A Uniform Recycling Program has a Place in Every Industry
Although work uniforms are a great tool for promoting a brand and boosting employee’s morale, they unfortunately have a rather dark side. They are not being recycled! Approximately 50% of the working population wear them, but more often than not they are being thrown straight into landfill due to our lack of awareness surrounding textile recycling.
Luckily, textile recycling in Australia is starting to catch up to global trends as Australian businesses have started implementing different recycling programs. With the rollout of Total Uniform Solutions Uniform Recycling Program in mid 2021, this new program is designed to make recycling old work uniforms more accessible to the corporate sector.
Recycling Work Uniforms
According to Rag Trader, Australians throw out 6 tonnes of textiles every 10 minutes into landfill. Our overall lack of awareness when it comes to textile recycling is becoming more and more prevalent. With approximately half of Australia’s working population owning work uniforms that have an average shelf life of 12 months, it begs the question on how many old uniforms are being thrown straight into our landfill. In order to find a solution to our textile waste problem, we should take notes of how fashion brands are embracing textile recycling.
What Businesses Can Learn From The Fashion Industry
With the rise of fast fashion, consumers are throwing away hardly worn, cheap clothes without a second thought. Millennials are now emerging as high-volume consumers and purchasers, so too are they entering the workplace and looking carefully at the sustainability practices that their future employers and favourite brands are committed to. With businesses on the lookout for new sustainable practices, there is one that the fashion industry has implemented which every business, no matter the industry can get behind.
Fast fashion behemoth H&M collected 29,005 tonnes of textiles in 2019 for reuse and recycling through their garment collecting initiative. To put that into perspective, that’s roughly 145 million T-shirts. Back home in Australia, Sheridan’s recycling program turns customer’s unwanted linen and towels into recycled tea towels which are then resold in-store.
But what does this have to do with corporate businesses? If we harness existing textile recycling processes that the fashion industry has adopted, corporates and other businesses will be able to follow suit and recycle their unwanted work uniforms.
How Do We Recycle Old Work Uniforms?
On average, uniforms are typically replaced every 12 months. High-vis workwear is usually replaced more often to maintain safety standards. Presuming these garments are being tossed in the bin, that’s a whole lot of landfill!
At Total Uniform Solutions, the rollout of our Uniform Recycling Program in mid 2021 aims to find a solution for Australian businesses wanting to recycle their old work uniforms. Our new textile recycling program diverts your unwanted work uniforms from landfill. It allows every business, no matter the industry, to add to their Corporate Social Responsibility practices and get behind a sustainable work practice that is great for the environment.
There has never been more of a need for textile recycling in Australia than now. If you’re looking to raise this initiative at your next staff meeting or are looking to make your business more sustainable, consider learning more about our Uniform Recycling Program.
Drawing from the textile recycling initiatives prevalent in the fashion industry, we're working on shaping our Uniform Recycling Program to be suitable for every business in any industry. Get notified when it launches to become part of the solution to our textile waste problem.