The 2022 ETSA Congress in Rome saw the first session of the ETSA Awards, these awards were created in order to give our members a sense of accomplishment and boost company morale, while also bringing attention to some of the most sustainable, intelligent and noteworthy achievements within our industry. Fundamentally, while having panel discussions and giving presentations is great, we found it necessary to showcase real actions our industry has undertaken to advance sustainability and the common good moreover. At its core, ETSA Awards is a celebration, of what our industry has done and an inspiration for what we can continue to do, and strive towards.
The application for ETSA Awards was opened in April of 2022, with three categories for Awards, the "Best Innovative Project Award", the "Sustainable Leadership & Recycling Award" and the "Corporate Social Responsibility Award." Each category was carefully designed to be both unique in tackling a certain issue (innovation, sustainability and CSR respectively) and yet broad enough so not to unnecessarily exclude any projects. If you'd like to read more on the specific categories, and criteria for application you can click here.
ETSA received nominations from Bardusch, Carrington Textiles, Lindström, Salesianer, TenCate, Klopman, Rentokil, Milliken and Hr Bjorkmans Entrémattor (member of the Swedish National Association). Several of these firms nominated themselves for 2 or even all three of these awards. We received 4 applications for Best Innovative Project, 2 for the CSR award and 6 for the Sustainable Leadership and Recycling Award. While each category can only have one winner, it is worth celebrating all of our applicants. We'd also like to give a hearty thank you, to our impartial third party judges, Lutz Walter Secretary-General of Textile ETP and Dirk Vantyghem, Director-General at EURATEX.
Our nominees, Best Innovative Project
As stated previously, ETSA had the honor of receiving four separate award nominations from amongst its membership for this category. The first was from Carrington Textiles, with the project being named: "Carrington Textiles' Hawksbill and Orca, the first workwear fabrics with a polyester that biodegrades." In this project Carrington Textiles are closely involved with end users such as laundries as well as being part of the Microfibre Consortium, an environmental UK NGO, and this has madet hem aware of the issues with microplastics within the wastewater streams. They wanted to look at ways to minimise either the shedding levels and/or the impact of the fibres once shed. Following extensive research, they adopted the CiCLO technology, a sustainable textiles ingredient in the form of an additive that is combined with polyester at the very beginning of the fibre making process. When CiCLO polyester ends up in the environment either through washing or end of life of the garment, it behaves like natural fibres, in turn reducing microplastic pollution and textile accumulation. You can read more about this project here.
The second nominee and eventual winner of the Best innovative project award was Lindström, as they are the winning project, they are profiled more in depth here. In 2020 Lindström did a full update and re-launch of their digital workwear solution with a new name, Workwear Flex. The renewed solution made it easier to take it in use and easier to introduce to markets outside Finland enabling broader customer base. The business case was based on 10-15% reduction workwear in customer inventories, but the preliminary analysis done in 2021 have showed that the reduction could be on average of 40%. In addition to improving cost-efficiency, the service helps to tackle overproduction and unused textiles in customer inventories. You can watch a video on the subject linked here. Congratulations to our winner!
Our third nominee for this category came from our member, Salesianer, who nominated their "SMARTPack- Reusable textiles and disposable components in an operating theatre set" project. This innovative project SmartPack from Salesianer can be used for standardised procedures as well as for emergencies. The laborious and often time-consuming assembly of individual components before an operation is no longer necessary, as SmartPack is individually adapted to the needs and requirements of the respective operation. Compared to the use of individual components, SmartPack requires less packaging to be opened and disposed of, this therefore leaves a positive ecological footprint, as packaging waste can also be significantly reduced. You can read about this project here (in German).
Our fourth and final nominee for this category came from TenCate, this initiative project called: "Tecapro® Ecogreen - Best of both worlds. One Fabric," offers an interesting look at innovative approaches in our industry from the perspective of workwear, looking at both the needs of workers, and the holistic environmental picture as well. Fundamentally speaking, Tecapro® Ecogreen is a ground-breaking product that brings everyone a step further: from garment makers looking to launch eco-friendly protective workwear collections; to workers who want to move more comfortably, confidently and safely throughout their day; to companies committed to reducing their environmental footprint.Tecapro® Ecogreen closes the gap and delivers the future. Check out this online experience TenCate created in order to better showcase the project aims to users.
Our nominees, Sustainable Leadership and Recycling Award
For this award, which was judged by Dirk Vantyghem from EURATEX, we had six total nominees, the first, and the eventual winner came from Hr Bjorkmans Entrémattor, a member of ETSA's Swedish National Association for the project of "water recycling" as they are the winners, they are profiled more in depth here. However, in sum Hr Björkmans Entrémattor has taken a great leap forward in their environmental work. After two years of development, their new state-of-the-art and patented water recycling system is now in place. They now recycle 98 percent of their dirty and used laundry water and they'll be able to save approximately 16 million litres of water annually, the equivalent of 6.5 Olympic swimming pools. Their patented closed water recycling system was even rewarded with the EMAS Award. You can read more about it here! Congratulations to our winner!
