How to Sustainably Dispose of Your Branded Uniforms and Workwear

Sustainable polo shirts

Did you know that 100 billion items of clothing are made every year and only 1% of all clothing is recycled effectively? Have you been wondering how to sustainably dispose of your branded uniforms and workwear?

That means an entire rubbish truck’s worth of clothing enters landfill every second and we understand the importance of making sure your business’s uniforms aren’t contributing.  If this is something your business is trying to get better at while protecting your brand, this blog is for you. 

According to WRAP, at present, only 9% of corporate workwear is recycled effectively. Unsustainable practices when it comes to clothing disposal can cost your business in many ways. From affecting your eco-friendly credentials to damaging your brand if items are disposed of correctly. There are several options for disposal, but clothing recycling is the greenest option. 

Disposal methods 

Sustainable disposal of branded uniforms and workwear can be a tricky thing to get right. There are a few ways to reuse and dispose of branded workwear. Many don’t necessarily align with your brand’s eco-friendly aspirations and even can leave your brand open to damage. 

Textile rags

Turning your brand’s old workwear into textile rags is a good option because your old garments are reused for another purpose, and it’s an easy option to take. However, it doesn’t offer an end-of-life solution, and it’s a short-lived solution where garments very quickly become useless and polluting again.


A common method for clothing disposal is incineration. Whilst there are some positives, the negatives unfortunately outweigh them. On the positive side, energy created from clothing incineration can be reused, it is a cost-effective means of disposal and protects your brand. Incineration isn’t a sustainable choice. It releases CO2, methane, and other greenhouse gasses, and burning dye used in clothing also releases toxins and chemicals.


I don’t think there is much need to explain why landfill isn’t the best sustainable choice. 5% of all global landfills are being taken up by textile waste. It is an extremely harmful choice for garment disposal. In time garments in landfills will release toxic substances into the groundwater and soil, creating a lasting negative effect and landfills are known to accelerate climate change too.

The key to safe garment disposal is finding a credible and secure clothing recycling system. Having the right practices in place means that you can trace your clothing disposal right back to the source. Choosing an environmentally friendly mode of branded uniform disposal not only ensures your business’s practices are as green as possible but also protects your brand.

Brand Protection 

At Streamline we understand more than most the importance of protecting your brand. Uniforms are essential in establishing your staff’s identity and reflecting your brand. Unfortunately, the disposal of branded uniforms can pose certain security risks. If these garments end up in the wrong hands, they may be exploited for impersonation, leading to corporate identity theft and fraud.  

To ensure the secure disposal of uniforms, consider employing de-labelling or de-branding technologies, such as manual unpicking, microwave treatment, and adhesive over-branding. By utilising these technologies, you can confidently proceed with recycling, upcycling, or donating to charity, knowing that your brand is fully protected. 

Your Options

Choosing a garment recycling program doesn’t need to be complicated. There are services out there that can provide a secure, sustainable process for garment destruction, ensuring a 0% landfill policy. 

The best approach to clothing destruction is textile shredding. Textile shredding offers major benefits to your business with ultimate protection for your brand. The process allows for the remanufacturing process where the broken-down fibres are used to create the same type of product as the original textile.  

A secondary option is recycling the shredded materials into various assorted products – beyond clothing. This can include end-of-life products such as insulation, geotextiles, partition walls and soundboarding. 

The final option, if the materials you need to dispose of are non-recyclable, is turning your old uniforms into RDF energy (Refuse Derived Fuel). 

One of the great benefits of choosing a clothing recycling service to dispose of your brand’s old workwear and uniforms is that it provides a full audit trail. You can track and report on the amount of clothing collected when it was collected and who it was collected by. You’ll have proof to say it has been recycled and a certificate to prove full destruction for your audit trail too. 


If your brand is committed to environmental sustainability and is looking for a brand-safe way to dispose of your old workwear and uniforms, we can help. Contact us to talk about how we can protect your brand with clothing disposal options.