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The internet is riddled with articles about what to wear to a wedding or on a first date but is sorely lacking in advice for the average white collar food company employee preparing to tour a state-of-the-art thermoplastics manufacturing facility. Isn’t that awful?! Factory tours are such significant lifetime events, I can’t believe there isn’t more guidance on the appropriate attire…

Fear not! Your resident blog-writing fashionista and the rest of the ForeFront Packaging team is here to be that resource. FPC took a tour last week to observe the clamshell-making process first-hand. We dressed to impress and are ready to share our secrets, so you’ll never have to experience the confusion or shame in not having the right outfit on your next factory visit!

Check out our fancy duds in the group photo above! Here are our Fashion Tips for the Food Manufacturing Tour:

  • Red hair net: First, acknowledge that there will be a hairnet and it could be red. Red is the new blue when it comes to hair nets! A facility that manufactures food packaging cannot risk contamination, which means you must cover your lovely locks, or shaven scalp, in Roy’s case. Avoid wearing red unless you want to pull a monochromatic Kardashian look. Most of our team decided to go with neutrals. (Nathan and I are colorful inside and out.)

  • Mask: Again, due to food manufacturing regulations and pesky lingering pandemics, a face mask will be necessary. That doesn’t mean you can’t have fun with it! Considering the hair net will likely be red, why not go for a Pennywise mask to achieve the full scary clown effect like Bryan did? Bryan is always joking around and making us laugh, and our tour guides could certainly tell that he’s the “class clown” of our office. If you wear a silly mask, your brand will certainly make an impression!

  • Layers: Being SQF-compliant, they will not be opening the loading doors or windows if the factory gets too hot. Gigantic thermoform machines generate a lot of energy and therefore heat, so if you are sensitive to temperature, be sure to wear removable layers so you are in control. (Of all the team, I’m the only one who gets too hot or cold, and you’ll notice I’m the only one sporting the cardigan.)

  • Close-toed shoes: You’ll notice that “safety” is the theme of this special occasion. Our company values sustainability and we prefer to work with efficient, recycling-focused manufacturers. At the facility we visited, they create their own plastic film from poly scrap. They press film though the thermoforming plates to mold the plastic, and the next machine removes the product and collects the scrap. Bins of leftover plastic were then wheeled to the first machine on the line to be melted into the plastic sheet! It was so impressive! Protect your feet from sharp plastic scrap and rolling wheels by wearing close-toed shoes.

  • Lastly, a hand-carved Native American necklace: This is the best fashion choice to make in any situation. Bonus points if your grandma gave it to you like mine did!

I hope you enjoyed today’s foray into the little-discussed fashion side of the food business.

At ForeFront Packaging we offer piece of mind with a full breadth of solutions for companies that face packaging and supply chain-related challenges. These solutions range from packaging material, graphics, inventory management and logistics. If any of these take time away from satisfying your customers, let’s talk! Contact us at (708) 836-1105 or visit our website at www.fpcpackaging.com.