In recent years there has been an immense push from across the professional clothing industry to take wearer comfort seriously. When employees are asked to wear a uniform or PPE for eight hours a day they expect the garments to fit well, feel good, and look presentable.
Companies such as CEPOVETT have become renowned for their excellent approach to comfort in design and technical quality, so the PCIAW® would like to invite the company to share with our industry how they achieve outstanding comfort in hi-vis with their attention to the needs of wearers.
Comfort, Safety, and Visibility with CEPOVETT
There has been a seismic shift in the recent approach to the design of safety garments. Historically, hi-vis and workwear garments were designed with only safety in mind, with little attention to the feel-good factor of the wearer. Today, however, CEPOVETT Safety pays as much attention to the overall wearability of a garment – including fashion, fit, design and comfort – as the safety elements. CEPOVETT’s ethos is that everyone who dresses for work should feel proud and comfortable in their workwear, whether they wear safety garments on an oil rig, as a nurse, a chef, a builder, or any other uniformed worker.
The company’s product range reflects that ethos. For example, CEPOVETT offers their technical hi-vis multinorm jackets with a softshell fabric and bomber jacket styling to make them more fashionable. In 2021 CEPOVETT introduced a new high fashion Modul’wear range of hi-vis, interchangeable, layered garments, all manufactured from lightweight, soft, and highly durable RIPSTOP fabric. Modul’wear proves you can make an elegant high-fashion collection with a hi-vis finish.
Quality Materials, Quality Results
All of CEPOVETT’s high visibility garments are certified to at least EN ISO 20471 Class 1, with the majority of products being Class 2, and many Class 3 (often depending on combinations of top/trouser). All new production also features the UKCA certification on the garment labels.
The stand-out benefit of companies supplying their employees with good quality, well-designed, fashion-fitting work clothing is of course employee satisfaction. That in turn leads to increased productivity and lower turnover of staff. Often employees will leave a company to join a competitor who offers the same salary but better staff benefits, and that often includes more generous uniform allocations, or simply nicer uniforms.
But there is a second and more serious safety point as well. Well-fitting garments are less likely to create a trip or stumble hazard or get caught on something while working. Quality products using RIPSTOP fabrics are less likely to be subject to tears or worn holes, and therefore retain their protection for longer.
Improving on hi-vis with fabric technology
CEPOVETT Safety are now using segmented reflective tape on all new garments as well, to give greater movement and flexibility to the wearer. This allows garments to flex and stretch, whereas traditional solid reflective tape reduced the flexibility and stretchability of fabrics making garments less comfortable.
The Modul’wear collection, launched in 2022, is manufactured from RIPSTOP fabric to ensure the longevity of each garment, even when a jacket or trouser might get snagged on a sharp object. RIPSTOP fabric is used across a number of other products in both our CEPOVETT Safety and Lafont Workwear collections, and is a staple fabric of durable workwear.
Supplying big brands sustainably
CEPOVETT Safety supplies customers with hi-vis garments across multiple sectors. The company’s largest hi-vis customers include SNCF (French Railways), Air France and Paris Charles De Gaulle Airport. CEPOVETT’s hi-vis is also prevalent throughout its multinorm collection and features across the energy and utilities sector with customers like EDF Energy and Vinci. All these major brands have been customer partners of CEPOVETT Group for decades, which is a great testament to the garments’ exceptional quality.
CEPOVETT Group is one of few manufacturers in the professional clothing industry who own their manufacturing facilities, with factories in Madagascar, Tunisia and Morocco. That allows the possibility to have total control of the teams, the culture, the workflow processes, the production schedules and the environmental considerations.
Every year the company publishes its CSR policy document into the public domain, and that 28 page document covers in detail how CEPOVETT approaches sustainability across the entire business, particularly within its factories. These initiatives include, amongst other things, local sourcing, the use of alternative and ethical materials under the “Positive Impact” label, and voluntary compensation for negative externalities (including replanting 40,000 trees per year, every year in Madagascar)
CEPOVETT have a large product management and sourcing team with decades of experience between them, and the team travel extensively to its factories and suppliers’ production facilities. Suppliers are regularly checked with third-party audit reports, as well as checked for conformity first-hand. CEPOVETT are quick to verify any perceived non-conformity and agree to remedial actions.
Overall, CEPOVETT achieves amazing results with their garments through their focus on delivering the best product possible to wearers and buyers, taking every care to make sure their products are produced responsibly and fit for purpose. By utilising RIPSTOP fabric and other garment technologies in their hi-vis they’ve created a product that both looks and feels as good as it is durable and functional. The PCIAW® continues to support wearability in the design process for professional clothing, and we are keen to see other manufacturers embrace this development in our industry.
Phone: +44 (0)20-3769-3523