School uniform producer David Luke has introduced a “circular” blazer that is fully recyclable through polyester recycling plant Project Re:claim.

The brand’s Eco-blazer was already made from recycled plastic bottles but, without the garment being separated first, it can now be recycled into polyester pellets that are spun into yarn to be used for future David Luke circular blazers.

Project Re:claim in Kettering in Northamptonshire is a joint venture between Salvation Army Trading Company (SATCoL), the trading arm of charity textile collector The Salvation Army, and circularity specialist Project Plan B.

To bring the new 100% recyclable blazer to market, David Luke has been working with Tim Cross, CEO of Project Plan B and the Circular Textiles Foundation.

Every detail from the lining, buttons and zips to the inter-linings and adhesives has been re-thought and re-designed to meet the demands of an everyday school blazer and to allow the garment to be recycled once it reaches its end-of-life.

Tim Cross said: “David Luke has grasped the opportunity to embed 100% recyclable and 100% recycled garments into their range, starting with the school blazer.

“We now have the technology to enable their blazers to be recycled without any separation of the garment, making it an efficient recycling process.

“The team at David Luke has worked tirelessly with their manufacturers to create a blazer that does not compromise on design or quality and yet is much kinder to the environment.

“David Luke has the vision to create a fully circular range, and we have the potential to supply recycled content. The possibilities are infinite in terms of the future of garment design and manufacturing.”

The Eco-blazer is part of David Luke’s successful Eco-uniform range which has sold over 1.7 million Eco-blazers over the last decade.

Previously, after the blazers had been handed down to siblings or given to charity shops, there had been no end-of-life solution for polyester garments apart from incineration.

Kathryn Shuttleworth, chief executive of David Luke, said: “It is a natural next step for us to transition to a textile-to-textile model. We have been producing garments using recycled plastic bottles for 15 years, but we have always had an eye on developments in textile recycling and solutions for end-of-life garments.

“Our focus will always be on those essential ingredients for parents and children – style, durability and affordability. But we have a responsibility to change our business model to better protect children’s future and the environment.

“It has become our obsession to make uniforms that meet our customers’ demands. We are really excited about the future as we continue to develop our range.”

Majonne Frost, head of environment and sustainability for SATCoL, added: “Our vision is to enable companies to produce uniforms, corporate wear, fashion garments and textile ranges using recycled polyester.

“We have the infrastructure to collect donations at scale and we now need companies to step up. This is an opportunity for companies to make a commitment to significantly reduce their environmental impact, and David Luke are showing us how that is possible.”

davidluke.com
projectplanb.co.uk
satcol.org