Sustainability has become a major talking point for businesses in recent years. Many companies are looking at ways they can reduce their carbon footprint and do their bit to help protect the planet. Focussing on ways you can limit your impact on the environment is not only great for sustainability but can also be a great selling point for your brand. Aiming to recycle rather than throw away old items is also another great way you can reduce environmental impact.
Choosing a good uniform supplier can be an excellent way to improve your brand’s sustainability. A uniform that is durable, made from good quality materials, and ethically produced will stay looking good for much longer than cheap and poorly made items. We are going to dive into some of the ways you can ensure your uniform manufacturer is producing sustainable workwear and what to look out for.
Choosing Your Uniform Brand Responsibly
You need to think about several things before choosing your company’s uniform supplier. It isn’t as straightforward as simply selecting the cheapest brand or the fastest delivery. These requirements may seem appealing, but if you are trying to think about your brand’s carbon footprint, these methods have little to no sustainability.
Here are some things you can do to change your approach to choosing your new uniform.
Consider the Brand’s Ethical Standards
The world has come a long way in improving working standards for staff of fast fashion brands. However, many companies still have questionable ethics regarding the treatment, fair pay, and working conditions of their staff. Some companies may try and keep their production costs as low as possible to be able to charge less for their items. In order to achieve these low prices, brands will exploit people for their labour, use hazardous chemicals and dyes, and not dispose of waste correctly. All of this has a massive impact on the planet.
Avoid Fast Fashion Brands
Fast fashion has been dominating the clothing industry for the past twenty years. This type of clothing production is not sustainable and has an extremely negative impact on the planet. Fast fashion involves buying more clothes and wearing them less often. This culture is perpetuated by people thinking they must keep up with the latest trends rather than choosing classic, well-made pieces to keep for a lifetime.
This is particularly bad for uniforms because the cheaper a product is sold, the cheaper its materials and quality will be. This means your items won’t last anywhere near as long, and you will have to buy more often, which isn’t cost-effective.
Opt For Sustainable Materials
Taking a closer look at what your uniform is made of can go a long way in helping to improve its sustainability. Certain fabrics and fibres have a significantly worse impact on the environment than others. There is debate over which fabrics are the most sustainable, as not all-natural materials are good for the planet. For instance, cotton, which is a widely used natural material, uses a lot of harmful pesticides in its growth and production.
Pick Durable Fabrics
Just like you hire people because they are up to the job, you need to have the same approach when it comes to workwear. Depending on the job, you could benefit from choosing a uniform made out of a suitable fabric. The more durable the material, the more use and longevity you and your staff will get. This will help a lot in saving you money and preventing excessive waste.
What To Look Out For
Clothing brands aren’t always what they’re made out to be. Many companies don’t specify where their clothes are sourced and made, indicating unethical practices. As a general rule of thumb, the cheaper clothes are sold for, the more likely they are to be a product of fast fashion.
Here are some useful things to look out for when shopping for the right uniform supplier.
Where the Materials Are Sourced
This is usually a red flag if a brand does not state where its materials are from. You want to ensure that you can see where fabrics have come from, as this is a good indicator of their sustainability and the brand’s ethics.
Don’t Buy More Than You Need
It may be tempting to have a good selection of uniform options to hand, so you don’t have to wash them as frequently, but this can damage your sustainability. Ordering more items than you need means increased production, which equals more carbon emissions.
Try to Mend Rather Than Throw Away
Many people no longer know or are even aware that damaged clothes can often be mended and look as good as new. This is a great way to increase the life of your uniform. Working conditions can often involve a lot of repetitive movement, which can lead to strain on certain parts of your clothes. However, a simple stitch could have this fixed up in no time. There are a number of tutorials available to teach you the skills to do this too!
The closer to home a product is made, the less environmental impact is likely to have had. Materials that are shipped across the world to be made and then distributed to warehouses worldwide will produce a lot of carbon emissions. Many brands won’t specify where their clothes are made, but those made locally will typically say so.
Taking better care of your uniform and recycling are great ways to improve its sustainability. Some excellent businesses out there will take in your old uniform and repurpose it for other clothing. These are steps you can take to improve your brand’s environmental impact simply through uniforms.