Cintas Starts Sustainability Effort

Uniform maker Cintas Corp. (asi/162167) has partnered with Know Hope, a Cincinnati-based nonprofit dedicated to ending poverty in third-world countries. Cintas will provide Know Hope with material leftover from its uniform production process to line reusable burlap bags sold by the charity. Funds from the sales will go toward products and services for families in Mexico, Africa, Haiti and Guatemala.

Cintas is hoping to help stem the tide of textiles clogging landfills; the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that roughly 21 billion pounds of post-consumer textile waste goes to landfills each year. “The average U.S. citizen throws away 70 pounds of textiles each year, but corporations also have a responsibility to help divert this waste from landfills,” says Melanie Boyle, manager of sustainability for Cintas. “This partnership is a win-win because we’re supporting a local nonprofit in their mission to make the world a better place.”

Each day, more than 5 million employees go to work in a Cintas uniform. The material from one work uniform can be used to line each Know Hope bag. Know Hope produced about 4,300 bags and 2,500 smaller accessories last year.