Circle-A consortium new business model towards circular professional Protective clothing.

The close collaboration towards the goals, producing innovative sustainable garments in a sustainable way, fits the goals set in SDGs 9, 12 and 17.

The Circle-A business model

Alliander and the Circle-A consortium, of which Sioen is a member, have a unique supplier-customer relation. After a comprehensive tender period, careful selection and testing of new (safety) clothing and supporting ICT solutions including a mobile app, Alliander awarded the tender to the Circle-A consortium. Their ambition to be able to work safely and comfortably in fully circular workwear is one step closer.

A process, not a state

Circular means in the first place that the life span of the safety clothing is extended, and it is kept in rotation as long as possibly can without compromising quality, comfort or safety. Wearers hand in their dirty clothing for washing to industrial textile and facility service provider Elis, where the clothing is returned to the correct condition, provided with repairs and the associated inspections so that the clothing always meets the applicable standards.

The clothing is tracked throughout its life by means of RFID chips and can always be traced wherever it is located. Clothing that is no longer usable is taken in and taken away to Frankenhuis, a textile recycler, who fuses and processes this clothing into a high-quality product such as (fire retardant) car upholstery, insulation material or where the clothing is used in geotextile markets. The ambition is to have a complete circular clothing package available within now and 10 years and to have the clothing recycled into products of the same level.

No impact on wearing comfort and safety

The new clothing is not only made circular, but also has a nicer look and better wearing comfort. In order to achieve optimum wearing comfort, Alliander conducted a wearing test among 50 employees from various job groups as part of the award of the contract. These employees tested the new clothing for three months. The experience has been very positive, with the good assessment being one of the decisive factors in the final award of the contract. Alliander's technicians were very impressed by the look, fit, functionality and wide choice in the package, which allows them to work as safely as possible under any (weather) conditions.

The clothing offers optimum protection against all external dangers and (weather) influences in accordance with the applicable standards. Clothing is fire retardant, acid resistant, antistatic and suitable for working in an environment where an electric arc can occur. In addition, all clothing is clearly visible to the environment.

The Circle A-Consortium

Circle-A consists of producer of safety clothing Sioen (world market leader in the field of coated technical textiles and high quality protective clothing), Lasaulec (technical wholesaler in consumables and personal protective equipment), industrial textile and facilities service provider Elis (a.o. European market leader in the supply, maintenance and cleaning of industrial clothing), and textile recycler Frankenhuis (sustainable processing and recycling of textiles).

These parties work closely together in the mobile platform that enables the user to control everything in the personal environment. Thanks to the app, the company can order clothing and PPE's, send them for washing, and have them delivered to any desired GPS location. Repairs can be planned, and all items can be tracked with the track and trace function.