With over 900 years of history, transforming the uniform range of the Order of Malta was a labour of love for Tailored Image – a challenge which was embraced wholeheartedly for an organisation of selfless volunteers providing such a vital service across the country. With 2000 members regularly active across 67 units in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, Tailored Image worked with Order of Malta to provide a uniform range consisting of 99 garments across the suite – no mean feat but the resulting portfolio has been worth every effort.
This extensive uniform range has been the culmination of four years of effort since a uniform committee was first set up to begin this process of change. The purpose of the committee was to give a voice to all volunteers regarding their uniform and the positive and negative experiences they had wearing it. Feedback was garnered via a forum process and formed the basis of the tender document which was issued to 3 suppliers, including Tailored Image. The stipulation of the tender document was a focus on 4 key areas: quality of garment, suitability for purpose, durability and comfort of wearing the uniform whilst on duty.
Brian Coote, Deputy MD of the Order of Malta has responsibility for executive which includes uniforms and was a key member of the team involved in this procurement process. He recognises the importance of uniform in brand identity and in the recognition of Order of Malta as an organisation. The brief to Tailored Image was clear – they wanted to protect the brand whilst refreshing the image of the ambulance corps to reflect the changing styles and improving standards of the organisation. Suitability of the uniform for members was paramount and a solution was required to cater for the very varied Irish climate as well as the variety of roles involved in the Order of Malta.
‘When visiting Tailored Image’, notes Brian, ‘we were very struck with the professionalism of the organisation with its end-to-end service from sustainability and ethical sourcing to procurement, manufacture, technical and design capabilities and right through to their very user friendly online ordering system. We are delighted that Tailored Image responded to the needs of our members and that we have found a one stop shop for all our uniform items.’
The uniform itself was designed to provide a comfortable, durable, breathable and visible solution as required by the brief, and adopts a layered system to cater for all weather. The full range is highly customised with all items fully branded including a range of caps and hats, scarves and gloves and even embossed belt buckles. A vast range of sliders in a variety of colours caters for every rank and position from cadets through to doctors and commander rank. A range of high vis garments gives visibility of the rank of staff for transparency to the public, including cadets, medics, paramedics and first responders. In a full top to toe solution, Tailored Image also provided a range of safety shoes, ensuring a true one-stop shop service for this distinguished organisation.
In summing up the experience the Order of Malta had with Tailored Image its National Director, John Wright, commented that he was delighted with the service received from Tailored Image and excited to see the roll out of the uniforms across all members. ‘One of the best traits we experienced with Tailored Image was their willingness to listen to our concerns and advise on best standards. From Day 1 we noted the relationship the staff have with one another. We loved how they behaved like a family – always willing to take advice from one another and support each other – much like our own Order of Malta family – and I believe that’s why out partnership has worked so effectively in action.’
To hear and see more from the Order of Malta, visit our video interview here.