What Are The Differences Between Bespoke Or Off The Shelf Workwear Solutions


What Are The Differences Between Bespoke Or Off The Shelf Workwear Solutions?

When tasked with buying corporate workwear for a team there’s a lot to consider. Besides the cost involved, the workwear itself needs to be suited to the application and offer durability over its lifespan. 

In reality, purchasing workwear is often a case of trial and error. This means it can be difficult to predict how an item may perform without being able to put it to the test. Also, your workwear requirements may change over time, meaning an item that was previously suited to the job no longer is. 

To ensure satisfaction, it’s good to be aware of the two main options you have when it comes to purchasing workwear. These include buying off the shelf or purchasing bespoke workwear. It’s possible to opt for one or the other or a combination of the two, depending on the needs of your organisation. 

Here are some of the key differences between bespoke and off the shelf workwear to guide your purchasing decision. 

Bespoke Workwear

Bespoke workwear is made with your specific organisation in mind. As well as custom fabrics, you can select multiple sizes and colours for most garments. 

If working with us here at Clad Safety, we can even create garments using your company Pantone shade, ensuring every piece is on brand. Our embroidery capacity is up to 52 million stitches per week, meaning we can cater to large bespoke workwear orders. 

When a bespoke garment arrives, it isn’t a generic off the shelf item but something that has been custom made for the wearer. 

Read more: Clad Design – Workwear Solutions Tailored To Your Brand


Bespoke Workwear Advantages

If you’ve found that off the shelf solutions do not meet your needs as an organisation, then bespoke workwear puts you back in the driving seat. With every order, you’ll know exactly what you are getting, as it has been subject to a personal consultation with your dedicated account manager. 

When workwear is branded to the company it creates pride in the workplace and looks very presentable in customer facing roles. Pricing for bespoke items can often be more competitive as products are being directly manufactured in large quantities for a specific customer therefore reducing the number of organisations in the supply chain.

Did you know?: Clad Safety is a member of Sedex which empowers ethical supply chains. Any bespoke items that are made abroad are made in factories with fair wages and working conditions. 

Bespoke Workwear Cons

Bespoke clothing is usually subject to MOQs (minimum order quantities). This is because for the manufacturer, more time, energy and resources are required to produce a bespoke item versus an off the shelf item. Therefore, it’s usually not possible to purchase bespoke clothing in small quantities. 

On the other side of the coin, if an off the shelf solution isn’t meeting your needs, then it could be argued it will be more cost effective in the long run to opt for a bespoke solution. Or at the very least, a mix of the two.

Off The Shelf Workwear

Off the shelf workwear has been designed with a general purpose in mind rather than for a specific company or organisation. 

Depending on the garment type, any off the shelf workwear item has the potential to be used for a variety of environments or applications. 

Some common off the shelf workwear garments include polo shirts, trousers,  sweatshirts and fleeces. They are usually ordered in bulk, with the only ‘custom’ element for your team being custom logo application. 

Buying off the shelf isn’t always a negative, especially if it’s a system that has great feedback from your employees who wear the garments as well as your purchasing team. 

Off The Shelf Workwear Advantages

It’s easy to order off the shelf workwear, including through a workwear portal such as CladServe. This level of ease and consistency leaves no room for error, especially if you know what you want and it’s readily available as an off the shelf solution. 

Also, if off the shelf workwear perfectly suits your needs, then there’s no need to change up your system. That’s why the decision of whether to purchase off the shelf or bespoke should always be an individual one. 

Off The Shelf Cons

Many organisations have strict brand guidelines and can’t always find off the shelf workwear that matches their company’s branding. 

However, if ordering a large volume, they might opt for a bespoke polo that is fully personalised to them with a generic cargo trouser, such as the CX-TR3000 designed by Clad Safety. This mix of the two provides an ideal solution, but highlights that off the shelf cannot always fulfil every workwear need. 

In Summary: Bespoke Workwear Vs Off The Shelf Workwear

Off the shelf workwear will allow you to have a generic option, which may have a cheaper upfront cost but lacks any personalisation to your brand. In many cases, off the shelf perfectly fulfils the needs of an organisation, except when the lack of customisable elements creates a mismatch in requirements. 

Bespoke workwear is tailored specifically to your company and the wearer of the garment. Although a more expensive option, it could better suit your needs should off the shelf workwear lack any essential qualities such as colour or fabric design.

Another option to consider is having the best of both worlds, by selecting a mix of bespoke and off the shelf workwear. This can result in less SKUs and more volume used.

With fantastic off the shelf brands to choose from such as Leo, Orn and Portwest, you may find that off the shelf can work for at least part of your company uniform. 

Discover: How To Write A Workwear And PPE Tender

Clad Safety – Order Workwear And PPE For Your Team

Are you in search of off the shelf workwear or bespoke workwear for your team? We invite procurement managers, health and safety managers and buying teams from large organisations to get in touch with us to discuss your workwear needs. 

Clad Safety is a leading supplier of workwear and PPE. With over 30 years in business, we supply bespoke and off the shelf workwear to a wide spectrum of industries including Construction, Health, Rail and Utilities

Give us a call today on 0800 161 3661 or email us at [email protected] to place an order with us or for further information.