McDonald’s has enlisted top designer Wayne Hemmingway to create uniforms which will eventually be closed loop recyclable for all their staff. They'll be recollected in restaurants, reprocessed into raw materials and made back into uniforms again as part of a ‘closed loop’ system. The company state that it will be a long process to achieve their ambition of making them in a 100% sustainable closed loop, but claim to be the first company to commit to such a development.
To achieve their aim of creating sustainable uniforms for their 85,000 staff, the fast food chain has formed a new long-term partnership with leading British designers, Wayne and Gerardine Hemingway, their Hemingway Design team and upcycling company, Worn Again.
The new designs will be unveiled next year before the start of the London 2012 Olympic Games, with employees at the McDonald’s Olympic Park restaurants being the first to wear Wayne and Gerardine’s designs .
After the London 2012 Olympic Games, the new uniform designs will be rolled out to employees at McDonald’s 1,200 restaurants across the UK.
Wayne Hemingway, who with his wife Gerardine co-founded the acclaimed Red or Dead label, commented: “The collaboration with McDonald’s fits with what we stand for – great design that goes hand in hand with long-term sustainability. This is a bold commitment from McDonald’s, and one that we are delighted to be part of. But as well as being a move towards sustainability, these clothes need to feel fabulous to wear. The next few months are going to be busy, as we work on creating a young and fresh look for McDonald’s employees, to be unveiled in time for the London 2012 Olympic Games.”
CEO of Worn Again, Cyndi Rhoades, said: “McDonald’s is a progressive company and we’re excited to be helping it with its ambition to develop a uniform range that over time will eventually become 100% closed loop recyclable. It’s important for small innovation companies like us to work with big brands and uniform partner Dimensions/ Alexandra to create economies of scale and bring about real change across a variety of sectors.”
About Worn Again
Worn Again works with big brands to upcycle their existing textiles waste into new products while developing and integrating closed loop textiles solutions for the future.
Worn Again has been turning waste to wealth since 2005, starting out in consumer products, making footwear, bags and accessories from disused textiles from large companies, including Virgin Atlantic, Eurostar, Royal Mail and Virgin Balloon Flights.
In 2010, Worn Again partnered with uniform supplier Dimensions to co-develop a strategy towards zero waste in corporatewear.
The Worn Again Train Manager’s bag, made from decommissioned Eurostar staff uniforms, will be on trains and used by Eurostar’s Train Manager’s from 7th July, 2011.
About Hemingway Design
Wayne and Gerardine Hemingway are the founders of Red or Dead, which won the British Fashion Council’s “Street Style Designer of the Year” award three times in a row in the late 1990’s. In 1999, having sold Red or Dead they set up HemingwayDesign, which specializes in affordable and social design.
Wayne is the Chairman of Building for Life, a CABE (Commission for Architecture and The Built Environment) funded organization that promotes excellence in the quality of design of new housing. He is a Professor in The Built Environment Department of Northumbria University, a Doctor of Design at Wolverhampton, a writer for architectural and housing publications as well as a judge of international design competitions including the regeneration of Byker in Newcastle and Salford in Greater Manchester and the Stirling Prize, and a TV design commentator.
Gerardine was awarded a MBE for services to design in the June 2006 Queens Birthday Honours list and has a Doctorate from Plymouth University, Lancaster University and Stafford.
Posted on Environment Times Online on 14th July 2011.