The clothes your employees wear to work every day need to do more than just make them look smart and professional. While appearance is an important concern in any business, it's just as important that employees are comfortable and happy while they perform their duties. In some types of work, you also need to think about the protective properties of clothing to minimise the risks in hazardous environments.
When you're choosing workwear for your staff, think about the fabric it's made from and what that will do for the finished garments. There are many different man-made materials and blends of other fabrics, but this will give you an idea of some fabrics' properties.
Generally lightweight and cooling, cotton is a good choice for people working in warm environments or outside in hot weather. Although it doesn't offer much protection in itself, cotton is available with a fire-retardant treatment.
A light, breathable form of polyester that's also waterproof, so it makes good wet weather wear or equipment for people who often work in damp environments.
Another polyester-based material that provides a lot of warmth without the need for thick, heavy garments. It's ideal for people working in cold environments who need to maintain good flexibility and freedom of movement.
Wool can be very warming but needs to be thicker than man-made fleeces in order to achieve this. As a result, it can be on the heavy, unwieldy side of things, but it is very effective.
This light, thin, waterproof fabric can be used as an alternative to microfibre. Not only is it found on waterproof jackets and other items of clothing, but it can also be used in shoes. Because of its low weight, it's useful for waterproof clothing that can be packed away without needing much space.
Most good quality work boots or shoes are made from leather. It's strong and protective but breathable, helping to keep the feet safe and comfortable during work. Leather work shoes are often combined with a steel toe-cap and soles with a high grip for all-around foot protection and excellent safety.
Because it's an insulating material, rubber is frequently used to protect against electric shocks. People working with potentially hazardous electrical equipment should have rubber electrician's gloves so they're less likely to be shocked. Rubber is also found in boots for the same reason, and rubber soles can stop static shocks from occurring, which are a risk in any working environment.