OSLO – Canadian carrier Westjet (WS) launched its new gender and body-inclusive uniforms for frontline team members, at their base in Calgary International Airport (YYC) on September 7. The new uniforms are unique to Canada and were created with inclusivity and safety at the forefront, as well as assuring incredible comfort for frontline workers.
The perfect fit
In the development of the frontline’s new uniforms, Westjet employees across every department were heavily included and consulted in the design phases, to design a product that would be suited for one’s preference. The uniforms were conceptualized and designed by Juli Grbac, an international designer.
With the launch of the new uniform, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Westjet, Diedrik Pen, said: “The launch of our new uniforms is not only representative of WestJet’s brand and inclusive culture, but of the incredible WestJetters who make up our unique identity,”
“Our new uniform collection has gone through design refinement and extensive wear-testing and I am so proud to stand alongside the many dedicated WestJetters who brought this uniform collection to life as we celebrate this milestone and look forward to a bright future ahead.”
International designer, Juli Grbac, also added a few words, saying: “It has been a joy and an honour to be part of the WestJet family and bring this new look to life.”
She also adds: “After significant designing, testing and feedback, these uniforms embrace the diverse needs of WestJet’s frontline staff and provide a look that will stand the test of time that can be worn with confidence.”
No gender norms
Back in 2017, Westjet approached as the first Canadian airline to have their uniform guidelines unchained from gender norms. With the new uniform collections named “The Lakes & Rocky Mountain”, comes the concept that they are genderless, giving Westjet (WS) employees the possibility to choose the uniform that feels most like home and comfortable to them.
The re-designed nametags also give the frontline staff the opportunity to add their personal pronouns in them. Along with this, the carrier recently updated their tattoo policy for frontline employees, ensuring them the freedom to show off their body art and celebrate individuality.
In recent times, this has also become a more popular trend with more and more airlines updating their policies to be alike.
Westjet’s Director of Training and Uniforms, Leah McDonald said in a statement: “Our WestJetters spend a lot of time in their uniform, so it was integral for us to create a product to the highest safety standard that reflects the diverse team members who show up every day to deliver care to our guests.”
“This journey began four years ago and throughout the process, inclusivity has led our design and development. These uniforms were created for all bodies, allowing each of our frontline team members to proudly wear something that reflects their individual style, identity and authentic self.”
Safety in mind
With safety of the uniforms as a high priority, Westjet’s new uniforms have been tested thoroughly for skin irritants and harmful substances.
WIth the uniforms use of these highly tested textiles, the carrier will be the first Canadian airline to carry the Standard 100 OEKO-TEX certification, making sure that employees will both feel and look good in their new uniforms.
Meaningful to the Westjet frontline
The new uniforms appear to have a lot of meaning to the Westjet (WS) frontline. In statements from cabin crew members, we find out why.
Cabin Crew Member (CCM), Lindsay Poll, said the following:- “The availability for gender neutrality is so important in supporting the larger and diverse group of people we have working at WestJet.”
As for Cabin Crew Member, Jodi Tamuyao, the following is said:- “As a queer identifying person, having options on what I can wear at work, means a lot. When you look good, you feel better and when you feel better, you perform at your best.”
Manager in The Runway Uniform Fit Center, Meg Bateman, said the following about Westjet’s new uniforms:- “It’s about wearing something made for my body that I look and feel great in. I love the collection because it does just that.”
It seems Westjet are adjusting greatly to the more “modern day norms” with their updated tattoo policy, and now, their new, gender neutral, one for all-uniform. Frontline members & employees together with the Westjet leadership, seems to be at close cooperation with what the optimal work and uniform standards should be.
Seeing the airline cooperate with their employees, also gives off the impression that they stand united for safety and work comfort, which is great. Not to forget, the uniforms look great!