How is your workplace thinking about sustainability?
Safety first. It’s a phrase we all know. Parents yell it to their kids as they grab bikes from their shed; travelers use it to caution against unnecessary risks. Friends and family will even use the phrase to whomever is the designated driver for the day, as they cheekily tighten their seatbelt.
If you work an industrial job, or are responsible for the purchase of workforce uniforms and safety gear, the phrase will be especially familiar. It’s two words that remind you of the responsibility you have to keep yourself, and your coworkers, safe.
But have you ever considered how the phrase might be used in relation to our planet?
A Whole New World
There’s no question our planet is changing. News stations have dedicated reporters and channels to discuss climate change. Corporations, governments and individuals are scrutinized and celebrated by the actions they take in thinking about the future of our planet.
For us at Covergalls, it means taking the time to reflect on what longevity means to us. What sustainability means for workwear.
The United Nations Alliance for Sustainable Fashion estimates that the clothing and textiles industry alone is responsible for somewhere between two-to-eight per cent of the world's greenhouse gas emissions. In Canada textile waste, which comes from the manufacture of clothes and their eventual disposal into landfills, is a growing problem. According to the City of Vancouver in British Columbia, a province often associated with the image of sustainability and green action, people are buying on average three times more clothes than they did in the 1980s.
CBC reports that Metro Vancouver residents are throwing out the equivalent of 44 T-shirts per person, per year.
On a global scale, 80 billion pieces of new clothing are purchased each year. That translates to $1.2 trillion annually for the global fashion industry.
Looking Towards Our Future
‘Fast Fashion’ is a term widely used to describe the readily available, inexpensively-made clothing of today. New outfits and designs are created in a rush to meet the constant demand of consumers everywhere. We want more options - and in different styles. But when you say ‘safety first’ towards our planet, it makes you wonder:
What value do I hold towards the product I’m seeing on my screen?
Why does my purchase matter to our planet’s health and safety?
How am I making a difference?
As an organization these are questions we’ve been asking ourselves lately. We take pride in our work to provide comfortable, well-fitting, safe clothing for women working in industrial jobs. We get health and safety. And as we’ve faced unprecedented times these past two years, we’ve begun to wonder about our planet’s ‘safety first.’
Workwear is, in many ways, the opposite of fast fashion. Clothing is centred on functionality and durability. It’s qualities like these that, we believe, are something consumers are searching for more and more. Like us, they are looking for longevity. Like us, they want real value. Something more than just a moment.
These reflections have taken us on a path of an exciting and innovative new venture. As August comes to a close, keep your eyes peeled.
We can’t wait to share the news.