Concordia Textiles on sustainable growth and high-tech fabrics

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Concordia Textiles is a Belgium-based textile manufacturer that supplies ballistic outer shell fabrics to many armies across Europe. Founded in 1925, Concordia specializes in the creation of synthetic fabrics. The business is family owned, with the third generation currently in place.

Concordia focuses on dyeing, coating, printing, laminating and finishing fabrics for industrial, PPE and military applications. BodyArmorNews.com interviewed Mr. Dirk de Lochtwho is the Business Unit Manager Workwear at Concordia Textiles.

High-tech fabrics for bulletproof vests

“The company’s mission,” Mr. de Locht said, “is to provide customers with high-tech fabrics based on synthetic solutions on a global scale. We do not use cotton or polycottons, we use pure polyamides, polyamide 66 and polyesters.

Concordia’s biggest customers are primarily the end users of their products. The company supplies a range of products including sleeping bags, backpacks, ballistic outer fabrics, thermal jackets and rainwear to national armies. This includes the armies of Poland, Norway, Switzerland, France, Italy, Finland, Hungary and Spain.

Some of their most popular products include heavyweight polyamide 66 fabrics which they infrared print to specific country requirements. Lightweight polyamide 66 is also very popular, as Concordia uses it mainly for thermal jackets and sleeping bags.

Fully integrated production

“What differentiates our products from those of other companies,” Mr. de Locht explained, “is the fact that we manufacture them in Europe. More and more armies want this from a manufacturer. This gives us a huge advantage over products made outside of Europe.

“We are one of the last, if not the only, fully integrated production company. We can do it all under one roof, from weaving and dyeing to coating, printing and laminating. Many of our competitors, on the other hand, do only part of the production. They have to outsource other products or other parts of the production process.

Environmentally friendly solutions

Concordia is also one of many companies designing environmentally friendly solutions to help fight climate change, while complying with the stringent requirements of their customers.

“We are working hard on environmentally friendly solutions,” explained de Locht. “We try to work with water-based solutions as well as recycled yarns. We have finishes that no longer contain full carbons. However, this means that the customer must accept that the fabric is only water repellent and no longer oil repellent.

Become carbon neutral

Concordia Textiles already has around 50,000 square meters of solar panels in its factory. This covers half the area of ​​the roofs they have. Despite these efforts, the panels only generate around 7% of the energy required.

“Becoming one hundred percent carbon neutral will probably never be possible, but we aim to be as environmentally friendly as possible,” said de Locht. “In Belgium, the environmental laws are already very strict, and of course we comply with the regulations here in Europe. These regulations are getting tougher every year. Accordingly, we are also taking equal steps to become carbon neutral. »

Concordia also has a project in the R&D phase which focuses on recycling. “The idea is to recycle post-industrial waste and not end-of-life waste,” said de Locht, “The latter is not possible at the moment because it is too complex to disassemble the products. “

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