Rob Freeman, solutions business development manager at workwear manufacturer Fristads, explains why speed is of the essence when it comes to garment sustainability.

The last 10 years or so have seen many great initiatives taken within the textile industry to start the transformation to more sustainable production, but it is not happening fast enough.

We need to accelerate the change – finding more resource-efficient solutions, adjusting our behaviours and looking at how we consume products.

The need for change applies to workwear as well. Even if our products last longer and have a more timeless design, we also need to speed up the pace in transforming our business.

At Fristads, we want to lead the change by helping and challenging our customers to act more sustainably and contribute to the development of a truly sustainable industry.

Here are some of the initiatives Fristads has developed in our commitment to lead the field in sustainability for the workwear manufacturing sector.

Fristads UK closing the loop project

Fristads UK has a ‘closing the loop’ project that allows customers to return all used Fristads garments to its UK premises (Great Yarmouth and Teeside) where the items are collected and disposed of effectively and recycled into new products.

Audited reports are issued to confirm the amount of items recycled and the percentage of items re-used, recycled or used for green energy, with zero product going to landfill.

Eastern Daily Press: Fristads manufactures sustainable workwear for various sectors including offshore energyFristads manufactures sustainable workwear for various sectors including offshore energy (Image: Fristads)

Algae could be the solution to textile dyeing in the future

In Sweden, Fristads sponsors a project that aims to replace conventional fabric dyes with more sustainable alternatives, including ink made of algae.

The algae ink is biodegradable, chemical-free and radically more resource efficient than conventional textile dyes. The project is run by start-up company Mounid via Wargön Innovation.

Fristads funds waste to energy project in India

Fristads has helped to fund the Namakkal Waste to Energy Project, which converts up to 120,000 tonnes of chicken litter and other organic residues into renewable electricity each year.

More climate efficient transports with HCT

Through the Autofreight project, Fristads is working to develop more climate-efficient road transportation between its warehouse in Viared, outside Borås, and the Port of Gothenburg.

In 2021, 10% of Fristads’ transports were made using high-capacity transport (HCT), which is 32 metres long and can carry two 40-foot containers. Using this new type of transport is estimated to reduce carbon emissions by 30%.

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