The Wakefield-based clothing company, which recently celebrated its 80th year, along with corporate arm Sugdens has made a number of changes to the way it operates from sourcing sustainable materials to implementing energy-saving procedures in its Head Office.

The company is famously known for producing shirts, taking its name from the popular style it produced in the 1940’s which came with a complimentary replacement collar. With the fashion industry now one of the biggest polluters in the world, textiles have a significant impact on the environment during their life-cycle. Double TWO is actively working to reduce its environmental impact in various areas and advocate sustainability. A number of items in its seasonal ranges are made using recycled materials with some now created with up to 45% recycled materials.

Over 50% of textiles used are now crafted using cotton sourced as Better Cotton. The Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) is an organisation that makes global cotton production better for the people who produce it and for the environment it grows in. Cotton normally needs a high volume of water to grow with up to 20,000 litres needed to produce just 1kg of cotton. Better Cotton is sourced from licensed BCI farmers who receive training on how to use water efficiently and care for the health of the soil. Double TWO is actively working towards using BCI standard cotton on all garments in future.

Double TWO also has made considerable changes to the way product is packaged, recently increasing the amount of product shipped per box from 6 items to 20. The company is now making plans to replace plastic inserts with cardboard that comes from sustainable forests in Scandinavia. Double TWO is also looking to use cellophane in future packaging – a material derived from cellulose which decomposes.

A number of changes have been made at the Double TWO Head Office. The Carbon Trust helped with the installation of a new heating system recently which ensures rooms are only heated when in use. Printing has also been reduced by a third with only essential documents being printed.

At the company’s warehouse in Wakefield, CO2 emissions have been reduced by 40 tonnes a year. Should one of Sugden’s customers require new uniform or a rebrand then there are strict practices in place to reuse or recycle materials. Unwanted older garments are de-badged and sent to charities or regenerated using a fibre separation process to enable them to be made into mattress fillings - as is the waste on all production lines.

As Double TWO looks to the future, there are many long term plans in the pipeline that are currently being investigating to reduce carbon emissions and promote sustainability including installing solar panels and heat pumps which extract heat directly from the ground. With every step taken in Double TWO’s mission to become more sustainable, the company hopes to make a difference, no matter how big or small.