Recycling Workwear for a better world

Recycling Workwear for a better world

Dedicated to its corporate and social responsibility of reducing the company’s carbon footprint, SKANWEAR is constantly looking to develop innovative sustainable solutions in order to minimise its impact on the environment. One such initiative that enables the company to take steps towards achieving this aim is their newly introduced Garment Recycling Scheme.

For decades now workwear that is no longer wearable has been trucked to landfills where, for the most part, it remains for all eternity. But thanks to a bit of out-of-the-box thinking and a whole lot of research and testing, SKANWEAR has developed a process that sees its non-biodegradable FR and arc flash workwear turned into electricity.

The Current Issue

Most of us in the industrial business world, wear safety workwear but we don’t really take the time to think about where our safety gear goes after we are finished with it. Discarded workwear is typically disposed of in landfills which mean that 85% of our collective garments ends up creating mountains of clothes.

FR and arc flash workwear is often non-biodegradable, chemically treated, and potentially toxic. Discarded workwear usually ends up in the rubbish and ultimately landfills. This makes the industry is a huge contributor to industrial waste and to landfills. This is not only harmful to the environment in the long-term, but it is also expensive in terms of disposal costs.

Industrial waste accounts for about two-thirds of waste in landfills. Over the last 50 years since the development of man-made, FR fibres and fabrics, this type of industrial waste has had a big impact on landfills. Industrial workwear that is fire retardant or chemically treated may also carry harmful chemicals that, over time, could leach from the landfill and potentially be damaging to the environment.

The landfill disposal solution becomes a concern when you consider that landfills create methane. Methane gas is far more dangerous to the environment than CO2 emissions. Methane gas is 21 times more potent than CO2 and 35.6% of methane pollution in the UK comes from landfills. Reducing methane emissions is key in the fight to reduce greenhouse gases. If we reduce waste sent to landfills, we can reduce methane gases from being released into the environment.

Our Solution

Recognising that FR and arc flash workwear is a potential hazard to the environment, SKANWEAR, set out to find a better solution for used garments than landfills. The answer came in recycling. Taking workwear and turning it into solid waste for the purpose of producing electricity.


Through innovation, much persistence, significant investment, and extensive R&D efforts, SKANWEAR came up with a game-changing solution. A solution that allows companies and their employees to be ‘green’ with their workwear.

The scheme sees a recycled cardboard box delivered to a company’s location anywhere in the world. Any used or unfixable workwear is discarded in the box. Once full, the box is collected and replaced with a new one. The full box makes its way to the SKANWEAR distribution facility where the workwear is processed and then sent off to be burned and turned into electricity.

This is a recycling solution that is win-win for everyone involved:

  • The companies that purchase SKANWEAR garments and now have a new green disposal solution.
  • The environment that benefits from the reduction of methane and CO2 emissions.

It’s a practical, cost-effective, feel-good solution all the way around that would make any company be more environmentally conscious. To register your interest in using the scheme, click here.

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