Honda Recycles Cintas Uniforms for Auto Insulation

Credit: American Honda Motor Company, Inc.

by | Aug 11, 2023

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(Credit: Honda)

Cintas and Honda have established a partnership that recycles uniforms and gives them new life as auto insulation.

These Cintas uniforms, once worn by Honda associates at their U.S. manufacturing and research facilities, are being transformed into special shredded fibers that now play a crucial role in sound-absorbing insulation within Honda and Acura automobiles.

Honda’s said its partnership with Cintas fits into its sustainability strategies and allows for uniforms to have an extended life cycle. Cintas, in conjunction with Honda’s goals, is using this partnership to help contribute to the circular economy. Honda has also partnered with UGN Automotive, Aramark, and Leigh Fibers to leverage this uniform recycling program.

The Cintas Uniform Recycling Process

The journey from worn uniforms to sound-absorbing insulation extends the usable life of its products.

After the laundering process, recyclable end-of-life garments from Honda associates in Alabama, North Carolina, and Ohio were identified. These garments were then sent to a vendor to create “shoddy,” a textile produced by shredding existing fabrics and re-spinning them into new textiles, often with multiple colors. The resulting shoddy material was then used to produce insulation, which found its way into the production of new Honda and Acura vehicles.

While this specific program was developed in collaboration with Honda, Cintas envisions adding similar initiatives that focus on repurposing end-of-life products. According to Cintas, its “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Repurpose” philosophy informs how they approach creating more circular economies for its products.

Honda’s Role in Resource Circulation for Auto Insulation

Honda’s partnership with Cintas ensures the reuse of the uniforms, ultimately reducing landfill waste. Honda’s sustainability strategy also emphasizes making new products from 100% sustainable materials by 2050. Part of Honda’s goals include using 100% clean energy and resource circulation, targeting zero environmental impact. This program, as a collaboration with Cintas, diverts 45,000 pounds of uniforms from reaching landfills. 

Since the program launched in 2021, more than 380,000 pounds of uniforms have been recycled, according to Honda. 

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