(Dianne Finnigan of Stittsville, a mother of a tradeswomen, has created a specialized product for women who work in skilled trades. She has created women’s workwear that fits and is modelled with safety in mind. Photos: submitted.)
Skilled trades have long been dominated by men, but with more women joining the trades industry, they find themselves encountering issues that men have yet to worry about.
With the majority of workwear being built for the male physique, finding workwear that is durable, comfortable, and made for the female body is a challenge in itself.
Luckily, entrepreneur and mother of a tradeswoman, Dianne Finnigan, realized the shocking lack of proper workwear for women after her daughter, Chantel, struggled to find proper fitting workwear while enrolled in the Masonry Program at Conestoga College.
“I realized that what I thought to be an isolated incident turned out to be a common problem,” Dianne admitted.
And after months of researching and product development, The Dirty Seahorse Workwear was founded in 2022. But it was certainly not a simple process.
“It took me three years of overcoming huge hurdles to get here,” Dianne confessed. “I had to learn everything myself.”
“The biggest thing we had to learn was to make contact with women. We listened to women in skilled trades and created a supportive and safe space for women to express their concerns, and this helps us cater to women.”
“What makes us different from other companies,” said Dianne, “is that we listen to feedback. Our customers tell us what they like and we make it happen.”
The Dirty Seahorse is all about comfortability, durability, safety, and convenience. Their products are size-inclusive and specific to the female body, and heavily influenced by women in the industry.
“By involving women in our decisions, they helped build the company,” Dianne gushed.
At the moment, The Dirty Seahorse offers a few different products on their website, with plans to expand shortly.
One of their most popular products, the Zenith Overalls, is equipped with a total of 14 pockets, is comfortable, durable, functional, and designed for all seasons.
“I decided I wanted to make a difference in these women’s lives and I knew I could do it. Regular companies use the base of a man’s profile scaled down. It doesn’t fit properly. So I took it upon myself to develop a brand that creates good quality women’s workwear that is for women, by women.”
Above all else, The Dirty Seahorse prioritizes safety. Wearing ill-fitting workwear is not only uncomfortable and inconvenient, but it’s also a massive safety hazard.
“40% of injuries are caused by improper workwear,” Dianne warned. “Sleeves that are too long can be a hazard and can get caught in machinery, pants that are too long can be a tripping hazard.”
This is why it’s so important for women to have access to good quality and fitting workwear. The industry is expanding, and women are finding their life-long careers in skilled trades, and they deserve to have access to the tools they need in order to do their jobs safely.
“Change is possible,” Dianne stated. “It comes with a single realization, a spark of determination, and the dedication to see it through.”