Recycle Week: taking action on clothes

We talk a lot about sustainability here at Trutex – reducing our impact on the planet is a core part of our business strategy.

We’ve established a pledge to “Nurture the Future”, which aims to drive ongoing improvements across all areas of our business, making us a more sustainable organisation at the forefront of our industry.

Trutex is the world’s first carbon neutral specialist school uniform supplier, and our pledge is to continue reducing our impact on the environment, as well as making uniform that stands up to school life!

It’s Recycle Week from 19-25th Sept and the theme ‘Let’s Get Real’ will challenge perceptions and myths around recycling. When we think about recycling, we often think about plastics, glass and paper – all those household items that we put in the recycling bin throughout the week.

But how much do we think about clothing?

An estimated 360,000 tonnes of reusable clothes are dumped into landfill each year – that equates to £140million worth of clothing dumped.

There’s lots we are doing as manufacturer to reduce our impact on clothing going to landfill and as consumers there’s lots you can do too.


Making quality garments

By making quality uniform in the first place it means it lasts longer and can be passed down to younger siblings, cousins or even friends, rather than throwing it away at the end of the school year (or even part-way through).

More than 90% of micro plastics found in oceans come from textile fibres, which is why we feel it’s important to minimise the shedding of our products whilst retaining fabric quality and comfort. Independent tests have shown that Trutex products shed 60% less fibre when washing than our main competitors, meaning fewer micro plastics are released through the washing cycle, making their way to rivers and oceans.


Helping unsold clothes avoid landfill

We’ve partnered with Giving World, a registered charity that redirects end-of-line and discontinued stock to deprived communities both within the UK and around the world. This not only reduces the amount of clothing that ends up in landfill but also provides much needed help to vulnerable communities that may not be able to afford schoolwear. Giving World is an award-winning UK charity who can quickly and efficiently distribute items to a targeted range of vulnerable and needy people. 

We’re helping schools set up garment recycling points and offering refurbished Trutex products to parents. This extends the life of garments, which in turn helps reduce carbon and water usage by up to 30%, as well as providing cost-effective uniform for parents.


Reducing plastics in clothes

We’re pioneers in the use of polyester made from 100% recycled plastic bottles. Our certified fabric is made from yarn 100% produced from post-consumer plastic bottles, so we generate the maximum environmental benefit. While this is a more costly option than yarns containing only partially recycled materials, we believe it is the right thing to do to go the extra mile and use only 100% recycled yarns.

Our blazers, boy’s trousers, shorts and skirts are all made using a fabric we call “Re-vive”. Annually we “re-vive” 18 million plastic bottles in the manufacture of these garments. That would be enough bottles of water to fill four Olympic-sized swimming pools!

As parents and customers, all we ask you to do in return is to think about what you do with your children’s clothes, including school uniform, when they grow out of it. Children grow so fast so think about how much you buy them to begin with, are there items that they’ve never even got round to wearing? You might think that an item doesn’t have any more wear in it but often clothes can be mended, so take advantage of charity bags put through your door, or speak to your kids’ school about a jumble sale or swap shop. You’ll be surprised at how much more use another child might get out of them!