Our second nomination came from Klopman in regard to their project "Klopman's Superbandmaster Circular." Superbandmaster is one of Klopman's best seller fabric. It is today one of Europe's most widely worn fabric in Workwear, with extensive sales in every country in markets such as healthcare, food processing, light engineering and retailing. The project starts from the collection of clothes and fabrics at the end of their life cycle and recycle them to generate new fibres. This will allow the production of new fabrics to be put back on the market with an increasing amount of recycled fibre. You can read more about it here.
Our third nomination from this category came from Lindström, for their project "Textile Recycling." Lindström has set among the most ambitious global goals in the industry. In 2020 they set a goal recycling 100% of its textile waste by 2025 and in 2021 they announced the carbon-neutrality goal by 2035 in all scopes of emissions. Thus in 2021, they started several new local recycling partnerships, and during the first months of this year they have started many new collaborations and expanded the existing ones. Altogether, in the end of March 2022 they had 20 recycling partners, in 18 markets that recycle textile waste close to where it is generated. You can see a promotional video for this endeavor here.
Our fourth nomination came from Milliken, the generous sponsor of the ETSA awards, with their project "Blacksburg Cogeneration." The purpose of this project was to first, generate on-demand electrical power on-site from natural gas rather than buy electricity through the existing, inefficiency-prone grid and second, capture the "waste" heat from the generation of electricity and use it to generate higher-efficiency steam, which allows us to eliminate coal as a primary fuel source. This 25 million USD capital investment with an annual 4 million USD in savings aims to reduce GHG emissions by 10%, or 60,000 metric tons, and waste by 5%, or six million pounds, as the elimination of coal will also eliminate the ash it produces. 2022 was also their first year of coal elimination. You can see some of the project fundamentals through this blog post, linked here.
Our fifth nomination for this category came from Rentokil Initial for their ""Recyclage textile" project. This project was initiated during the year 2018, and was partially launched in September 2019 but fully deployed from June 2020. This project is now an ongoing initiative core to Rentokil's process. The ultimate objective is to recycle 100% of their used flat linen and end-of-life garments by 2025. They have currently reached 96% of garments being recycled and 100% of the flat linen. In 2020 and 2021, Rentokil recycled more than 500 tons a year of garments through this new process saving these garments from being landfilled or incinerated. Read about this project (in French) here.
The final application came from Salesianer for their project "The Power of Sun - Photovoltaic." Salesianer is using the power of the sun to save energy costs and contribute to climate protection. In the past seven years 13 roof areas of the operating facilities have been equipped with photovoltaic panels. A total of around 20.000 solar panels are currently in use and generate around 4* million kWh per year. That covers almost 40% of the group's total electricity consumption. Through sustainable energy production, Salesianer manages to reduce its ecological footprint by reducing CO₂ emissions by around 3.200 tonnes per year! Read more about it (in German).
ELIS used a science-based method, called Life-Cycle Assessment (LCA), to understand the environmental impacts of the scrub suits throughout their life cycle, from the raw materials extraction to end-of-life, through manufacturing, transportation, and the washing cycles required for the scrub suits to be reused multiple times. The life-cycle assessment (LCA) was conducted to compare reusable vs disposable scrub suits. To fairly compare these products, a case scenario, so-called functional unit, had to be defined. It describes a service that can be fulfilled either by reusable or disposable scrub suits. Click here to read more
Our nominees, Corporate Social Responsibility Award
Our final awards category was for the Corporate Social Responsibility Award. We had two nominees, from Bardusch and Salesianer respectively.
Our first application came from Bardusch Beteiligungen GmbH & Co. KG, who would go on to win this award, with their "150 years Bardusch - 150 projects for a sustainable future," project. As they are the winner, they are profiled more in depth here. In the year of its 150th anniversary (2021) the Bardusch group decided to put all jubilee activities and expenses under the umbrella of corporate social responsibility projects. The range of proposed projects was enormous. The spectrum ranged from generous donations for existing social and ecological institutions or voluntary assignments of Bardusch employees up to the realization of completely new initiatives. Congratulations to our winner! See more information, (in German) here.
Our second application for this category came from Salesianer for their project "Salesianer's heart beats for bees." The "A Home for Bees" initiative was launched as a sustainability project 2021, the aim of which being to help boost Austria's bee population over the long term. Salesianer was developing this sustainability project in the past year and implemented further activities and initiatives several location . Examples here include planting fields of flowers on the company premises to increase the food supply and secure the livelihood of the bees. Some locations have taken on a sponsorship for beehives or implemented insect hotels, and Salesianer hopes to harvest 150 kilograms of honey! See more information, (in German) here.
Thank you so much to all of our nominees and a big congratulations to our winners! You are truly inspiring us in the textile services industry to look forward to a more sustainable tomorrow! If you have any questions on the ETSA Awards, or would like to know more on a specific project please contact ETSA Secretariat.
To find out more about our members including suppliers, national associations and research institutes click here.
To find out more about our members including textile rental companies, national associations and research institutes click here.
To find out more about our members including textile rental companies and suppliers, click here.