How to be more sustainable - Workwear Edition
We believe that it's our duty to help you make more sustainable choices when it comes to choosing your workwear or uniform. Our vast supply chain has many options which are also compliant with many safety industry regulations. Below are a few points to consider when you're looking to choose workwear that has a positive impact of the environment.
Polyester accounts for more than 50% of the fibres used in the textile and apparel industry. The use of recycled polyester (rPET) is a great way to divert plastic from going to landfills. The production of rPET also uses fewer resources than producing fibres from virgin polyester. It generates fewer carbon emissions too.
Sustainably sourced products
By looking for products that have been sustainably sourced you can decrease the negative impact your business has on the environment. Sustainably sourced garments refer to products that integrate processes that are socially, ethically and environmentally responsible.
Using a single fibre to produce an item of clothing or PPE is far better than using synthetic or mixed-fibre fabrics. Monofibre items will minimise the need for dismantling a product before recycling, therefore using less energy and wasting less time. Monofibre applies to labels, threads and accessories, not just the main fabric.
It’s the production process of organic cotton which makes organic clothing better for the environment. Organic cotton is grown using processes that have a positive impact on the environment. These processes eliminate the use of toxic chemicals and liquids and help build biologically diverse agriculture. Organic cotton fibres are also stronger than conventional cotton.
Recycle your clothing
To become a more responsible and sustainable organisation look into the ability for your workwear to be recycled or reused. Globally just 12% of the material used for clothing is recycled. By purchasing clothing you know can be recycled or reused will help increase this number.
If an item was to be more durable and have a longer life there would be a decrease in demand for new items, and therefore a decrease in impact on the environment. Look at the level of testing products go through or their warranty to see how durable an item could be.
Around 350,000 tonnes of wearable clothing goes to landfill in the UK every year. We must emphasise the importance of diverting products from going to landfills. One way to do this is to donate them to charity. All plain items where security is not a concern and items that are suitable for reuse are welcomed by charities across the country and globally.
If a garment can be repaired, why not fix it and prolong its life instead of discarding it. Some technical workwear now comes with repair kits to help prevent sending the item to landfills. Standard workwear can also be repaired easily by local tailors or by partnering with a local business.
When we talk about trans-seasonal clothing we refer to items of clothing that can be worn all year round. This takes into account the layering principle. For example, instead of buying one big heavy-duty winter coat which can’t be worn in the summer. Look into purchasing a lighter weight jacket that can be worn over other items of clothing to use the layering principle to keep them warm.
Quality over quantity
When looking for technical workwear, PPE and Corporate uniform we urge you to look at the quality of the garment over the price. A quality garment, in theory, lasts longer, has less need to be repaired, goes above and beyond regulations and will most likely consider sustainability at the design point. This will all equate to decreasing a negative impact on the environment.
Last, but by no means least, look at where the items are manufactured. Purchasing UK made clothing and PPE reduces your carbon footprint compared to buying items that need to be shipped across the globe. By purchasing from the UK (or Europe) as an alternative to the Middle East or Asia not only decreases carbon footprint but also helps the local economy.