We live in a world full of everyday superheroes. They don’t wear shiny tights or capes, they wear workwear. Not just any workwear though — they wear high-quality equipment that help ordinary people do extra-ordinary things. We are in the business of dressing everyday superheroes and this is a story of how quality workwear is made.
People are the most important asset of any business. Making people feel safe and comfortable, and ensuring the hygiene and safety standards of their working environments, is our number one goal when designing workwear. Not everyone knows that we at Lindström have an in-house product development and design team – a team of experts who work in the field of workwear every day deepening their understanding of our customers’ work and industry specific requirements.
“This is a key factor in how we differ from many of our competitors. Our workwear design is based on constant research, development, and cooperation with our customers. We interview several customers and have comprehensive test trials before new collections are launched,” Head of Product Concept Taru Jokinen explains.
Tiny details make the superhero work day flow
Let us look at one case in more detail. Our Multipro protective clothing collection was launched in early 2017 resulting from tight cooperation between colleagues and customers in Sweden, Estonia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Latvia and Finland. However, the story of Multipro began already in 2015 with market analysis and preliminary development project. And to be specific, our propeller-headed idea generators from our development team started scanning ideas, designs, and color trends even before that.
We constantly collect trend information concerning our focus industries and filter that to our designs. Close cooperation with our fabric suppliers provide us with the latest information on material development. Sustainability and workwear related standards are also major factors in workwear developement.
“Tight co-operation with customers already in an early phase of each project ensures that we make products that are comfortable to use and have all the tiny details in place that users need. Only people performing the job can know what is needed. For example, where the pocket in a jacket is placed may have a huge effect on a flowing working experience during the day,” says Project Manager Anne Vääri.
An important driver during the design process is making sure that the workwear are also suitable for our washing and maintenance processes – optimizing the lifetime of garments is critical both for us and our customers.
We manufacture clothing only based on need
After the initial design, next step is to produce the actual test sample garments. Selection and purchase of fabrics play a big role in manufacture – our guiding principle is that we plan and manufacture products only based on need. This is also a way to minimize the amount of textile waste. Our professionals also make sure that fabrics are used efficiently, resulting in minimum amount of cutting waste. In early 2017, we opened our own Lindström workwear factory in Latvia, allowing us to produce exact amounts of workwear fast and based on need.
700 coffee cups later…
6 months and 70 meetings later, we are not even half way the process of creating workwear. At this point, it is time to roll up our sleeves and start working on fittings and testing sample garments. A usual test project can take up to 900 test washes both for the fabric, accessory and garment samples. With these test washings, we check how the fabrics and colors behave in our process, and ensure the quality level for our service. For certified protective clothing, the certification process can also include several garment quality tests made by accredited test laboratories.
“The point is that workwear is designed to be in circulation as long as possible, so it is important to test the garments in real laundry processes. Users wear the clothes between the washes like in real life and give feedback. The products are then fine-tuned based on the feedback,” Anne explains.
Finally, 2 200 cups of coffee, 200 meetings, 500 sample garments, and 3500 emails and Skype calls later, the new workwear selection is ready for production and sales. Of course, sales samples, photo shootings and other marketing material still need to be produced. We can proudly say to our customers: this workwear is developed for your needs and tested by real users to fit the purpose it is designed for. With this specially made workwear you can be the everyday superhero you deserve to be.
And one has to be a bit of a superhero to dress another superhero, don’t you think?