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How Often Should I Replace Staff Uniform?

The length of time a staff uniform lasts before needing replacement will vary widely depending on the industry or sector. But wearing out is not the only consideration for change - perhaps you are having a rebrand of your business.

Typically, roles within manual industries with a staff uniform policy will replace theirs frequently, whereas office work clothing can last for much longer due to the relative lack of stress put on the garments.

Staff Uniform Durability

The quality of the garments you source for your uniform will be a major factor in it's longevity. Buy cheap, buy twice - as they say...

If your staff work within grimy and lively environments where spills, sharps and abrasions are frequent, you may find yourself having to replace staff uniforms with increasing frequency.

Whereas if your staff work in a white collar role - an office, or a shop - a good quality customised business shirt can last for a lot longer.

Assuming that you issue three uniform shirts (a typical amount per employee), for example, you could expect to get somewhere between 12 to 18 months of optimal looking wear out of them. Of course, this is still dependant on usage and washing routine.

Whilst it may initially seem costly, by investing in higher quality garment options, you can extend the lifespan of your staff's uniform and reduce the frequency of having to buy more.

When you do have to replace your uniforms, it will be so at a fraction of the overall cost thanks to an improved lifespan-to-cost ratio.

Branding Changes

As time changes so do business perceptions. When you decide to change your company message, aims or objectives, it may be beneficial to consider replacing your staff uniform to reflect this.  

Whilst a company re-brand can be expensive anyway, factoring in a budget for updating your company uniform can greatly aid marketing efforts helping to complete your branding. At the same time, ensuring your staff uniform is at the peak of its lifecycle.  

Seasonality

The main priorities when first buying staff uniform tend to be size availability and design, but an often overlooked consideration is the changing of weather from season to season. You could harm productivity, affect the health and safety of your workforce, or lessen the lifespan of the uniform garments you choose if the right clothing is not supplied.

By choosing to order your staff’s uniform in advance of seasonal changes, such as ordering thermal workwear in August, it will not only mean you will stay on top of any sudden needs, but it will mean you do so at a limited spend. You won’t be paying for express delivery or be stuck having to choose overly expensive products. Supply and demand is a thing. The bigger the demand, the shorter the supply and therefore the price goes up.

Kitting out your staff with seasonal uniform will ensure that employee happiness and productivity rises through enhanced comfort.

Trends

As a business owner, you’re probably well aware of the importance of remaining competitive as well as innovative. Who’s to say this doesn’t apply with your company’s uniform?

Whether changing trends are a result of competitors, customer wants or employee tastes, it’s important that you diversify. And it’s important to see the need to upgrade when the time is right.

Trends can be addressed in one smooth transition and often go hand-in-hand with company rebrands.  

However, trends can both be short & long-lived, so it’s important that before you make a decision to replace your staff uniforms, you determine if the shift is going to be long enough so that it’s profitable on the outlay. But then, constantly providing uniforms which are in line with fashion trends may be part of your brand management.

Business Expansion

With business growth, you’re going to see a potential need or influx of new employees. As companies recruit more often, there will be frequent needs for further uniform purchases. This is not just down to the increased volume of employees. It can also to cater to diversifying cultural backgrounds, body types and personal interests.

Ensure you factor this into your uniform budget, as the need for employees is often both spontaneous and unpredicted.

As business periods spike, expansion will be a leading cause for most uniform replacements which can vary from within weeks to months. Most notably, Retail uniform is often subject to this, by planning ahead you’ll ensure your new hires are promoting your business with a professional appearance from day one. However, there is always the option of requiring a contribution from your employees if the uniform is necessary to the job.

New Business Approaches

As you continually strive to improve your business, you may find yourself expanding into uncharted waters with new departments & customer facing roles. This may divert away from the current uniform policy you have in place.

For example, if you specialise in using heavy machinery, you may find the need to divert away from typical workwear needs when you recruit for a Sales Role due to different requirements.

By ensuring you have staff uniform specific to the role, it can ensure both performance and professional appeal is at it’s constant best. Again, this is largely dictated by how fast your company is moving forward and growing.

There Are A Lot Of Variables

In short, the question: “How often should I replace Staff Uniform?”, is a tough one. It varies widely on industry but there will always be a need to replace them at some point; whether through your own decision or an immediate need for it.

Stay organised and plan for any possible uniform needs to get the best value for your business.