Whether you’re renewing an outdated garment, undertaking a workwear refresh or looking to buy branded workwear for the first time, it can be a daunting prospect. Whether you’re new to the process or looking for something to jog your memory, we’ve written a brief branded workwear buyer’s guide to help you along.
If you’re not sure whether you need to brand your workwear, have a quick look at our recent post on the benefits of branded workwear for your business.
Identify your branded workwear needs
Think carefully about what your business needs. It’s likely that not everyone will need branded workwear, and your fellow employee’s requirements will vary greatly depending on their job. As a starting point, prioritise your branded workwear by those who are consistently in the public eye. That way, you can be sure that you’re getting the most brand exposure for your allocated budget.
Speaking of which, what is your budget? It may sound obvious, but plan with your allocated budget in mind to help determine how stringent you need to be when identifying priorities.
Once you’ve settled on a budget and identified where is best to start, drill down to what those employees’ day to day routine involves and what their working environment is like. Think about these key questions:
- Do they spend long periods of time outdoors?
- What kind of environment do they work in? Retail? Manufacturing? Catering?
- Do they require PPE or specialist equipment?
By addressing these and any other questions that may be applicable to your business, you should have a good idea of what you need from your branded workwear. It might be worth putting out a quick survey to your internal clients to confirm their requirements and find out if they have any preferences for garments.
Select your garments
Once you’ve settled on who needs to be kitted out, you’ll need to find out what garments are most suited to their needs. Nowadays, you can get any type of garment you could possibly think of branded, so it’s more important than ever that you pick the right ones. Your garment choice will be highly dependent on your employees’ requirements, so here are a few recommendations:
- Branded polo shirts or t-shirts – A great choice for casual retail or restaurant workers, these can be easily branded and provide all day comfort for your workers. Polos and t shirts can be very cost effective without looking it – just ask Apple.
- Smart shirts & blouses – If your staff need to look the part, branded shirts and blouses come in a wide range of styles, colours and fits to suit many businesses. We’d particularly recommend these for banks, supermarkets and retail outlets.
- Soft shell jackets – If your staff are out in the elements all year, a branded soft shell jacket helps to keep the elements at bay and ensure comfort. They are also hard wearing and long lasting so you’ll get a good lifespan out of them.
- PPE – If your staff need Personal Protective Equipment, you must provide this. Branding your PPE is a great way to get your brand visible when your staff are on site. Think high vis vests and jackets.
- Specialist garments – if your requirements are a bit more niche, you shouldn’t need to worry. All reputable workwear suppliers will provide exclusive lines of branded clothing ranging from catering to spa, leisure and healthcare.
Quick tip: If required, make sure your selected garment comes in your brand colours. Some garments are more limited with their colour choice than others.
Settle on your graphics and placement
By now you should be set on the quantity and type of garments you need. The next step is to choose your graphics and placement. The most popular choice is to simply brand the garment with a logo and perhaps a company tagline, but many businesses use their workwear to promote a new product or include a seasonal message. For the former, we’d recommend a simple design as you’ll want the garment to be as flexible as possible and be easily replicated. For the latter, you may want to be a bit more creative.
Your chosen provider should be able to work with most file formats, but typically the better quality the image, the better quality the final print.
Most suppliers can be flexible with placement but there are a number of tried and tested areas that work best for placing your branding.
Choose your production method
The final step is to decide what the best way to bring your workwear to life is. There are a number of production methods that can be used to brand your workwear. The three main ones are:
- Embroidery – Embroidering your branded workwear is a great way to add a touch of class and is perfect for adding small logos to polo shirts or jackets. You chosen supplier will digitise your logo and set it up to be produced by an embroidery machine.
- Screen printing – Screen printing is a method used to apply your design directly through a screen onto the garment. Screen printing is perfect for large orders of printed garments but can be expensive for smaller orders requiring more than one colour as a unique screen needs to be made for each ink colour.
- Transfer – A transfer print is usually the most cost effective method. Your supplier will cut your text or logo into a coloured sheet of vinyl. The name or logo is then applied to the garment using heat and pressure. The vinyl transfer method is perfect for individual personalisations, like large printed names. There are no setup costs, so this is perfect for having prints on smaller orders whilst keeping costs down.
And you’re ready to go!
You should have everything you need to talk to your supplier about your branded workwear project and get it queued up at the printing presses. Good work!
Got any questions?
We provide an expert branded workwear service, from consultation and design to print and delivery. Give us a call or send us a message with any questions you might have!