up front is one of the best ways to ensure success at the rollout phase. We’ve put together an example survey you can use with your staff prior to embarking on any new uniform project.

Align your Marketing and HR Departments

Before consulting the staff, your Marketing and Human Resources departments need to be fully aligned and have set the parameter for the uniform garments. Documenting the answers to the following questions internally is imperative to ensure the brand is represented well:

What is the intention of the uniform?

What colors must it incorporate to compliment the brand?

How many pieces of clothing will it include?

Who will wear it and when?

What is the budget?

How will the uniforms be subsidized?  Will there be an annual allocation for each employee, and what will this be?

What will the process be for replacing lost, damaged or ill-fitting uniforms?

Top 10 questions to ask your staff

On a scale of 1 – 5 (1 being the lowest in importance) rate the following:

Comfort                                      1     2     3     4     5

Style and fit                       1     2     3     4     5

Fashionable                       1     2     3     4     5

Quality                                 1     2     3     4     5

Easy to look after            1     2     3     4     5

 

 

  1. What accessories should be offered as part of the uniform (if any)? Tick all that apply.

[  ]  Scarf

[  ]  Belt

[  ]  Cufflinks

[  ]  Jacket / outerwear (in cooler months)

[  ]  Socks

[  ]  Name badges

[  ]  Neck Tie

[  ]  Hat / cap

[  ]  Beanie

[  ]  Safety glasses

[  ]  Ear plugs

[  ]  Knee pads

[  ]  Other

  1. What fabric would you like to see the shirts made in?

[  ]  Natural fibre

[  ]  Synthetic

[  ]  Blend – synthetic mixed with natural fibres (eg cotton polyester blend)

[  ]  I don’t know

  1. For trousers, skirts and dresses, what fabric would you like to see them made in?

[  ]  Natural fibre (cotton or wool)

[  ]  Full Synthetic

[  ]  Mixed Fabric – wool and synthetic blend

[  ]  I don’t know

 

  1. On a scale of 1 – 5 (1 being the least important) how important is it the garment is easy to iron?

Circle one number below

1     2     3     4     5

 

  1. How would you like to get the measurements for your uniform?

Choose one option:

[  ]  A sample size is made available you can try on

[  ]  Order off a measurement chart and guide

  1. If you are wearing a uniform top and bottom once a week, what would be your expectation on how long it should last?

Choose one option:

[  ]  6 months

[  ]  9 months

[  ]  12 months

[  ]  2 years

  1. If you worked five days a week how many tops would be enough?

[  ]  Two tops

[  ]  Three tops

[  ]  Five tops

  1. If you worked five days a week how many bottoms would be enough?

[  ]  Two tops

[  ]  Three tops

[  ]  Five tops

  1. If we were to implement new uniforms, can you think of any negative impacts this may have on the team / business?

Inside out: smart textiles

Fashion is embracing technology like never before. Here’s everything you need to know about smart textiles and how technology is reshaping the textiles and apparel industry.

The fashion world is changing inside out, and technology is adding more perks to the new fashion. We are living in an era where technology has revamped almost everything around us and fashion is the next new thing.

Technology in wearables is no more limited to smartwatches and fitness trackers. Technology has come a long way to smart textiles. Gone is the time when monitoring and tracking fitness-related metrics-steps counts, walked distance, calorie consumption, quality of sleep and heartbeat rate used to drive people crazy. Today’s generation is looking for more, more and more.

Smart textiles are ready to add more power to humans. These fabrics are designed to regulate body temperature, reduce wind resistance, and control muscle vibration-all of which boosts the athletic performance. More than that, these fabrics can also work as uniforms to guard you against extreme environmental hazards such as radiation and the effects of space travel.

Interesting! Isn’t it?

Smart textiles are the most astonishing innovation of the textiles and clothing industry. Beyond everyone’s imagination-smart textiles are here to blow your mind. Billy Whitehouse, co-founder of Wearable Experiments-a company integrating fashion and technology-says, “As things get smaller and cheaper and faster integration becomes easier, I see fashion and technology becoming one.”

