Industrial uniforms do not exist only to satisfy the dress code of the company, they can also be useful. Industrial uniforms offer protection as well. Here are some examples of the usefulness of work uniforms.
People who work in laboratories often handle chemicals which can be dangerous and can cause a lot of harm if they come into contact with skin. Additionally, doctors also wear lab coats to minimize the risk of being exposed to infections. Lastly, lab coats can be used to protect against fire. Some lab coats are made of fire retardant material, but the main advantage that a lab coat user has is that the the coat itself can quickly be removed and isolated from the rest of the body.
All professionals who work in this environment will wear lab coats, both to provide them with the protection that they need and also to make the distinction that they are members of staff of that particular organization. Some lab coats may have branding or symbols of the specific organization that they work for, but in cases like this, the symbolic or branding aspect of the lab coat is only secondary.
Another set of professionals that deal with fire and are also required to wear industrial uniforms are fire fighters. Fighting fire is a very dangerous profession and requires workers who are courageous and brave. These individuals need high temperature and fire resistant uniforms. Their uniforms not only have the fire department branding and the name of the fire fighter, but also have the capability of protecting the fire fighter during his most dangerous part of working running into burning buildings to save civilians.
Individuals engaged in sports will also wear uniforms and some of their uniforms also offer protective features. American Football and Ice Hockey players not only have team colors, but also have a lot of protective gear that goes on as part of their uniform. It is easy to pick out the unique bright uniform of an American Football player because of its design. The same can be said for the Ice Hockey uniforms as well.
The amalgamation of the symbolic and functional nature of uniforms is not new; it has been around for a long time and is a clever way of both projecting a team or organizations individuality without having to sacrifice the protective aspects as well.