United Airlines has quietly debuted a new uniform range for 28,000 ‘below wing’ employees like ramp workers, engineers, baggage handlers and catering ops workers. The new uniforms are designed by Carhartt Company Gear and the roll-out forms part of a larger drive to kit out United’s entire 75,000 strong uniformed workforces in new threads by the end of 2020.
Resisting the temptation for a big reveal, United has been slowly issuing the new uniform comprising of 50 different pieces to its workers across the country. “This is more than a fashion statement for United Airlines,” explained Kate Gebo, executive vice president of Human Resources for the Chicago-headquartered airline.
“Every day, all over the globe, our employees on the ground are facing the coldest colds and the hottest hots,” Gebo continued, explaining that employees and their unions had been involved throughout in the design process.
Around 1,000 workers took part in wear tests and there was a specific focus on the women’s collection, with Carhartt making sure that the garments offered a good fit and function – and area that is often overlooked when it comes to technical clothing.
The design process for new ‘above wing’ employee uniforms for flight attendants and gate agents is ongoing and a final design is expected to be unveiled later this year. The collaboration between United and Tracy Resse and Brooks Brothers has received a mixed reception after ‘first look’ photos were released by the airline last year.