When the Miami Hurricanes football team plays, they wear uniforms made from 70 percent regenerated ECONYL yarn, which is made from fishing nets and other nylon waste found in the ocean. The special attire comes courtesy of Adidas and Parley For The Oceans, an organization focused on addressing major threats to the ocean. Also, when Manchester United plays, its “third kit” uniforms—for games where the regular home or away uniforms are unsuitable due to color clashes with the opposition’s outfits—are made from the same material.
Back in 2008, Green Lodging News ran an article about Wyndham Hotels and Resorts committing to an ecologically-friendly uniform line for hotel staff using recycled polyester fibers spun from plastic beverage bottles. At the time, those uniforms were provided by Cintas. I can no longer find those types of uniforms on the Cintas website and at press time it was unclear if Wyndham is still using such uniforms.
After about a decade of not hearing about eco-friendly uniforms in the hotel industry, I heard from Iberostar Hotels & Resorts this past week. The company based in Palma de Mallorca, Spain announced that it will be replacing its traditional polyester uniforms with an alternative material made entirely from recycled plastic bottles. The uniforms will be gradually introduced into the company’s complete portfolio of more than 120 hotels.
With this initiative, the company will be contributing to the removal of around 470,000 bottles from the oceans and landfills and will reduce its use of the more contaminating traditional polyester by more than 90,000 feet.
Made from Plastics Collected from Land & Sea
Recycled polyester is a fabric made from plastics collected from both land and sea. Iberostar’s new uniforms, which have been tested and introduced at the Iberostar Paseo de Gracia Hotel in Barcelona and the Iberostar Sábila on Tenerife, will feature garments made of microfiber and twill, both made from recycled polyester.
The use of new textiles is another achievement in the company’s “Wave of Change” program. Wave of Change is in line with SDG 14 of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, “Life Below Water,” and is based on three action lines: reducing consumption of single use plastics, promoting sustainable fishing and improving coastal health.
Iberostar Hotels & Resorts has pledged to eliminate single-use plastics from all of its rooms, replacing them with more environmentally-friendly materials. This ambitious objective, which has already been achieved in Spain, is now being extended to other areas of its hotels and, in 2019, will be applied to the rest of the more than 120 hotels the company operates around the world. Actions such as these have enabled Iberostar to reduce the amount of plastic waste it generates each year in Spain by 300 tons, a figure projected to increase once the actions are extended to the other countries and further improvements, such as the new uniforms, are introduced.
Is your hotel company or property currently using uniforms made using recycled content? Or, are you aware of a supplier who sells these? I would love to hear from you. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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