Fashion brand distributor Skye Distribution South Africa launched the Dickies workwear clothing range onto the South African market at the Electra Mining Africa expo last month.
Skye Distribution is the sole South African distributor of the Dickies workwear brand, which was established in Texas, in the US, 90 years ago.
“Dickies has tried and tested its products in the global workwear market and we felt it would be beneficial to distribute the brand of work apparel and footwear in the South African market,” says Skye Distribution merchandise executive Preston Krakowitzer.
He adds that the diverse workwear range is suitable for use in various industries, including the mining, oil, construction, services, medical and gas and petrochemicals industries.
The work apparel is available in a variation of natural and synthetic materials and the intermediate workwear items are a blend of cotton and lightweight twills.
“The South African market has shown a preference for cotton and many of the synthetic cotton blends are treated with a Pyrovex flame-retardant solution, which is guaranteed to last even after numerous industrial washes, as it is insoluble in hot and cold water,” says Krakowitzer.
He adds that Dickies uses reflective safety tape manufacturer 3M Scotch Light’s reflective tape on various safety gar- ments and safety-product manufacturer Cordova’s knee patches on selected pants and overalls.
Krakowitzer points out that some of the most popular workwear items suit- able for the South African market are the lined Eisenhower jacket, the Firechief coveralls, mining gloves, the Duck pants, Raider work boots and the GDT 210 trousers.
He states that the lined Eisenhower jacket is the brand’s most popular jacket. It is lightweight, industrial washer friendly and equipped with adjustable tabs at the waistband.
The Firechief coverall features high-visibility flame-resistant strips, triple-stitched seams and reinforced stress points to make it more durable and resistant to tears or rips.
The GDT 210 trousers are reinforced with Cordova kneepad pockets and are triple-stitched using Coats thread – a type of thread used in industrial applications. It also features a cargo pocket and an extra mobile-phone pocket.
“The mining gloves are made from double- palm pig skin, are bright orange for high visibility, have a fully reflective knuckle strap and a 5-mm-thick padded back. Kevlar is also sewn into the gloves, making them ideal for underground mining operations.
“The Raider work boots are also suitable for mining and industrial applications. The boots feature shock-absorbing insoles, oil- and slip-resistant rubber soles and are padded and fully lined with moisture-wicking performance fabric,” says Krakowitzer.
He adds that the boots have antistatic soles and are available with or without a steel toe.
Further, the Duck work pants are made from 100% heavy-duty cotton canvas fabric, which is also used to manufacture jackets and coveralls.
“One of the benefits of Dickies workwear is that all the footwear is moistureproof and many of the garments are waterproof, chemical resistant, flame retardant and wind resistant. The no-repair material on selected items is durable, as it does not ladder or make holes,” states Krakowitzer.
He adds that the products are extremely durable and selected items come with American National Standards Institute (ANSI) certification. “The ANSI certification is product specific and comes in various levels.”
Skye Distribution plans to distribute the Dickies workwear range throughout sub-Saharan Africa, where it sees big demand for this type of clothing.
“Many enquiries are being channelled to Dickies’ head office. Because we are the licence holder in [the region], we are able to offer companies in countries such as Angola and Botswana the products they need,” he says.
“We have a large distribution centre on the premises and a sophisticated logis- tics system, which is another reason why we are able to export products to the rest of sub-Saharan Africa.”