Design4 as rule of thumb for sustainable Sioen garments

We’ve set six “Design For” guidelines as rules of thumb for designing and producing durable Sioen garments. With our holistic sustainability approach of making professional protective clothing, we help realising the targets set in SDGs 1,2,8,9 and 12.

Six design rules for sustainability

All the Sioen Apparel brands that produce professional protective clothing for any working condition can boast sustainability. By always applying six clear, straightforward design rules, we create a range of very durable, sustainable professional protective garments. These rules are: 1. Design for resource efficiency, 2. Design for repair, 3. Design for longevity, 4. Design for disassembly, 5. Design for recycling and 6. Design for reuse. In addition, all our garments are produced with care.


We design our garments to make sure they use as little materials, water, energy, etc. as possible. This is called “design for resource efficiency”. This implies that the fabrics and raw materials we use for our garments are lighter (less raw materials are used), zero-tox (Oekotex 100 certified), made of recycled raw materials such as R-PET where possible, made of renewable raw materials (bio-based) where possible, with a low carbon footprint and that they’re all sustainably packaged and transported.


Repair instead of replacement is our message. Our garments are designed to make repair easier: seems and stitches are done in such a way that repair is easy. They include repair instructions and a repair kit.


Special attention for durability and end of life. Our garments can be washed more often without losing their inherent characteristics (they can withstand up to 25% more wash cycles), have excellent mechanical values (tear resistance, abrasion, pilling, …), are colourfast and last longer. In addition, we offer active assistance and advise in both repair and cleaning, resulting in a longer service life.


Easy disassembly enables recycling and/or reuse. Our garments are made with micro-wave degradable yarns, enabling fast disassembly and separate zippers and studs from fabrics.


Recycling raw materials closes the loop. Our garments are designed for recycling. This includes smart material choice, homogeneous where possible (If all the elements of the garment, such as fabrics, zippers, yarns and studs are made of the same raw material, the garment can be recycled as a whole, instead of in components – read our Blue Rhino story ). Our garments are also easy to disassemble (#design4disassembly) which enables recycling. End-of-life instructions are given when purchasing the garments.


Sometimes, garments can have a second life or can be upcycled and used for other applications. We can produce bags, wallets, keychains, … made of professional protective garments that are end-of-life. We also work in close collaboration with second life companies and are active in second live communities.


As a family-managed international company, we stand for ethical and environmentally friendly production and manufacturing of our garments. We manage energy use, aiming for maximum energy efficiency, using green energy only #greenenergy. We select suppliers according to strict standards that include sustainability #procurementpolicy. We reduce production waste as much as possible, aiming to be a zero-waste company #nowaste. We recognise and reward “people” as our main asset #people #sioentalent.


With this holistic sustainability approach, we ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns, a requirement set by the UN in the SDG12. In addition, as we’re an international company, producing in the US, Europe as well as in Asia, we’re contributing to the realisation of SDG 9 by building reliable, sustainable and resilient infrastructure and by enabling innovation. Both directly and indirectly, we’re contributing to realising the targets set in SDG8 (decent work), 1 (no poverty) and 2 (zero hunger).

Company attitude

At Sioen, we address sustainability in a coordinated, integrated and formal manner. We were one of the first stock quoted companies in Belgium to apply the GRI reporting #reporting. We use innovation and strategic analysis to go beyond compliance #gobeyond. We integrate sustainability across the entire company on all levels #sustainability. We work collaboratively with external stakeholders #collaboration. We subscribe the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN and actively take measures in all 17 domains #SDGs.

Our approach is awarded with a huge number of certificates, including STeP, ISO 14001, ISO 9001, OSHAS 18001, SA 8000, ISO 14040, ISO 14044, …