Uniform destruction is important for a variety of businesses and organisations. Uniforms can be used as a way of identifying members of staff and criminals can use them to impersonate others which can lead to identity theft or worse.

Russell Richardson offers secure and complete uniform destruction, with certification provided for all destroyed materials.

In this guide you will find answers to the following:

What is uniform destruction and shredding?

Uniform destruction is similar to document or media destruction. It’s designed to destroy any uniforms that could be used in criminal activities or reveal important information about a company or its employees. These uniforms maybe out of date, faulty, damaged or redundant, but could still pose a threat to a company or individuals if they got into the wrong hands.

Uniform destruction is the process of textile shredding in order to stop any potential criminal activity. These destructions can be done on a regular basis for large companies, or on an ad-hoc basis for smaller companies.

Failure to destroy out of date branded clothing or uniforms could lead to unauthorised access of sensitive information or areas, which could lead to a breach of GDPR.

Who needs uniform destruction and shredding?

Because of the risk of impersonation and potential breach of GDPR, almost all businesses that require employees to wear a uniform should use uniform destruction services.

If your business uses either of the following, you should be using uniform destruction services:

Corporate apparel

Corporate apparel includes branded clothing such as t-shirts, shirts or jumpers which could be used to impersonate staff. These can be older uniforms after a rebrand or current uniforms that have been damaged.

If you don’t destroy these items of clothing, you risk unauthorised access which could end up in criminal activity and damage to your company’s reputation. To protect your brand, you should destroy all unused corporate apparel.


Uniforms for emergency service personnel (such as police officers, fire fighters and paramedics), and armed forces personnel, need to be securely destroyed when they’re no longer required. Destroying uniforms will help to stop any mistaken identity problems or people deliberately trying to disguise themselves as members of these uniformed services.

These uniforms are high-priority targets for criminals as they can use them to get access into restricted areas or situations. It’s important that these uniforms are destroyed.

What types of textiles and uniforms should be shredded?

The following are industries that may have a higher chance of uniform theft:

  • Emergency services uniforms
  • Military uniforms
  • Security uniforms
  • High visibility gear
  • Delivery uniforms
  • Corporate branded clothing

You can find out more about how to dispose of your confidential waste here, including creating confidential waste disposal policy.

How does uniform destruction and shredding work?

At Russell Richardson, we can provide security sacks free of charge to bag up textiles, or we can provide a secure bin for 30 days. Alternatively, if it’s a regular, scheduled collection we can provide a secure bin for the service.

Once the bags or bins are full, one of our fleet will come to pick up the uniforms. Uniforms sent to Russell Richardson for destruction are shredded beyond recognition and baled at the high security facility.

The bales of shredded uniform are sent to a waste-to-energy plant, where solid waste is converted into energy and the remaining ash is recycled as a mixture of ash and secondary aggregate, which is used in construction. This means that shredding uniforms and clothing with Russell Richardson is an eco-friendly, zero-to-landfill process.

We’ll provide you with a certification of proof of destruction for your peace of mind.

Is uniform destruction secure?

Yes. At Russell Richardson, we have extremely high standards for our security. The following are some of the key ways we ensure your uniforms don’t get into the wrong hands:

  • We offer a range of secured containers, including sealable sacks, lockable bins and skips
  • Our fleet of vehicles are fully tracked by GPS
  • Our secure facility is operated by highly trained security cleared staff
  • We provide certificates for all destroyed items

How much does uniform destruction and shredding cost?

Uniform destruction can vary in price depending on the amount and type of textiles that need to be destroyed.

Russell Richardson will securely destroy your uniforms at a competitive price. To find out more about this service or any of our other secure destruction services, contact us on our website or call us on 0800 294 6552.

For more information on confidential waste disposal read our guide What is confidential waste and how can I ensure my business disposes of it securely?

Other destruction services we offer

Bulk shredding

Confidential waste

Product destruction