‘That is a high bar to set yourself’ you would think. For us it isn’t. The bar for our quality approach is set by how we make protective garments. That is the way we guarantee our most demanding products.
A protective garment can be made of a range of different raw materials and fabrics. Each of those elements is tested to protect against the risks they protect against. A garment that protects you against a specific hazard has been tested extensively internally and externally. The test results and technical data-sheet are made available in a safety and testing-dossier. The garment and each of its components are traceable throughout the supply chain. That is why we can guarantee the specific protection of each element and of the garment as a whole.
We apply the same rigorous way of sourcing and tracing quality materials for all the other garments we make. By looking at the material number in the tag, we know exactly what your garment is made of and where, and by whom, it is made (more about that in a next blog …). Should it be necessary for any reason, we are able to trace every component to its original point of manufacture.
But what is quality? Some would say it is ‘the degree of excellence of something, measured against other things of a similar kind.’ We define quality as a steady process that gives us the ability to improve the products we make. Quality is only as strong as the system which underpins it.
We have invested in a highly efficient and effective quality system. It consists of two independent processes which work independently to assure quality. The quality control in the factory closely monitors every step, ensuring requirements are fully met. Before the finished products are shipped, they are independently checked by an inspection team at a different location. There can be no influencing or conflict of interest interfering with the quality checks.
In order to understand why we are now able to offer a repair service, we need to take one step back in our approach to quality. At the very start of each development process there is the functionality of the product. The required functionality – degree of protection, the level of comfort according to the environment the wearer works in – are guiding the design and the make up of each garment. When they match the needs of the person who will use or wear it, all requirements are fulfilled to have a long first use phase. We also have all the information in place to repair the garment and give back its original functionality.
If quality is that high, then why repair?
To keep the impacts of a product low, the first and intended use is determinant. By using a product for what it was originally intended, you effectively reduce the CO2-emissions, the water footprint, the land use and all other impacts. Every time you wear a garment you avoid buying/making a new one. So, by extending the longevity you avoid waste. Knowing that 1 simple cotton t-shirt consumes up to 3000 litres of water and emits 7kg of CO2, every time you wear it, you actually dilute and lower those first impacts.
As experts in making high performing protective garments, we guarantee this long first intended use. Numbers show that this is not an idle promise. Our quality levels were at 99,49% in 2021. It is part of our guarantee that we mend the remaining 0,51%. Whenever products show a defect, we will offer free and immediate repair. Under the condition that the are worn according to the intended use and within a normal usage and maintenance.
Wearing and washing a garment can result in other repair demands. By using the garment day-in day-out a button can fall off, a zipper can get stuck. We offer a repair service at our facilities in Ronse to resolve these issues. Repair can be requested via e-mail to your dedicated customer service officer. The aim of repairing the garments is to give back their first intended and highest functionality. So, we are extending the first life of the garment at a lower cost because you still don’t need to buy a new one.
We can do more than just repair. Imagine the following case which is based on real facts: you have ordered a quantity of long sleeved t-shirts for your workers because they can be worn under a jacket and as a t-shirt when it gets warmer. In reality the long sleeved t-shirts are not much of a success. The workers prefer short sleeved t-shirts. In such circumstances we offer a customised solution; cutting the sleeves and remaking the long sleeves in to normal short sleeved t-shirts.
The same can be done if a customer wants to have an extra pocket on their trousers or a new logo to replace the old one. We will consider each one of these adaptations, because it this is an opportunity to extend again the first intended use by adapting the functionality to the actual needs of the wearers. That means you don’t have to buy a new garment and you avoid the CO2-emissions, the water footprint, the land use and all other impacts that are a consequence of newly produced garments.