Sustainable Subway

Subway® Launches New Uniform Made From Recycled Plastic Bottles

Sustainable Subway
Unveiling new uniforms made from recycled plastic bottles, Subway® Sandwich Artists take on a fresh new look 
Subway®, one of the world’s largest restaurant brands, is launching a new uniform for Sandwich Artists which is made from recycled plastic bottles. The redesign takes on the brand’s vibrant new look and feel and will gradually be rolled out across more than 2,300 restaurants in the UK and Ireland from May 2023.
The announcement comes shortly after Subway launches its biggest menu redesign in its 58-year history with Subway Series. The fresh new look and feel of the uniforms also complements the on-going national rollout of the modernised Subway “Fresh Forward” restaurant design. Consisting of a T Shirt, polo shirt, half and full apron, cap, and bandana, Subway’s new uniforms are all made from recycled plastic bottles. 

Number of plastic bottles used in the production of each uniform item include:

  • Baseball cap – is made from 3 plastic bottles
  • Bandana – is made from 5 plastic bottles
  • Half Apron – is made from 8 plastic bottles
  • Full Apron – is made from 12 plastic bottles
  • Polo shirts – 7 plastic bottles were used to help make the men’s shirt; 6 plastic bottles were used to make the female shirt
  • T shirts – 8 plastic bottles were used to help make the T shirts


The new T-shirts and Polos are a mix of BCI (Better Cotton Initiative) cotton and recycled polyester. 
The other parts of the new uniform are 100% recycled polyester. Recycled polyester is made from plastic bottles
Subway has been working on the uniforms for the last 18 months, in that time investigating the best way to create attractive and easy to wear apparel and sourcing plastic bottles that would have otherwise gone to waste. 
Subway sustainable uniform

An ongoing commitment to building a better business

In line with the brand’s commitment to building a better and more sustainable business, the uniforms have been designed to last longer. During trials, 70% of Subway’s Franchisees and Sandwich Artists rated them positively for comfort and durability.
To close the loop, Subway will be working with textile recycling experts Avena Group to collect and process the old uniforms which will be replaced during this transition. Avena Group will process the textiles from the old uniforms into a new material for reuse across industries such as automotive and construction. In addition, Subway will also be donating any old stock items to charities to use for food and nutrition initiatives. For example, 1,000 unused aprons left over from the old uniform are being provided to Rethink Food for schools to use as grow mats for watercress, helping children learn about how fresh fruit and vegetables grow.  
The refresh of the new uniforms follows on from the brand’s mission to reduce single use plastic in restaurants. By the end of 2022, Subway removed over 1.2m kg of single use plastic across its supply chain, while pilot programmes using reusable packaging are being trialled in restaurants across France and Germany.
Louise Wardle, Vice President of Marketing EMEA at Subway comments: “As we continue this journey towards building a better Subway, it’s incredibly important that we look at all areas of our business where we can make a positive impact. The new uniforms, made from recycled plastic bottles, is what we believe a first for a high street restaurant brand and reflects our ongoing commitment to improving how we do business.  This is still only the beginning, and we hope to make further progress in the years ahead – stay tuned.”
The uniforms will be rolled out to Subway restaurants in the UK and Ireland and across Europe from May and throughout 2023.