When Office Works needed new staff uniform, the company enlisted the help of local business Garment Graphixs, and it’s delighted with the result

Office Works is a Belfast-based company that offers fit-out, refurbishment and furniture services to the office sector. When the management team took the decision to buy branded uniform for its 12-15 employees, it turned to local supplier Garment Graphixs, a specialist in workwear. Ross Millen, assistant project manager at Office Works, says: “We decided to work with Garment Graphixs due to their outstanding reputation and high-quality products at reasonable prices. Not to mention they’re based right on our doorstep, which made the decision even easier.”

Despite having more than 15 years’ experience in the industry, this was Office Works’ first experience of buying staff uniform. “These are the first uniforms we’ve had,” says Ross. “The Office Works uniforms allow us to improve our image and expand our brand name to become a household name within the industry. All our employees are overjoyed with their new uniform.” Although the Office Works team had an idea of how they wanted their uniform to look, they relied on the advice and recommendations of Gareth Tipping, sales and marketing director at Garment Graphixs. Ross says: “The staff at Garment Graphixs were able to create visuals and guide us all the way through to the final product.”

The bodywarmers were embroidered on an SWF/K- series 8-head tubular embroidery machine

The hi-vis vests were decorated in house

Workwear specialists

Garment Graphixs has focused purely on workwear for the last four or five years, after moving away from commercial embroidery contracts and promotional items. “We’ve really focused on what we’re good at and what we’re good at is looking after the guys who need 20-50 items. That niche has been really good for us and our customer base has grown and grown,” says Gareth. “We’ve opened up a trade counter and we now look at ourselves as a one-stop-shop – we can kit out a guy from head to toe and turn the order around in three or four days.”

“Office Works moved into a unit just around the corner from us, so they were able to call into our showroom and see samples of the polo shirts and jackets that we recommended. It was worth them coming in and trying everything on and then we were able to brand them ourselves. That’s our standard process: we either send samples out to customers or they come into store. They select the logo and then we advise on the best print or embroidered option for that uniform.”

Office Works ordered around 90 garments altogether: a mix of T-shirts, polo shirts, body warmers and some hi- vis. Based on Gareth’s recommendations, the team chose Regatta Flux bodywarmers, Snickers Flame Allround Work polo shirts, Gildan Heavy Cotton T-Shirts and Supertouch Hi Vis Vests, all of which were decorated in-house. “We have a transfer system and we used cold-peel plastisol transfers for all the hi- vis,” explains Gareth. “The polo shirts and body warmers were embroidered on our SWF/K-series 8-head tubular embroidery machine, which we bought from YES Embroidery, using Madeira threads.”

Fast work

For decorators who would like to attract similar orders, Ross has three main tips. Although comfort and quality were important considerations, he was particularly impressed by how quickly Garment Graphixs was able to deliver their order. “It felt as if we placed the order and the uniform was ready almost instantly,” he explains. However, it was the expert advice and smooth customer service that really stood out. Ross says: “I would advise other garment decorators to follow in Garment Graphixs’ footsteps and have staff that are very welcoming, helpful and able to turn our ideas into reality. We can’t thank them enough for their professionalism and amazing customer service.”