You've heard of bring your own bottle, but how about turning it into a suit? Metrocentre has unveiled its new sustainable staff uniforms, made from recycled plastic bottles.

On average, 45 plastic bottles were used to create a suit jacket and matching trousers, all recycled from landfill. Metrocentre’s first order alone stopped almost 5,000 plastic bottles from heading to landfill in the UK.

Working with Infinity Incorporated and sustainable garment providers Clubclass, the uniforms were created by turning the recycled bottles into flakes, which were then melted down and extruded to make fibres. These fibres were then processed and turned into a high-quality yarn, which was both comfortable and durable, before being transformed into garments worn by staff in the shopping centre.

According to National Geographic, half the total amount of plastic ever manufactured was done so over roughly the last decade-and-a-half. The global production of plastic rose from 2.3 million tons in 1950 to 448 million tons in 2015, though worryingly it was projected to double that figure by 2050.

The shopping destination, taken over by Sovereign Centros in October 2020, was working towards attaining the ISO 14,001 accreditation which focuses on sustainability and environmental management. In addition, it diverted 100% of its waste from landfill, which was either recycled or went into energy recovery.

Gavin Prior, Centre Director at Metrocentre, said: “When selecting our new uniform, we knew it was the perfect fit for our new brand and our sustainability agenda. Not only were the uniforms themselves significantly reducing the amount of plastic that ended up in landfill, but they were also supplied in biodegradable boxes, with no plastic hangers. As well as getting rid of unneeded plastic waste, ditching hangers also reduced the weight of the packages being delivered to us, further cutting down on pollution during transportation.

“Sustainability and our impact on the environment was a big focus for us here at Metrocentre. We had a number of new eco-friendly initiatives in the pipeline which we looked forward to announcing in the coming months.”