Sustainable uniforms are so hot right now
Australian consumers are more perceptive than ever when it comes to making informed purchase decisions. Now, in an era of increasingly conscious consumerism, many brands are having to reassess their operations and offerings in order to align themselves with rising customer expectations within the realm of sustainability. But instead of seeing this need to join the sustainable revolution as a challenge, brands should see it as an opportunity.
The state of consumerism in Australia
Tragically, Australia ranks number two in the world for textile disposal, with each person sending an average of 23kg to landfill each year. Between 2018-19, together we generated a whopping 76 million tonnes of waste, with no less than 27% of it sent to landfill. Approximately 500,000 tonnes of which were textiles. Suffice to say, with findings like these it’s no wonder Australians are increasingly choosing brands that are actively prioritising the environment.
Sustainability is priceless for the modern brand
This shift towards conscious consumerism is well documented. New research from CouriersPlease reveals that 9 in 10 Australians are more likely to choose products that are ethically and sustainably produced. In fact, 41% are willing to pay more for the privilege. It’s also noted that consumers know greenwashing when they see it. It’s not enough for a brand to simply say it’s sustainable. 85% of people also want more transparency – they want to know where and how products are produced.
As a brand, it’s becoming increasingly important to approach business with a sustainable lens. That being said, it’s just as important to practice what you preach. So, when it comes to walking the walk, what can you do?
Choose sustainable uniforms
As we’ve already established, sustainability creates a rather dashing first impression for customers. And what better way to reinforce your sustainable positioning than introducing it to your biggest brand touchpoint of all – your employees. Eco-friendly uniforms are a powerful statement to your customers and stakeholders. It conveys not only your environmental positioning, but an adoption of sustainable practices within your operations and supply chain. When it comes to eco work uniforms, there are a number of ways you can collect sustainability points.
Rather than sending waste to landfill, it can be repurposed into hi-tech fibres. US-based manufacturing company, REPREVE, transforms recycled plastic bottles into performance fibres. To date, they’ve diverted almost 27 billion plastic bottles away from landfill and into yarns. At Design To You, we have been proudly using REPREVE in our uniforms for more than five years.
A great way of avoiding unnecessary waste is investing in premium uniforms that deliver on durability and longevity. By making a conscious and informed choice the first time, you’re saving money AND investing in sustainability in the long term, as you won’t need to replace your workwear as often.
Reduce your environmental impact by opting for eco-friendly, recycled or sustainable packaging. Cutting down on plastic in garment packaging – such as clips and plastic collar stays – can significantly reduce single-use plastics in the long run.
Even when it is time to replace your uniforms, old ones don’t always have to go to landfill. Instead, consider upcycling or recycling your pre-loved workwear. Recycling can turn your old uniforms into padding and even ceramic tiles. Or you can donate it to NGOs that provide affordable clothing to communities in need, and in turn give old clothes a new lease on life. Uniform recycling is a powerful landfill diversion strategy that can minimise waste and bolster your CSR strategy.
Here at Designs To You, we are on a journey to making better uniforms through sustainable and ethical practices. Our target is make our entire core uniform range sustainable by 2023. Not only will our uniforms be made with recycled and eco-friendly fabrics, we’re also transitioning into sustainable packaging and minimising plastics within our business and supply chain.
While the uniform industry is slowly adapting to this shift towards conscious consumerism, we’re committed to leading the way with sustainable and ethical work uniform solutions. We’ve made it our mission to help brands adopt a greener future, not just because we’re sustainably minded, but because our customers are too.
In the words of our CEO, Maria; “when it comes to sustainability, the majority of our clients want uniforms that align with their company values and sustainability goals.”
If you’re ready to introduce sustainability at the ground level of your business, get in touch.