So You Want a Hi-Vis Vest?

When you think of a high-visibility garment you may simply think of personal protective equipment to increase a person’s visibility and therefore prevent accidents caused by persons not being seen. These items could be associated with railway and road workers, airport workers and emergency services to cyclists and motorcyclists. However, what if when the public saw a hi-vis vest their first association was with APF. Thus, we saw an opportunity to unlock the full potential of the hi-vis vest, so we embarked on a daring, mission to seek out the elixir of high visibility vests.

We knew we needed a garment that boasted high protection, durability and functionality yet, we also yearned for a product with style, class, and professionalism that mirrored APF. Once we had scoured through the ends of the earth, we finally uncovered the coveted golden nugget of the safety garment world ‘Eleven Workwear’. Now that we have a design that passed our scrupulous line of testing the next task was to locate a screen printer who would undertake the perilous endeavour of placing the coveted APF name, front and centre, on the Eleven garment. We managed to locate a company that would be able to purchase the garment on our behalf and undertake all screen printing, simple right? Wrong! We were ill prepared for the tumultuous quest we had embarked upon. There is a reason you err on the side of caution when purchasing two-in-one products because more often than not they are jack of all trades, master of none, and not in a good way.

Our ego was a little bruised and we were a little tired yet, there was a small glimmer of hope that this would be the answer to all our safety garment prayers.

What followed was mass confusion, frustration, and laughable correspondence with supplier and APF. The next four months were filled with delays, sadness, broken hearts, and broken promises. Finally, we got the call that the vests were hot off the production line and they were in the truck bound to APF. We had champagne and snacks ready for celebration as the truck pulled up with the coveted golden nugget we had dreamed about all these months ago. We hastily teared open to box to reveal…….yellow vests? I know you are thinking what is wrong with yellow vests? They are a perfectly suitable colour for safety, they stand out without being displeasing to the eye……the only problem, we ordered orange vests. It’s safe to say we were crushed, champagne poured down the sink with our tears and aspirations.

Next it was back to the drawing board, do we continue with this supplier or seek out an alternate supplier? The original supplier apologised profusely for the error so we decided to give them a second chance. Some more months passed and we finally got the call…again….that the shipment was ready. By this point our ego was a little bruised and we were a little tired yet, there was a small glimmer of hope that this would be the answer to all our safety garment prayers. We opened the box……orange…..orange everywhere. The orange was strikingly beautiful, the royal blue of the APF logo so crisp, so all consuming…..it was perfect…the only problem…..four vests were missing. After a gruelling investigation ciphering through emails and coded messages finally all was revealed…..the four vests were on back order. The supplier could not give an estimate as to when we would receive the vests, all that was relayed to APF was that the garments were being sourced from all over the nation.

Some more months passed and just when the garments were almost forgotten about our interstate safety travellers arrived at our front door, they were orange, they were blue, and they were ready for the world to see their beauty. Finally, all the pieces aligned and we finally had that sweet, sweet golden delicious hi-vis garment that was a figment of our imagination all those eons ago and as we strapped them proudly onto our chests a sign of relief and a comical laugh filled the room as we all looked at one another all acknowledging the journey had come to an end.

The entire journey towards crafting the APF high-vis vests took over six months to come to fruition and was filled with numerous obstacles along the way. In the end we reflect on decisions come and gone yet recognise without this journey we embarked upon….we wouldn’t have orange…..and yellow hi-vis vests.

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