The clothing industry is responsible for around 10% of all global greenhouse gas emissions.
It consumes more energy than the aviation and shipping industries combined.
85% of textiles that could be reused or recycled end up in landfills or are incinerated, processes which, in themselves, pollute the planet.
In recent years, there has been an attempt to drive down pricing on safety workwear, leading to some manufacturers cutting corners: compromising ethically and environmentally as well as on quality. Leo Workwear introduced the EcoViz® range as an antidote to this trend. EcoViz® Workwear is high-quality clothing which minimizes its environmental impact.
High visibility workwear needs to maintain its luminosity and reflectivity in order to conform to industry standards and ensure the wearer’s safety in hazardous conditions. This gives it a limited shelf-life, usually to 25 or 50 wash cycles before it needs to be replaced. It is not an industry where one can “mend-and-make-do”.
Garments used in workwear and fast fashion can be repurposed into new workwear and used again: garments that otherwise would have been buried or incinerated. By recycling polyester, clothing which would otherwise be incinerated or put into landfill can be repurposed into new workwear and given a second life. In 2019, Leo Workwear transitioned our Coolviz Polo and T-Shirt Range to using 100% recycled polyester. This decision alone has already saved a huge amount in carbon emissions and energy usage.
This fabric is made by taking old, discarded garments that are collected through recycling and reward schemes in stores. The recycled clothing is chopped into pieces and processed into raw polyester chips. These chips are made into polyester fibres, using a process called polymerisation. These new fibres are then used to create a complete high visibility garment fully conforming to ISO 20471, the safety standard for high visibility.
The quality of polyester derived from recycled clothing through Leo Workwear’s supply partners is equal to that of petrol refined polyester. Compared to producing these with polyester derived from oil, this move has cut carbon emissions and energy usage by 50%. Moreover, thousands of garments that could have been incinerated or buried have been repurposed.
2019 - ECOVIZ RECYCLED POLYESTER
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A revolutionary jog trouser, the Hawkridge was launched, our first garment made from recycled plastic bottles.
The introduction of the Dartmoor Breathable Bomber Jacket and the Northam Bib & Brace offered the first EcoViz® foul weather products.
2021 saw the introduction of many new EcoViz® products, such as the innovative Snood Sweatshirt, (the Combesgate), and the incredible Watertown Stretch Work Coverall. We also launched the Starcross Stretch Work Trouser, our first women’s EcoViz® garment.
Leo also replaced the fabric on their long-term best-selling Comfort Poly/Cotton range, moving it a recycled polyester/bamboo mix; the use of bamboo significantly reducing the amount of water used to produce each garment.
The beginning of 2022 saw the introduction of a marquee product, the Kingford Cargo Trouser, which combined eco fabric with incredible stretch properties and a modern fit.
Many more products are transitioning to EcoViz® in the early part of 2022, such as the full Sweatshirt range and the Coolviz Plus Polo/T-Shirt range. This means that the EcoViz® 2022 brochure now contains 40 products: offering sustainable protection for the whole body, in male and female styles and in all weather conditions.
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Following the success of EcoViz® RP, Leo transitioned many existing garments, as well as launching a host of new products in EcoViz® fabrics:
REDUCING OUR IMPACT