Snickers is making the most of the latest advances in fabric technology to create workwear that reflects the needs of today’s modern workforce, and the workers of the future
It’s a trend that is impossible to ignore: workwear brands are racing to take the best technical fabrics from the performance and sports markets and harness their performance properties to create modern work apparel that delivers superior comfort, safety and style. “Even the more cost effective workwear options such as Standsafe and Castle are using these new fabrics, along with the ones that you find at the top end, brands such as Snickers, Blaklader and most other European workwear brands,” confirms Images columnist and managing director of South East Workwear, Adrian Burton.
Workwear has come a long way since the days of the cotton twill boiler suit, agrees David Clark, managing director of Snickers Workwear. He adds that the scruffy jeans that were the basis of the 80s workwear wardrobe are also a thing of the past, as tradespeople increasingly recognise the advantage of investing in clothes that are going to keep them comfortable, safe and looking good, from the beginning of the day to the end.
Snickers has been a frontrunner in the race into technical fabrics from the start: the brand has always prided itself on searching out innovations in all aspects of garment design and manufacturing, and adapting them for use in workwear. For the past 18 months Snickers has been selling garments that feature 37.5 Technology, having begun work on the prototypes three years ago. It was the first workwear company to use this technology, which had already been used extensively, and was well proven, in the sports and outdoor markets, David reports.
The ideal core body temperature is 37.5ºC, hence the name. The idea behind the 37.5 Technology is that when the wearer gets hot, active particles in the material remove sweat in the vapour stage – that is, before liquid sweat forms – keeping the wearer cool. When the wearer is cold, the particles trap the person’s energy to help warm them up.
Research by 37.5 indicates that an athlete’s performance can improve by “up to 26 per cent through the use of the advanced 37.5 Technology”, explains David. “The problem with fabrics that absorb moisture is that they solve the problem after it has arisen. You sweat, and then they start to work. That’s too late. A fabric that knows what your body needs in advance is the solution.”
He continues: “37.5 Technology started in outdoor clothing, expanded into lifestyle and sportswear, and now it’s embedded into Snickers Workwear. The more comfortable our users are, the more productive they are likely to be, reducing the risk of mistakes and accidents.”
Snickers has released a number of new garments this autumn that contain 37.5 Technology, including its new base layer collection, which comprises seamless garments that promise to keep wearers dry and ventilated, such as the LiteWork Seamless 37.5 Leggings (9409) and LiteWork Seamless 37.5 LS Shirt (9418). Other new items for A/W 2017 include the AllroundWork 37.5 Insulator Vest (4512), LiteWork 37.5 LS Shirt (8513), Ru Work 37.5 Insulated Parka (1101), and AllroundWork High-Vis 37.5 Insulated Jacket CL3 (1130).
Feedback from customers on the use of 37.5 Technology in the Snickers range is good, with the technology also getting the thumbs up from a source closer to home: the Snickers sales team has chosen to wear polos featuring 37.5 Technology, while some of the team are so taken with the clothing they’re also using the T-shirts when they go to the gym outside of work.
Snickers’ use of high-end technology doesn’t end with 37.5, however: the brand is also using an advanced safety material called D30 in its knee pads, as David explain: “In its normal state D30 is semi-viscous and mobile – in other words, if you put it on your hand it will run over your hand like thick treacle, but the moment you impact it, it instantly solidifies to provide effective protection.”
Snickers is intent on staying at the forefront of advances in workwear fabrics and design and, as such, has its focus firmly on the needs of future generations of tradespeople, as well as the current crop. “We’re very interested in the development of our future potential market, which are the younger people coming out of the training colleges year on year,” explains David. “They tend to be very fashion-orientated…so for us, it is important to stay on message and on trend.”
The company’s relentless research into the best technology, the smartest fabrics and the latest fashion trends is why its tagline, ‘Inventing workwear’ seems ever more a statement of fact.