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McDonald's to develop recyclable uniforms for staff

08 July 2011 by
McDonald's to develop recyclable uniforms for staff

Fast-food chain McDonald's hopes to develop a 100% recyclable uniform for its staff through a partnership with designers Wayne and Gerardine Hemingway.

The Hemingways and sustainable clothing firm Worn Again, will design the uniform for its 85,000 employees.

The aim is for uniforms to be recollected in restaurants, reprocessed into raw materials and made back into uniforms again as part of a "closed-loop" system.

McDonald's said it was the first company in the UK to commit to developing a closed-loop uniform.

Jez Langhorn, vice-president, people at McDonald's UK, said: "Our people welcome three million customers a day into our restaurants and they are at the heart of our business. We invest in them to provide nationally recognised qualifications and flexible working - just as important to them is the uniform they wear.

"We're delighted to be working with a British design team led by Wayne Hemingway in the creation of a UK first - the closed-loop recyclable uniform. Our staff share Worn Again's commitment to sustainability and I hope that together we can create a uniform design model for the future which others can follow."

The new designs will be unveiled next year before the start of the London 2012 Olympic Games, and McDonald's top-performing employees will be the first to wear the designs at the McDonald's Olympic Park restaurants. Employees across the UK are competing for a chance to work at the Olympic Park restaurants. McDonald's said only staff who demonstrate the very best in customer service would be given the opportunity.

After the London 2012 Olympic Games, the new uniform designs will be used in McDonald's 1,200 restaurants (and by 85,000 employees) across the UK.

Wayne Hemingway, who co-founded the Red or Dead label with Gerardine, said: "This is a bold commitment from McDonald's, and one that we are delighted to be part of. But as well as being a move towards sustainability, these clothes need to feel fabulous to wear. The next few months are going to be busy, as we work on creating a young and fresh look for McDonald's employees, to be unveiled in time for the London 2012 Olympic Games."

Chief executive of Worn Again, Cyndi Rhoades, said: "McDonald's is a progressive company and we're excited to be helping it with its ambition to develop a uniform range that over time will eventually become 100% closed-loop recyclable. It's important for small innovation companies like us to work with big brands and uniform partner Dimensions/Alexandra to create economies of scale and bring about real change across a variety of sectors."

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By Neil Gerrard

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