High-visibility applications are not reserved for just the uniform and workwear markets. There are also fashion and promotional applications. Both the common-sense concerns of safety and attention-getting fashion statements can benefit from hi-vis features.
“Joggers running at night or even on rainy days are better off when not wearing drab colors that cause them to camouflage into their surroundings,” says Alice Wolf, marketing and communications manager at Madeira USA. “The big performance wear companies like Nike, New Balance and Adidas recognize this and offer clothing in colors that pop. Fluorescent colors in performance wear fabrics now are accented with logos and other badges in fluorescent thread colors. While not holding up to any safety standards, the bright vivid colors are readily visible and make sense when one’s safety depends on being seen.”
These safety-related applications do not necessarily have to adhere to federal regulations. During Halloween, for example, a local business might want to provide T-shirts or handled bags to school children to improve visibility while trick-or-treating. High-visibility badges or garments for event organizers at nighttime outdoor festivals or concerts make it easier for audience members to find an official in case of emergency. These are occasions that do not require official personal protective equipment, per se, but can still benefit from increased visibility.
Then, of course, there are the trendier applications. Neon colors have resurfaced in recent years, harkening back to the Day-Glo aesthetic of the 1980s. Beyond garments, these may found in bright accessories such as handbags, belts or shoes. “While some might jump in completely, especially in warm-weather climates,” says Wolf, “the more timid are encouraged to add a bright accent in the smaller form of shoes or a hat, scarf or bag.”