Essential Workwear has launched a garment recycling initiative to help clients become more sustainable and achieve targets for net-zero emissions.

Its programme guarantees that all textiles are securely destroyed by a custom-built cross-cut industrial shredder, making the textiles unrecognisable and breaking them down to a size where it is impossible to re-weave back into any other garment.

Once the textiles are destroyed, they are baled into mill-size bales and transported to specialist mills to begin the recycling phase. Certificates are issued including time and date that the shredding took place.

All Essential practices are in line and compliant with ISO 9001 and 14001 accreditations, BS EN: 15713-2009 and BS 7858.

When a textile product is deemed redundant, this new service will help limit the environmental impact by closing the loop and reducing the miles that textiles cover.

Essential will destroy textiles and recycle all the natural fibres within the UK. The fibre materials go through the process of stretching where the fibres are turned into a wide range of products such as insulation, geotextiles and other innovative products.

Essential will charge an admin fee per garment to carry out this process, intended to cover any direct costs. However, no profit will be made from the initiative.

This service will contribute to reducing the 11 million items of clothing a week currently ending up in landfill, as estimated by Oxfam.

Recycling also significantly reduces the amount of water that is used to create new garments. On average, 2,700 litres of water is needed to create a single T-shirt. That is enough drinking water for one person for two-and-a-half years.

It will also help to achieve the government’s net-zero emissions by 2050. Up to 26.2m tonnes of CO2 is produced in the UK due to textiles each year. There are also 350,000 tonnes of textiles sent to landfill each year.

Essential is working with market leaders to offer the textile recycling programme for corporate branded workwear and other garments as a solution to textile waste – an ever-increasing concern across the globe.

George Georgiou, managing director of Essential Workwear, said: “For more than 20 years, we have been witnessing the huge impact that our industry has on the environment, and we recognised that the time was now in 2021 to introduce an innovative and powerful new service to help reduce waste into landfill.

“The Essential garment recycling programme will offer all of our clients the opportunity to support their ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) policies now and long into the future.

“Together with our team of uniform specialists, I am immensely proud to have launched this new service. It’s the smallest changes which make the biggest difference.”

Second-generation family-run Essential Workwear brands nearly 11,000 pieces of work and safety wear every day at its 20,000 sq ft factory in Dunstable in Bedfordshire. It is an established safety wear company with an in-house PPE expert and is a BSIF-registered safety supplier.

Established in 1998 as Essential Embroidery Design, the award-winning Essential Workwear now offers a full branded clothing and workwear solution with every kind of decoration type. Its services include embroidery, transfer printing, screen printing and DTG digital printing.

Essential Workwear recycling