Peter Dumigan, managing director of the Hultafors Group UK, which owns Snickers Workwear, Hultafors Tools, EMMA, Solid Gear and Toe Guard safety footwear, as well as Hellberg Safety PPE, talks ‘Preferred Fibres’ and sustainable workwear…
Just as the effects of plastic waste on the environment have 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 a key part of our environmental consciousness.
Fabric technology has always been a key driver in the design and development of 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 the 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 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.
Environmentally friendly fleece jackets
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.
Snickers Workwear’s new fleece Jackets for men and women are made from 100% recycled Polartec polyester, which increases the breathability of the fabric and makes them very comfortable and warm.
They’re lightweight 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 developing your company’s and your own sustainability roadmap, so you will be able to make a conscious contribution to the environment and save valuable resources such as energy and water with your buying decisions.
Safety footwear that’s creating a positive footprint
We’ve all seen how quickly clothing and footwear containers at waste disposal centres fill up, which is why we all have to ensure that footwear and garments are disposed of in an environmentally responsible way.
EMMA Safety Footwear, the Hultafors Group’s latest brand addition to its market-leading PPE portfolio, has the solution to this problem. It’s a policy of ‘100% Circularity’ in all its products. Every shoe and boot in 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.