A brand-new fully inclusive uniform for Coventry Building Society
Coventry Building Society is committed to creating a balanced and diverse workforce. They recently launched a fully inclusive uniform as part of this strategy. There is no longer a men’s and women’s range, instead, the clothing items are simply categorised as ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’ fit, allowing colleagues to choose items that suit their own identity.
London-based Jermyn Street Design (jSD), known for creating uniforms for Eurostar, Laing O’Rourke, PureGym and Jet2, created the new range for Coventry Building Society’s 700 employees. Designer Nihal Selimi aimed to create a fresh new look which sets Coventry apart: “The previous uniform was more typical of a banking environment, but this new range gives employees a more versatile working wardrobe.”
Coventry aims to create a workplace where everyone feels included regardless of gender identity, faith, cultural background and disability. The new range is designed to be fully inclusive, with colleagues free to choose items according to their own sense of who they are. Items are simply described as ‘masculine fit’ or ‘feminine fit’, enabling everyone to mix and match as they require.
Coventry Building Society introduces a new uniform every four years, but this is a new departure for the business, as Alister Wilson, the Coventry’s Supplier Relationship Manager, explains: “We wanted to move away from a typical bank style uniform and give colleagues more versatility, something that represents them in their workplace and allows them to bring their whole self to work. So jSD designed this gender-neutral range with a different ‘fit’ for everyone to select what works best for them.”
The new Coventry Building Society uniform range is fully sustainable throughout its life, from manufacture, packaging and transport right through to end-of-life re-recycling. Many items have been made from recycled plastic bottles and are manufactured closer to home to reduce the impact of transportation. The range has also been designed to make recycling at the end of its life much easier, as Nihal explains: “It is often the trims on garments that make them difficult to recycle so we’ve made all zips and buttons easy to remove at the end of their life.”
The uniform has gone down extremely well with Coventry Building Society colleagues across the country. One Service Manager commented: “I really love the polo and skirt combination. I was really surprised that I ended up choosing it. I thought the polo would be too casual, but it’s actually a great look— I feel smart in it and it’s very comfortable!”
(Image: Coventry Building Society)
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