"MOUNTAINS" of old Bendigo Bank uniforms will be transformed in what is thought to be a first of its kind big-banking recycling push.
The bank will donate at least 32 tonnes of old clothing to Melbourne-based Upparel to shred and use for stuffing in products like furniture and construction material.
Its new uniform range is currently being rolled out to as many as 7000 staff members, executive of consumer banking Richard Fennell said.
"We have forecast that there may be up to 10 kilograms of used uniform textiles per employee in storerooms and cupboards nationwide, so it's important to us that nothing is dumped or sent off-shore for processing and that this material is sustainably reused," he said.
Each kilogram of clothing diverted from landfill could save three to four kilograms of greenhouse gas entering the atmosphere.
The average person buys 27 kilograms of new clothing a year and gets rid of 23 kilograms, Upparel chief executive Michael Elias said.
He and Tina Elias founded the Melbourne-based company to stop old clothing going to landfill or overseas to unregulated and untraceable third world markets.
"Everything we do happens onshore," he said.
Charities often get first choice of any clothing that Upparel takes possession of but that would not be appropriate in the bank's case, Mr Elias said.
Much of it has too many logos stitched in and has been well worn by staff members.
The clothing will likely end up being used for construction materials like insulation and underlay, Mr Elias said.
It might also be used in Australia's first 100 per cent recycled children's flip-up sofa.
"The inner is made from recycled textiles and the outer is produced from plastic bottles," Mr Elias said.
The Bendigo Bank has achieved carbon neutrality this year and aims to purchase 100 per cent renewable energy by 2025.
It also wants to reduce absolute emissions by 50 per cent by 2030.
Mr Elias said it was important more companies made positive changes for the next generation.
"It is important that we do that because these sorts of things can come at a cost. But if we don't do them the environmental cost will be much greater," he said.
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