Interview with Charles Betteridge (Christeyns) & Marcel Willems (TenCate) as they join ETSA board.

 

Charles Betteridge  & Marcel Willems are long time friends and colleagues of ETSA. Following the last ETSA AGM in November and ETSA Board elections for 2022, Mr Betteridge  and Mr Willems became members of the ETSA board. See the interview below to learn more about the accomplished career of Mr Betteridge and Mr Willems respectively. While we are extremely excited for Mr Betteridge and Mr Willems to join ETSA board, we are also sad to see Bert Bakker from Ecolab and John Vareldzis from Carrington Textiles leave their positions at ETSA board. Additionally for the coming year, Jurgen Höfling will be replaced by Hartmut Engler as CWS's representative for the 2022 ETSA board. A big thank you to Mr Bakker, Vareldzis and Höfling for their service! And a big thank you to the ETSA board for their participation in the Board election and AGM. 

First Interview: Charlies Betteridge

1. How do you feel your time at Christeyns has shaped  and enriched you personally? 

It's been a fantastic journey, starting off in 1995 when Christeyns decided to move outside just the Belgian Laundry market. Being able to lead the business growth, first of all in the UK, French and German markets and then moving gradually into all the other European countries was a great experience. The freedom to take decisions, the flexibility of the organisation and of course the financial backing and active support of the owners all made it an exciting time and looking back at how we have grown from a € 15 mio. business to nearly € 300 mio. gives me great pride.  

 

2. What do you see that Christeyns specifically brings to the board of ETSA? Do you have any specific goals or priorities you would like ETSA and ETSA board to focus on in 2022? 

Having already been on the Board twice before, I would like think that I can again provide useful input from the supply chain side. As detergent suppliers, we play an important role in determining the washing processes used and water & energy savings are undoubtedly one of the key issues in the next few years. I am also Chairman of the TSA in the UK and can also hopefully contribute information on the market developments and challenges there. 

 

3. ETSA is a platform for knowledge exchange and the exchange of best practices. Is there something you feel that Christeyns does especially well? As in something that other textile service companies can learn from Christeyns? 

As I say, the detergent suppliers are always looking at ways to optimise the whole washing process and we have a huge amount of expertise within our Laundry team. As a family-run business and with Laundry as our core activity, there is a real passion and team spirit and over the years, we have continued to invest in people to be able to provide advice and support to the industry. 

 

4. The last 2 years have been tumultuous for the industry to say the least, first with the pandemic and then an increased focus on sustainability and a prioritization on reaching green objectives on the part of both national governments and the EU, how has the team at Christeyns dealt with these changes? 

It certainly hasn't been easy! The sudden drop in linen being processed obviously hit us financially but we were keen to keep up the levels of service we had previously offered. A laundry washing one day per week still needed servicing and we tried our best to support our customers throughout the lockdowns. As business started to get back towards normal however, we have been hit this year with the massive supply chain issues with some raw materials not just doubling in price but also not being available. This applies not just to us - all sectors have been hit and the Laundry sector is seeing huge cost increases in particular in energy, labour, textiles, etc so there are some interesting operational and also commercial decisions to be made. The importance of climate change, green initiatives and Environmental Social Governance in general is already key for the industry and we continue to invest in new technology and work with specialist partners to be able to help our customers achieve these objectives. 

 

5. What will the team at Christeyns prioritize for 2022?

We have some exciting new projects, including the Hydro water treatment units. Cool Chemistry still continues to grow as another example of sustainable processing with an emphasis on increasing textile life, but our biggest hope is that the markets will return to normal. The recent arrival of the Omicron variant is already seeing new restrictions and 2022 will unfortunately again be a difficult year. 

 

Willems

 

Second Interview: Marcel Willems 

1. How do you feel your time at TenCate has shaped  and enriched you personally?
 

At Tencate Protective Fabrics our employees are our most important assets. We have a team of bright and eager people that continuously want to develop themselves. Change has become a constant now in our way of working. We have learnt over the years how powerful we can be when we work together as one company instead of just a collection of different departments. We believe very much in people's capabilities and giving them their freedom in doing their job. That's exactly the type of work environment where I feel comfortable and where we challenge ourselves to get the most out of our team.


2. What do you TenCate specifically brings to the board of ETSA? Do you have any specific goals or priorities you would like ETSA and ETSA board to focus on in 2022?
 

We proud ourselves of how we work together with the entire value chain. Because that's the only way how we can change things. We have a long and complex value chain hence we need each other to serve our end users in the best possible way. We are very much end user focused and will bring their needs and wants to the table as this is in the end what counts for all of us. We have started to incorporate sustainability into our day-to-day operations and by now have a complete and unique product offering available also in our FR-range. And we are very active online and share a lot of knowledge with the marketplace. So what can we bring to the ETSA board; an integral value chain approach, knowledge of the end user market, focus on sustainability and innovation and finally we can help increase exposure of ETSA by making more use of online possibilities.
 

3. ETSA is a platform for knowledge exchange and the exchange of best practices. Is there something you feel that TenCate does especially well? As in something that other textile service companies can learn from TenCate?


We talk and listen to end users, we have a lot of technical knowledge, and we work very closely with the entire value chain. We believe that this combination enables us to pro-actively address the market needs and together with our partners make the necessary changes. We are in an industry where changes take long and we can no longer allow ourselves to stay this way. We need to move forward, embrace how (quickly) the world is changing and maybe one day become a trendsetter instead of a slow-moving follower. We like to let our customers do the talking so we constantly share new case studies that show how our customers and end users experience working with us. These ambassadors are for us the true way of best practice sharing.
 

4. The last 2 years have been tumultuous for the industry to say the least, first with the pandemic and then an increased focus on sustainability and a prioritization on reaching green objectives on the part of both national governments and the EU, how has the team at TenCate dealt with these changes?
 

We have started a change and professionalization process more than 4 years ago. So when the pandemic hit us we were actually quite quick in adapting our approach and embracing the new way of (remote) working. Like I said change has become a constant for us and therefore this change too we embraced immediately and adapted ourselves to the new reality. And the same goes for sustainability but also the present supply chain challenges. We cannot change the world around us so we need to adapt ourselves constantly to make the best out of the circumstances we are faced with.

 
5. What will the team at TenCate prioritize for 2022?
 

For 2022 we want to continue our growth path where we left it in 2019. We have fully recovered from the pandemic and are now building further for a strong future. And that future is characterized by a strong team, focus on innovation and sustainability, with the end user needs always in our mind as driving factor for anything we do. Moreover you will see us acting more and more as a global company. There is still a lot we can learn from how things are done in different parts of the world and as a truly global player we have the privilege to have that global view and knowledge and to be able to share those best practices across the globe.

ETSA: Representing textile rental companies

Alsco Bardusch CWS DFD Elis Initial johnson Lindstrom Mewa Salesianer

To find out more about our members including suppliers, national associations and research institutes click here

ETSA: In partnership with suppliers of detergents, fabrics and machinery

 Carrington Chainge christeyns Ecolab HB Jensen kannegiesser Klopman Milliken 2021 Tencate Van Moer We-Wear

To find out more about our members including textile rental companies, national associations and research institutes click here

ETSA: Coordinating national textile service associations and working with research institutes

Apac Assosistema BVT DTV FBT GEIST Hohenstein NRV Tekstiilihuoltoliitto-ry TRSA TSA Sveriges-Tvätteriförbund VTS WFK

To find out more about our members including textile rental companies and suppliers, click here