Smart textiles are driven by intelligence where fabrics can sense and analyze a singular element and respond in an intelligent way. ‘Fashion with Features’ is ready to add more style to the word of textiles. Here’s all that you need to know.

1)      Types: Broadly smart textiles can be broken into two categories: aesthetic and performance enhancing.

Aesthetic: Textiles that use technology for fashion and design purpose to bring lights and sounds into the world of textiles. They also gather energy from the environment to harness vibrations, sound or heat, reacting to this input.

Performance enhancing: These textiles use technology to assist human athletic function like jogging and extreme sports by monitoring body temperature and adjusting the breathability of the fabric.

2)     Functionalities: Many functions together are making fabrics smarter than ever before. The major ones:

Sensors: Smart textile have sensors injected to detect the environment and respond in a suitable manner. Fabrics are excellent measuring tools for human senses as they cover our body. For real devices, bio-signals need to be transformed into electric ones and this is what a sensor does. A few materials have the capability of transforming bio signals to electric ones-thermocouple, soft switch technology, and Fiber Bragg Grating (FBG) sensor.

Data processor: Smart textiles need data processing only when active processing is imperative. At present, data decoding is the bottleneck. Sensors used in the textiles are ready to provide data but what do they mean is yet to be discovered. Apart from the interpretation of data, the other major concern is the computing power of fabrics. As fabrics don’t have any computing power, pieces of electronics become a vital part of smart textiles. However, they are available in miniaturized and even in flexible form and embedded in waterproof material, but durability is still a question. To overcome all these challenges, researchers are working towards fixing the active components on fabrics.

Actuators: After receiving signals from the sensor and interpreting them by a data processor, fabrics need a response. Actuators back-talk the impulse signal by making things move; they release substances, make noise and do the needful. The best actuators used in tech-textiles are shape memory materials and alloys exist in the form of threads. Shape memory materials can react to temperature changes and that’s what makes them transform thermal energy into motion. In smart textiles, shape memory alloy is woven with traditional textile material resulting in a fabric with a pure textile aspect.

Storage: Often, smart textiles need some storage capacity to store data and energy. All functions-sensing, data processing, actuation, and communication-need some energy: electrical power. To manage this energy, fabrics need a combination of energy supply and energy storage capacity. Currently, the textiles industry is using lithium-ion batteries in many applications but for some operations where large temperature variation occurs, it can be used to store thermal energy as well. The same task can also be attained by phase change materials (PCMs).

Communication: Smart textiles need to communicate at every single stage-within an element, between individual elements, and with the fabric. The industry is using optical fibers or conductive yarns to allow communication within the smart textiles as they both have a textile nature and can be built in the fabric. They also use a flexible textiles screen to communicate with the wearer. With the wider environment, wireless communication is the only way as it doesn’t allow direct contact. Antennas are integrated with fabrics to attain wireless communication. Brighter side: antennas can cover the large surface without users being aware of it.

3)      Classification: Smart textile are working on three major classifications: passive smart textiles, active smart textiles, and ultra-smart textiles.

Passive smart textiles: The first generation of smart textiles can only perceive the data about the stimuli of the environment. Passive smart textiles only have sensors. No matter what environment you are into, UV (ultra-violet) protective clothing, plasma treated clothing, and fabric with optical sensor-all will perform the same function they are designed for, irrespective of the environment.

Active smart textiles: The second generation of smart textiles-active smart textiles-comprises both sensors and actuators. They can adapt their functionality according to the environment. Also, they can memorize the shape, regulate temperature, absorb vapors, keep the chameleon effect, resist water, heat fabric of the suit and store it.

Ultras-smart textiles: The advanced fabrics of all time are ultra-smart textiles and the most intelligent one too. These fabrics can sense disparate data types, make forecasts and fit the external environment without preliminary tuning. They have a built-in micro-computer to make them work like the brain. This collaboration between technology and textiles is incredible.

4) Applications: These intelligent textiles are worn as ordinary clothes with super-advanced features. Depending on the purpose they are designed for, here are a few industries they are serving amazingly.

