Securing The Future.

Subway Goes Greener With SECUREBRAND

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The fast food sector is often targeted for producing excessive packaging waste but Subway, the world’s largest submarine sandwich brand with more than 44,000 locations globally, is finding innovative ways to reduce its environmental impact through uniforms that are not only made using recycled content but are also recycled at the end of their life.

New Subway Uniform Has Bottlesubway new uniform

During 2023, the staff of more than 2,300 Subway restaurants in the UK and Ireland will receive the brand’s new uniform.

The tee shirts, polo shirts, aprons, caps and bandanas that make up the uniform will be made from textiles that are 100% recycled polyester or a blend of Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) cotton and recycled polyester, with all of the polyester coming from recycled plastic bottles.

How much recycled polyester goes into making each item? A baseball cap is made from three bottles and a bandana uses five. Eight bottles make a half apron, while a full apron uses up twelve bottles. Polo and tee shirts are a blend of cotton and recycled polyester, with six or seven bottles going into making a polo shirt (depending on size) and eight into a tee shirt.

Subway Uniforms Given Life After Lunch

As uniforms wear out, become faded or stained they become a liability to a restaurant chain’s brand image and reputation for food hygiene, but simply throwing them into the garbage adds to landfill and wastes textiles that still have useful potential.

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Subway has commissioned Avena Group to collect and process the old uniforms through its SECUREBRAND textile recycling service. This service combines the secure destruction of branded workwear with a “zero waste-to-landfill” policy that reutilises textile waste as respun fibres for new clothing, padding for acoustic panels and upholstery, and biofuels.

As for Subway’s surplus stock of old uniforms, this will be donated to charities that are running food and nutrition initiatives. One example of this is the 1,000 aprons they are donating to Rethink Food, which will use them to make watercress grow mats in UK schools.

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Louise Wardle, Subway’s VP of Marketing EMEA, who believes their action is a first for a high street restaurant brand, has promised “This is still only the beginning, and we hope to make further progress in the years ahead – stay tuned.”

We will be staying tuned, Louise, and hope all the other high-street restaurant brands soon follow your excellent example.


If you would like to talk with Avena Group about the SECUREBRAND secure textile destruction and recycling service, please register your interest below or contact us.

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