Winter workwear made of plastic bottles
Our goal is to offer carbon-free textile services to our customers by 2035 and to increase the use of recycled and bio-based fibres in textiles. As part of this journey, we have launched our first winter wear collection made of 100% recycled polyester wadding and lining. The recycled polyester is made of post-consumer recycled plastic, mainly from plastic bottles. All of our winter garments will eventually follow this lead. The transition will happen step by step as we will first use existing stocks. Recycled materials have been tested to be as good as similar virgin polyester alternatives – or even better.
Durable and high-quality workwear is a necessity to maintain the safety, well-being and comfort of employees. With Lindström’s textile rental service, the customer can ensure that their employees always have clean and suitable clothes.
The changing weather conditions test those who work outdoors, and in Finland, for example, the freezing temperatures can easily reach -20°C in winter. Fortunately, our winter wear collection is designed to protect against cold weather and combines top-class ergonomics, excellent thermal insulation, weather resistance and durability.
Our new HighvisPRO laminated winter collection made of 100% recycled polyester wadding and lining was launched in late 2022 for port workers who work in particularly cold, wet and very windy weather. 100% recycled polyester is made of post-consumer recycled plastic, mainly from plastic bottles.
In accordance with our customer promise, the quality, protection and durability of our workwear must not be compromised under any circumstances.
“It is our principle that the products made of recycled materials must be at least as good as the old product made of non-recyclable materials. The end-user must not notice any difference. In addition, the clothes should be in circulation for as long as possible,” notes Katriina Walliander, Product Manager at Lindström.
In the tests, the recycled polyester wadding used in the HighvisPRO laminated winter collection was proven to be of the same quality as virgin polyester and thermal insulation values were even better.
The launch of the collection was preceded by a long product development process with several rounds of laboratory testing and trials with customers. The products were a result of close cooperation across different functions and sales at Lindström.
“The product development process took a long time, as we could not switch to a recycled material until we were absolutely sure that the product was as durable and protective as the existing product,” explains Walliander.
Valuable feedback from customers
The samples from several suppliers were tested for 5, 10 and finally 25 washes, based on which the most durable available recycled wadding material for the padding was chosen. The material was also tested in an external research institute for its thermal values.
Lindström’s product development always includes trial use with real customers, which was also the case with this collection.
“Trial runs are very valuable to us because we get practical comments from the users that we can use in making the product even better. It was easy to find customers for trial use. Recycled materials are clearly of interest to our customers,” concludes Walliander.