Health: Smart textiles have come a long way to take care of our health. Now, there are wearable devices that can monitor the physiological signal during daily routine activities. Wireless-enabled garments with embedded textile sensors can continuously monitor ECG, respiration, EMG and physical activity of patients. Wearable sensitized garments can measure humans’ heart rhythm and respiration using a three-lead ECG shirt. The conductive grid and sensors are fully integrated within the fabric.

Medical: Smart textiles have given two superpowers: life belt and life jacket. A life belt is a trans-abdominal wearable device to monitor health long term. It facilitates parental monitoring for both the fetus and the mother. Also, it’s a support tool for an obstetrician who is enabled to monitor patients remotely. A life jacket helps patients read their blood pressure and monitor their heart rate. Then, the information is sent to the medical staff to check on the progress of the patient’s health.

Military/defense: Everywhere in the world, military forces are exploring smart textiles to increase their safety and add more to their power. Smart textiles assist them in a hazardous situation by monitoring vital signs and also ease injuries. Wireless communication enables medics to conduct a remote triage of causalities to help them respond rapidly and safely. Smart textiles increase their protection and boost their performance.

Sportswear: Smart textiles are chasing sports at their best. Apart from monitoring and tracking physiological parameters, smart textiles provide ‘smart’ resistance training, and record aspects of performance and protection against injuries. A global positioning System (GPS) is unified with walking shoes to track the wearer, especially young children. Moreover, smart bras can change their properties in response to breast movements. They can also tighten or loosen the straps with ease and relax cups to restrict breast motion, preventing breast pain and sag. Smart sportswear is amazing.

Fashion and entertainment: A new tech world have made almost everything portable. These portable electronic devices and components are infused in clothes used in fashion and entertainment. While technology is hidden through the coating and advance dazzling effects, light emitting fabric is finding its way into haute couture catwalks, suggesting a future trend in technical textiles.

Takeaways: Smart textiles have given a new vision to the textiles industry. Technology is uncovering new possibilities of the textile’s world. The match of ‘Tech & Tex’ will take clothes beyond our imagination. Be ready to meet a more intelligent wearer in the future.

Uniforms on the rise

DOTAMOS S.A. takes a look at the evolution, future and reasons for the growth of uniform clothing market.

The future of clothing is functional. And uniforms are the best functional clothes known so far. Everyone loves the advanced functionalities of uniforms. Brands, retailers, consumers, industries, and even governments, all are embracing uniforms like never before. As today’s generation is more conscious of safety and wellness, uniforms are gradually becoming a priority.

Uniforms were invented to protect people and products from any environmental hazard or uncertainty. Most industrial wear are protective, and in some industries, uniforms are a necessity. Industries like food, oil and gas, construction and manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, firefighting, and law enforcement and military have made uniforms mandatory. The materials used to make uniforms include aramid and blends, polyolefin and blends, polybenzimidazole, laminated polyesters and cotton fiber.

In recent years, an immense growth in the global uniforms market has been witnessed. The market value of protective clothing in 2015 was $8,003 million and is expected to reach $10,211 million by 2022. Allied Market Research projects a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.6 per cent for the sub-sector between 2016 and 2022 and estimates that the aramid and blends segment would generate the highest revenue throughout the forecast period.

Let’s discuss the factors driving the growth of the uniforms market.

Growing Industrialization

Million Insights, a research firm, said that an improvement in the global economic climate along with an industrialization boom is leading to a growth in the uniforms market.

Industries are embracing protective textile to keep their workers safe. At the workplace, work-related injuries were becoming the next casual thing. According to the US Bureau of Labor, work-related injuries and illness in the US are down to 2.8 incidents per 100 in 2019 from 10.9 incidents per 100 workers in 1972 thanks to protective gears!

Protective gears are assisting industries to keep their employee safe in a hostile environment. In the double-trouble situation, workers wearing protective gears are more confident to bravely face it.

The most common industrial protective gears are helmets, hardhats, respirators, dusk masks, safety gloves eyewear, ear protection, face shields, goggles, fall arrest systems, safety gloves, welding gloves, welding jackets, footwear and clothing.

These uniforms are made of the following Dupont fabrics performing particular functions:

  • Nomex fibers are inherently flame-resistant, lighter in weight and provide sound breathability. Innovative Nomex fabrics are good at dissipating sweat through the fabric making wearer feel dry and more comfortable.
  • Tychem protects the wearer against corrosive gases, vapours and liquid chemicals. Tychem gas-tight suits have a limited life with self-contained breathing apparatus.
  • Kevlar aramid is a heat-resistant fabric that helps to fight against high temperature. It is the ideal protective fabric for thermal, cut, and abrasion protection with a comfort fit.
  • Tyvek is used for general industrial protection. The fabric offers an ideal balance of comfort, protection and durability to employees in industrial applications and contamination control environments, including in the pharmaceutical, manufacturing, automotive and utilities sectors.
  • ProShield garments are designed to protect against non-hazardous light liquid splashes and dry particulates. These are comfortable, affordable and disposable.

 

Evolution of socio-psychological comfort

Cultural, sociological and psychological comforts are the main drivers of uniforms.

Sociological and psychological theories have always provided meaning to human clothing. Our environmental conditions provide purpose to clothing. Attire evolves from two poles-the physical environment and social conditions. Hence, the basic requirement of any clothing is its comfort in various environmental situations that describe its physiological behavior.

Clothing has been used for protection since time immemorial, shielding the human body from social, physical and emotional threats. The term uniforms define everything used for physical protection of the body.

Today, the array of physical threats is endless and so is the availability of uniforms. It can be worn in any situation to provide protection and make the wearer stand against any hazardous condition. Many individuals with injuries or handicaps use uniforms to prevent further possible damage.

 

Clothing psychology and comfort has changed the way people look at protective clothing. Consumers are embracing uniforms to participate in sports and adventurous activities. They are ready to risk their life trusting advanced protective wear. On the other hand, uniforms are building trust by boosting the consumer’s performance.

Regulation

In the last two decades, the world has witnessed many changes in workplace practices, with an abundance of innovative technology paving the way for new methods of production, both in machinery and in employee work wear. This has led to the popularity of personal protective equipment (PPE).

In the beginning, many organizations questioned uniforms. But governments understood its utility and cultivated standards for PPE. Most countries now have PPE rules, which cover the essential health safety requirements of PPE, providing instructions in cooperation with the national authorities, labelling requirements, technical documentation and sample testing.

Before uniforms is legalized, the clothes go through three stages of evolution: examination of garment element, wear-test and the final tests for durability, utility, ergonomic and protective performance, liner system integrity, etc.

Increasing stringent government regulations in the Middle East and the Asia Pacific have made it mandatory for manufacturers to take precautions for worker safety to restrict workplace mishaps.

PPE are broadly classified into three segments that determine the necessity of the work wear:

Simple design: Workers assess the level of basic protection needed against minimal risks. This could include the use of garden gloves, ski goggles, masks and shoes.

Neither simple nor complex: This is the next-level uniforms needed at the time of moderate risk. It includes dry and wet suits.

Complex design: The clothing required during an extremely hazardous environment falls under this category. Called advanced uniforms, these are capable of protecting workers against mortal dangers and any irreversible harm that may impact a worker’s health.

Regulations set out to make protective wear compulsory is one of the major factors driving the growth of this sector.

Future-proofing: Along with the reasons discussed above, several other factors favors protective clothing as well. These include the fusion of technology and clothing, safety-awareness, increasing pollution and infection, growing trends and the growing demand for industrial uniforms.

The future demands light-weight, comfortable, higher heat wear and tear-resistant uniforms. Increasing trends for multi-functional and durable clothing with high chemical and mechanical resistance is expected to drive the growth of protective wear in the coming years.

Five Ways A Uniform For Work Is Going to Build Your Brand

When it comes to making an impression in today’s visually geared society, we are more likely to be gauged on what we look like before we are judged on other qualities. Even though your communication, professionalism and friendliness are still as equally important, there’s not much room for error when it comes to presentation and first impressions in business.

