Uniform Reuse has put together information on the 'best practice' approaches to corporate wear, and guidance on how to improve the sustainability of this type of clothing. Our information will help designers, buyers, wearers and end-of-life processors, as we believe all parts of the supply chain play a vital role in helping to reduce the environmental impact of corporate wear.
Alternative fibres and fabrics
One of the main problems for clothing reuse/recycling is not knowing what the fabric type is. But even if that is known, it’s not always clearly understood what the best options for recovery are for the different types. The wide range of garments used in the corporate clothing sector inevitably means that there is a range of fibres/fabrics used. And with specialist clothing performance it often means that blended - rather than single - yarns are used.
Leaving aside specialised protective clothing (with its complications of extra resistant fabric types and variety of treatments applied), our database of fabrics and fibres includes those which most commonly make up corporate clothing: cotton, polyester and wool mixes. Being aware of what these fabrics are suitable for at end-of-life can aid EoL management at the design stage. It is vital that property requirements for the garments being produced are not forgotten, so our report details not just capability at EoL, but general fabric characteristics - such as durability - as well.
Our report enables designers to take into consideration all the options before deciding which is the best fabric to use in corporate clothing manufacture. There is also discussion on some alternative fabric types - not commonly used, but perhaps more ‘environmentally friendly’, and gaining recognition in the market place.
As a conscientious purchaser of corporatewear, you are in the position to push for these fabric types and to get an early commitment to responsible EoL management. With more companies being made responsible for the waste they produce, it is increasingly important to be aware of the responsible disposal options available. By accounting for this in your purchasing specifications, it makes life a lot simpler later!
View a summary reportDownload pdf (824kB)
A full 113-page report considering the use of alternative fabrics in corporatewear, with full details is available hereDownload pdf (12520kB)