The purpose of the report is to generate up to date data on annual waste arisings of corporate workwear and potential opportunities, in order to identify the most effective interventions to increase the recovery and income from this product waste stream.
Arisings for corporate workwear are estimated at 16,000 tonnes per annum, which equates to approximately 39.2 million individual garments. The majority of this workwear is made from polyester due to durability, low cost and ease of maintenance.
Currently only 9% of this is recovered for re-use with an additional 1000 tonnes captured for shredding but this is not recycled.
There are clear opportunities to reduce the impact of this waste arising by designing for re-use and recycling at the design stage, improve recall mechanisms of uniforms and develop recycling technologies and infrastructure to capture the materials for closed loop applications.
If you are considering or currently collecting textiles, you may be interested in our new textiles collections guidance.