Who would have ever thought that: King Willem-Alexander and State Secretary Stientje van Veldhoven who visited Schijvens Corporate Fashion in Hilvarenbeek today. What an honor! We talked about a circular economy in the textile sector: what are the opportunities, the challenges, what do we need and who do we need.
The most important foundation for a circular model is cooperation in the chain, from customer to maker and back. Everyone contributes. The raw materials remain in the chain, so there is an “endless” cooperation and relationship. That is why trust is important and you achieve that with good social conditions: a fair price, a decent delivery time, understanding and helping each other.
In addition, the technical expertise of all chain partners is important, each link must be able to work with recycled raw materials. That cannot be arranged in 1 day, but grows by consulting together, changing and improving where necessary. Where there’s a will there’s a way.
And last but not least, our government can also “do its bit”, because the State Secretary has been informed about the obstacles that current legislation still presents for a cost-efficient circular system across the borders of the EU. Clothing must first be made unbearable before it can be exported to Turkey, due to anti-dump legislation. In our view, an unnecessary action that costs time and money. Hopefully the circular lobby can change this in the future.
Also the application of the necessary 70cm2 logo expression in connection with Dutch tax legislation for corporate clothing encourages logos to be cut out of clothing before it can be recycled. And that means extra handling and loss of raw material. So food for thought.
Furthermore, that day our customer Albert Heijn, who has been wearing our circular corporate clothing since this summer, was also represented by store director Sonja Boelhouwer. After the tour, during which the team of Schijvens de Koning and the State Secretary were able to provide a lot of information about our circular model and the cooperation we have for this in our chain, Sonja, Kim Poldner, Professor Circular Business and James Veenhoff of the House of Denim Foundation joined during the round-table discussion to highlight the sustainability of the fashion industry and the power of the consumer (in our case Albert Heijn) in addition to corporate clothing.
In short: it was a great day for our team and for sustainability!