Corporates rethinking procurement of uniforms

Corporates rethinking procurement of uniforms

In 2021 Auckland Transport (AT) approached All Heart NZ with a request to help them find a circular solution for their bus driver uniforms. The ReThink team at All Heart completed a review and outlined options for reuse and recycling, as well as ideas for changes to procurement, which AT has embraced.

Used clothing is returned to the uniform supplier, DeVere, and sorted. Bus driver jackets with wear left in them, have their logos removed; this provides employment for a local community organisation, and the jackets are reused through the All Heart NZ network to support local communities.

Over 300 jackets were given away to school children in Northland after local school principals approached the All Heart Kaikohe store asking for support for their pupils.

Uniforms that are no longer suitable for wear are sent for recycling and the fabric is repurposed into a soft fibre that can be used for soft furnishings filling and insulation.

Over the last year, this has provided over 400 jackets for reuse in the Auckland and Northland communities and over 1,200 kg of textiles have been recycled. This is an ongoing initiative that will continue to divert these textiles from landfill and enable All Heart NZ to support their communities.

In conjunction with AT and the feedback from All Heart NZ, De Vere launched a “Design for Circularity” project that involved the replacement of the traditional direct embroidery for silicone patches. Designed and developed by De Vere the silicon patches only require a round stitch to be attached. This reduces damage to the jackets during the logo unpicking process and reduces the upcycling process from 10-15 minutes to only 1 minute!

This is a great example of designing for circularity; understanding what happens to a product at the end of its initial life and designing it in a way that allows it to be used for longer.

If you would like to know how to implement circular solutions into your business, contact our Sustainability Development Manager, Colinda Rowe –


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