News | May 17, 2022

Lenzing Promotes Circular Eeconomy And Traceability Through Cooperation With UTEXBEL

  • UTEXBEL uses TENCEL brand lyocell fibers with REFIBRA technology for the safety clothing of the Belgian Department of Justice (FOD)
  • As part of this collaboration, Lenzing's REFIBRA technology will be used for the first time in the public sector to give cotton waste a second life while increasing supply chain transparency.
  • This underscores Lenzing's commitment to promoting circular economy and traceability in public procurement supply chains.

Lenzing - The Lenzing Group, a leading global manufacturer of wood-based specialty fibers, has merged with the Belgian company UTEXBEL, a vertically integrated textile group and market leader in the field of protective and workwear. Together they want to produce uniforms for the security staff of the Belgian Department of Justice (FOD) using TENCEL branded fibers with REFIBRA technology and recycled polyester.

The collaboration with Lenzing enables UTEXBEL to produce 80,000 TENCEL brand lyocell fiber shirts with REFIBRA technology for prison security personnel. This is a significant milestone for Lenzing as it is the first time that TENCEL lyocell fibers with REFIBRA technology are used to manufacture apparel for the public sector.

Establish circular economy and traceability in public procurement
With Lenzing's groundbreaking REFIBRA technology, cotton waste from clothing production is recycled and combined with pulp to create new TENCEL lyocell fibers with REFIBRA technology. The fibers are identifiable in yarns, fabrics and finished garments thanks to Lenzing's innovative fiber identification technology. This technology allows the fibers to be fully traced and is intended to certify their origin, contributing to the transparency of the end-product supply chain.

“We are excited to expand our partnership with UTEXBEL to bring circularity and traceability to government procurement. The EU has been a strong advocate for responsible design and use of raw materials in textiles and it is exciting to see that in the case of the Belgian Justice (FOD) this has also reached the public sector. While in the private sector we rely on consumers to develop a sense of personal responsibility, the authorities can exert a powerful influence by mandating sustainability in public tenders," said Alexandra Steger, Business Development Workwear, Lenzing AG. "By using TENCEL lyocell fibers with REFIBRA technology, UXTEBEL is able to

"We see sustainability as a key priority and are working on several cooperation projects with our partners in the areas of sustainable development, quality and logistics," said Henk Vandendriessche, Area Manager at UTEXBEL. "We are proud of the cooperation with Lenzing, which marks a milestone in the Promoting sustainability in public procurement represents as we continue to develop, produce and offer the best yarns and fabrics for all needs, while respecting the environment and the well-being of both workers and end users."

Commitment to developing solutions through industry partnerships
The implementation of sustainability in public procurement is still at an early stage. While tenders have historically focused heavily on performance and price, recent European legislation has made sustainability and traceability increasingly important. Lenzing has always been committed to promoting sustainability and providing value to its customers through innovative fiber solutions. In order to play an even more important role in the development of the workwear industry, Lenzing will continue to work with partners and organizations that share similar goals and care for the environment.

Source: Lenzing AG