How Corporate Fashion Can Work for Businesses 

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How Corporate Fashion Can Work for Businesses 

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What if your team actually wanted to wear your company branded merch? If it was stylish and useful, and probably also subtle? So that your workers were proud to use it and be publicly associated with the organisation.

What if this could help create a sense of belonging for your remote, hybrid and in-office workers? Homeworking in the UK more than doubled in the early part of 2022. According to the Office of National Statistics, it increased from 14.5% of workers to 30.6%1. So just under a third of your workforce could be based outside of the office.

A new generation of corporate fashion will boost the team’s spirit, no matter where they are located. This new look will see the end of the one-size-fits-all polo shirts, to be replaced by cool socks, a useful office bag and sleek stationery. It means that new joiners get a welcoming onboarding pack whether they’re in the office or working remotely. And organisations can honour changes in their workforce’s lifestyles with cool merch.

New technology is making this possible for companies of all sizes. There’s no need for clumsy storage and endless stock-takes. Production-on-demand means there is always inventory in a size, style and colour to suit your team.

It all adds up to a sense of belonging. So, how it could work for your company?


New individualisation techniques give you options within your brand guidelines. The pantone colour and logo can be set, for example, but the style and fit can vary. This allows each team member to create something that suits them. So they’re more likely to be delighted by it and wear it with pride.

This is about more than traditional branded work wear though. Companies can give their employees a sense of belonging at any time:

  • New parents can be sent a baby hamper which includes tiny socks, a bib and a baby beanie.
  • Cyclists taking up the new bike loan scheme, or even just registering for a space in the cycle rack, can receive a helmet, waterproof jacket or a seat cover to keep the rain off.
  • New joiners or remote workers can be sent a smart mug, notebook and laptop sleeve to give them a sense of team spirit.
  • Bucket hats or a cooler box can be given away to everyone at the summer party.

For example; the mobility app, FREE NOW, put together a high-quality and stylish collection of corporate merch to give their team a sense of belonging. Quality is a crucial part of individualisation. There’s no point in sending someone a cool design on a t-shirt, a smart laptop cover or clean, new notebook if it is poor quality. It must match the company’s standards.

Automation means companies can mark important occasions at a moment’s notice. At FREE NOW the team is working to transform their corporate merchandise into a marketing and HR asset. By wearing FREE NOW's branded items, their employees send a strong message to the market.

The sales and new business teams can get in on the act too. It’s not just about internal corporate fashion. Sales teams can send their best customers a travel pillow, power bank or steel water bottle before a trade show. This is branded merch which is not just a nice gift, but practical enough to be used frequently.


This is where new levels of technology integration come in. Typically, corporate merch has been a very manual and labour-intensive process. Tasks like getting the size run right, checking the stock manually, and re-distributing the order withing the company, have been hugely labour intensive. Someone has had to organise the order and the distribution, making sure everyone in the business gets what they ordered.

New technology can integrate with CRM tools. So HR, marketing or sales software can dovetail with the likes of HubSpot and Salesforce. It even works with a company’s own employee merchandise online store. Organisations can even set up an employee shop and give vouchers for people to order their own.

At FREE NOW they automated their onboarding process to give their employees a unified experience. Working with Spread Group partner, mula., FREE NOW used the storage and delivery services. Previously, merch was only handed out when people came into the office. For remote workers, this could often be days or months into their new role. The new delivery process was so effective that 80% of newcomers felt strongly positive about the onboarding experience.


Finally, there are sustainability benefits of on-demand production. Individualisation is underpinned by produced-to-order technology, so there is no over-ordering and, compared to other types of merch, there is no waste. Companies can also choose from a wide range of organic products.

Sustainability doesn’t have to compromise on quality either. In fact, it shouldn’t. High-quality items should last longer and so get replaced less often; like the sturdy pocket umbrella that FREE NOW sends out. Good quality also means the receiver is more likely to be delighted and use the item regularly.

Corporate fashion has been under used as a promotional tool for years. In 2023 it can help sustain a sense of belonging as companies transition to hybrid working, and it can honour milestones in your teams’ lives. It can play a vital role in customer relationship bonding too, engendering togetherness as organisations build for the future.

Isn’t it time you took a look at what corporate fashion can offer your team in 2023?

Author: Manuela von zur Mühlen, Global Director of B2B Partnerships, Spread Group.

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How Corporate Fashion Can Work for Businesses 

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