When it comes to uniforms, most of us probably don't give too much thought to where they come from. Our initial thoughts are on the fit, how they look, and whether they will be able to endure wear and tear from our line of work. However, there is another factor many are now taking more seriously: sustainability.
Employers strive to find sustainable ways to operate
Many businesses strive to find ways to be sustainable and environmentally friendly, such as recycling paper and cutting back on electricity costs, but workwear can also play a role in our environmental footprint.
Employers naturally should bear in mind the importance of supplying first-rate uniforms, taking scope of the developing technologies and processes to benefit their employees. Factoring in sustainability alongside this is no longer such a challenge, as technologies are now in place to make that choice easier.
Using recycled materials
When we think of recycling, we immediately think of how this is benefiting the environment. But we can also support the environment via the clothing we wear and that doesn't mean compromising on look or quality. One of our suppliers that has successfully combined style with sustainability is Clubclass. They use the recycling of plastic bottles to create clothing fibres. The process entails sourcing bottles, followed by washing and cleaning the bottles before crushing them into flakes. Once the flakes are melted, they are used to make fibres. And finally, the fibres are turned into fabric.
It doesn't have to be just classic, stylish corporate wear that has sustainable credentials. We are proud to offer hi-vis ranges that really reflect a sustainable philosophy. Making it easy to be seen and to be green. For example, the new ecoviz® ranges from Leo Workwear are made with 100% recycled polyester and conform to ISO20471.
From head to toe
It isn't just clothes you can consider when looking for sustainable options. At HeathBrook we are able to offer sustainably sourced safety shoes. Again using re-cycled recycled plastic bottles (PET) and recycled polyurethane.
We also offer lanyards made from recycled polyester. So with HeathBrook you really can be sustainable from head to toe.
Looking to the future
In addition to looking at what is being done now, employers should be looking to the future of clothing, with one uncanny innovation supposedly on the horizon in the form of self-cleaning clothes. Scientists have claimed that in the future, cotton fibres will come with tiny metal structures attached which can break down grime and other forms of dirt when in direct sunlight. Imagine being able to go about your work without fretting that food or oil will stain your clothes? The benefit of this is that your clothing will last much longer (freeing up landfill space) and will require fewer washes.
Be part of the process now
When it's finally time to replace your current uniforms with new ones, there are various services across the UK which undertake the task of recycling old workwear for you. Where possible, these garments are repurposed and shipped overseas, where their life is considerably extended. Some companies also break down the clothing for other uses, such as car soundproofing and seat padding. Whatever you decide to do with your workwear when you're done with it, make sure you opt for a sustainable and environmentally-friendly way to dispose of them.