4 ways Sugdens is One of the Most Sustainable Clothing Companies Right Now
Sustainability has gone from a buzzword on everyone’s lips to a necessity that every company in the textile industry needs to stay on top of.
From developing products with the use of innovative fabrics to finding ways to cut down on water sources, there are hundreds of changes a company can make to become more green.
The PCIAW® recently caught up with Sugdens to talk about the different steps the corporate clothing and workwear company is taking to become at the forefront of sustainability.
1. Better Cotton
Better Cotton is cotton sourced with BCI (The Better Cotton Initiative), which is an organisation that reduces the environmental impact of cotton production. Better Cotton is grown using the minimum amount of water – in fact, it uses less water to grow than a cactus! Better Cotton is a genetically modified plant that collects water from both the air and soil – and grows from very dry ground that doesn’t have to be watered.
According to Richard Donner, Sugdens Chairman, there is no difference in the quality of the cotton, with Better Cotton offering the strength and the handle that any other cotton may offer. Over 50% of Sugdens’ garments now use Better Cotton.
2. Reduced packaging
Sugdens has also reduced the amount of packaging it uses: the brand now ships 20 garments out per box, rather than six. The company is working to replace its plastic inserts inside of the boxes with cardboard dividers, and for every tree that is cut down, another is planted. All Cardboard will be sourced sustainably too. Sugdens has also decreased its amount of barcoding. Instead of using new paper for every barcode, they have now made a deal with a number of their big customers where either the customer takes Sugdens barcode, or Sugdens takes theirs. Rather than using two-to-three barcodes on garments, the company has now cut down to just the one barcode on most garments
3. In-house changes
Richard has made sure to stay strict with his staff too. The team only prints out documents that legally need to be kept on paper and anything else stays on the screen – this has led to Sugdens using around 1/3 less paper than they used to, which is a big change. The temperature in the office block has also been reduced, and Richard has also put a new system heating in place in the factory; the heating only comes on when someone is actually in the space. When it’s empty, the heat goes off.
“We heat people. We don’t heat space”
4. Upcoming changes
The steps to become more sustainable don’t stop there though. Sugdens is looking to start using cellophane in their packaging, which will naturally decompose. Finally, the next big thing will be solar panels. Richard already uses solar power at home, so bringing it to the company’s offices and factories is the next natural step which Sugdens hope to see in place by 2021. Having already worked out what power they’re actually using onsite, Sugdens plan to generate that amount of power as near as possible.
The PCIAW® are astonished to hear not only what changes Sugdens have already made but their future plans to become even more sustainable – without scrimping on garment quality.