Traditionally sustainability has been considered as an extra: at worst, it can mean more costs, more effort, and a need for new expertise. When a more sustainable solution is both cheaper and easier to use, it sounds almost too good to be true. However, it is possible. Efficiency is achieved by smart cooperation where the client and the service provider keep their focus on their core expertise.
Lindström offers a service, in which workwear and its maintenance is outsourced in a sustainable way. The garments are carefully designed, manufactured with durable materials, and repaired when needed to ensure maximum lifespan. They are washed minimizing water and energy consumption and recycled at the end of their lives. The whole business model is based on circular economy, which provides customers a cost efficient, easy, and sustainable way to take care of their workwear needs.
In a shared effort, Gaia Consulting evaluated the sustainability of Lindström’s two offerings. The textile company’s own offering is based on a model where the products can be reused by other customers as well. The customized offering is tailored to a specific customer’s needs and cannot be reused by others after changes.
Reusability plays an important role in sustainability
Because the fastest way to promote circular economy is to use textiles for as long as possible, we concluded that reusability would work to Lindström’s favor. It was confirmed by our results: by using Lindström’s offering, 2,2 kg of CO2 emissions per person can be avoided annually. With the possibility of reuse, three times less garments are neededwhen the offering is used. That means less textile waste, less fabric and clothing manufacturing and transportation needed within the entire supply chain. Therefore, less raw materials such as cotton and fossil fuels are needed, which in turn results in a decreased need for natural resources. The result shows the Lindström offering is worth considering when businesses are seeking the most sustainable and the most cost efficient solution for their workwear collection.
Contributing to customers’ sustainability
More and more, companies understand that sustainability can be a significant competitive advantage and source of value. In the past, sustainability has been seen as a compliance issue, but the situation has rapidly changed. Early adopters have seen that there are business opportunities strongly linked to sustainable products and services.
Lindström has potential to become the leading player offering the most sustainable workwear service on the market. This also means changes in communications and the mindset of sales personnel. Sustainability benefits should be integrated into everything, from value propositions to sales arguments and narratives. Valid arguments should be discussed – not just with purchasing – but top management, middle management, and experts in product quality and safety.
With this approach, companies can see the benefits of indirect services to their own sustainability – with less costs and effort. A sustainable workwear service provides a triple win for the customer, the service provider, and the environment.
– Mari Saario, Business Director, Gaia Consulting Oy & Taru Jokinen, Director, Concept Development & Pharma, Lindström
Gaia is part of Sweco.