Tired and worn-out coats, shirts and trousers have been given a renewed purpose by inmates at HMP Northumberland at its onsite textile factory.
The train company said the upcycled items would give “warmth and comfort” to those who really need it during the upcoming cold weather but added it was also a socially responsible way to handle waste.
Uniforms turned into dog coats
All of the uniforms reused by offenders are at least six years old and are not currently being worn.
They have also transformed some clothing items, which could not be turned into scarves and blankets, into unbranded dog coats for homeless people who own pets.
Virgin Trains will hand out the new items at major stations and to homeless charities.
Staff will be able to take home branded dog coats in return for a charitable donation.
The initiative follows a partnership between Virgin Trains and social enterprise Change Please Coffee, which trains people who have experienced living on the streets to become baristas.
“We set ourselves the challenge to be creative and socially responsible with disposing of these old uniforms. It’s also a smart and socially responsible way to handle our waste,” said Virgin Trains community manager Jo Buckley.
“It’s so rewarding to see the re-purposed uniform benefiting those who really need a little warmth and comfort during the winter months and we’re so proud to play a small part in helping the homeless alongside our work with our partners Change Please Coffee.”
A spokesman for the firm said the project is not in response to the upcoming end of its franchise.
HMP Northumberland inmates previously upcycled Virgin Trains uniforms through an initiative with a London-based charity. They were given to The Albert Kennedy Trust and to Rethink Mental Illness.
The prison’s textile workshop also produces catering coats, food service aprons, shirts, bedding and towels. Providing work for inmates improves their skills and can lead to better employment opportunities upon release and reduce the risk of re-offending.
The post Prisoners have turned old uniforms from Virgin Trains staff into scarves and blankets for homeless people appeared first on inews.co.uk.Read More