by Sharon Jones

Over the past few years, we have witnessed a whole host of companies entering redundancy because of the economic climate. Thankfully a lot of industries and businesses seem to be putting this period behind them.

Screen Shot 2019-06-06 at 10.17.23 PM.png

Nonetheless, this has not been without its difficulties, and businesses that know this all too well are those who produce workwear. The recession dealt its own blow, yet this was felt twice as hard when the global cotton crisis came into play as well. Thankfully a lot of companies managed to weather this almighty storm and are reaping the opportunities that are presenting themselves in the current day.

The recession and the poor state of world economies led to a global cotton crisis. The production of cotton dwindled and this led to a huge increase in prices. The mill use in China accounts for 40 per cent of the cotton produced on a worldwide scale. This experienced a decline for the first time in over ten years. As a result, the cost of cotton rose by a monumental 180 per cent. This evidently left workwear companies with a troubling puzzle on their hands.

Unfortunately, the rising cost of cotton was coupled with another rising cost; labour. The majority of companies who operate in the production of clothing have factories and workers abroad. They do this because it offers cheaper production costs. However, the cost of labour abroad has risen too. For example, in some parts of Asia, there have been increases in the cost of labour by approximately 30 per cent per year.

Thankfully a lot of companies were able to foresee the troubles that lay ahead. The recession, the cotton crisis, and the rising costs of labour meant that workwear companies had to assess their financial model. Businesses had to find a way to reduce their costs in other areas in order to compensate for the rising costs felt elsewhere. Those who done this successfully are the businesses you still see in operation today.

These companies are now looking ahead toward the future with optimism. This is because there has been another shift in the industry and this is an increase in demand. Firstly, the need for specialist workwear because of enhanced health and safety has come about. After all, those working in hospitals and those working with electric discharge machining are going to have very specialist uniform requirements to ensure safety.  More and more businesses are valuing the importance of strengthening their brand image. Workwear offers a fantastic way of doing this. Many companies are choosing to introduce a corporate uniform. The businesses involved in the production of uniforms are appealing to companies and showing them how branding can really move them forward in the current economic climate.

There have been monumental changes in the production of corporate clothing over the past few years. However, there will always be the need for employees to be clothed, and thus there will always be a demand for business attire. These companies have weathered an almighty storm over the past few years and they are now being rewarded as businesses recognise the importance of a work uniform.