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30 Jan 2024

McDonald’s redesigns team uniforms with biodegradable synthetic fibres

McDonald’s redesigns team uniforms with biodegradable synthetic fibres

The popular and well-known fast-food restaurant, McDonald’s, has made the decision to switch their uniform to a more environmentally friendly version. Whilst they are keeping the design the same, they have chosen to adopt a much greener manufacturing process, which now involves technology that makes polyester biodegradable.

For a while now McDonald’s has been making changes within various areas of its business to adhere to their company-wide sustainability goals. The most recent of these changes is the crew’s new uniforms which are now being manufactured from CiClo technology. This change is an innovative and necessary approach, as manufacturing the clothing this way, mean the polyester, which is normally used, can be adapted to become biodegradable, to the same standard of other natural materials. The announcement of this change was made very recently and it also highlights the clear commitment the fast-food company has to their sustainability goals. The use of CiClo technology is an excellent step forwards for the company, as it enables synthetic materials such as polyester to biodegrade at the same rate as a material such as wool or other natural fibres.

CiClo is an innovative technology which is a patented textile ingredient and it works through being added to the uniforms along with the normal polyester and once it has then been submitted to prolonged exposure to microbes and water, it is activated and the process is complete. This process means the fabric will now be durable as it is required to be for the worker, whilst also being better for the environment. Now that McDonald’s have achieved this breakthrough, the fabric is now available to every McDonald’s restaurant based in the U.S.

This change is a significant improvement to the industry as uniforms manufactured out of ordinary polyester shed microfibres. These garments shed microfibres a lot, especially during the manufacturing process and when being washed. This constant shedding means that the use of polyester clothing causes lots of plastic pollution, especially to oceans and other natural ecosystems. Therefore, switching to a material that is significantly better for the environment is an excellent adaptation for the company to make. The clothes remain durable and washable, whilst also being better for the environment.

Alongside this development, the company have stuck to their sustainability goals in other ways as well, such as the solar energy project which the company announced in February of 2023 and the change of spoon design for McFlurry orders. The energy project involved McDonald’s collaborating with Lightsource, a company based in St. Landry Parish, Louisiana. Once the project is completed by the end of 2024, the expectation is for the work to provide enough renewable electricity annually to power six hundred and thirty restaurants. The choice of changing the spoon design was decided with the intention of reducing how much plastic the company was using and now a McFlurry machine has a reusable stirrer for the employees to use, whilst customers will receive a smaller black one to use. All of these changes and new designs have been implemented to help the company become more sustainable and use greener practices to become more eco-friendly.

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