YEP goes Italian: get inspired at the Electrolux Center of Excellence in Pordenone, Venice

The second YEP (Young Executives in Professional Textile Care) program organized by CINET took place on February 20th and 21st, in the inspiring Center of Excellence of Electrolux Professional, located under the Italian sun of Pordenone. This second session included participants from Italy, France, UK, Norway, Sweden and The Netherlands. A special shout-out to the wonderful host of this second YEP session: Paolo Schira (Senior Vice President Business Development at Electrolux Professional) and Christoph Richter (Global Segment Manager Consumer Operated & Cleaning Shops at Electrolux Professional). Thank you and your team for the hospitality!


The learning

The program kick-off consisted of a tour through the Electrolux Professional Center of Excellence by Paolo Schira. These Centers of Excellence, 20 in total spread all over the world, facilitate showrooms and training programs. All these activities are in line with the inspiring mission of our host Electrolux: “The OnE making your work-life easier, more profitable – and truly sustainable every day”. In line with that thought, the participants of the second YEP program presented their businesses and the challenge they are working on within the YEP program.

The group of YEP participants being introduced to the Electrolux Center of Excellence by Paolo Schira.

In addition, CINET’s very own president Mr. Peter Wennekes presented the CINET Sustainability Model. The ultimate aim of this model is to develop a communication concept that supports PTC (professional textile care) companies. In April 2019 a benchmark study by TKT conduced that PTC is 3-5 times more sustainable than domestic washing with 24% CO-2 reduction and 35-80% water savings for each kilo washed. Besides PTC virtually doesn’t add microplastics to the ocean while domestic washing is responsible for 34% of the plastics in the ocean. The PTC industry in a perfect position within the supply chain to support the textiles &  fashion industry to extend the lifetime of garments and support recycling processes that can be scaled up. A communication model is prepared that will inspire individual companies to use the key messages, visuals and ideas in their own marketing & communication efforts. By doing so the aim is to create awareness in society about the superior sustainability profile of PTC and support a better world of tomorrow.

Mr. Peter Wennekes presenting the CINET Sustainability Model.

A grap from the inspiring initiatives that came by this second YEP session consist of Wauw Closet, an online fashion rental platform that provides the opportunity to rent clothes instead of buying them, as consumer behaviour is changing in fortunately a more sustainable way. This initiative requires the expertise of a well-developed Professional Textile Care industry and therefore is a perfect example of how multiple industries can collab in order to gain a more sustainable environment. In Mrs. Hanh Vlooswijk’s own words: “To learn and contribute to the world.” And as Mr. Francesco Malmusi (Mamaclean, It) likes to say: “Learn from the very best.” This is required, as the textile care industry has the most widespread environmental impact, according to Mr. Kyle Grant (Oxwash, UK), who reveals the “Laundry’s Dirty Secrets” that contribute to this. His company challenge focuses on how technology can be implemented in order to increase sustainability in the industry. Fascinating. Mrs. Francoise Boizane (Tykaz, Fr) emphasizes the need of the industry to respond to new customer expectations, by providing a manageable, conscious yet high quality way of textile care. And additionally, say “Thank you” in return for contributing to a better system. Also Mrs. Peggy Peters (Clean Center, NL) agrees with the idea that customer service is key in an efficient business model. Then Mrs. Tone Ostbo (Renseriet, Norway), who just got her craft certificate (Congratulations Tone!), but can already be referred to one of the most profitable dry cleaning business in Norway. Next step: global expansion, taken innovation and sustainability even more into account. Summarized, the overall business challenge can be considered let’s get (more) sustainable!

Kyle Grant (CEO Oxwash, UK) presenting his business and company challenges.

Mr. Daniel Kärrholt (Sweden) introducing his company.

Mr. Stefano Pierotti and Mr. Leon Wennekes presenting.

Several additional presentations from expert speakers followed based on the requests from the YEP participants during the first session in The Netherlands. For example, host Christoph Richter (Electrolux) spoke about the upscaling of PTC operations for laundries with a high diversity in textile products focused on increased productivity. “Special equipment delivers higher production.” Also from China (Mr. Lei Pai of Fornet) and America (Mrs. Diana Vollmer of MFM) made their contributions on lessons learned in upscaling the business and marketing in PTC through digital webinar technology. ‘It’s all about winning hearts, minds and wallets’, concluded Diana Vollmer at her session. Thanks for your insights! In addition, IT-driven business models were highlighted by Mr. Gert-Jan Puper (business development manager at the CAPE Group) and Mr. Paul van Ruler (commercial director at Prometheus) spoke about software for flexible logistics. Also, PostNL business development director Jan Hunze presented the concept how a carrier company with 38.000 employees in the BENELUX could be a strategic partner for the professional textile care industry to successfully develop new markets. Finally, an update about micro plastics & packaging in the industry was offered by Leon Wennekes of CINET followed by a vision towards future PTC by Marcello Smit (former CEO of Synergy Health, a large commercial laundry in Europe): digitization enables new markets which couldn’t be serviced in the past. Furthermore, lots of discussion went on during the second day of the program between the participants. Mr. Huub van de Ven (Eiffel) highlighted the added value of smart data management, and how this data can be used to target your (future) customers most effectively.

Host Mr. Christoph Richter introducing new PTC technologies.

End of day 2. It’s a wrap! Thank you all. 

Time to explore Venice

Hard work pays off.

Dressing up for Venetian Carnaval.

Admiring the beautiful architecture of Venice.

And of course, enjoying the real Italian ice-cream.

About the YEP Program

The goal of the YEP program is to exchange know-how and practical experience amongst young promising entrepreneurs aiming to develop new business cases in one of the defined new market areas. The program of the first meeting was setting the objectives of this new program and agree on the individual assignments and the format. The goal of this second meeting was to share knowledge and expertise in order to inspire and be inspired. The main benefits for the participants of the YEP program are the following:

  • Lead your business to NEW markets in PTC
  • Personal growth through PTC master classes
  • Meet like-minded entrepreneurs from abroad
  • Profile your business internationally as innovator

Join the next YEP session (UK)

If you’d be interested to join the program in the future you are in luck, one more session is coming up in the UK (25-28 April). Please send your resume to to start the application process.