Peter Dumigan Managing Director of the Hultafors Group UK, which owns Snickers Workwear, talks to PEW about its efforts in developing sustainable alternatives to traditional workwear fabric.
Every builders’ merchant and electricians’ wholesaler will be aware of the problems of waste and probably have their own recycling systems in place. But just as the effects of plastic waste on the environment has been brought to the centre of consumer consciousness in recent years, so the problems caused by the disposal of clothing and shoes are coming to the fore.
Images of ‘ragpickers’ on our waste clothing mountains in Africa are an increasing cause for concern as landfill sites in the UK become overwhelmed and we dispose of our waste on someone else’s doorstep. That’s why the sourcing of sustainable and environmentally responsible workwear and safety footwear is becoming key parts of our environmental consciousness.
Fabric technology has always been a key driver in the design and development Snickers Workwear garments. Fabrics that deliver comfort and functionality, flexibility and durability are key components of every single product in the range. Now, as consumers and corporates strive to reduce their impact on the planet, the Hultafors Group is implementing a policy of replacing conventional fabrics in its workwear products with sustainable fabrics – Preferred Fibres.
Given increasing levels of awareness about the impact of waste on our environment, this will surely have an impact on the clothes people choose for work in years to come. For Snickers Workwear, this product development and design philosophy is being be applied to every new product in the Snickers Workwear collection with the additional assurance that the Snickers Hallmarks of design, comfort, functionality and durability will not be compromised in any way.
Snickers Workwear’s objective is to ensure that by 2030, 70% of the fabrics used are Preferred Fibres – those with sustainable properties and a lower environmental footprint. As early as 2023, the company will be at 40% – a significant achievement by any measure. For those that haven’t come across the term, Preferred Fibres are those that have more sustainable properties compared to conventional man-made alternatives.
Given that almost any fabric and garment can be developed with recycled polyester yarn, Snickers Workwear’s aim is to replace conventional fibres such as polyester with Preferred Fibres which have full manufacturing transparency, traceability and thus reduce our climate impact and prevent waste from going into landfill.
Man-made materials, such as nylon and polyester fabrics, can easily be recycled to create new, Preferred Fibres that have the same performance levels in comfort, flexibility and durability as the originals. Take Snickers Workwear’s new Fleece Jackets and Gilets for example.
The Environmentally Friendly Fleece Jackets For Winter
Snickers Workwear’s Jackets and Fleeces for the winter months are probably our best-selling garments during November through to March and, with the growing consciousness among our users about environmental issues, we expect the new Fleece Jackets for men and women made from 100% recycled POLARTEC® polyester to be a big seller through merchants.
They’re lightweight and breathable with great insulation properties and, with designs for both men and women – and a fit that ensures mobility and flexibility on site – these soft and versatile garments are great for both work and leisure. Either as an everyday outer jacket in dry, cold weather or as an insulating mid-layer on cold and wet workdays.
Wearing sustainable garments such as these is an easy but very urgent step in becoming more environmentally responsible, so by adding them to your range, you’ll be able to make a conscious contribution to the environment and encourage your customers to improve their carbon footprint too.
And…..Safety Footwear That’s Creating A Positive Footprint
We’ve all seen how quickly clothing and footwear containers at waste disposal centres fill up almost as quickly as any other, which is why we all have to ensure that footwear and garments are disposed of in an environmentally responsible way.
The Hultafors Group’s latest brand addition to its market-leading PPE portfolio – EMMA Safety Footwear – has the solution. It’s a policy of ‘100% Circularity’ in all its products. Every shoe and boot the EMMA range is made entirely from recycled or recyclable materials. It’s a 100% ‘circular’ manufacturing, usage and recycling process for every shoe and boot it produces. So check out the EMMA Safety Footwear range to make a positive footprint in your workday.