Up until recently, we'd ask volunteers to wear t-shirts with the Overcome logo on the front and back. These helped draw people's attention towards us whilst signalling that we're professional too.

But there's always been a problem

In our first event ever, a sister backed out of volunteering when she discovered she had to wear the t-shirt. In events since then, some sisters wore cardigans (covering the logo at the back) and/or super loose hijabs (covering the logo at the front).

We thought that XL-sized t-shirts would ensure a loose fit on top of their clothes. But the fact remained that many (if not most) sisters felt uncomfortable wearing t-shirts. 

Finding a solution

At the end of our July event, the sisters suggested branded hijabs and branded cardigans. The ideas made sense, but being a bit more complicated than branded t-shirts and having 3 more months before our next event, we didn't take it forward.

But with less than 2 weeks to go before the October 28 Muslim Lifestyle Expo drew nearer, we had to solve this problem once and for all.

In steps the tabard

A tabard is a piece of loose fitting cloth that you fold over your shoulders. You then tie it on the sides with a ribbon as loosely or tightly as you like. 

In other words, unlike t-shirts, tabards are designed for you to wear over your clothes. And for the recent MLE event, we decided to give them a try...

... and the result was excellent!

First of all, everyone on the team - men and women - could wear whatever they wanted. Second of all, they could make the tabard fit as loosely or tightly as they wished.

In other words, the problem was solved.

But aren't tabards more expensive?

Yes, they are more expensive than t-shirts. But, there's no point in saving money on t-shirts if they don't work out. 

Team aren't employees who must adhere to a company dress code. They're goodhearted people volunteering their time, so we're in their service as much as they are in ours. And if that means spending a bit more on the clothes we ask them to wear, then that's what we have to do. 

Besides, there were other benefits too.. 

Firstly, everyone felt more comfortable wearing them, not just the sisters. Secondly, unlike t-shirts, one size tabard fits all. So whether our volunteers are men or women, little or large, everyone can use the same size.

In short, it was a good investment to make. 

p.s. If you ever need to buy tabards, our experience with The Charity Clothing Company was a good one. They did what they said they'd do when they said they'd do it and we intend to keep buying from them (insha-Allah).