National Portrait Gallery introduces new sustainable uniforms designed by Wayne Hemingway
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National Portrait Gallery introduces new sustainable uniforms designed by Wayne Hemingway
Visitor Experience staff model the new uniform items in the updated ground floor shop © David Parry; NPG Visitor Experience staff at the new ticket desk © David Parry.



LONDON.- The National Portrait Gallery introduces its new range of uniform, which will be worn by all Visitor Experience, Retail and Security Staff and volunteers from 22 June 2023 – the Gallery’s reopening date. Designed by the multi-disciplinary design studio, HemingwayDesign, the collection was created in close collaboration with the Gallery’s Visitor Experience team to prioritise comfort and sustainability. Staff will have flexibility to choose between a selection of newly designed curated workwear jackets, Guernsey knitwear, t-shirts made from factory cuttings mixed with raw organic cotton, bespoke designed workwear waistcoats and recycled shirts, with a new striped lanyard to distinguish the Visitor Experience and retail staff members. For formal occasions, a smarter shirt will also be introduced.

Building on the Gallery’s new brand and its bold use of colour, created by Edit Studio, the new garments implement a key visual – the Gallery’s new monogram. The new Guernsey jumpers, workwear jackets and waistcoats, created using either a natural organic cotton or navy melton wool, each include an embroidered monogram, inspired by the drawings of the Gallery’s first director, Sir George Scharf, in pops of red and blue. Authentic long sleeve striped Breton t-shirts also feature the embroidered monogram in cyan green. With strong branding across the uniform set, staff will be instantly recognisable to visitors.

Sustainability and longevity have been a key consideration in developing the new uniforms, utilising recycled materials and prioritising high quality products, with 80% natural and certified organic fabrics and 20% waste material. The Gallery’s new shirts include recycled sleeves, and its t-shirts have been made from organic cotton offcuts. Outerwear pieces have been designed to be re-used long-term, with all items saved for new generations of staff. Security staff will wear new organic cotton shirts adorned with the Gallery monogram in red, with their new ties sourced from charity shops and repurposed for the Gallery uniform, with the additional option to wear the new melton wool workwear jackets. Shell and copper buttons have been used instead of plastic and suppliers have been advised to use no plastic packaging.

All items in the new uniform selection are intended to be gender-neutral, giving staff the freedom to choose from different options to best suit their individual needs, as well as seasons and occasions.

“Our wonderful front of house team are at the heart of our new Gallery, and are so important as our ambassadors for our visitors. It’s also the role where I began working at the National Portrait Gallery in 2001, so this means a lot to me and I am delighted that we have worked so collaboratively with Wayne Hemmingway on the creation of this innovative new uniform as a key part of our transformation as we enter this next exciting chapter in the National Portrait Gallery’s history.” - Nicholas Cullinan, Director, National Portrait Gallery.

“We don’t know of another uniform in the world that combines fabric offcuts and locally sourced materials and manufacturing, with pre-worn elements and fabrics made from waste. The National Portrait Gallery team have been fully supportive of this approach and helped push their new uniform to be such a sustainably ground-breaking one. We hope, this will be another reason to love this world-renowned cultural institution and most importantly to help attract forward thinking and caring team members.” - Wayne Hemingway, Partner, Hemingway Design.

The National Portrait Gallery reopens on 22 June 2023, following a transformational redevelopment project, Inspiring People. Inspiring People has been made possible by major grants from the Blavatnik Family Foundation and The National Heritage Lottery Fund, thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, as well as major donations from the Garfield Weston Foundation, the Ross Foundation, Mildred and Simon Palley, Julia and Hans Rausing, the David and Claudia Harding Foundation, Bjorn and Inger Saven, the Law Family Charitable Foundation, the Deborah Loeb Brice Foundation and Art Fund. The National Portrait Gallery is grateful to these visionary supporters, alongside others who are making the building project and its related activity possible.










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