3 Ways to Make Your Uniform Program More Sustainable
If there’s one thing we’ve learnt in 2022, it’s that the uniform industry is rapidly changing. Not only are we becoming more sustainably minded, but our customers are too.
More and more, businesses are recognising just how crucial sustainability is for their overall strategy (and not just for branding). In fact, one study
suggests that more than 90% of corporate leaders consider sustainability integral to their company’s success, with 60% of companies reporting they have a sustainability strategy in place.
Naturally, businesses want to know how their uniform program can better reflect and embody their sustainability goals and values. And fortunately, while the jump from having sustainability goals to actually implementing them can often seem daunting, there’s no shortage of solutions when it comes to your uniforms.
DTY’s Sustainability Officer, Ebony, explains:
“Ultimately, the goal is to minimise waste from creation to disposal and keep the garments out of landfill for as long as possible. Fortunately, there are several ways to accomplish this.”
So, without further ado, here are three ways you can collect major sustainability points when it comes to your uniforms.
1. Choose Recycled or Sustainable Fabrics 🧵
While there’s a lot of debate about whether natural or synthetic fabrics are better for the environment, you can rest assured that sustainable options exist for both!
Organic cotton, bamboo, hemp, wool or lyocell are the standouts in the natural category, requiring fewer pesticides, herbicides and water during production than their non-organic counterparts.
When it comes to synthetic fibres, recycled polyester is a fantastic option that requires significantly less water and energy to produce than virgin polyester. Garments made with recycled polyester can also be recycled at the end of their life cycle and made into new products like soft flooring for playgrounds or gyms. Just remember to wash your synthetic garments in a micro-filtering laundry bag (like this one
) to prevent microplastics from being released into waterways!
2. Opt for Eco-friendly Packaging 📦
While this might not seem significant, choosing a uniform supplier that uses sustainable packaging goes a long way in fighting the war on waste. In fact, garment packaging is estimated
to be the largest generator of non-recyclable plastic waste globally.
From the satchels that garments are delivered into clips and plastic collar stays – there are plenty of ways to either minimise the use of packaging or opt for less harmful alternatives like compostable, recycled, recyclable or reusable packaging.
But opting for sustainable packaging is only one half of the equation – educating your employees on how to dispose of it correctly is just as important. Case in point: packaging made from recycled/recyclable LDPE can only be recycled with other soft plastics, while compostable packaging can go straight into your green bin (depending on your council area).
3. Recycle Your Uniforms ♻️
When it comes time to retire your old uniforms, there are a few options to extend their life and keep them out of landfill. If they’re still fit to wear then consider sending them to charities, social enterprises or NFPs (like Rotary International
) that can redistribute them to communities in need throughout the world.
And if they’re quite literally hanging on by a thread? Textile recycling companies (like TRA or Upparel) can transform them into useful (and not to mention creative) things like outdoor furniture or ceramic tiles.
So, there you have it – three simple but effective ways to help make your uniform program more sustainable. But you don’t have to do it alone! Partnering with a uniform supplier that’s just as committed to sustainability as you are is essential for your program’s success.
At DTY, we’ve made it our mission to lead the way with sustainable work uniform solutions and help brands adopt a greener future. From the fabrics we use to reducing waste across our business and supply chain, we’re committed to making uniforms better for people and the planet.
Interested in taking your company uniforms to a new level of sustainability? Get in touch!