Uniform Rental vs. Ownership: Service Issues in a Rental Program

If you’re considering entering into a rental agreement for arc-rated and flame resistant (AR / FR) clothing, beware: uniform rental with industrial laundry programs often result in service issues that directly affect the company and employees required to wear the uniforms. This blog post exposes the truth behind three key service issues that are all too common when partnering with a uniform rental and industrial laundry company.

In the video below, Tyndale’s very own industry experts, Vice President of Technical, Scott Margolin and Director of Sales, Chad Barker, discuss the frustrations and service issues that arise from working with uniform rental with industrial laundry companies to supply employee uniforms.

To deliver the facts, Chad Barker brings managerial experience from two of the largest uniform rental with industrial laundry companies, G&K Services and Aramark. In these roles, Chad managed the end-to-end operations by leading people and managing the processes involved in delivering results for the customers, company, and shareholders.



1) Damages to garments 

You may be wondering why your moderately dirty garments are coming back from the industrial launderer littered with stains. The answer is this: many laundry companies damage garments while washing them and have no way of fixing the stain or damage because they have no way of telling exactly who caused the stain. Most laundry companies are using 600 pound washing machines, enabling them to wash several hundred items in each load. All it takes is one person to accidentally leave a pen in their pocket, or for the industrial launderer to include someone’s particularly oily or grease stained garments in the load. The pen will likely burst and leak in the wash, or the oil or greased stained garments will rub off on other garments, damaging several garments during the process.

2) Replacing garments

If your garments are stained or damaged during the laundry process and you wish to obtain a replacement garment, prepare to be charged. Because the rental company doesn’t know which company’s garment(s) caused another garment to be damaged or stained they can’t assess blame or innocence. A stained item can even result in a damage charge from the uniform rental company – which could mean that you are paying for damages caused by an entirely different company.

Whether garments are in need of replacement due to normal wear and tear or damage, uniform rental companies often get around providing brand new garments by replacing retired garments with used garments. To build on the frustration of this already disappointing reality, employees often find that replacement garments are in worse condition than the garment they turned in to be retired or replaced.

3) Repairing garments

While having your garments repaired sounds like the responsibility of your uniform rental supplier, the responsibility somehow falls on the employee. If the garment needing repair isn’t properly identified by the employee turning in the item, chances are the route driver will not keep the garment separate from the other garments being laundered, meaning the garments in need of repair will go without repair and could be returned to the employee in unwearable condition.

Similarly, uniform rental and industrial laundry companies aren’t in the business of loaning garments. If a garment is pulled for repair by the launderer, it is likely that the employee will get back less garments than he or she turned in to be laundered once their laundry is returned by the route driver, resulting in one of the most common issues we see with industrial launderers – garment shortages.

Charges, challenges, and unintended consequences like these help explain the industry’s shift away from rental programs – and why it’s critical to dig into the details before signing on the dotted line.

In fact, the vast majority of AR / FR clothing is purchased outright and laundered at home today. More than 90% of investor-owned electric utilities, 50 Fortune 500 companies, and countless mid-sized companies have chosen Tyndale’s managed direct purchase program for AR / FR clothing. And, once in our managed program, 99%+ stick with Tyndale – a true testament to our program’s ability to offer exceptional customer service through our fully managed program and the many value added services Tyndale offers.


Already in a rental contract? With some pre-planning in advance of the contract expiration date, a seamless transition to a next-generation Tyndale solution is possible.

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