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Clothing Quality and Product Assurance

Ensuring your people are kept safe

Our customers tell us that product quality is one of the most important factors in choosing Arco as their supplier. They want to feel totally assured that the products we supply to them will keep their people safe.

As the UK's leading safety experts, all our hazardwear has been tested to stringent safety standards. Our unique product assurance process ensures that we can protect you and your people with high-quality products and services.

Beware of Sub-Standard Clothing

Buying cheap can put your workers' lives at risk even if the product labels suggest otherwise. As media reports reveal, even major retailers have been shown to sell sub-standard high visibility garments.

Speaking after conviction of a high street retailer, Cllr Richard Thake, cabinet member for community safety said, "The public have purchased over 95,000 of these seemingly bargain vests with a false sense of security. No doubt trusting the descriptions on the packaging, that they would be safe and seen, when they would not have been".

With budget pressures, proactive market surveillance of PPE by Trading Standards and the HSE is limited.

Builder on a dusty construction site in front of vehicles wearing a hi-vis vest, and hard hat

We are Monitored and Regulated by BSiF

Arco is passionate about adhering to recognised quality standards. As we are members of the BSiF (British Safety Industry Federation) Registered Safety Supplier Scheme, you can be confident that we will only supply protective clothing that is compliant with the relevant standards and regulations and genuinely performs as it claims.

Independent notified bodies scrutinize our category two and three products, as required under the European PPE Regulation. Our membership of the BSiF Registered Safety Supplier Scheme means we are regulated and monitored by independent audits including random product testing, giving you extra reassurance.

Man wearing hi-vis jacket packing Arco branded boxes plus BSiF Registered Safety Supplier shield logo

Independent UKAS Accreditation

Our Product Assurance laboratory team aim to provide our customers with a level of confidence which is second to none in our industry. To demonstrate our expertise and independence our laboratory is UKAS accredited (United Kingdom Accreditation Services no 8495) to ISO 17025. We are accredited for a range of protective clothing test methods to ensure our high quality, safety and reliability meets or exceeds our customers' expectations.

Flame being held against hi-vis fabric in a flame resistance test

State-of-the-Art Testing

The Arco Product Assurance laboratory contains state-of-the-art, industry recognised equipment for:

  • Chromaticity and luminance (EN 20471 and RIS-3279-TOM)
  • Colour fastness to laundering, perspiration and rubbing (EN 20471)
  • Heat and flame resistance (EN 11612 and EN 15025)
  • Cut and abrasion resistance (EN 13997 and EN 12947-2)
  • Chemical permeation (EN 16253)
  • Appearance, shrinkage and colour fastness (EN 6330 and EN 105)

We also work with trusted partners to undertake further testing, including:

  • Determination of retro-reflective performance (EN 20471)
  • Colour fastness for dry cleaning (EN 105 C06)

Developing Standards for the Future

Where we think that accepted practices and standards can be improved, we challenge them and drive the development of new stricter standards to keep people safe.

Our Product Assurance team are members of numerous industry safety bodies including BSI (British Standards Institution) committees and BSiF working groups. This allows Arco to highlight any issues with current standards and help shape changes when they're updated.

For example, Arco was the first distributor in the industry to assess FR garments using both Thermal Mannequin and Thermal Protection Performance (TPP) testing. The results of this extensive, third-party testing programme proved that layering FR garments provides increased protection for the wearer.

Laboratory testing chamber showing clothed mannequin engulfed in fire

Working with our Suppliers

We work closely with our suppliers to ensure the quality and performance of our fabrics. For example, we are partners with GORE-TEX®, working with them to ensure our products are of the highest quality.

Arco garments made with GORE-TEX® fabrics are tested throughout their development. Only when prototypes fulfil GORE-TEX® high construction standards, are they approved for production. Production methods and products are also tested and approved to ensure high standards are maintained.

Mannequin dressed in hi-vis jacket and overtrousers being waterproof tested in a laboratory rain tower

Ethical Trading

Modern Day Slavery is an international crime, affecting an estimated forty million people around the world. At Arco, we're committed to making a difference. We pride ourselves on our ethical supply policy and being the first safety distributor to become members of the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI). We're also members of Sedex Supplier Ethical Data Exchange.

We fully subscribe to the ETI's Nine Principles Base code and have incorporated the internationally recognised code of labour practice into our own ethical policy.

The measures we take and the assurance we offer to our customers means you have peace of mind and the arduous task of auditing a complex supply chain is simplified for you.

Sewing machine operators in a garment factory in Asia, includes the Ethical Trading Initiative logo

More from Arco

Recommended Products

We sell a wide range of hi-vis clothing to suit all budgets and applications to ensure your employees can always be seen. We have it all, from premium quality GORE-TEX® to Arco Essentials; from waterproof jackets to polo shirts; flame resistant yellow hi-vis to railway approved orange hi-vis, for both women and men, plus branding options and a bespoke design service.

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