By: Elmo Ropponen

Pihlajalinna, a leading Finnish provider of healthcare services, designed new clothes for its employees and patients in cooperation with Medanta. “Work clothes also affect how much employees enjoy their work, which has an impact on their environment,” says Pauli Waroma, Chief Marketing Officer at Pihlajalinna.

Pauli Waroma

Pihlajalinna harmonised its brand, logo and corporate identity a year ago. At the same time, the company also wanted to renew its work and patient clothing. The goals were clear: the employees must have good work clothes that make their work run smoothly and safely. The clothes must also be hygienic and easy to wash, and their appearance is important as well. In addition, they contribute to the atmosphere and professional identity.

At the beginning of the design process, Waroma considered replacing Medanta with another provider, as he thought that Medanta’s selection no longer fit Pihlajalinna’s new brand.

“Then I realised that we had been at fault. When we met with Medanta’s people, we realised that we had not been able to make use of all of our opportunities,” says Waroma.

“The way in which Medanta’s representatives discussed the functionality of the company’s clothes and the ideas for the development of smart clothing was very convincing and impressive. Medanta is a Finnish company that truly and thoroughly knows its field. In addition, they are good people.”

A major discussion about doctor’s coats

The cooperation started with a clean slate. The safety of employees and patients was naturally the top priority, but Pihlajalinna did not have any other strict requirements or wishes.

“We wanted something different. For our nurses, we went for sporty instead of smart casual. We wanted clothes that are nice to wear at work – clothes that make you feel energetic, as energy is one of our company values,” Waroma explains.

Doctor’s coats caused the most discussion, as the company was considering giving them up.

“Doctor’s coats are the culmination of everything: some people feel that a doctor without a white coat is not a real doctor.”

A compromise was reached: Medanta produced a more laid-back version of a doctor’s coat.

Medanta listened to Pihlajalinna’s needs and wishes and gave suggestions for suitable materials, models and colours, as well as their washability. Pihlajalinna also asked Medanta to design a line of linens and towels. Pihlajalinna was inspired by Medanta’s antibacterial materials:

"They are flexible, practical, wrinkle-free and colour-fast, in addition to being safe,” says Waroma.

“The surface of Medanta’s antibacterial fabrics protects the customer and the nurse, as well as preventing infections. This type of protection is extremely important in our field.”

Several options to choose from

The first clothes in the new line became available at the beginning of June 2018. Each employee can choose their work outfit from several options. Some of the pieces are unisex, but the clothing line also includes coat dresses and leggings, for example. The colours are in line with Pihlajalinna’s brand: lavnedel, beige and dark grey. Patients wear dark blue.

“For patients, we did not want to assign different colours for different sizes, which has been customary in hospitals,” Waroma explains.

However, there are several models available for patients: night dresses, trousers and long shirts, and shorts and T-shirts. The clothes are antibacterial, and the pyjamas, for example, can be opened from the side and back.

“This fabric feels so nice that I think I’m going to buy a pair of shorts and a T-shirt for myself” says Waroma.

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