What is Dickies Workwear doing to reduce energy use, waste and packaging?
At Dickies Workwear, we are continually looking at ways in which we can improve sustainability by reducing the size of our carbon footprint. Our parent company, VF, has a Purpose which is very much focused around improving sustainability for the betterment of people and our planet:
WE POWER MOVEMENTS OF SUSTAINABLE AND ACTIVE LIFESTYLES FOR THE BETTERMENT OF PEOPLE AND OUR PLANET.
100% Recyclable Mailing Bags
Our latest effort to improve sustainability and reduce our carbon footprint is by switching our mailing bags to a material which is made from a renewable source, that’s carbon negative and recyclable. The new mailing bags, manufactured by Duo UK, are made using GreenPE, which is a thermoplastic sustainable resin made from sugar cane which is renewable and recyclable!
“The raw ingredient, sugarcane, is a water efficient crop that captures and fixes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere during photosynthesis. What’s more, the crop is planted and grown in accordance to strict ethical guidelines on degraded pastureland. For every kilogram of green plastic produced 2.78kg of CO2 is removed from the atmosphere.”
- Duo UK, Packaging Manufacturer
By making the switch from fossil derived polythene mailing bags to sugarcane GreenPE mailing bags we have saved 16 MT CO₂eq and eradicated the requirement for 3 tonnes of finite fossil derived polythene. That’s the equivalent carbon saving of 133,833 CO₂ in KM driven by car (*based on Dickies usage of mailing bags in 2019).
Becoming A Zero Waste Company
To further reduce our environmental impact and work towards becoming a “Zero Waste” company, we have started the process of removing all under-desk bins from distribution facilities, major offices and canteens throughout the company; replacing them with recycling bins. This will encourage staff to recycle, reducing the amount of waste which previously would have ended up in landfill; bringing us one step closer to achieving our aim of diverting a minimum of 97% of waste from landfill by either reusing or recycling any waste that is produced.
Installing Solar Panels & LED Lighting
In December 2017 the British Standards Institution (BSI) awarded us with the latest international standard for quality and environmental management; the ISO:14001 certification. This recognises a continued commitment to minimising any negative impacts on the environment due to making efforts to significantly reduce energy consumption. This included installing 1,000 solar panels on the roof of our Distribution Centre, which produces around 184,000 kWh of renewable energy every year. This helps to light our warehouse, heat our offices, run our embroidery machines and charge electric vehicles. We also converted to highly efficient LED lighting in the warehouse, office and production areas.
“We’re proud to receive these internationally recognised standards as we constantly look for ways to improve our business. We know that both the retailers who sell our products and those who rely on our workwear prefer to buy items that are produced sustainably. Plus, as Dickies’ clothing and footwear is often relied on in harsh and challenging conditions, it’s vital to place such a consistent focus on quality control throughout the design and creation of every product.”
"Meeting and exceeding our customers’ expectations is at the core of our business and we’ll continue to work with BSI to maintain our certification."
- James Whitaker, Marketing Director, Dickies Workwear
We recognise there is a lot more that can be done to reduce our carbon footprint, but believe that by focusing on key issues such as energy use, waste reduction and packaging we are moving in the right direction.