Decorated garments allow Band of Builders to help tradespeople who face life-changing circumstances

When Addam Smith discovered in 2016 that his friend Keith had been diagnosed with terminal cancer, he wanted to do something to help him. “His original idea was to landscape Keith’s garden,” explains Band of Builders (BoB) trustee Louise Stevenson. “Addam needed help to make it happen and decided to put a ‘shout out’ on Facebook. That, in essence, is the moment Band of Builders was born. Tradesmen came together from across the country and the result wasn’t just the landscaping of Keith’s garden, but the renovation of Keith’s whole house. From that moment Band of Builders has grown into a charitable organisation that strives to help tradespeople and their families who face life-changing circumstances with practical assistance.”

Shortly after Keith’s project, the decision was made to launch a clothing and merchandise range to raise money to help fund projects for other tradespeople in need. The range began with hoodies, and now encompasses workwear, leisurewear and children’s clothing as well as van decals, accessories and gifts. “As the aim of Band of Builders is to help tradespeople and their families, the garments we sell have been chosen to suit the whole family,” explains Louise. “From workwear such as T-shirts and hoodies to leisure and loungewear such as softshell jackets and onesies, there is something for everyone and so tradespeople and their families can get involved in supporting us.”

When each project is announced, BoB launches a project-specific hoodie featuring a bespoke logo for a limited period only. These create a sentimental product for the supporters and volunteers who help on that project. All profits from the range goes towards projects carried out by BoB. “The workwear also provides a recognisable mark of support for Band of Builders,” Louise adds. “It helps create a sense of community – we’ve had stories of complete strangers striking up conversation everywhere from builders’ merchants to filling stations purely because they are both wearing Band of Builders workwear.”

Branded garments are available for all ages

The organisation also works with fundraisers wherever possible to help promote and raise awareness of their event. Recently, a team of seven volunteers raised money for BoB by completing the National Three Peaks Challenge, climbing Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon in 24 hours in branded Band of Builders merchandise complete with logos of the companies that sponsored them for the event. BoB’s current clothing supplier is Workwear Express. 

“We decided to go into partnership with this company as they currently supply several other charities and have extensive experience in what they do,” says Louise.“Our volunteers wear our clothing with pride to spread awareness of what we do, so we needed a company that can provide a quality product. “Our preferred brand for the majority of our clothing range is Gildan as it’s a reputable brand for workwear and we want to be able to offer our supporters a brand that they are comfortable in and lives up to their expectations.” The hi-vis vests are from Uneek.

Garments are branded using either direct-to-garment printing or embroidery, depending on the garment style and the size of the logo. “We chose these methods to ensure that the branding withstands the life of the garment so our supporters can wear their garments for many months and years to come.” For those who want to supply a similar organisation to BoB, Louise has the following words: “Band of Builders functions as a result of the passion, hard work and dedication of our volunteers and they wear our merchandise with pride. The best bit of advice I could give to a supplier would be to understand the story behind the charity and work together.”