Dutch State Secretary of Economy Visits FTN (NL). Hygienical Clean/Corona Free, Sustainable Cleaning by Robots

The Dutch Federation of Textile Management (FTN) was visited by the State Secretary of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Mona Keijzer at the Federation of Textiles Management Netherlands was corona proof and nevertheless heartwarming.

In The Netherlands, this emerging industry has been hit above average by the arrival of the coronavirus. Companies specialized in the catering industry and retail companies in particular had to record a 75% to 50% drop in turnover right from the start and that has not improved since then. Nevertheless, important initiatives are in preparation that should give the industry a new perspective. Digitization, automation, robotics are important drivers, supported by fantastic sustainability. The industry is no less than 5 times more sustainable than home washing.

Sustainable & circular
The visit took place at Wasserij / Linnenverhuur G. Van der Kleij & Zn. in Utrecht. After an overview of prominent textile service companies and an extensive explanation of the corona effects, also for crucial professional groups, there was plenty of attention for the environmental profile of a sustainable professional textile service, which is already circular in itself. In the Netherlands, this can generate annual savings of over 60 billion liters of drinking water, as well as 24% CO2 and 17% energy savings on cleaning. In addition, intensive filtration results in very minimal microfibre emissions, where washing at home accounts for approximately 35% of the total emissions.

There was also a lot of attention for new robotics solutions such as those developed in the Netherlands by Laundry Robotics and other robotics solutions such as those on display at G. van der Kleij. This 160-year-old family business is fully specialized in the hotel and catering industry, and in particular hotels and restaurants, and has hit above average due to the corona crisis. The State Secretary was given an extensive tour and was able to examine the current state of affairs for herself.

The industry called on the State Secretary to stimulate the developments in the textile service more, in general by giving environmental bonus points in tenders, supporting the use of sustainable energy in processes and logistics, stimulating the use of high-quality textiles, as well as “SLOW” fashion to improve the use of fashion clothing (no less than 85% is worn only very limited) and to facilitate initiatives for more circular textiles. An eye for international developments is necessary to achieve this quickly and efficiently.

The Dutch Federation of Textile Management (FTN) is the Dutch trade association for textile service companies, (industrial) laundries and linen rental companies, of which almost all leading companies in the sector are members.