Covergalls has announced a new line of maternity workwear. The apparel collection, consisting of a button-up work shirt and cargo pants, aims to provide personal protective equipment for pregnant women in the workforce.
Alicia Woods, CEO and founder of the Sudbury company, sees the launch as a long-overdue step toward helping working women in Canadian industrial sectors be safe, comfortable and heard.
“I’m really excited for this new addition to our collection,” said Woods in a release. “So many women have had to create makeshift solutions due to lack of options and inaccessibility to proper PPE — myself being one. Creating maternity workwear that companies and suppliers can provide to their employees? It’s a step in the right direction towards greater workplace equality.”
The launch of the maternity workwear line has been a passion project that Woods and her team at Covergalls have been working on since a visit to Yamana’s Jacobina Mine in Brazil in December of 2019. Last spring, Covergalls began to work on the designs for the maternity workwear and engaged with pregnant workers to trial the apparel and get boots-on-the-ground feedback.
Since then Covergalls has worked together with Cintas Uniform Services in Sudbury to make these pieces available for their clients.
“The partnership with these women has been wonderful, and an example of the amazing solutions that can be found when industry leaders and companies partner with individuals to try and make a difference in the workwear industry,” said Woods.
The Covergalls maternity workwear collection has been created to comfortably fit a range of body types and uses a flame-resistant poly cotton/polyester blend.
The maternity button-up work shirt is designed to fit the unique needs of pregnant women in the workforce. The design features a longer front to safely cover a growing belly and a tab hem with two snaps that allows the wearer to adjust the shirt waist as their body grows.
The Covergalls maternity cargo pant is designed to provide full and flexible coverage for pregnant women in the workforce. Using a rib-knit front panel and high-waist design, the pants securely pull over a growing belly.
Made in Canada, both workwear pieces meet OHS safety standards and use reflective tape to give workers high visibility.
“Our design choice to make these pieces was very intentional,” said Woods. “Women in the workforce do not want to be stereotyped or gendered. Rather, they want creative solutions to the current limitations of safety gear. We have to meet the needs of a diversity of body shapes and pregnant women happen to be one body type underrepresented — and that changes over time.”
The maternity workwear release comes at the start of an important month for women all around the world: Women’s History Month.
Ill-fitting safety gear is dangerous for any worker. Historically, however, designs have not been considered to accommodate the heights and curves necessary for women who are pregnant and at work.
Woods hopes that by launching this collection she is able to reach women across industrial sectors who are having to create their own makeshift solutions to ill-fitting equipment.
“I’ve struggled with ill-fitting workwear. It’s horrible — not just for safety reasons but for also making you feel like you don’t belong in your field. You don’t fit the ‘norm,’ ” said Woods. “My hope is that this new apparel opens up more discussions around what current and future corporations can do to step up and help improve diversity and belonging in the workforce, pregnant or not.”
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