Lenzing partners with UTEXBEL to supply lyocell for prison uniforms


The Austria-based Lenzing Group has partnered with Belgium-based UTEXBEL, a vertically integrated textile group and market leader in protective wear and workwear fabrics, to provide uniforms for security personnel of the Belgian Federal Public Service for Justice (FPS Justice) using Tencel branded fibres with Refibra technology and recycled polyester.

With the assistance of Lenzing, UTEXBEL will be able to deliver 80,000 jail staff shirts for FPS Justice security officers utilizing fabric with Tencel branded lyocell fibres and Refibra technology. This is a big achievement for Lenzing since it is the first time Tencel Lyocell fibres with Refibra technology have been utilized to manufacture clothing for the public sector.

Refibra technology, developed by Lenzing, involves upcycling cotton waste from garment manufacture and mixing them with wood pulp to create fresh virgin Tencel Lyocell fibres. Lenzing’s revolutionary fibre identification technology allows the fibres to be identified in yarns, fabrics, and finished garments. According to the business in a news release, this technology offers full traceability of the fibre and is meant to validate fibre origin, increasing supply chain transparency of the final product.

Alexandra Steger, business development workwear, Lenzing AG, said that they’re thrilled to be extending their collaboration with UTEXBEL to bring circularity and traceability to public procurement. The EU has been a major advocate for responsible textile design and raw material use, therefore it is fantastic to see that this has reached the public sector through FPS Justice. While they rely on private sector customers to take personal responsibility, the government may have a significant influence by legislating sustainability in public tenders. By combining Tencel Lyocell fibres with Refibra technology, UXTEBEL is able to limit the consumption of fresh resources while creating Workwear items that are more sustainable while also being durable and pleasant.

Henk Vandendriessche, area manager at UTEXBEL, said that they consider sustainability as a fundamental priority and are working on various collaborative initiatives with their partners in the domains of sustainable development, quality, and logistics. They’re proud to collaborate with Lenzing on this collaboration, which represents a watershed moment in advocating for sustainability in public procurement as we continue to develop, produce, and offer the best yarns and fabrics to meet all needs while respecting the environment and the well-being of both workers and end-users.

Sustainability in public procurement is still in its early stages. Previously, bids were mostly focused on performance and price; but, due to current European laws, sustainability and traceability are becoming a priority. Through innovative fibre solutions, Lenzing has always been devoted to promoting sustainability and providing value to its clients. Lenzing will continue to interact with companies and organizations that share similar values and care for the environment in order to play a more prominent role in supporting the growth of the workwear sector.