LONDON—Jalin Design has always supplied hotels and resorts with uniforms that are not only comfortable and functional but on-trend. And even now, as expectations from hotel leaders and guests are changing, Jalin Design’s process remains the same: designing uniforms that are safe, sustainable and stylish.
“Our product developers source and select breathable fabrics that not only offer style and durability but also create comfort for the wearer, which is key for happy staff in any hotel,” said Richard Griffiths, product director, Jalin Design. “This is a major consideration when designing our garments—the styles are worn by many different people, so we make sure styles are easy to wear and fit the body with ease, so associates look good and feel proud to wear their uniform. Our fabrics are produced in mills that are all certified with the Oeko-Tex standard, which confirms the highest standard in quality and safety.”
Jalin has been supplying the luxury hotel market over the past 14 years with clients including Four Seasons, The Langham, Claridge’s and Rosewood Corp.
“We believe to create garments for luxury hotels and resorts, you really need to understand the process of making beautiful things and have an eye for quality. We have never seen ourselves as just another uniform supplier,” Griffiths said.
While Jalin’s products promise quality and safety, there’s a new player on the hotel apparel scene: face masks. But, according to the company, hotel clients say masks are not enough. Born out of this concern, Jalin has introduced a new collection for hotels, Jalin Protect, a range of uniforms for front-of-house and back-of-house employees with enhanced protection.
Griffiths said that Jalin took a “more than masks” approach when designing for the Jalin Protect range. The collection includes the “covering” concept, a layering approach with garments that can be worn over existing uniforms for added protection while keeping Jalin Design’s signature style.
The collection is also sustainability-focused as garments and accessories can be washed at high temperatures, easing concerns about hygiene, ensuring reusability while remaining cost-conscious. Griffiths predicts that in the future, some properties may even decide to do staff laundry in-house, rather than use external suppliers, for safety reasons.
Additionally, Jalin Protect offers fabric and function, combining natural fabrics with technical finishes. The NOW (Natural Organic Wellness) masks are made from organic cotton with an antimicrobial and anti-moisture finish. The range also includes a hygiene spray, which can be used on uniforms that can’t be washed after each use like doorman coats. By using the spray, these garments can be cleaned after each shift and safe to wear again.
“Like all of us, hotel leaders will have many challenges in the coming months, but making the new but necessary adjustments for getting back to work and also being able to maintain that luxury hotel identity with the highest level of guest service will be a priority,” Griffiths said. “Our Jalin Protect custom amenity packs are a good example of this; they provide the guest with the essential tools they need to keep safe and offer enhanced peace of mind during a hotel stay.”
Jalin hasn’t sacrificed style with these innovations either—Griffiths said that Jalin designers continue to create bespoke face masks and noted that luxury hotels especially appreciate this attention to detail.
“Balance is always key when designing successful uniforms for luxury hotels, and now we will have a whole new set of considerations and adaptations to incorporate into this design process. Finding the function but also maintaining the design, look and style will be a new challenge, which we have been thinking about over lockdown,” he said.
Clever design will help achieve this balance, Griffiths said. For example, Jalin has been sourcing inspiration everywhere, from using the pattern detailing from a plate at one property, to taking a more branded approach with logos, incorporating a visor shield onto a doorman’s top hat and designing leather gloves as part of reception uniforms.
“The Cover-More Apron in the Jalin Protect range is a great example where we took the design of a classic apron and adapted it to have more relevance today by increasing the body coverage and improving the safety aspect specifically for hospitality,” Griffiths said. “Also a hospitality staple is the classic white shirt; we decided the most relevant functionality adjustment for Jalin Protect would be to conceal the buttons and add a technical Silver Plus finish to the fabric that is antimicrobial and can also be washed at high temperatures, a great option for hospitality associates at the moment.”
As Jalin Design and the hospitality industry continue to adapt and innovate, Griffiths is convinced that new opportunities will arise and lend themselves to luxury.
“Although a bottle of hand sanitizer and a face mask may not seem like what we once considered to be luxury items a few months ago, the fact that hotels are providing these as high-quality, designed and branded items that are presented in a thoughtful way will be considered an essential luxury detail that enhances the guest experience,” Griffiths said. HB