Bendigo Bank transforms old staff uniforms into a sustainable project

by Micah Avry Guiao25 Aug 2021

Bendigo Bank has partnered with Upparel to recycle more than 32 tonnes of old uniforms after introducing a new mix-and-match wardrobe to its staff of 7,000 last August.

Upparel will turn Bendigo Bank’s old uniform range across 470 branches into soft filling that will be reused and repurposed.

“Rather than have all our discarded clothing end up in landfill and with our environmental and sustainability objectives firmly in mind, we have partnered with Upparel, who will shred and upcycle our unwanted uniforms to use as filling in products including furniture,” said Richard Fennell, executive consumer banking at Bendigo Bank.

Bendigo Bank also gave its staff an option to send up to 10 kilograms of unwanted non-work clothing, linen and shoes to Upparel, along with discounted offers on solar panels and batteries should they wish to reduce their carbon footprints at home.

The announcement is in line with the bank’s Climate Action Plan, which outlines its commitment to long-term sustainability that has achieved carbon neutrality for 2021. Among the bank’s other efforts is to purchase 100% renewable energy by 2025 and reduce 50% of its absolute emissions by 2030.

At the end of the project, Upparel will provide Bendigo Bank with an impact statement that includes the total amount of textiles diverted from landfills and greenhouse gas emissions prevented.

“While making the switch to our new uniform range, we are pleased to join the growing movement committed to eradicating textiles from landfill and fostering a more sustainable fashion industry.  We hope this agreement will endure for many years as we fulfil our vision to become Australia’s bank of choice,” Fennell said.