30. May 2022
Lenzing Group (Lenzing, Austria), a leading global producer of wood-based specialty fibres, has joined hands with UTEXBEL (Ronse, Belgium), a vertically integrated textile group and leader in Protective Wear and Workwear fabrics, to provide uniform for security personnel of the Belgian Federal Public Service for Justice (FPS Justice), using TENCEL™ branded fibres with REFIBRA™ technology and recycled polyester.
The collaboration with Lenzing will enable Utexbel to provide 80,000 prison personnel shirts for FPS Justice security guards using fabric with Tencel branded lyocell fibres with Refibra technology. This represents a significant milestone for Lenzing, as it is the first time Tencel Lyocell fibres with Refibra technology has been used to produce garments for the public sector.
Bringing circularity and traceability to public procurement
Lenzing’s pioneering Refibra technology involves upcycling cotton scraps from garment production and combining them with wood pulp to produce new virgin Tencel Lyocell fibres with Refibra technology. The fibres are identifiable in yarns, fabrics, and final garments, owing to Lenzing’s innovative fibre identification technology. This technology enables full traceability of the fibre and is designed to confirm fibre origin, adding to the supply chain transparency of the final product.
“We’re delighted to extend our partnership with Utexbel to bring circularity and traceability to public procurement. The EU has been pushing strongly for responsible design and use of raw materials in textiles, so it is exciting to see that this has reached the public sector with FPS Justice. While we rely on private sector consumers to adopt a personal sense of responsibility, the authorities can make a strong impact by mandating sustainability in public tenders”, said Alexandra Steger, Business Development Workwear, Lenzing AG. “By utilizing Tencel Lyocell fibres with Refibra technology, Uxtebel is able to reduce the use of new resources and create Workwear products that are more sustainable yet durable and comfortable at the same time”, Steger added.
“We see sustainability as a key priority and are working on several cooperative projects with our partners in the fields of sustainable development, quality and logistics”, said Henk Vandendriessche, Area Manager at Utexbel. “We are proud to partner with Lenzing on a collaboration which represents a milestone in advocating sustainability in public procurement as we continue to develop, produce and offer the best yarns and fabrics to cater for all needs, respecting the environment and the well-being of both the workers and the end-users”.
Commitment to creating solutions through industry partnerships
Implementing sustainability in public procurement is still at an early stage. While tenders in the past focused strongly on performance and price, sustainability and traceability are becoming a priority driven by recent European legislations. Lenzing has always been committed to promoting sustainability and delivering value to its customers through innovative fibre solutions. To play a more prominent role in supporting the development of the Workwear industry, Lenzing will continue to collaborate with partners and organizations that support similar goals and care for the environment in the same way.