Image Wear and the Pirkanmaa recycling center started a collaboration

Image Wear ja Pirkanmaan kierrätyskeskus aloittivat yhteistyön

Image Wear and Pirkanmaa's recycling and work activities association have started cooperation in sorting out used work clothes. Although work clothes are worn out, they are not always at the end of their life cycle. When the look of the company's work clothes changes or an employee leaves, the employer is left with clothes that someone else could still use.

The recycling center sells reusable products

Jari Hakala of the Pirkanmaa recycling center is excited about the cooperation with Image Wear.

In the pilot project of Image Wear and Pirkanmaa's recycling and working activities association, the customer sends the clothes and the related information sheet to the recycling center, where the clothes are weighed and sorted. Products without logos, suitable for reuse, are donated to a recycling center for sale. Kierätyskeskus sells them in the basement of its Nekala office in the Löytökellari, opened in spring 2023.

If the garment has the company's logo or is not suitable for sale for some other reason, the recycling center will deliver it in minimum batches of 1000 kg to Image Wear's Lieto location to be returned. From Liedo, the clothes leave in 10,000 kg recycling batches to a partner who manufactures Cliff® recycling composite products from them.

Jari Hakala, the project coordinator of the Pirkanmaa recycling center, is excited about the project: "This is a great pilot project, and I hope it will be successful. I am excited when products - whether they are textiles, work clothes or other items - can be reused. In reuse, the products can be utilized 100% and it is also reflected in the carbon footprint. Recycling into new materials and products is also a great thing, but the efficiency is lower." In 2022, 65% of goods were sold for reuse. The remaining 35% was used as recycled material or energy fraction.

Two batches of products have been delivered so far. The first one was pre-sorted by Image Wear and the entire batch of clothes went to Löytökellari's sales racks. The latter batch was the work clothes of a single, large company, of which only a fraction of products without logos, suitable for sale, were available. "We are satisfied with the sale. The products have moved comfortably from sales trucks to work use, hobbyists or home gardeners," says Hakala.

Pirkanmaa recycling center sells used work clothes from Image Wear. When work clothes are no longer needed, they are by no means always worn out.

Recycling and working life coaching

Pirkanmaa's recycling and work activities association was founded in 2011 and is a non-profit, non-profit association. The Recycling Center is involved in promoting the UN's sustainable development goals. The Agenda 2030 program guides the association's responsibility work, whose goals are

  • No poverty
  • Good education
  • Decent work and economic growth
  • Responsible consumption
  • Cooperation and partnership.

In addition to recycling goods and materials, the association is a significant professional life coach. With the proceeds from the recycling stores, the association offers work, training and coaching, e.g. for people who are partially able to work, those who have been out of work for a long time and young people who do not have work experience or a professional qualification.

In the association's three recycling stores – in Nekala, Lielahti and Lentola – around 100 people work annually in work trials, wage-subsidized work and on-the-job learning periods. There are, for example, environmental students in the work-based learning periods. The tasks are versatile, e.g. transport, sorting, sales, finance, communication and marketing. Some of those who have been on work trials have even been accepted to work for the association with a work contract after the period.