Circular economy in action at K Group: over 20 tons of old work clothes to be turned into recycling material

In line with the principles of circular economy, some 20 tons of old work clothes of K-Citymarket and K-Supermarket employees will be given a new life, as they are collected and turned into recycling fibre which can be utilised, for example, by the car industry.

Following the redesign of the K-Citymarket and K-Supermarket brands, the chains’ employees were given new work clothes. A decision was then made to recycle the discarded old work clothes sporting the previous brand look.

The clothes are now being collected in cooperation with L&T, and will be turned into recycling material, meaning the materials may be reused multiple times. K Group aims to collect more than 20 tons of discarded work clothes for materials recycling this year.

Turning work clothes into recycled fibre for industrial use

”Promoting all aspects of circular economy is one of the cornerstones of K Group’s sustainability work. We are constantly seeking new ways to reduce the single use of materials, and the recycling of work clothes is one concrete example of this,” says Timo Jäske, Sustainability Manager for K Group’s grocery trade division.

The recycling is carried out in cooperation with L&T, which collects the materials and takes them for further processing. Discarded work clothes are given a second life when they are processed in a recycling plant and turned into recycling fibre that can be utilised, for example, by the car industry.

“At L&T, we strongly want to promote circular economy in cooperation with our customers. It has been great to see the high level of motivation towards the practical implementation of circular economy in both K Group and L&T,” says Erkki Hilden, Account Manager for Environmental Services at L&T.

K Group first recycled old work clothes last year, when over 10 tonnes of recycling material were collected after the rebranding of the K-Rauta chain.

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