People nowadays are all talking about sustainability and creating an eco-friendly workplace. Increasingly, the restaurant industry is getting in on the “green scene” – from installing energy-efficient hand dryers to controlling water flow in the restroom faucets to using biodegradable and recycled take-away containers. But how are restaurateurs able to create sustainable restaurant uniforms?
In 2012, McDonald’s UK launched a new uniform program with designer Wayne Hemingway to create some new concepts for their old uniforms. These concepts adopt the “closed loop” system, which means that old fabrics are rehabbed and reused for making new uniforms.
The fast casual Asian chain Big Bowl spent over three years in learning the best approach to designing sustainable restaurant uniforms. Big Bowl President Dan McGowan said that, after trying bamboo and organic cotton, he finally decided on the combination of recycled plastic bottles and polyester. The new eco-friendly uniform is actually saving money for Big Bowl, since no dry cleaning or ironing is required to keep it clean.
In 2010, Chipotle formed a partnership with organic apparel brand Loomstate to create organic restaurant uniforms. The organic cotton uniform is free of toxic chemicals. Recently, the fast casual brand has launched an online store to sell branded organic shirts and accessories to create sustainability awareness.
Dempsey Uniform and Linen Supply, which serves the hospitality industry in seven Mid-Atlantic States in the United States, received the first U.S. Textile Rental Service Association’s Clean Green Certification. Restaurants like Ruth’s Chris Steak House and T.G.I. Friday’s are working with this company to use certified sustainable uniforms and linens, meaning restaurants with similar values have sustainable options to choose from without working directly with a designer.
To learn more about the sustainability trend in restaurants or for more examples on restaurant uniforms, subscribe to our free newsletter.