90% of textile waste ends in landfill, and it is estimated Australia recycles only 1% of end-of-life uniforms. Hi-Vis vests can not be resold due to high regulatory standards and they end up in this landfill. The vast majority of off-shore purchased high vis vests that make their way to landfill are made from virgin (not recycled) polyester. Polyester is a plastic, so most high vis vests take hundreds of years to degrade and release harmful microplastics into the environment.
Current procurement model
Environmental cost: Typically made with virgin polyester, created from chemical compounds and producing local toxic air, water and waste. Transport on diesel or dirty bunker fuel container ships. Packaging in a single use plastic bag, adding to our non-decomposing landfill. Social cost: Garment workers overseas can be forced to live in segregated dormitories, work 6 – 7 days a week earning around $230/month, with 5 days annual leave.
Low imported prices win over Australian quality, environmental impact and ethical manufacturing
The Alternative : #madeherenotthere
Light touch environmental footprint: We use recycled fibres, which reduce CO2 emissions by as much as 59% compared with virgin polyester. Local manufacturing means minimal transport costs; thoughtful packaging and distribution means no environmental import. Local Jobs for local people: Training & employment of long term unemployed amongst CALD communities - benefits the economy through workplace participation and financial independence.
Responsible purchasing choices reduce the negative effects of business on the environment.
Contact Amanda Elliot firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your sustainable uniform needs.
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