Safety products supplier Arco and polyester recycling start-up Stuff4Life have created a collection of “responsible” hi-vis clothing.

Comprising eight garments, the Arco Responsible range is reported to be designed to last for longer, and made from certified recycled and responsibly sourced materials.

“Designed with life-extending features, the responsible hi-vis range has been developed to increase the longevity of the clothing. Garments are tested to retain integrity, dimensional stability, UV protection and colourfastness to above the average number of washes – knitwear and trousers are certified for up to 50 washes, twice the typical use cycle – which reduces the need for replacement and reduces carbon emissions,” said Arco.

The labels are printed directly onto the garment to reduce the use of additional materials and increase efficiency, while all other components such as poppers, toggles and zips are made from recycled polyester so do not need to be removed before entering the recycling process.

The hi-vis range includes a short-sleeve T-shirt, short-sleeve and long-sleeve polo shirts, waistcoat, sweatshirt, fleece, softshell and overcoat. They have been developed in conjunction with Stuff4Life and so can be recycled using their patent-pending chemical recycling solution that’s currently being scaled-up.  

“Once a garment comes to the end of its life, the recovered materials from the recycling process become valuable raw materials that can be transformed back into new polyester yarn for garment production over and over again,” explained Arco.

“This more sustainable approach to re-creating raw materials helps to significantly decrease the environmental footprint of manufacturing, playing a pivotal role in the shift towards a circular economy.”

John Twitchen, founder of Stuff4Life, commented: “We’ve worked closely with Arco’s product development team on the new range. Our input has helped to reduce the impact of garments in design, in use and at end of life. In tandem, we have developed our polyester depolymerisation process to ensure the maximum recovery of polyester-rich garments and enable the supply of as-good-as-new products back into the supply chain, driven by the ambition of delivering a truly circular process.” 

Dalvir Sarkaria, product and procurement manager at Arco, added: “Customers are placing growing significance on making responsible product choices. As a result, we recognised a clear requirement to develop and introduce a new range of products with the aim of supporting customers to achieve their sustainability objectives. 

“The launch of our Arco Responsible hi-vis range is an exciting moment for us and demonstrates our continued commitment to delivering on our strategic plan for sustainability – A Safe Tomorrow – and by supporting our customers’ desires to make responsible choices for their business. Using a complete circular approach, the range can offer assurance to customers with proven sustainable credentials whilst remaining excellent quality and competitively priced.” 

The line conforms to the relevant hi-vis safety standards and includes other practical features such as UV protection and wicking properties.