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With facts like this it’s no surprise that the textile industry is the second largest polluter in the world.
As uniform wholesalers, we see immense responsibility in our role to produce and manufacture uniforms in ethical, eco-friendly ways. This includes considering how to best generate a second life for our customers’ uniforms at the end of their use through effective recycling and upcycling processes.
That’s why Uniformity has proudly partnered with Textile Recyclers Australia (TRA), a local organisation focused on investing in circular solutions for the textile industry to keep apparel out of landfill.
While recycling textile waste does not reduce the amount of water and energy used in producing virgin products, TRA have uncovered research-based upcycling solutions that champion recycled fibres as the key to tangible change.
Uniformity Manager Director, Ray Lehrer, met with TRA’s co-founder, Maureen Taylor earlier this month to further understand how textile ‘waste’ can be utilised as an asset and discuss specific upcycling options we can offer all Uniformity customers.
Maureen and her business partner, Ben Kaminsky share over three decades of experiences in the textile industry in roles such as dye house technician, textile engineer, fashion executive and R&D manager. Their frustration with the amount of textiles that were ending up in landfill led them to start TRA. Over nine years later, TRA has become a leading name in the industry as they continue to passionately develop diverse and innovative upcycling solutions.
Part of TRA’s strength is their R&D pathways with well-established connections to Australia’s top academic institutions. For example, TRA collaborated with UNSW and the Centre for Sustainable Materials Research and Technology (SMaRT) in their Green Ceramics project that focused on recycling textiles to create ceramic products that can be used in applications such as kitchen benches, tabletops, floor tiles or furnishings. Award-winning property developer, Mirvac is a pioneering partner of this project, using these ceramic products in their Marrickville residential development, Marrick & Co, which is the first One Planet Living (OPL) community in NSW.
So what upcycling solutions can TRA offer all Uniformity customers?
In partnership with TRA, Uniformity customers can participate in our end-of-life to second-life uniform recycling program. Customers simply return unwanted or worn garments to Uniformity’s NSW production facility which we will then transport to TRA using secure collection bins. TRA upcycles all worn garments into automotive seat fill while unworn garments get recycled into yarn. One of the incredible parts of TRA’s process is that no dye or water is used during manufacturing processes, keeping the solution eco-friendly through and through. Additionally, TRA ensure all branded uniforms are responsibly deconstructed before undergoing the upcycling process.
Get in touch with Uniformity today to further discuss our eco-friendly initiatives and how you can get involved.
1 Florida State University, 2020, https://sustainablecampus.fsu.edu/blog/clothed-conservation-fashion-water