01 November 2022
When a piece of clothing becomes a stamp: in the spirit of sustainability, used Österreichische Post uniforms are turned into stamps for postage that also make for unique collector's items.
Sustainability is a priority at Österreichische Post.
The company has been providing CO2-neutral delivery for more than 10 years now. Sustainability-related activities include the generation of electricity with photovoltaic systems, the use of Austria's largest e-vehicle fleet, resource-efficient processes, and maximum waste reduction, including the recycling of worn-out workwear.
Since 2020, everyday items such as bags have been produced from discarded workwear as part of the Re:Post recycling project. Thanks to this upcycling process, old materials remain in the cycle of usability and are not simply disposed of as waste.
Old uniform shirts were also recycled for this commemorative stamp by turning them into rag paper. This paper is made from textile waste or "rag paper", i.e., old clothes. The rag paper for the "Österreichische Post staff shirt" stamps was made according to a centuries-old tradition in a Lower Austrian paper mill, which is the last of its kind in Austria.
For this purpose, old shirts were shredded, mixed with water, and ground. The pulpy "paper pulp" was then scooped by hand with sieves, the paper laid on felt and the water pressed out. Finally, the stamps were printed on the resulting sheets of rag paper.
The blue fibres of the shirts are still clearly visible in the paper. These stamps also stand out for their traditional punched perforation, which is usually not possible with this material.