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Brown is the new brown

Blog

Brown is the new brown

Ian Kerr

How high-viz can a brown polo shirt be?

In contrast to Australia Post’s glow-in-the-dark postie uniform, UPS has stuck with brown in its first major makeover of its corporate uniform in 25 years.

Something UPS has in common with Australia Post is that its delivery drivers can work in all conditions, from freezing cold (well, in Australia… ah… let’s just say not-so-warm) to hot and humid tropical conditions. Delivery drivers need uniforms that are comfortable and assist in safety.

In short, the delivery sector is catching up with what hikers have been wearing for years: technically advanced clothes that wick moisture away from the body and offer improved breathability.

On the safety side of things, UPS brand marks on the front and back of the shirt are embedded with reflective technology. Is that enough to compensate for the fact that brown isn’t the most visible of colours? Let’s hope so.

Reflective stripes are being added to the shirt sleeves as well as the winter cap.

According to UPS, it takes nearly 4 million yards of brown cloth and 2 million yards of brown thread for the 375,000 hats, 405,000 shirts, 375,000 pairs of trousers and 290,000 pairs of shorts issued to UPS drivers.

Perhaps UPS should hire shorter drivers to save on uniform costs. Hm? Oh.

Anyway, UPS says old uniform garments will be recycled, keeping old fabric out of landfills and out of hipsters’ hands.

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