Shirts, dresses and ties that were once used by rail staff in the West Midlands are finding a new lease of life as carpets, cushions and car seat stuffing.
After completing the lengthy process of designing, manufacturing and issuing new branded uniforms to 2,000 staff, London Northwestern Railway and West Midlands Railway – which began their operations in December 2017 – have agreed to donate old uniforms to The Salvation Army.
Train, station and depot staff uniforms include shirts, trousers, dresses, coats, suit jackets, jumpers, ties and scarves.
Donated suit jackets and trousers will be debranded and made available to those who need them most, for example as work wear for people looking to get back into employment. Other items will be shredded and made into carpets, insulation or cushions.
Andy Camp, commercial director for both train companies, said: “Issuing new uniforms across a company of our size is never a small task, which is why we have been working [with] our staff for over a year on getting the new uniform designed and manufactured.
“However, this inevitably means a lot of old uniform items have become redundant. Many of our staff have worked on the railway for many years, and have collected dozens of items of clothing during that time. We wanted to make sure these items were recycled as far as possible.
“By donating old uniforms to The Salvation Army, we want to give something back to the communities we serve. Our staff have been incredibly supportive of this initiative, as it is something they can really see making a difference.”