In today's fast-paced work environments, workers need arc- and flame-resistant coveralls, high-visibility vests, temperature-regulating jackets and more.
Sound complicated? Don't worry. We got the low-down. Read on for eight tips that will make your rugged and safety apparel promotion a safe bet for sales.
1. Have Some Standards
Danny Tsai, vice president of merchandising, Tri-Mountain, Irwindale, Calif., noted that end-buyers of safety apparel typically want materials that have been certified by The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the International Safety Equipment Association (ISEA). "Look to the ANSI and ISEA standard as your guidelines, as this is in demand for the safety industry," he said.
2. Offer Outerwear
For cold-weather markets, Tiffany Anderson, regional sales manager for Overland Park, Kansas-based DRI DUCK suggested outerwear. "Not only does a jacket have a high perceived value, but it can also be worn on or off the job site," Anderson said.
3. Look Over Logos
Fred Haws, owner and president of Haws USA, Apex, N.C., cautioned distributors to be wary of potential decorating difficulties. "Before an order is wrapped up, make sure the logo, the logo size and the logo location work before accepting the order," Haws said.
"Sometimes we see orders come through that because of the thickness of the jacket, or because of an inside pocket, etc., a certain logo can't work," he continued. "That conversation should be held prior on this work."
4. What's Your Function?
For safety apparel, decoration takes a backseat to function. Tsai pointed to triple-needle stitching, diamond-quilted microfiber linings and brass zippers as a few features that can enhance functionality. "The top feature is definitely 3M reflective tape for visibility and security, which is featured in many ANSI-certified garments," he added. Anderson listed articulated elbows, flat-knit rib cuffs, UPF sun protection, three-piece hoods that fit over hard hats, and stain-resistant Teflon coating as other desirable enhancements that keep the job site safe.