Old crew uniforms are turned into reusable bags by McDonald’s Portugal for Ronald McDonald House Charities Portugal.
For its more than 9,500 workers, McDonald’s Portugal introduced brand-new crew uniforms last year that were created by young local designers Cátia Abreu and Melanie Melo. While crew members were eager to wear the new attire, the issue of what to do with the outdated uniforms—more than 18,000 of them—across the nation remained.
McDonald’s Portugal came up with a brilliant idea rather than discarding the worn-out uniforms: what if they could give the clothing a second chance by turning it into recyclable tote bags? What if the tote bags were to be packed with care products and given to the nearby Ronald McDonald Children’s Foundation for children and families in need as an even better alternative?
From beginning to end, the recycling process involved several important actors from various links in the supply chain of McDonald’s Portugal. Recutex – Reclaimed Textiles transformed the clothing through various steps, including sorting the materials and spinning new fabric without adding any dyes. Logistics partner HAVI collected the more than 18,000 used uniforms from restaurants across the nation. Finally, the reusable tote bags were made by HR Group, the partner in charge of manufacturing the new uniforms.
The recycling initiative is “another way to realise the brand’s commitment to the environment and sustainability, finding more and more circular solutions that help respond to the concerns of today and in the future,” according to Inês Lima, Managing Director of McDonald’s Portugal.
However, the collaboration does not stop there. McDonald’s Portugal created 5,500 reusable bags for RMHC Portugal with the help of its partners, which were then filled with comfort kits and given to families and their children who were receiving care at seven hospitals throughout Portugal.
In order to keep up the momentum in 2023, McDonald’s Portugal expanded the recycling project by making even more reusable bags from the used uniforms, this time as a test run for a MyMcDonald’s Rewards pilot merchandising campaign. Customers can now use the programme to trade in MyMcDonald’s points for a stylish, new tote bag that is made entirely of recycled materials.
18,000 used crew uniforms find new homes with kids, families, and brand supporters thanks to some creative recycling and a lot of teamwork.