- The large amount of textile waste is a major social problem that has negative consequences for nature and climate
- Blue LOOP makes clothing that partly consists of recycled fibres
- Blue LOOP increases its impact by selling workwear; an entire company is instantly provided with sustainable clothing
Blue LOOP Originals is a brand of the Twente wholesaler Ideavelop. Ideavelop represents eight sustainable brands. “We think that it is important to have a beautiful and sustainable story behind a brand, whether that concerns animal welfare, making thermos flasks so that you do not have to buy a plastic bottle, or making recycled clothing”, says Ron van der Wiel, who owns Ideavelop together with Gertjan Eshuis. Ideavelop has a solid footing in the outdoor sports industry, but they represent a whole range of sustainable products. This includes Blue LOOP’s clothing, which partly consists of recycled textiles.
Blue LOOP also produces workwear, in addition to clothing for the consumer market. “The great thing about the workwear market is that it is very demand-oriented; you only produce what is in demand. The consumer market is supply-oriented. You produce something that will be in a store, and you have to be lucky enough that a customer takes it off the shelf, likes it and buys it. With workwear, you can have a big impact immediately by supplying functional clothing made from recycled textiles in large amounts. It means you can have a positive impact on clearing up the textile waste mountain as a company instantly.”
Blue LOOP started with using recycled denim. “It works out really well because the recycling is done around the corner from us, at Frankenhuis in Haaksbergen.” They are also using recycled cotton. 25 to 40 per cent of the materials in Blue LOOP’s clothing is recycled; you always need some new material to guarantee that the garment will last a long time. “It does not consist entirely of recycled material, but a significant part of it is. We contribute to cleaning up the textile waste mountain in this way”, says Ron. Blue LOOP has a strong network in Twente as a textile region. They have connections with SaxCell, for example. Ron van der Wiel and SaxCell are looking at how to respond to future innovations. “We produce our clothing in such a way that it can be easily recycled in the future using chemical recycling. It is an innovation that is still in the offing, but we are prepared for it.”
Blue LOOP sees it as their mission to make no use of plastics such as polyester in the production of their clothing, or at least as little as possible. That is why the brand no longer uses recycled PET bottles. It is not always easy to ban plastic completely, says Ron van der Wiel. Polyester ensures a high degree of colour fastness. However, Blue LOOP has managed to achieve good colour fastness even without using polyester. The company has done many tests for this and is constantly innovating.