Subway launches new uniform made from recycled plastic bottles


Subway recycled uniforms

Subway is launching a new uniform which is made from recycled plastic bottles and will gradually be rolled out across more than 2,300 restaurants in the UK and Ireland throughout 2023.

Consisting of a t-shirt, polo shirt, half and full apron, cap, and bandana, Subway says its new uniforms are all made from recycled plastic bottles.

Subway says the fabric used for the garments has been specially woven into a polyester blend that uses recycled plastic bottles, and the other parts of the new uniform are 100% recycled polyester. The new T-shirts and Polos are a mix of BCI (Better Cotton Initiative) cotton and recycled polyester.

The plastic bottles are collected and chopped into flakes, which are then made into a fibre yarn ready to be woven into the fabric to make the garments, Subway says.

Subway says the number of plastic bottles used in the production of each uniform item includes:

  • Baseball cap – is made from 3 plastic bottles
  • Bandana – is made from 5 plastic bottles
  • Half Apron – is made from 8 plastic bottles
  • Full Apron – is made from 12 plastic bottles
  • Polo shirts – 7 plastic bottles were used to help make the men’s shirt; 6 plastic bottles were used to make the female shirt.
  • T-shirts – 8 plastic bottles were used to help make the t-shirts.

During trials, Subway says 70% of its franchisees and employees rated the uniforms positively for comfort and durability.

Subway says it will also be working with textile recycling company Avena Group to collect and process the old uniforms, which will be replaced during this transition, into new material for reuse across industries

Subway recycled uniformsAdditionally, Subway says it will also be donating any old stock items to charities to use for food and nutrition initiatives. For example, 1,000 unused aprons left over from the old uniform are being provided to Rethink Food for schools to use as grow mats for watercress.

Louise Wardle, Vice President of Marketing EMEA at Subway, commented: “As we continue this journey towards building a better Subway, it’s incredibly important that we look at all areas of our business where we can make a positive impact.

“The new uniforms, made from recycled plastic bottles, is what we believe a first for a high street restaurant brand and reflects our ongoing commitment to improving how we do business.  This is still only the beginning, and we hope to make further progress in the years ahead – stay tuned.”

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