Securing The Future.

Northern – Case Study

The Challenge

With a workforce exceeding 7,000 employees, Northern faced a growing concern regarding the disposal of end-of-life uniforms. With rebrands, wear and tear and size changes contributing to a significant number of branded garments being discarded, Northern recognised the urgency to address this issue. Driven by sustainability goals and a commitment to carbon reduction,
Northern sought to tackle three key challenges:
1. Minimise waste sent to landfill.
2. Enhance security when disposing of uniforms.
3. Commitment to carbon reduction

However, Northern lacked the necessary time and resources internally to devise asolution for end-of-life textiles. They required a dependable and comprehensive solution that not only prioritised sustainability but also incorporated robust security measures.

The Solution

SECUREBRAND®, offered by Avena Group, provided the ideal solution Northern had been seeking. Given Avena’s standing as a leading security company, it reinforced the trust Northern required. The environmental benefits and reporting offered exactly what was necessary to ensure the consistent drive to achieving sustainability goals.

Avena’s security-vetted personnel collect end-of-life workwear and uniforms from Northern’s 25 sites and transport them to Avena’s secure shredding facility in vehicles fitted with CCTV and real-time satellite tracking. Once the garments have been sorted and shredded, they are baled and sent to recycling mills where they are processed according to Avena’s 3-tier recycling system.
Tier 1 fibres are the best quality. These can be respun into new yarn and used to make new fabrics.
Tier 2 fibres are used to make sound-absorbing panels in cars and acoustic office screens, geotextiles, and upholstery padding.
Tier 3 material left over is used to generate sustainable energy.

The Result

Avena installed specially designed SECUREBRAND® containers at Nothern’s 25 sites to provide a secure and convenient point for all staff to dispose of branded garments and workwear. Each site has a tailored service suited to their needs and are visited on a regular schedule. Each site is visited by Avena’s collection team, and the containers are emptied.

The solution has enabled Northern to obtain reporting on environmental factors to aid them in meeting sustainability goals. The solution has also given Nothern complete peace of mind knowing that Avena align with their security needs. Avena’s zero waste-to-landfill policy ensures that 100% of Northerns’ textile waste is processed sustainably. Documentation is also provided to record all
collections and the weights that are processed, giving Nothern accurate data.


“Before partnering with Avena, our uniform disposal process was non-existent. Now, with a solid relationship in place, we have peace of mind knowing that the process is secure, safe, and risk-free. We’ve significantly reduced the chances of our uniform ending up in the wrong hands.”

“Avena has been very reliable, ensuring smooth collections that meet our fluctuating site demands. Since implementing Avena’s solution across 25 Northern sites, we’ve processed over 10 tonnes of materials to date, an achievement that directly contributes to our carbon savings. We wholeheartedly recommend Avena. Their solution has enabled our staff to dispose of their end-of-life uniforms responsibly and securely.”

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