Discover Benelux | Dutch Design | Made in the Netherlands
Clothing that can stand the heat TEXT: BAS VAN DUREN | PHOTOS: WESTSTRATE
Heavy-duty work requires heavy-duty clothing. For those that work in fire hazardous or chemical industries, workwear that is resistant to any kind of danger is a must. Weststrate Groep in Dordrecht specialises in such workwear and has proven to be a reliable partner that not only supplies necessary suits, but also has an outstanding distribution network, making sure not a single thing is left to chance when it comes to employee safety. A genuine family company that started in 1905 and became one of the Netherlands’ largest wooden shoe importers after World War II gradually changed into a business that was all about textiles and workwear. Now, with third and fourth generation family Weststrate at the helm, protective workwear is the company’s forte. With many of their clothing items based around durable, aramid fibers, Weststrate supplies suits predominantly to the oil and gas industry, private fire brigades, secu42 | Issue 51 | March 2018
rity companies and those who work with the transport of dangerous materials. With all the necessary ISO certificates and insourced production facilities, the company produces high-end workwear with their own label ESS-Workwear and are just as capable of producing customised workwear or even private label collections with specifications of anyone’s choosing. “Our core business is mostly fire-retardant clothing and a lot of innovations start mostly within the world of firefighting. We are in touch with several fire departments and know for a fact that extinguishing fires is just a small part of their job. A lot of the time they’re needed for mechanical damage, like freeing people out of car wrecks. That’s why, together with our supply chain partners, we developed a new type of yarn that’s the base for a wear-retardant fabric that is still useable in fire situations, but has a longer lasting life than regular fire-retardant gear. These type of innovations can be useful for other industries like
laundry companies that rent out workwear exposed to extensive wear and tear.” As for larger innovations, Weststrate is excited about the usage of I.T. in protective gear, expecting their wear to be tagged with a chip in the long run: “Having work gear chipped would have a lot of advantages; the traceability would be second to none, meaning we can trace back the origins up to which a specific roll of fabric was used, ensuring the overall quality. There’s also the fact that the standardisation of protective gear will only increase, to the point where I expect that a company such as BP will have gates that scan your workwear. If you don’t have the required outfit, you won’t get inside and that’s only for the best. Safety in these industries is key and we’ll help them in any way we can.” Web: www.weststrategroep.com/ discoverbenelux
Promoting Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxembourg.