Uniforms are your brand translated into clothing, at once being a standard corporate image for your customers and to distinguish your organisation from your competitors. As a modern employer you will want to ensure that you cater to your diverse team and that you are inclusive with your uniform garment choices, thus ensuring a good fit for a broad range of people. In terms of age, gender, ethnicity, religion and culture, diversity needs to be reflected in workwear choices to show employees that they are respected and valued.
If you’re of the mindset that one size fits all, throw that thought out the window, it’s not an accurate reflection of anyone. It will help you to know the demographics of your team and giving them real thought as to how to be inclusive with your uniform; both in terms of clothing requirements for cultural reasons, as well as height and body profile for example in plus size garments. If possible, offering the appropriate branded accessories (such as a hijab or other head covering) or options for various garments, like different cuts of trousers, skirt lengths or shirt/blouse styles, is a great way make your team feel comfortable in their uniforms.
Many brands offer lines with a broad range of sizes so you can kit out the entire team and brands like Brook Taverner and Club Class have lines with 2-3% elastane like Eclipse & Today and Everyone & Envee respectively, that offer superior fit and comfort in their garments. In PPE clothing, there are ranges to fit men and women, which is vital for health and safety but it also caters to comfort.
His & Hers or Theirs?
For many companies deciding if there will be a unisex uniform (in men’s and women’s ranges) or if there will be different uniforms for men and women will depend on industry and, most likely, budget and turnover. With a unisex uniform be mindful that even though trousers are generally appreciated by men and women alike, it would behove you to source a skirt option as well, depending on your industry of course.
In our multicultural world, being sensitive to your team’s requirements or needs is just one way you can show that you value them. Certain cultures require a more modest state of dress and if you are unable to meet this need you may experience disengagement from your team or even backlash from the media in extreme cases. This is the perfect opportunity to open a dialogue with your team to see from their point of view.
If you’re a global company, consideration of the dress codes of the various countries in which you operate is a must!
Take it case by case
The human body comes in a variety of forms and there are some people who may not fit into the set uniform line, and they need a tailored solution. Here at Corprotex we offer bespoke garment production ensuring inclusivity for the entire team. This process will take more time than ordering from stock supported lines, but it is a boon to many companies. If you have a plus size employee for example, who standard sizing doesn’t comfortably cater for, simply send us a piece of their own clothing that fits them well and is comfortable for them to wear, and we will use this item as a template to create their uniform to match with the rest of your staff uniform.
Incorporating diversity into your teams’ uniform doesn’t need to add expense or complexity if handled right. Working with an experienced corporate uniform supplier from the outset will help you identify your employees’ needs. You’ll find it easier to create the ideal range of garments that not only embraces the diversity of your team, but also makes them feel included.