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04/20/2010

Royal Newfoundland Constabulary Wins Best Dressed with Eco-Friendly Uniforms from Perfection Uniforms

Eco-Friendly uniforms are all the rage, and now they're even award winners. 

Just in time for Earth Day celebrations comes word that the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary (RNC) has been named Canada's best dressed police department, a distinction given to them by the NAUMD, the industry's trade association, in its annual best dressed contest.

Best dressed lists aren't new; in fact, the NAUMD's Best Dressed Public Safety Department Competition has been around for decades. What is different is that it's the first time a department has earned the honor wearing eco-responsible uniforms.

Not that the RNC set out to reduce its carbon footprint though the region is well known for its natural respect of the environment. "But the fact that the garments are eco-responsible did alleviate one of our concerns," says RNC Constable Burt Matthews. 

What was high on their priority list was to provide, smart-looking, comfortable, durable garments with modern sensibilities. "This program has met and exceeded expectations in that regard," continues Matthews. 

There were also practical considerations for the change. "They wanted to open up the bidding process," explains Brent O'Connor of R. Nicholls Distributors, the Canadian dealer who outfitted the RNC. "Their previous uniform was sold by only one dealer in Canada, and that limited the amount of bids they would receive."    

The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary is Newfoundland and Labrador's Provincial Police Service. The RNC dates back to 1729, and may very well be the oldest civil police force in North America. Modern in function, their new uniforms are traditional in appearance – navy blue throughout, pants striped with royal blue; shirts affixed with crests. They are used as everyday wear, and are also worn by several specialized units.  

R. Nicholls outfitted the department in Perfection Uniforms' MatrixEcoSeries line, a collection of 65/35% poly/cotton pants and shirts that incorporate REPREVE® into the manufacturing process. REPREVE's recycled polyester is produced from plastic bottles that would have normally ended up in landfills.

"Sometimes as consumers we have preconceived notions that environmentally conscious garment are basic or perhaps even inferior, because they're recycled, but REPREVE is an extremely high quality fiber that makes this a very upscale uniform," says Miranda Brock, marketing manager for Perfection.

Demand for eco-friendly uniforms is growing within the law enforcement community according to Brock. Canada's St. John, Newfoundland Transit; Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island; and even the House of Commons are all attired in Perfection's MatrixEco line, as is the Wyomissing Police, Michigan Department of Natural Resources and the West Virginia Department of Corrections here in the United States. 

There are several reasons for the uptick. Wearing an eco-responsible garment reflects well on an agency, as it allows taxpayers to get more bang for their buck - outfitting a department while keeping plastic bottles out of landfills, thus reducing dependence on petroleum. "Environmental stewardship is very compatible with the mission of government agencies, one that taxpayers recognize and appreciate," says Steve Gilkeson, executive vice president, Perfection Uniforms.

Government mandates are often cited as another explanation. "In Canada, some departments are required to have a percentage of their fleet as either electric or hybrid," notes O'Connor. 

And then there's the economy. The recession has caused consumers to change their purchasing patterns, thoroughly researching and demanding products with value before making a buy. "They want things that last, not just the cheapest price," says Brock. 

In addition to being eco-responsible, MatrixEcoSeries also boasts construction features such as hidden gussets in the shirts and pants plus an auto-adjust trouser waistband. 

"If a person takes a certain size pant and he puts on a few pounds, the pants will still fit," says O'Connor. "I get fewer complaints because the satisfaction with the product is greater, so it's a win-win." 

Technological features in the fabric include water repellency, moisture wicking capabilities, unsurpassed color retention, and engineered stretch. The garments also have a UPF 40+ rating for UV Sun Protection, which is the highest standard for apparel, and permanent sleeve creases guarantee a just ironed appearance throughout the day. 

"I knew I had a winner when I first saw it," adds O'Connor. "It's a high end uniform, and even some customers who do not have the budget find the money as they can recognize the value; the garments last longer, and offer the wearer many features they can't find with competitors. The fact that it's eco-friendly too is an added bonus." 

R. Nicholls is a distributor of uniforms and products for police, fire and security. They are one of the largest uniform companies in Canada. Visit them on the web at www.rnicholls.com 

You can learn about Perfection Uniforms complete eco-responsible line by going to www.perfectionuniformsstore.com


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