Winter 2016

Orange & blue for SUEZ in Belgium

As of January 2017, over 1,300 of the 1,900 employees of the Recycling and Recovery unit of SUEZ in Belgium will have new workwear made partly of TenCate Tecawork™ and produced by Van Heurck. Workers from different departments played a role in the choice of clothing and wearer trials. Etienne Gendebien (project manager) and Marion Clisson (communication officer) were involved in the whole process. 

Waste collection is predominantly a local activity: sorted at source. There are some 50 SUEZ sites in Belgium, half of which are production sites for recycled materials. By and large, waste is sorted mechanically. ‘In view of the emerging scarcity of raw materials, our activities are at the epicentre of the conservation of our planet,’ says Marion Clisson. ‘We conserve primary raw materials by creating secondary raw materials through recycling from waste flows. In this way, we give raw materials at least a second life and contribute to the circular economy.’

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Marion Clisson and Etienne Gendebien with a model showing the workwear 

Changing over to the new unique name of SUEZ was one reason for the tender, and the fact that the current clothing contract with the industrial laundry was due to expire. ‘It was a good opportunity to upgrade the clothing in terms of cut and comfort, bearing in mind the latest ISO 20471 standard.’ This standard relates to the protection of workers, who must be visible in all circumstances. Other specifications referred to good protection against rain, cold, heat and flames; wearer comfort; and the need for the clothing to be dirt-repellent. Furthermore, the clothing had to be in line with the corporate colours. 

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The new workwear by Van Heurck / TenCate

‘Brand image is important in clothing,’ says Marion Clisson, ‘and that the clothes sit well – after all, you wear them all day.’ ‘The involvement of every department and manager played a central role in the project approach,’ adds Etienne Gendebien. ‘Making one choice together; it really comes from the ground up. As far as the HSE and the corporate identity are concerned, colour and signalisation are contributing factors. These elements, alongside wearer comfort, are the most important criteria.’

The clothing will be distributed as of January 2017. Each of the employees concerned will receive five pairs of trousers (with braces) and three jackets, while 70 or so workers will receive seven overalls. In addition to a basic package, workers may choose – depending on the type of work – a number of other items of clothing. The clothing should last for four years. The targeted internal campaign Chic at work has kept workers informed about the new clothing. ‘They’re looking forward to it.’

Blue fabric (Tecawork Blue 65287)