A company branded uniform for work is often a great way to build a strong brand presence. Implementing a company uniform is becoming more prevalent in the business world today as businesses want to stand out in an often-crowded market.

Identity

The desired outcome of the branding process is brand recognition. You want people to identify your company and what it stands for. If businesses want to stand out in a crowded market, a uniform for work can be a very effective brand recognition tool.  Strong brand visibility also makes it easy for customers to identify your staff, which facilitates the customer service process.

Equality

It can be challenging to define and enforce a dress policy.  Uniforms for work are now skillfully created to ensure a stylish combination of a company’s branding and a highly professional image are portrayed that appeals to many.  This takes the pressure off staff to dress appropriately allowing them to feel equally as fashionable as the rest of the team.

The Best Team Players

Having your team dressed cohesively makes them feel proud and part of a team.  A sense of belonging is an essential need by everyone and will allow staff to feel their best which in turn will help them be their best at work.  Great staff is key to a successful business.  Giving them all a stylish uniform for work will make the unite the team and create a positive and fun working environment the customers will take notice of.

Consistency

Consumers that are brand loyal look for consistency. They want to buy consistency. This consistency extends to the presentation of staff. A uniform for work using all the elements of your band in its design will strengthen brand consistency.

Advertising

A stylish corporate uniform for work is standout branding that gives a strong impression at business events, meetings or even at the local café at lunch.  Staff buzzing around outside of your workplace in uniform will help to reinforce the brand.

Seven Fabric Trends for 2020

Seven Fabric Trends for 2020

  1. Upcycling and Recycling

Recycling and Upcycling are two of the biggest trends of the new year. Bionic Yarn and Sea2See are just two suppliers that have been recycling and upcycling plastic from the ocean into new apparel. From eyewear to winter coats, plastic waste has been incorporated into new products and even used to create new polyester fabrics and yarns for future consumption. Furthermore, certifications exist such as the Upcycle Carbon Footprint Certification to ensure certified upcycled materials are made from scraps and waste. These certified upcycled materials must be in good quality and eco-friendly by producing less of a carbon footprint than it would be to produce virgin material.

  1. Organic Fabrics

Reduction of harmful chemicals has become a major goal of many in the fashion industry. Organic clothing is made without the use of pesticides, carcinogens, and other harmful chemicals that may impact the environment. These fabrics help detoxify the Earth and help protect its occupants from the health hazards that come with the use of harmful chemicals.

  1. Deadstock Fabrics

Use of deadstock fabrics allows for maximum originality because the pieces made from deadstock fabrics are either original or in very limited supply. This is because deadstock fabrics are materials that are no longer being used (they are unsold, damaged or otherwise deemed unusable) and thus exist only in limited supplies. Bode is famous for using deadstock fabrics in their collections turning hundred year old quilts into jackets, and making use of even more unconventional, vintage, and discarded fabrics such as grain sacks, table clothes, and mattress covers.

  1. Fashion Technology

Allowing for smarter sales and more personalized sale experiences, AI has helped the fashion industry by predicting future fabric demands and ultimately reducing the amount of waste between what is produced and what is sold. Technology has also become wearable.

  1. Fabrics Made Out of Food Waste

Sustainable apparel manufacturers have turned to food waste as a resource. Agraloop (from Circular Systems), Green Whisper, and Orange Fiber are just a few of those turning agriculture and food waste into fibers and fabrics. These programs take wastes from crops like bananas, pineapples, flax, hemp, sugarcane, and even citrus juice, and spins them into a natural fiber which can in turn be made into fabric.

  1. Vegan Fabrics

Vegan fabric alternatives are eco-conscious, cruelty free and budget friendly but those aren’t the only positives. Vegan suede is water damage resistant, vegan leather demands lower maintenance, and vegan silk remains static-free, temperature adaptable, and low maintenance.

  1. Jacquard

Created on electric looms, Jacquard is a luxury fabric that can be traced back to the Byzantine years. With intricate woven patterns and high contrast colors, jacquard fabrics allow their wearer to stand out. Elegant and luxurious, this textured fabric has been making a comeback into modern fashion especially in regards to dresses.

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