REBECCA JONES MANAGING DIRECTOR AT DIRECT CORPORATE CLOTHING

Rebecca Jones is Managing Director at Direct Corporate Clothing. She boasts an intimate knowledge of the rail industry, built through decades of experience leading global sales and operations teams for high-growth companies who supply PPE and specialist workwear contracts to household names across industrial, retail and healthcare sectors.

 

Tell us about Direct Corporate Clothing (DCC)

Direct Corporate Clothing (DCC) is a leading UK contract supplier of PPE, technical workwear and corporate clothing to large multi-sited organisations. We are experts in large-scale co-ordinated rollouts of high-volume orders, providing complete top-to-toe workwear solutions to large and diverse workforces. It’s our mission to keep people as safe, compliant, and comfortable as possible at work while bringing our customers’ brand to life.

Form and function aren’t mutually exclusive. It’s our job to protect and promote our customers’ brand identity in every garment while ensuring that every single worker is equipped with the necessary workwear and equipment to do their job safely and effectively. We protect both people and brands.

DCC is part of the Workwear Uniform Group Ltd (WWUGL) – the largest independent workwear, uniform and personal protective equipment business in the UK. Each Group brand excels in a distinct phase of the workwear lifecycle, enabling DCC to offer full cradle-to-grave contract solutions to our customer base. This spans the design and sourcing of products to their manufacture, distribution and even end-of-product-life processing.

 

Which sectors do you work in?

We specialise in key industrial sectors such as rail, construction, aggregates, manufacturing, engineering, utilities, and facilities management. We also operate in healthcare, hospitality, and retail.

We know that every industry has its own operational demands and complexities, so over many years of experience we’ve developed deep industry-specific expertise that enables us to devise tailored solutions for every one of our customers.

Even within the same industry, we tailor every contract to meet the specific needs of each customer. While we may be a one stop shop, one size definitely does not fit all, and we take pride in the strength of our flexibility and adaptability. This ensures we can provide quality, bespoke solutions.

 

What is your USP (Unique Selling Point)?

We’re in the fortunate position of having many demonstrable competitive advantages that make us an especially strong choice for large PPE and workwear contracts. Our recent contract win for the provision of Network Rail’s PPE is a testament to this.

However, our main USP is our solutions coverage of the entire workwear lifecycle. DCC is part of a Group portfolio of brands who each operate as highly successful businesses in their own right. As a Group, we’re able to benefit from each other’s capabilities and utilise them as necessary to provide the most comprehensive contract solutions in the market. These include our
own international sourcing and auditing offices, in-house design, manufacturing and embroidery facilities, and even a fully automated warehouse, which no-one else in the marketplace can offer.

This gives us a unique level of supply  chain control and visibility, enabling us to supply the best possible products at the best possible price, all underpinned by robust real-time reporting, online ordering portals, and dedicated points of contact who actively manage projects on our customers’ behalf.

 

What types of products and services do you offer?

In terms of products, if it’s related to PPE and workwear, we can supply it. We are true top-to-toe suppliers and so this includes anything from hard hats, hi-vis garments, protective footwear and respiratory equipment through to coveralls, chemical resistant PPE, waterproof foul weather garments, flame-retardant and arc-protection clothing – all of which can be branded and embroidered in-house as required.

Eighty per cent of the garments we supply are manufactured by us and, through vigorous auditing and vetting via our global sourcing offices, we’re able to source anything we don’t manufacture ourselves from our trusted network of third-party suppliers.

This allows us to create solutions that fulfil each and every customer’s specific workwear and PPE needs, rather than limiting their choices to a static catalogue of items. This is why we focus so much on building a deep understanding of our customers’ needs. We listen, then devise the solution in collaboration with the customer. Inclusivity and diversity in the workforce are increasingly important to our customer base so we’re delighted to offer specialised workwear and PPE that enables anyone to work safely and comfortably, regardless of their needs.

This includes maternity wear, female fit garments, non-standard sizing conventions for gender-fluid workers, and ranges that cater to the needs of menopausal people, stoma wearers or anyone who has a medical condition which requires them to inject.

 

How passionate are you about sustainability in the rail sector, and how do you go about sourcing the materials for your products?

We are passionate about sustainability across every sector we work with and it’s a key consideration in every project.

DCC are working with suppliers to improve our upstream and downstream sustainability and ensure reduced carbon in our chain as well as supporting our customers in making more sustainable choices. Given the scale of the rail industry, there is huge potential for significant reductions in emissions, even from incremental improvements.

DCC recognise the significance of the Net Zero Carbon initiative, are fully committed to Sustainable Development Goals and have agreed ambitious targets to reduce our carbon footprint and achieve our target of Net Zero by 2050. Our journey, as a company and a Group, includes a commitment to deliver:

• 50 per cent reduction in GHG Emissions across Scope 1 and 2 by 2030.

• 75 per cent reduction in single use packaging waste by 2030.

• Zero deforestation risk in our supply chain by 2030.

• Environmental Sustainability Training delivered to all employees by the end of 2023.

In terms of sourcing materials, we’re fortunate to have our own international sourcing and auditing offices that directly source any materials or products that we cannot manufacture ourselves from a global network of thoroughly audited suppliers.

Such thorough auditing allows us to pass on cost savings to our customers and helps us identify the most sustainable way of sourcing any given item. When magnified across thousands of sites, even small improvements result in noticeable reductions in emissions.

Since we manufacture 80 per cent of our products ourselves, most of the time we fulfil orders through a closed loop supply chain consisting of our partner brands. This offers us a level of control and visibility into our operations that isn’t possible when relying more heavily on third parties.

 

What are some major projects you’re currently working on?

DCC have recently secured a major contract to provide a full range of protective workwear and footwear for Network Rail. Innovation and inclusivity are key pillars of the breakthrough four + four-year contract which was secured after an extensive tender process and wearer trials. The multi-million pound tender win sees DCC meeting the PPE needs of all Network Rail colleagues – supplying a full range of waterproof foul weather garments, flame-retardant and arc-protection clothing, high-viz polycotton T-shirts, vests, trousers and footwear. This is an important and significant contract win, highlighting our position as a leading supplier and top-to-toe solutions provider in the market.

It was an in-depth tender process with extensive wearer trials and to secure this contract is a fantastic achievement. Throughout the onboarding process we have developed an excellent partnership with Network Rail and look forward to working closely with them to develop and deliver key innovations around inclusivity and sustainability.

We have worked with Network Rail to create a brand-new online ordering portal providing easy to navigate product pages for more than 80 different styles and are already developing a range of inclusive PPE items which will have a positive impact on the workforce.

The portfolio currently includes a maternity range, and we are now talking to staff around comfort and wearability for those going through the menopause, stoma wearers or anyone who has a medical condition which requires them to inject. We are also working with Network Rail to trial a hijab at Birmingham New Street station.

 

What types of companies do you collaborate on projects with?

DCC services large, multi-sited organisation who needs to keep their workforce safe, comfortable and on-brand at work. Contracts will typically involve hundreds or thousands of items and tens of thousands of wearers.

Our main focus is meeting the needs of industrial companies and organisations – across rail, construction, engineering and manufacturing, waste management, utilities and facilities management.