OCS Partners with Avena and RK Styles to Recycle Legacy Uniforms

OCS Team

OCS Team

08 Jul, 2024

OCS Partners with Avena and RK Styles to Recycle Legacy Uniforms

OCS has seen a lot of positive transformation since the merger with Atalian Servest in March 2023. With transformation comes change and in every aspect of our business we aim to process change as sustainably as possible.

In vein with Net Zero Week this week, we recognise the impact of modern waste, particularly clothing waste — with about 30% of unwanted clothing ending up in landfill in the UK, translating to an estimated £140 million worth of clothing ending up in landfill — we were determined to ensure that our growth and progress would not be marred by waste. To achieve this, we partnered with recycling specialists, Avena and our uniform partners, RK Styles, to phase out our old-branded uniforms.

Working closely with experts in the field, we designed a custom solution to map out various ways the old uniforms could be reused. From February to April 2024, we successfully recycled over 4,000 items, weighing nearly 2.5 tonnes. The former uniforms were repurposed into yarn, mattress filling, pellets for energy generation and insulation textiles, serving entirely new purposes.

Avena implemented a unique process for recycling the uniforms, emitting only 0.05 tonnes of emissions thereby saving over 1 tonne of CO2e if the items had been instead sent to landfill. The savings from this process are equivalent to driving 2,931 miles in a petrol car across the width of the United States.

We are thrilled to contribute positively to the environment and consider this initiative one of the many steps we take toward environmental stewardship in all aspects of our business.

Avena is proud to partner with OCS to securely manage, destroy, and process their end-of-life uniforms. Our commitment to security ensures that all branded uniforms are destroyed beyond recognition, preventing any possibility of them entering the public domain and mitigating potential criminal misuse. The sustainability benefits of our SecureBrand service, adopted by OCS, guarantee that all collected materials avoid landfills entirely, resulting in significant emissions savings. This partnership with OCS and their uniform suppliers, RK Styles, has positioned OCS as an industry leader, setting a new standard in the facilities sector for the responsible processing of thousands of end-of-life uniforms.

Michael Tippling​​​​

Avena Sales Manager

We are proud to support OCS in their commitment to sustainability by facilitating the recycling of their uniforms in partnership with Avena. This not only helps reduce textile waste but also sets a powerful example of how organisations can collaborate to make a positive environmental impact. Together, we are driving change and fostering a culture of responsibility and sustainability.

Thomas Ridgley

RK Styles ESG Manager

It’s incredibly important to us that we always consider sustainable approaches in everything we do. We’re delighted with the outcomes of our partnership with Avena and RK Styles, ensuring that those uniforms didn’t end up as yet another clothing item in a landfill. We look forward to continuing in this vein and working diligently to contribute to the health of the environment.

Jacky So

OCS UK & I, ESG Director

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