What should the modern tradesperson be looking for in daily workwear?
Buildbase spoke to Claire Browne, Buyer at Dickies Workwear, to understand the thinking behind the company’s Pro Range of clothing.
Buildbase: What did the research into design, fit and fabrication tell Dickies about what the Pro Range of clothing needed?
Claire Browne: A major focus of Dickies’ design department is to innovate and develop new products and ranges, studying market trends and regularly carrying out market research to ensure we’re always one step ahead and anticipating consumer demand.
Our market research showed that today’s tradesmen demand workwear that helps them to cultivate a smart, professional image, but they’re also increasingly influenced by high street fashion. They care about what their clients think and want outfits that can see them from job, to meeting a potential client, to pub – or that don’t look out of place when walking down the high street.
Dickies Pro was designed to do just that, without compromising on the comfort and durability that tradesmen rely on from their workwear.
The range took many months of work to bring to market, as our designers were incredibly focused on the performance, durability and design features and wanted to be meticulous about getting this right. As with all our ranges, every item of Dickies Pro clothing has been designed and thoroughly tested to help make working life safer and more productive.
As with all Dickies products, each item from the Pro range was tested in our in-house Quality Assurance Lab to ensure they meet our high standards. Tools used by the Lab include the Titan Universal Strength Tester, which is used to test the tensile and compressive strength of materials (including fabrics, zips and buttons), to make sure they can withstand the daily demands likely to be placed on them.
BB: In what ways has Dickies developed its most advanced workwear?
CB: Our starting point for the range was to consider the customer first and foremost and how they needed this product to perform to give them maximum performance in their job.
The latest fabrics were researched, in-house testing of the product took place – from textile testing to wearer trials – in order to create a comfortable and durable range.
We used the latest in fabric technology when designing each item, such as Cordura® panels to offer extra defence against wear and tear on elbow and knees, as it’s an extremely durable fabric which has been woven to provide extra strength, increasing the life of the garment.
As a specific example, the trouser incorporates four different fabrications which have been carefully chosen to allow maximum ergonomics and movement for the wearer, as well as the most durable fabrics in the high abrasive areas (knee pads and hem guards). The base fabric of ripstop provides maximum durability with a light comfortable feel, whilst the Ten Cate stretch in the back panel and on the hips allows for non-restricted movement and for the trouser to grow with the wearer throughout the day.
Coolcore® fabric features in the Pro T-shirt, which regulates moisture from the body as well as providing UV protection (UPF 45+). It’s also hypoallergenic so is better for the wearer’s skin, especially in tough working conditions.
Dickies continues to evaluate the range through customer and trade feedback to ensure it continues to meet the needs of those who rely on these items.
BB: How are the garments stronger than before?
CB: The important design feature of this range is the combination of fabrics and how they work together to create the best product, from comfort for the wearer to being hard wearing and functional. This is why we’ve incorporated features such as the reinforced holster pockets on the trouser as well as stretch in key areas of the garments.
BB: What is Ripstop technology?
CB: Ripstop is a hardwearing fabric that’s woven in a particular way that naturally makes it stronger and more resistant to tearing – a vital factor in a workwear clothing range. The Dickies Pro range uses a traditional ripstop fabric, which has been woven with thicker reinforcing threads at regular intervals across the fabric, increasing its tensile strength therefore making it harder wearing.