Why the Uniform business is uniquely set up for Circular

Why the Uniform business is uniquely set up for Circular

09 May 2024  |  Circularity

We have recently released a blog post series – Steps to Circularity. Where we deep dive into the strategy, business processes, and technical changes required to set up products and companies for Circular.

For companies in the Uniform business (workwear), there are some unique advantages due to the design of the product and the business model. This means more companies who offer uniforms can fast track towards Circularity. This piece outlines the places where advantages exist and how companies can use them.

As Bleckmann we have a wide experience in supporting the uniform business since 2017. Uniforms, often also referred to as workwear, are distinctive clothing worn by members of the same organization. It is the visual representation of association. And for all employees who wear uniforms, it has a significant impact on how they can perform their jobs. Safe and comfortable attire ensures workers are starting from the best foundation.

Bleckmann has worked with uniform companies in the security, airlines, and professional services sectors offering fulfilment services, including warehousing and VAS.

Uniform Business Flows

In comparison to a company that makes clothing for the public, a uniform business has a different flow of goods and therefore requires the ability to manage those logistics accordingly.

Uniforms are usually made in a specific order for a client. It could be that they are changing the visual of the uniforms, like when an airline rolls out their new looks. Or there is a renewal of a contract that requires upgraded or updated functionality like in the police or security sector.

Uniforms will have a smaller number of styles than a traditional public customer brand. Even though there are fewer styles, the number of units can be huge, as it depends on the size of the employee base and how many uniforms they are required to have.

Uniforms are distributed to employees in various ways. They can go to a website and order their units, or they can be distributed onsite.

Traceability is a critical part of the uniform business. Only authorized people should have access to a uniform, so each uniform must be tagged with an ID and assigned to an employee. This means companies know where all the products they make are. We have taken a closer look at the use of the RFID technology for the traceability of workwear in our client case for Securitas.

A Circular Lens on Uniforms

We hope you caught where within the Uniform business opportunities can exist for circularity.

  1. Large volume of the same material type
  2. Digital ID already on a product
  3. Items can be returned for repair or returned for reuse.

Uniform companies can design for circularity at the start of their process. Specifically designing for Reuse and Recycling. Upon selection of the fabric for the uniform ensuring that it aligns with a known recycling technology means that at the end of a uniform’s use, it can be sent to that recycler.

With a digital ID on the uniform, it can be tracked in a system to know where the product is and how long it has been in use. This also makes the product ideally set up for reuse. If an employee leaves their job and returns the uniform, working with a company like Bleckmann, we can inspect, clean, and repair the item and make it available again for another employee. This reduces the costs of creating new products and reduces waste.

Circular Logistics for Uniforms

Like all apparel companies, uniform companies are facing the same pressures to reduce their carbon and waste and offer more sustainable options for their customers. The introduction of Circular Solutions for brands from Bleckmann means that uniform companies can add services like repair and reuse for employees as well as collecting items and managing the logistics for a recycler.

If you are a uniform company and want to know more about how Bleckmann can help you meet your circularity goals, please reach out to trwsales@bleckmann.com

Want to know more?
Contact us
The Renewal Workshop
The Renewal Workshop

Sales team

Get in touch

Read more resources

View all resources about Circularity (34)
Arrow up