Can you buy sustainable, cost efficient corporate clothing?


There are numerous trade sectors which need work apparel for practical purposes, and many others that need a uniform to reinforce their ‘passive marketing’.

Sourcing affordable corporate uniforms & clothing that is both aesthetically pleasing and functional can be a continuous battle. Not least as it’s a topic that can get staff ‘hot under the collar’ if they don’t like wearing the items supplied.

How is it possible to juggle all this while keeping the cost down and meeting your social responsibilities as an employer?

Corporate clothing – resourcing and recycling problems

If your organisation needs to buy corporate clothing, it can represent not just a major cost but also a bit of a headache. You may be placing regular orders due to lost or damaged items, wear and tear or new staff members, for example.

Then there are those periodic ‘brand relaunches’ or company take-overs that necessitate an entirely new set of uniforms or workwear for the team.

This all impacts on company expenses and admin, but also your strategy to become more environmentally aware.

The twin forces of legislation and public opinion are demanding that all organisations be more responsible about their waste management, including business ‘tools’ such as workwear and uniforms. Society is moving away from the ‘throw-away age’ and looking for more sustainable solutions, including not committing heaps of redundant materials to landfill.

However, the resale or recycling potential of corporate workwear can be challenging to unlock.

Solutions to tick all the boxes

Fortunately, modern design and manufacturing options for corporate clothing are coming to the rescue. Not only that, but the ‘new breeds’ of uniforms and work-related clothing are breathable, kind to the skin and appealing in appearance.

It is also possible to buy everything from suits to beanies for staff that look excellent, but which are highly durable and robust. Providing a good return on investment, they stand up to heavy use without losing their aesthetic values.

Sourcing these items from suppliers who only use quality materials and manufacturing methods represents commercial common sense. Workwear and uniforms that come much cheaper could well prove to be a false economy.

Of course, the longer items last, the more chance you have of reducing not just replacement costs but also clothing consigned to landfill.

Ethical choices for corporate clothing

Adding to the better standards of workwear design and production is the availability of increasingly diverse ethical product lines, still with the same emphasis on quality materials and appearance.

This includes such items as shirts and t-shirts crafted from Fair Trade cotton.

One of the ways companies can manage their workwear or uniform budgets and show environmental awareness is to opt for items produced from recycled materials. Did you know that it’s possible to buy smart suits for staff uniforms, crafted from recycled plastic? It may sound far-fetched, but pliable and hardwearing polyester workwear can be tailored to order for eco-aware companies.

Then, of course, there are the increasingly extensive options to buy other clothing items made from recycled yarns.

Perhaps less obvious ways to underpin your sustainability agenda as a company is to opt for workwear made using more environmentally-friendly manufacturing methods. For example, some robust and hard-working clothing is produced using bio-based ingredients as an alternative to harsh chemicals.

This has the knock-on effect of reducing carbon output and reliance on non-renewable energy. In fact, studies show that some of these contemporary clothing options are produced in a manner which reduces the normal amount of greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 63%.

Now that’s a fact worth adding to your social responsibility statement and sustainability claims!

How to juggle cost, function and sustainability

There’s a persistent myth throughout the business world that ‘going green’ inevitably means higher costs. This certainly doesn’t apply to corporate workwear and uniforms.

The key is to find a corporate clothing supplier who offers affordable, ethical options that are well made. So, you get longer-lasting, hardwearing items – that staff will enjoy wearing – with the triple bonus of showing kindness to the planet.