Ethical and sustainable workwear

Sussex Clothing woman's polo shirt

There is a growing movement of younger employees who are keen and proud to wear ethical workwear and sustainable corporate clothing. Within our workwear catalogue, we have a number of brands which have durable, casual and formal clothing which your staff will be proud to wear being ethically produced and from sustainable sources.

If it is your responsibility to purchase workwear clothing or a corporate uniform for your organisation, you have some key considerations to make. 

You will be looking for quality clothes, that fit comfortably, look smart and are durable, and supplied or manufactured from a professional source. Check out this link for our latest organic and sustainable options.

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

If you are part of a large organisation, it is likely to form part of the company’s CSR, and this is likely to influence your choice. So, what do you look for when choosing this kind of workwear?

Ethical and sustainable work clothing

You will need to know about the people making the clothing, and if you are buying cheap workwear, it is likely that the manufacturing conditions are poor, and that the workers are underpaid and work long hours.

You can research a brand’s Ethical Policy and check any statement regarding the Modern Slavery Act 2015. One of our top brands, the Regatta Group, outline their responsibility throughout their supply chain.

We all have a responsibility to ensure clothing is manufactured in working conditions which are safe and hygienic, that child labour is not used and that working hours are not excessive. We also need assurance that employment is not enforced, that there is no discrimination and that a living wage is paid. Only by choosing ethical companies will we improve standards, living conditions and the environment for clothing workers. Look for uniform brands who are part of the Ethical Trading Initiative.

ISO standards and Global Labels

Some companies have ISO 14001:2015 Environmental Management accreditation and ISO 9001 Quality Management standards. If a company has reached these standards, it  is an indication that certain good standards have been met.

Other labels you can look out for are Fairtrade Foundation which guarantees a minimum price to producers. Fair Wear Foundation (FWF) a not for profit which works with companies and factories to improve labour conditions for clothing workers. EU Ecolabel identifies products and services that have a reduced environmental impact across their lifecycle from raw material to production, use and disposal. Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) a worldwide processing standard for organic fibres with independent certification of the textile supply chain.

Plant-based fabrics include Organic Cotton and Linen

Organic cotton is one of the most popular sustainable fabrics produced without synthetic toxic fertilisers, herbicides, pesticides or insecticides which have an environmental impact. Organic cotton is better for the health of farmworkers who pick the cotton.

Linen is produced from flax and can be grown without the use of chemicals. 

Wool from animal hair

Wool is a resilient textile that holds colour easily without using chemicals for production. The only environmental issue about wool is the methane emissions that sheep make.

Fabrics from recycled plastics

Some workwear brands use recycled fabrics for their fleeces.

You can check out more information here in this Guide to Sustainable Fabrics

Choosing quality ethical workwear is environmentally friendly

If you get more use out of your workwear, and it is more durable, you will spend less budget in the long run and less fabric will go to landfill.

Make the most of resources and ensure that staff give you the correct sizes and specifications, so there is no wastage. 

When you order new workwear or uniforms, consider what will happen to the old workwear. Can they be recycled and sent to a textile processor, can they be used by charities, can they be recycled?

If you take the environment seriously, you will make a difference to the environmental impact. 

If you have any questions about our products and how we can help you search for ethical and sustainable workwear, please get in touch. 

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