How To Extend The Life Of Your Uniform

Your staff uniform plays a crucial role in the way customers perceive your brand

A thoughtfully designed and well maintained uniform that aligns with your brand values can communicate professionalism, trust and credibility to your customers. 

This also works the other way – when work uniforms start to show signs of wear and tear, it not only impacts the appearance of your team, but can also have a negative influence on how your business is perceived.

Continuously replacing uniforms isn’t a practical or environmentally friendly solution. 

It’s not just costly and time-consuming for businesses, but it also goes against the spirit of sustainable business practices.

Fortunately, businesses can avoid this situation by focusing on durability, longevity, and sustainability from the very beginning of the custom uniform design process.

Choosing The Right Fabric

When you’re looking at designing a custom work uniform that will last, one of the most significant considerations is the fabric that is used. 

The fabric you choose for your custom uniforms can influence a wide range of factors, including the comfort of your employees, the appearance of your team, how easy the uniforms are to maintain, their functionality and adaptability, as well as their durability and longevity. 

So it’s important to take the time to carefully evaluate the options available when it comes to materials, thread count, and weave. 


The choice of materials used in work uniforms varies widely depending on the nature of the industry, the specific job role, and the functionality required.

For employees that work in high risk roles, it can sometimes be necessary to use flame resistant materials, hard wearing materials like rubber, and high visibility fabrics to help your staff stay safe while they are at work.

However, for the majority of custom uniforms, the following materials are typically considered:

  • Cotton
    Cotton is a classic choice for use in work uniforms due to its natural, breathable properties, which helps employees feel comfortable in a variety of different conditions. It’s also able to withstand high temperatures during washing, which can aid in its longevity.
  • Organic Cotton
    Organic Cotton offers the same natural, breathable characteristics as traditional cotton, but with added benefits. The production of organic cotton doesn’t use pesticides or fertilisers, which is better for the environment. It also typically has stronger fibres which can increase durability,
  • Polyester/Cotton Blends
    Polyester/cotton blends provide a balance between the natural comfort of cotton and the durability of polyester. This combination can help make work uniforms easier to care for, less prone to crease, and more durable.
  • Sustainable Viscose
    Sustainable Viscose is sourced from renewable plants and is more environmentally friendly option compared to traditional viscose

Thread Count

The thread count of your fabric can also have an influence on the durability and longevity of your custom uniforms. 

If you’re unfamiliar with the term, the thread count measures the number of threads in a square inch of fabric.

As a general rule, the higher the thread count the higher the quality of the fabric and the more durable it is.  

However, to make a concept a little more complicated, every fabric is different and has a different typical thread count. For example a typical thread count range for cotton would be 200-400, compared to a range of 50-140 for linen. 

As part of the JSD design process, after understanding a client’s specific needs, we’ll provide recommendations for both material and thread count and explain the implications on comfort, durability and costs. 


The ‘weave’ of a fabric refers to the way the threads are interwoven when it is manufactured

The type of weave used in a fabric can influence its feel, appearance and also ‘tensile strength’ – the amount of stress that the material can withstand while being stretched or pulled before breaking – which can have a major influence on the lifespan of a uniform.  

Some of the most popular weaves used in custom uniforms designed and manufactured by JSD include twill weave, basket weave, dobby weave and pique jersey weave – all offering a blend of durability, flexibility, breathability, crease resistance and comfort, making them ideal choices for uniform design. 

Providing The Correct Care & Maintenance Advice 

We’ve covered how one of the best ways to extend the life of your custom uniforms is to consider durability and longevity early in the design stage. 

However, once your team has been issued with their uniform, there are also things that they are able to do to reduce signs of wear and tear, and ensure that their work clothing remains pristine and communicates the right brand image. 

From a business perspective, it’s important to make sure your employees have the right guidance on how to care for their uniforms to extend their life. 

Washing and drying

The ideal temperature for washing your work uniforms will depend on the type of fabric that has been used. For example, cotton can typically be washed at higher temperatures but more delicate fabrics like sustainable viscose might need to be washed at cooler temperatures to prevent damage.

It’s also important to clearly instruct staff on the appropriate drying methods for their uniforms. Tumble drying garments that are not designed for it can lead to shrinkage, fading, and weakening of the fabric. 

As a general rule, we would generally recommend that most formal work uniforms are hung up and left to dry naturally – although this advice can vary from client to client. 

To help employees wash and dry their custom uniform correctly, it’s often our recommendation to provide staff with multiple uniforms – especially if they are not suitable for tumble drying. 


It goes without saying that ironing work uniforms can help improve their appearance and ensure your staff present a professional image for your business. 

But did you know that ironing can actually help prolong the life of your uniform? 

When fabric is ironed, it helps reinforce the fibres – helping improve the durability of your uniform.

It’s important to provide guidance to employees about the correct temperature for ironing your uniform items, to help prevent damage and preserve their longevity. 

At the same time, it might also be worthwhile reminding staff about some ‘ironing best practices’, such as ironing garments inside out to prevent shine. 

Sustainability and end of life practices 

Sustainability is becoming increasingly important in all areas of modern business, and the uniform design process is no exception. 

JSD is a pioneer in sustainable workwear design, manufacturing highly durable uniforms that withstand daily wear and tear, reducing the need for regular uniform replacements.

We’re also increasingly recommending organic cotton for client work uniforms, due to its increased durability and reduced environmental impact. The increased use of fabrics such as bamboo and sustainable viscose are also part of our business roadmap.

However, even the most thoughtfully designed and carefully crafted uniform items will eventually reach the end of their natural life. 

As part of our service to clients, when it comes time to dispose of your old uniform, your JSD account manager can present you with a number of choices for recycling or upcycling your garments – reducing landfill waste, microplastic pollution and the impact on the environment. 

JSD: Leading the way in durable, sustainable uniform design

If you’re looking for a way to ensure your uniforms not only look great but also stand the test of time, speak to JSD. 

The first step in our process will be to gain a deep understanding of your business, your brand values, and the unique requirements of each member of your team. 

With this insight, our team of expert designers will produce custom uniform concepts that are not only aligned with your brand – but also durable, comfortable, and sustainable. 

If you’re considering upgrading your uniforms to improve their longevity or sustainability, JSD is here to help you every step of the way. 

Get in touch with our team today. 

B E S P O K E U N I F O R M S . C U S T O M U N I F O R M S . S U S T A I N A B L E U N I F O R M S . E T H I C A L U N I F O R M S .