Switching to recycled workwear is a hot topic at the moment as more and more businesses start to look at their environmental impact and find sustainable solutions at work. From influencing greener working practices to embracing sustainable and ethical workwear, these measures will contribute to a company’s overall carbon footprint reduction. Businesses must now demonstrate that they are meeting not just basic sustainability obligations such as paper recycling but have also taken further steps to becoming more sustainable. Ethical and sustainable workwear have been pinpointed as key areas of positive change.
Can I dress my team from top to toe in recycled workwear?
Yes, you can dress your team from top to toe in recycled workwear. New garments are constantly being introduced by suppliers and all of these items have different sustainability features whether it’s the number of plastic bottles used to make recycled fibres, or the sustainable methods used in manufacturing process. Some of the most popular items include the Regatta Recycled Softshell Jacket which is made from a minimum of 15 recycled plastic bottles, the Hawk Deluxe EARTHPRO® Recycled Polyester Cargo Trousers and the Ecoviz® Hi Vis Short Sleeved Polo Shirt made from 100% Ecoviz® Recycled Polyester. Selected PPE items are also available including the Solis Go Green Safety Glasses that feature a nylon frame made of recycled fishing nets and the Traffi LXT Carbon Neutral Cut Level C Glove that is certified as carbon neutral.
Are there recycled workwear and recycled high visibility workwear options available?
There are a wide number of sustainable options available in both the workwear and high visibility workwear ranges. Leading brands such as Orn and Regatta supply regular workwear and uniforms while Engel and Leo both supply high visibility clothing which is fully compliant with EN ISO 20471 and RIS 3279-TOM (Orange Only). Almost all workwear items (including high visibility) will have a sustainable alternative unless there is a safety standard preventing this.
Does high visibility recycled workwear meet the relevant safety standards?
Yes! As mentioned earlier, all recycled high visibility clothing is fully compliant with EN ISO 20471 and RIS 3279-TOM (Orange Only). Often, the recycled alternative will be identical or very similar in appearance to the non-recycled option therefore the individuals wearing these items would not notice a different in comfort or functionality. Can you spot which one of these two items below is recycled and which on isn’t. Click the image to find out which is recycled and which isn’t.
Can I purchase arc flash clothing made from recycled fabrics?
Unfortunately, no. Arc flash clothing and PPE must be made from inherent fabrics which are composed of fibres that are already innately flame resistant. At present, recycled materials are not made from inherent fabrics therefore the safety protection provided to the wearer through their arc flash clothing would be severely compromised if recycled materials were used. All arc flash clothing requires an Arc Thermal Performance Value (ATPV) rating that will provide the varying degrees of arc flash protection required to satisfy most incident energy analyses. At present, recycled and sustainable fabrics cannot meet these stringent safety requirements.
Are there sustainable options for safety footwear?
Of course! Vegan safety boots are becoming a popular switch when choosing sustainable safety footwear. Popular brands such as Cofra and Rock Fall are leading the way on recycled safety footwear and have a wide range of items available that including safety boots and safety trainers. The Cofra Reconverted Eco-Friendly Safety Trainer made from innovative and eco-sustainable materials including 100% recycled polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles and Poly-Green recycled polyurethane whilst the Rock Fall Surge Sustainable Safety Boot is packed with safety features that has been designed to be sustainable to its core. It features recycled plastic bottle upper, webbing and lace materials that are durability rated, and contains 60% recycled content.
- 100% Recycled polyester upper textiles
- Recycled yarns verified by The Global Recycle Standard
- Zero single use plastic tags. Replaced by QR code in wash label of boot.
- LWG® Accredited full grain leather
- Activ-Tex® waterproof membrane = 60% RECYCLED POLYESTER and 40% nylon combination lining
- 100% Recycled tongue and collar lining mesh
- 100% Recycled polyester webbing for pull on loop and fabric eyelet
- 100% Recycled non-wicking abrasion resistant laces
- Total recycled plastic use is 82.5G = total of 5 plastic bottles per pair
- Certified to withstand electrical risks of 18kV
How do we dispose of our old workwear once we switch to a recycled alternative?
If you are a customer of Clad Safety, the disposal of workwear garments and PPE can be incorporated into your Service Agreement to ensure uniforms are being recycled ethically and securely.
Clad Safety can arrange for the collection, destruction, and recycling of used/discarded items at agreed timescales in line with company requirements. A destruction certificate will be issued upon process completion for use in environmental/compliance audit trails.
As you can see, making the switch from traditional workwear to a recycled or more sustainable option is quite straightforward with greener alternatives available for many items. If you would like to discuss your sustainability requirements in more detail please get in touch on 0800 16 3661 or email [email protected] to speak to a member of our Sustainability Team.