At a time when environmental protection and sustainability are becoming increasingly important issues, the sustainable production of The focus is increasingly on workwear. Sustainable workwear, also known as environmentally friendly workwear or ecological workwear, is becoming increasingly important. But what exactly characterizes sustainable clothing and how can companies ensure that their workwear has actually been produced sustainably?

What makes workwear sustainable?

Sustainable workwear is characterized by environmentally friendly materials such as organic cotton, recycled fabrics or innovative materials such as Tencel. Classic workwear is usually made of polyester. However, this is not always sustainable, which is why companies should pay particular attention to the material specifications.
Special features of these materials for workwear:
Organic cotton: Organic cotton is grown without the use of harmful chemicals or genetically modified organisms, which reduces the environmental impact compared to conventional cotton production.
Recycled fabrics: Recycled fabrics are made from existing materials such as used clothing or plastic waste. The use of these materials reduces the need for new resources and minimizes waste.
Tencel: Tencel, a brand for Lyocell fibers, is obtained from the natural raw material wood and is characterized by resource-saving production.

In addition, attention is paid to a closed-loop economy in the production of ecological workwear in order to minimize waste and use resources efficiently.

How do I recognize sustainable workwear?

Certifications such as the GOTS seal (Global Organic Textile Standard), the GRS (Global Recycled Standard), the GREEN BUTTON and the Fairtrade seal provide guidance and guarantee environmentally friendly and socially responsible production. In addition to certifications, companies should pay attention to transparent advertisements and information from manufacturers that provide detailed information about materials, production locations and environmental standards. Tracking the supply chain and the sparing use of biodegradable or recyclable packaging materials are further signs of sustainable clothing.

Certifications play a crucial role in ensuring the sustainability of workwear such as shirts and pants. The GOTS seal (Global Organic Textile Standard) is one of the best-known certification systems for textiles. It guarantees that the materials used are grown organically, without the use of harmful chemicals or synthetic fertilizers. In addition, the GOTS ensures that strict environmental and social standards are adhered to throughout the entire production chain. This also includes compliance with minimum wages and working hours as well as the prohibition of child labor.

The Global Recycled Standard (GRS) label also ensures compliance with social and ecological criteria and requires restrictions on the chemical composition of products. The GRS certifies the recycled content of a textile product.

Another important certification system is the Fairtrade seal. This seal ensures that producers are paid fairly and work under humane conditions.

The GREEN KNOB goes even further. It sets binding requirements to protect people and the environment in the textile production process. A total of 46 demanding social and environmental criteria must be met – from A for wastewater limits to Z for a ban on forced labor. The special feature of the Green Button is that, in addition to the product, it is always checked whether the company as a whole fulfills its human rights and environmental due diligence obligations in the textile supply chain. The corporate criteria are based on the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the recommendations of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) for the textile sector. The seal comprises 26 different product criteria, such as the ban on hazardous chemicals, the use of natural fibers tested for harmful substances and the biodegradability of chemical substances. For the textiles to be tested, the GREEN KNOB relies on recognized seals such as GOTS, GRS and Fairtrade. With 20 corporate criteria, the business practices of the entire company are also examined. This is particularly relevant for production in so-called risk countries, where human rights, social and environmental standards are inadequately enforced. However, the company audit also applies to production sites within the EU. Companies must prove that any remaining risks are also adequately addressed within the EU.

Where is sustainable workwear produced?

Sustainable workwear is produced worldwide, with countries such as Germany, Sweden and the Netherlands leading the way in the development and commissioning of ecological workwear. These countries are characterized by their strict environmental regulations and their strong commitment to sustainability in textile production. In addition, there are an increasing number of initiatives and cooperatives that focus on local production and the use of regional raw materials.

The market share of sustainable workwear is growing continuously, as both companies and consumers are increasingly making environmentally conscious decisions. This reflects the increased awareness of environmental issues and the need for them.

Why is environmentally friendly workwear important?

Sustainable workwear is not a fad, but an important response to the challenges of climate change and resource scarcity. By using environmentally friendly materials, reusing existing raw materials, promoting fair working conditions and giving preference to short transportation routes, we are helping to reduce our environmental impact. In addition, sustainable workwear promotes a longer product life thanks to high-quality materials and workmanship. This in turn helps to reduce overall waste.
Choosing sustainable workwear is the right way to go. However, he should also consider the disadvantages that still need to be eliminated:
Higher costs: Sustainable materials and production processes can often be more expensive than conventional alternatives. This can mean that workwear is sustainable, but also more expensive.
Limited choice: As sustainable materials and manufacturing processes may not be as widely available as conventional ones. In addition, the choice of designs and styles of sustainable workwear can be limited.

Reduced availability: Sustainable workwear may not be readily available in all stores or regions, which can make sourcing more difficult. It is advisable to buy sustainable workwear online.

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