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Renting or buying workwear: an honest comparison

If you are planning on purchasing new workwear, you generally have two options: to rent or to buy.

Many companies find it difficult to make the right choice because they do not necessarily understand the advantages and disadvantages or know exactly what it entails. And how do you calculate which option is the most cost-effective for your company?

Read on for a straightforward look at the options and differences between renting and buying.




If you opt for a rental contract, then you put the entire management in the hands of a workwear rental company. You rent your items monthly, and pay a fixed monthly (or weekly) fee per item of workwear. This amount includes collection, laundry and a service fee.

Many companies are aware that they have to pay more for this service. They want to carry out as little administration as possible themselves. This is the earnings model of a workwear rental company. You know where you stand, and you pay the price.

Another option is to enter into a lease contract. This way, you are the owner of the clothing once you have paid off everything. With this formula, the monthly amount is based on the number of employees, rather than the number of garments.



When you buy, you know that this will require a large initial investment.

When you buy workwear, you only pay for the actual number of washes. This is advantageous when you have both very large or small volumes of workwear. This limits the initial investment.

For large volumes, you can choose to have your laundry collected and returned on a daily basis. This keeps the number of garments per wearer low, as they have freshly washed clothes every day.

If you know that only a small proportion ends up in the laundry basket, it is a very expensive solution to pay per person or per garment used.




The rental company takes care of the complete procedure from A to Z:

  • Selection of the appropriate workwear from their range
  • Collection of used workwear
  • RFID, barcode or UHF facilities for track & trace
  • Washing, repairs, maintenance and replacements



When you buy clothes, you decide on the garments you want.

If you choose a high-quality product, you can be sure that the clothes will be able to withstand a lot of washes.

If you don't know where to start, or if you need help during the risk analysis, you can always consult an external partner, who will guide you through the entire process.

Also read Monsanto's case study

Of course, it takes some time and effort to manage everything yourself, but after a while you will gain a lot of insight that will help you to optimize the process.

Look and feel



In the case of a rental contract, you and the rental company decide which clothing is suitable, based on your assessment of the risks. For most applications, there is usually something off-the-shelf from which you can choose. This is ideal when the look and feel is of little importance.

If the look is important for your company, or if you want to use specific company colours, it's a little different...



If the look and feel is important for your company, or if you want special reflective tapes, then buying is the best option.

This way, you can determine the design of the garments yourself. For example, a special flame retardant and chemical resistant jacket with the company logo.

Please note that, depending on your choice, the delivery time is initially longer in this case, as it is customized.


Now, what is the cheapest and most appropriate choice for you? The following is a list of the pros and cons.

Renting workwear


renting workwear
Advantages Disadvantages
A fixed amount paid per month or per week. You pay an additional rental service fee.
The entire process is managed by the rental company. Few options in terms of corporate identity.
  Little insight into the data (costs, number of washes, etc.).


Buying workwear


buying workwear
Voordelen Nadelen
You only pay for the number of washes. Time investment required in management and monitoring.
You decide on the look and feel of your garments. High initial investment.
Suitable for large and small volumes.  


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