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Project Plan B urges PPE & workwear industry to consider C19 environmental crises

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Plymouth based Project Plan B Director Tim Cross is urging designers and product developments to think about products’ end of working life – with the motto ‘protect others, protect the planet’ in regards to the C19 environmental crises.

Having long been a spokesperson on sustainable textiles for the workwear and PPE markets, Covid-19 has only amplified Tim’s passion.

“Nearly 90% of UK workwear already ends up in landfill or incinerated every year – C19 has exacerbated that problem,” he commented.

Tim continued, “Disposable PPE is adding to the industry-wide problem of mass manufacture and waste, which is why we created the first fully recyclable face mask, made from recycled plastic currently being marketed by 1TCA.  We completely understand that during a time of crisis we have to act quickly to protect lives. However, it is surely incumbent upon us as designers and product developers to think about the products’ end of working life.

“We believe every industry has the potential to reduce their impact on the environment – the same environment issues of waste, resources, CO2 emissions and climate change remain, and are being intensified by the global pandemic. We want to be the catalyst for positive change in the textile industry and hope that other companies will follow to provide 100% recycled ranges. Everyone has the potential to make positive change, and we are keen to share what we have learnt to help others achieve the same.

“We will keep pushing boundaries, innovating and sharing knowledge to achieve the positive change we believe the textile industry is capable of.”

As the industry is well aware, the issue of sustainability is widespread and complex, with attention often garnered across the textile industry due to the substantial amount of water-waste and produce dumped in landfills. This means all businesses – textile-centered or otherwise – have to consider their practices in sustainability.

Project Plan B began this journey by providing a manufacturing solution to less flexible, larger corporations. They did this by pulling together resources and expertise from across the globe to deliver bespoke garments and looking at using recycled fabrics. However, they quickly realized this was not going to be enough if the garment just ended up in landfill after use.

Therefore, the project needed to address not only the use of non-renewable resources in producing fabric, but also the longevity of garment life and the disposal at end of life. A circular solution was needed, summarised as:

• All Project Plan B garments are made from 100% recycled materials
• Every garment is designed to be recycled
• Each garment can be 100% recycled by Project Plan B

Tim concluded, “At Project Plan B we believe you must design everything to be recycled at end of life so that you can use those fabrics, so rich in resources again and again. At this challenging time and ongoing, the textile world needs to think in a circular way and build sustainability to their design.

“The global economy is not a force of nature – it is made of a million decisions. It is designed. And it can be resigned.”

PCIAW® CEO and founder, Yvette Ashby added, “PCIAW® is the first and only worldwide organization developed to represent the global companies of the professional clothing industry, we encompass the entire supply chain from buyers, suppliers, manufacturers. As members of PCIAW®, we are assisting Project Plan B however we can, to bring products to market.  In the time of this pandemic and the C19 environmental crises innovation in PPE (personal protective equipment) is more vital than ever and we hope other companies will follow Project Plan B’s lead in their affordable, sustainable product offering.” 

For more information, please visit www.projectplanb.co.uk.