WORKWEAR GETS THE JOB DONE
For the thousands of customers whose businesses take them into some of the most extreme working conditions, the right gear is essential. Besides the traditional selections of jackets and coats, promotional workwear is evolving to include useful accessories that keep end-users out of harm’s way.
The buzzword in promotional workwear these days is “safety,” according to Kevin Xiao, vice president at Ontario, California-based Atteff International.
To that end, Xiao said, while traditional jackets and overalls continue to permeate the workwear category, a variety of safety accessories are emerging and gaining popularity. “Traditionally, rugged workwear was mostly limited to work clothes,” he said. “However, in recent years, the category has grown, with newer products like gloves, high-visibility apparel and safety glasses being added to the mix.”
Of the three, Xiao said safety gloves are the most popular. Atteff International carries a wide range of gloves made from materials such as leather and canvas. And, the company’s PU Nitrel, or latex-coated knit gloves, are getting the most attention. “These gloves offer the breathability of string-knit gloves, while providing the dexterity and gripping ability required by many manufacturing applications,” he said. Furthermore, Xiao added the gloves provide “form-fitting comfort” to the user.
But, this is not to discount the relevance of traditional garments. Diane Savage, promotional marketing coordinator at Pella Products, Pella, Iowa, pointed out that heavy-duty jackets not only remain popular, but are forging new and stylish paths for themselves in the workwear category. “A while back, we introduced our Field Jacket, which is a little longer than the normal workwear, and our Rodeo jacket, which is very stylish and fits in great with ranchers and cowboys in the rodeo circuit,” she said.
And, like Savage, Xiao said his company’s high-visibility safety apparel is also designed with style, comfort and functionality in mind. “All products are made from 100 percent fluorescent polyester mesh or solid fabric,” he explained. Most of the garments come with reflective stripes for added security, and the company’s Class 2- and Class 3-compliant products meet safety standards from ANSI/ISEA (American National Standards Institute/International Safety Equipment Association).