The Plymouth-based Plan B project calls on designers, product developers and the PPE and workwear industry to consider the environmental impact of their garments and to think about the end of life of products, which has become more evident due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Almost 90% of UK workwear already ends up in landfill or incinerated each year, according to the 2012 Wrap Review of Corporatewear Emergings and Opportunities, and Project Plan B says Covid-19 has exacerbated this problem.

Plan B Project Director Tim Cross explains in a statement, “Disposable PPE adds to the problem of mass manufacturing and industry-wide waste, which is why we created the first Fully recyclable face mask, made from recycled plastic currently marketed by 1TCA. .

“We fully understand that in times of crisis we must act quickly to protect lives. However, it is certainly incumbent on us as product designers and developers to think about product end-of-life.

As part of its commitment to address the global environmental challenges facing the textile industry, such as the substantial amount of waste water and products dumped in landfills, the Plan B project began its journey by providing a solution from manufacturing to larger, less flexible companies by pulling together resources and expertise from around the world to deliver tailored clothing.

It started with the use of recycled fabrics and quickly expanded to address not only the use of non-renewable resources in fabric production, but also the longevity of the garment’s lifespan and end disposal. of life, industry needed a circular solution.

Cross added: “We believe that every industry has the potential to reduce its impact on the environment – the same environmental problems of waste, resources, CO2 emissions and climate change remain and are intensified by the pandemic. global. We want to be the catalyst for positive change in the textile industry and hope that other companies will follow to provide 100% recycled ranges. Everyone has the potential to make positive change, and we are eager to share what we have learned to help others do the same.

“We will continue to push the boundaries, innovate and share our knowledge to achieve the positive change we believe the textile industry is capable of.”

Project plan B calling on PPE manufacturers to take into account the environmental impact of disposable clothing

All Project Plan B clothing is made from 100% recycled materials, and each garment has been designed to be 100% recycled, following research to develop recycled yarns that could be recycled again without losing value. , as part of its own unique closed loop circular system.

In addition, its yarn also exhibits the properties required for commercial success, including a super soft hand, wick evacuation capabilities and the ability to undergo antibacterial treatment.

“Designing with end of life in mind from the start solves problems before they are created,” added Cross. “At Project Plan B, we believe you have to design everything to be recycled at the end of its life so you can use these resource-rich fabrics over and over again. In this difficult and continuing period, the textile world needs to think circular and build sustainability into its design. ”

Project Plan B indicates that by moving from a linear to circular manufacturing system, they eliminated the need to use or dispose of virgin polyester in their system designed to ensure a recycled closed loop system. Each fabric, trim, accessory, thread and label are carefully selected to ensure a high level of recycled materials that can be reused.

Each garment is made from recycled polyester, and at the end of its lifespan, each Project Plan B garment will be made into raw polyester before being spun into the fabric of new garments, closing the loop to create a cycle of circular polyester.

It is hoped that his success and passion for change within the industry will encourage other manufacturers and designers of PPE and workwear to “protect others, protect the planet” and reduce waste.

Project Plan B has worked with longtime partners including London Olympics, Eon, Eddie Stobart, Police and Ambulance, Qatar 2022 World Cup construction workers, Arco, JCB workwear, and has won more early this year the uniform overhaul contract for Stansted Airport. .

Images: courtesy of Project Plan B

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