Ruud Gear created to address gap in work wear for women

Laura Hutt, founder of Ruud Gear, stands in front of a construction site.
Ruud Gear Founder Laura Hutt

Ruud Gear aims to deliver safety, comfort and confidence for women in construction

Ruud Gear, a new Canadian work wear line, is supplying women in the construction industry with apparel designed to deliver the appropriate fit. 

Laura Hutt, a Project Manager for an environmental contractor based in Ottawa, decided to create the Ruud Gear brand after struggling to find appropriate work wear. 

“I’d get these huge safety vests, which just didn’t fit me properly,” Hutt said. 

“The arms were super baggy, and then I would catch the back of my vest on door handles or rebar or whatever I was walking by.”

With the majority of clothes for jobsites designed specifically for men, Hutt was unable to find the right size, as well as clothing that eliminated the safety hazard created by loose fitting clothing. 

“You can go into super small men’s work wear, but it’s still not going to fit you the way that it should,” Hutt said.  

“So, I really wanted to create something that kind of fit our bodies better.  Safety is a huge thing. I’m making sure that we have the right clothes for the job.”

Following CSA guidelines for safety requirements, Hutt began to design the clothing line in 2022. 

Alongside the Ruud brand, Hutt is also founder of Women in Steel Toes, an advocacy group that highlights the challenges women may face on jobsites, and inspire a younger generation of people to enter the construction industry. 

To tailor the clothing designs to what women require, Hutt was able to call upon members of Women in Steel Toes to provide input. The final product aims to address safety, comfort as well as confidence. 

“I think there’s a lot to be said about wearing something that fits and that you feel good wearing. That can help you overall with your job and your career as well,” she said. 

Ruud Gear officially launched in March. The work wear company’s first products include a high-visibility shirt, branded T-shirt as well as a baseball hat and silk hair elastics. Hutt plans to roll out UV protective clothing and fall and winter jackets in the near future.

“I don’t know if we’ll venture into boots, but we’re looking at everything else,” Hutt said. 

“Then we’re looking to kind of make a compatible men’s line, as well. So we can offer a one stop shop.”

Ruud (pronounced rude) was named after Hutt’s frustration with how women are expected to act on jobsites. 

“I was tired of this idea that I was supposed to be nice on site. The idea that I was supposed to, you know, be gentle and lady like and all that stuff, when really, I’m just going there to do a job,” she said.  

The construction industry will have its first opportunity to see the Ruud line at the National Heavy Equipment Show held April 11-12 in Mississauga, Ontario. 

“It’s our first big introduction, which is kind of cool,” Hutt said.