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.
Logo removal in corporatewear to enhance re-use potential
Logo removal is said to be one of the biggest hindrances in the reuse of corporate clothing.
Logos are required on workwear for numerous reasons, be it for expression of corporate identity or for taxation issues. They can take many forms: embroidery, heat seals, prints, tax tags and Velcro removable tabs. They can be found on all kinds of workwear and there no one type of logo is used on any one type of garment. This lack of standardisation means logo removal is difficult and each product type has to be looked at individually.
Not only can not removing a logo be a deterrent to secondary markets - as people are unlikely to want to be seen sporting an outfit with a company name across it – but there are also security risks associated with reuse of branded workwear. This is particularly true in the case of secure facilities and forces, such as banks, prisons, police service etc, where it might be possible to impersonate staff members to access facilities. Some companies will not allow their workwear to be reused simply to protect their brand reputation, as they have no control over activities of non-staff members seen wearing their garments.
Overcoming the barrier of removal of a logo on a corporatewear garment is a very difficult issue. There are many factors to take into consideration, such as the type of fabric - in both the clothing and the logo. Removing printed logos can be costly and necessitate the use of hazardous solvents, causing environmental and health issues. It’s likely that a better process would be to cover the logo somehow, the method used varying depending on the type of logo.
Our project on logo removal found that the most viable option is overprinting using heat seals. This is only suitable for certain logo types (obviously not much use for tax tabs!). If practically devised, this system could rid the industry of the issue of security, as the new motif would be difficult to remove without the correct equipment, and even then could result in the clothing being damaged. The small economic input would be justified if a suitable retailer could be found for the treated garment, perhaps through a ‘retro’ clothing store or a charity shop.
For full details of the findings, see Logo Removal in Corporatewear to Enhance Re-Use PotentialDownload pdf (811kB)