Textile recycling: Can your company’s old work uniforms be more than rubbish?


So you want your company to be in the habit of recycling old uniforms but don’t know where to start – help is just a stitch away.

Since the inaugural ‘Circular Threads’ event in November 2016 (held at Interface Carpets in Sydney), the movement has been weaving through Australia’s corporate sector, gaining momentum in its search for industrial-scale solutions that will stop corporate uniforms from becoming textile waste.

If you come into contact with uniforms in your work or your supply chain – Circular Threads is for you. We’ve seen involvement from uniform design teams, importers and distributors, company procurement managers and the uniform-wearing employees themselves.

Which makes sense: textile recycling en masse is a positive step towards government-directed environmental targets and demonstration of corporate social responsibility.


Fig. 1 Stakeholders in circular corporate uniform supply chain

Circular Threads’ upcoming manifesto

One of Circular Threads’ short-term goals is to develop a manifesto by the Australian companies that are already creating a sustainable textile industry supply chain in Australia. Edge Environment’s role will be to provide the framework, knowledge and networks to facilitate a successful textile recycling action plan for these companies.

Research and development

On another exciting front, Circular Threads is delving into the research and development side of textile technology. The Institute for Frontier Materials based in Geelong is has discovered an effective way of separating polyester/cotton blended yarns back to its individual components, a breakthrough that can be applied to the recycling of any bio-composite materials.

Website on its way

Finally, Circular Threads will soon launch its own webpage on Edge Environment’s website – the perfect place to pick up all the interesting threads of information from its expanding network.

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