Our Practical Sustainability Effort
“Do what you can when you can”
Benchmark FR is used by many industries that care about the environment. From solar power to wind farm technicians and utility customers. When there is a smart way to do something friendly for the environment we make the decision to do it. We invest in recycling as well as work to reduce water & power consumption.
Recycling our used needles. We have a large variety of production machinery which take different types of sewing needles. Some needles are coated with 18K gold, others contain high amounts of nickel, and some have platinum and titanium coatings. We send them to a small refinery in Houston Texas for them to be recycled.
Denim uses 60% less water. Our denim is made from an inherent blend of flame resistant fibers. While most other denim is cotton fabric reacted with “THPC” chemistry to impart durable flame resistant characteristics. We save water during the processing of the fabric. Then after the fabric is turned into FR jeans there is usually an enzyme washing process to remove coatings used during the fabric manufacturing as well as to soften and brighten the fabric color. Due to the way our denim is processed and the fibers we use in the construction we avoid adding flame retardants and we do not need to do an enzymatic wash. This saves 60% of the water used to make traditional FR cotton denim jeans.
Direct Drive Machines. We invest heavily in machinery and automation for our in-house production. Almost all of our sewing machines are direct drive which reduces the power consumption by over 30%. In addition the JUKI ECO Products are designed for easy separation of substances with environmental loads for dismantle and recycling at the end of their useful lifespan.
Green Building Energy Efficiency. After a fully destructive fire in 2017 we had the opportunity to rebuild in 2019 and update our fifty year old building to modern standards which dramatically reduced wasteful and unnecessary energy consumption. We went above and beyond Title 24 requirements by insulating the roof and walls with foam insulation. We have smart thermostats, LED lighting, natural lighting and occupant sensing controls, demand control ventilation systems and used renewable and recycled materials in the reconstruction.
Computer Controlled Manufacturing. We make FR Clothing using the methods used by car and airplane manufacturers. We monitor the process to reduce waste in every step with a paperless system that uses QR codes and tables at each location in the process.
Reduced Packaging and Labels. Part of lean manufacturing is “don’t add it if the customer doesn’t want to pay more money for it” and that is how we feel about unnecessary packaging and excessive labeling. Our labels comply with NFPA 2112 100 wash cycles and include our individual serial number system versus other companies which have three times the amount of ink embroidered labels to meet the same code requirements.
Repair rather than replace. Rather than throwing away your FR clothing we would rather you repair it and get more life out of it. Our products are rugged and durable for blue collar workers who require product performance. If you snag, rip, tear your Benchmark FR products code wants you to replace it for safety reasons. We want to try and repair it first on the same machines it was originally made with and using the same materials so that the ratings of the materials are consistent.