How UPPAREL Recycled 32,000kg of Bendigo Bank Uniforms.

UPPAREL supported Bendigo Bank in 2021 with a massive uniform rebrand to recycle the uniforms of over 7,000 staff members.

Back in 2021, UPPAREL teamed up with Bendigo Bank to launch a comprehensive nationwide uniform recycling program. This pioneering effort aimed to divert heaps of old uniforms from over 470 branches across Australia away from landfill and convert them into circular materials, like UPtex.

Richard Fennell, Executive of Consumer Banking, expressed the bank’s pride in selecting UPPAREL as a partner for upcycling the old uniform range. Fennell highlighted the shift towards a more contemporary ‘mix and match’ corporate wardrobe, allowing the personality of Bendigo Bank’s team to shine through while aligning with environmental and sustainability objectives. This program came after Bendigo Banks re-branded in 2020, resulting in a substantial amount of uniforms that can no longer be worn.

UPPAREL staff sorting Bendigo Bank uniforms in Melbourne.

Instead of letting discarded clothing end up in landfills, the partnership with UPPAREL ensures that unwanted uniforms are shredded and upcycled into filling for various products, including furniture. This commitment not only supports environmental sustainability but also reflects Bendigo Bank’s dedication to long-term strategies for a sustainable future.

The uniform recycling program was run through a collection program that provided staff with a 10kg clothing collection to recycle the outdated uniforms that they could no longer wear. Staff packed their garments into a cardboard box and a courier would conveniently collect the items from their door. With a focus on reducing its national operations’ carbon footprint, Bendigo Bank recognises UPPAREL’s leadership in textile recycling, aiming to give old clothing a new lease on life.

In addition to recycling work clothing, Bendigo Bank staff were encouraged to send old non-work clothing, linen, and shoes to UPPAREL for reuse, repurposing, and recycling. Moreover, staff are encouraged to reduce their carbon footprint at home through discounts on solar panels and batteries, along with opportunities to offset emissions through native revegetation support.

At the end of the program, UPPAREL provided Bendigo Bank with an in-depth Impact Statement and Outcome Report to track the success of the initiative and the positive effects it’s had on the environment. This program successfully diverted over 32,000kg of textiles from landfill, preventing over 112,000kg of greenhouse gas emissions from entering our atmosphere. This is truly a tremendous impact and something the Bendigo Bank team should be incredibly proud of.

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