Shirley Schijvens is the 5th generation of the family owned business Schijvens Corporate Fashion in Hilvarenbeek. Her ambition is to have a fully circular production by the end of 2022. She has therefore been involved in the sustainable development of Schijvens for a number of years. Employees, chain partners and customers; they do it all together. This is even a bit “addictive” for her. She clearly explains in podcast episode 3 of ‘Elise in MVO-land’ what this way of working yields and costs her.
Don’t look away, but take matters into your own hands
In 2005, Shirley and her brother took over their father’s business. With the closing of the Dutch production location, the production crossed the border. There they encountered different working conditions. Initially, Shirley and her team were mainly concerned about these conditions. After watching Al Gore’s film ‘The inconvenient truth’ (2015), the realization came that they were also polluting. Shirley couldn’t and wouldn’t look away from that. Together with the team, they investigated what they could do differently and better. This is how they arrived at circular entrepreneurship. In 2017 they presented fully circular yarns.
“Even as a small company you can make a difference.” – Shirley
Shirley indicates in the podcast that sustainable and circular development costs her a lot of time, energy and money, but it doesn’t outweigh what she gets in return. The most important reason; intrinsic motivation. Daily she gets out of bed with the idea that she will make people happy. Because something good is going to happen to their old textiles. Because she is asked to share her knowledge. Because she is developing herself in a new field. Because people she looks up to notice her company’s efforts.
Growing well together
Shirley is proud of the multi-cultural ‘family’ of Schijvens. For example, in the beginning it was uncomfortable for Pakistani and Indian producers to work together and exchange knowledge. Now, the relationship is cordial. Everyone in the family is convinced that they can grow better together. Besides hard work and mutual exchange of knowledge and skills, they also share joys and sorrows with each other. And, they are successful. More and more large companies, such as Praxis, Kruidvat, Hutten, Ricoh and Albert Heijn know where to find Schijvens!
“We are not competitors. When we do well together, we all grow well.” – Shirley
Schijvens Corporate Fashion at ‘Elise in CSR country’
CSR, sustainability, circular or new economy; many entrepreneurs get entangled in this maze. In the podcast ‘Elise in MVO-land’, Elise Vonk investigates how to get out of it successfully. Here you can listen to the entire conversation with Shirley van Schijvens Corporate Fashion.
Listen to the podcast: