The Picture of Hard Work
The promotional products industry is also seeing increased interest in another kind of uniform segment—workwear. Fred Haws, owner of Haws Embroidery and Specialty dba Carhartt and Walls Workwear Lines, Kansas City, Mo., said the popular Carhartt brand, comprised of heavy duty, canvas
-like jackets and coats, is building a name for itself in promotional circles. “Carhartt is really a strong brand name in the workwear market, so what people are doing a lot with that is co-branding,” he explained. Haws said workers want the Carhartt name that is associated with quality and durability as well as the opportunity to showcase their company’s logo. “By adding the company logo to [a Carhartt item], it’s actually kind of a co-branding product. They’re proud to put their name on such a prestigious product like Carhartt.”
Haws, whose company has been in the promotional products industry for just two years, further pointed out the rise in ethanol manufacturing in the U.S. in recent years has brought workwear to center stage. “We’re seeing an increase [in sales] because of the whole ethanol push,” he said. “A lot of farmers, corn and otherwise, are a big market.” He also stated the construction market still remains a strong buyer of workwear. One other hot industry for workwear includes mining. “It’s a big thing with miners because mining is actually big in a couple corners of the United States,” he said.
As has everything in the name of progressivism, uniforms also have undergone numerous modifications over the years. Garza said the recent surge in women’s promotional wear has spilled over into the promotional uniform sector. “Women are requesting uniforms in feminine colors and cuts that flatter the female form,” she explained. “Both men and women are requesting uniforms made from fabrics that are comfortable, lightweight and breathable. Stain-resistant, soil-release and liquid-repellent finishes are also desirable.”