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Interview: Robert van de Kerkhof, Chief Commercial Officer at Lenzing AG

“An important first step of a long journey”

A rethink is going on in the industry. In the past months, the Covid-19 pandemic has brought the world to the brink of a standstill. Consumers are using the time to rethink their shopping behaviour. Sustainable alternatives are at the top of their agenda. Fashion suppliers have realised this and are restructuring their products and procedures, covering everything from natural materials to climate-neutral shipping. Austrian fibre producer and Texprocess exhibitor Lenzing AG is a pioneer in sustainable production processes. Robert Van de Kerkhof, Chief Commercial Officer at Lenzing AG, gives an overview of future innovations.

Dear Mr Van de Kerkhof, the fashion industry is experiencing upheaval. Many big fashion groups like H&M, Zara or Adidas are launching sustainable collections and sustainable campaigns. What is your view on the shift in the industry?

This is an important first step of a long journey of the fashion industry. The customers do have the choice nowadays whether they do want to wear sustainable clothing. Nevertheless, it will be more expensive if done well, and truly sustainable materials and social responsible labour are used. The downside is that if this is not the case, greenwashing will harm consumer confidence and the necessary greening of the fashion value chain will not happen. With our innovative products we are ready to contribute positively to this upheaval.

Lenzing AG is an industry pioneer when it comes to sustainable production processes. How does the development of new processes work in your company?

Lenzing’s commitment to the ecologically responsible production process is an explicit aspect of our corporate “Naturally positive” sustainability strategy. Our well-defined 18 corporate targets act as a guiding torch what each individual site has to contribute for our corporation to meet these targets. Internal departments such as research and development, site management, or global engineering work together with external experts to ensure we integrate the best available technology in every aspect of our production process.

What are the latest innovations the industry can look forward to?

We have a very healthy pipeline of innovations for the full range of the fashion industry. Three highlights: a dress made with the one of the most sustainable fibers for the haute-couture segment, our Tencel Luxe filament, and designed by Vivienne Westwood was worn by Marlee Matlin at the Oscars 2021. True Carbon Zero Tencel fibers are a critical ingredient to reduce the high CO2 emissions the fashion industry is causing. Tencel Modal with Indigo color technology reduces water, chemicals and energy consumption, produces less waste and make garments last longer. For the full range of our innovations, please have a look at our websites tencel.com and ecovero.com.

#Lenzing AG #Tencel #Sustainable textiles #Innovations #Sustainability  

Find more information here:

Lenzing AG
Perspectives: Fashion and textile companies and sustainability “The New Cool”
Innovation: Indigo Color Technology “Blue jeans, not blue rivers”

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