Municipality of Tilburg and City Marketing praise Wolkat as 'Impactmaker of the quarter'.
A fourth generation family business from Tilburg simply does it: changing the textile industry by turning old and discarded clothing into new fabrics and finished products. Wolkat is the only company in the world that controls the entire process from textile waste to new end products (fabrics). They supply this to their customers or make products on commission with world-famous brands as customers. Because of this circular textile recycling model and the impact they make in a huge market, Wolkat has been named Impactmaker of the quarter*.
Alderman Berend de Vries (economics) presented a miniature social sofa as a recognition during a visit to Wolkat on June 28th. "This innovative maker is a typical Tilburg company with its roots deep in the textile industry. Wolkat has a beautiful link with the past of our city and is also a forerunner in the world of textile recycling. With their unique approach, they are an example to the industry and therefore realize a truly global impact. Circular management is really in the fibers of this company."
Kimberley van der Wal - fourth generation - runs the company together with her father Philip Boumans. She is engaged in business development while Philip looks at technical innovations for the machinery and new possibilities with the raw material. From Morocco, 45,000 kg of discarded textiles are sorted and processed every day with 800 people, 50% of which are used to make fabric (16,000 m2 per week) and non-woven material/felt. Tilburg is home to the R&D department, which is always on the lookout for innovative applications for the fabrics. A small club of eight people in total, but with great ambitions. Kimberley: "Here in Tilburg, I hope to be able to recover textiles in the near future by setting up a lab with a few weaving machines to show others what happens to textiles, but also to be able to start working with them immediately. In this way I hope to arouse more interest among young people to take up and appreciate textile as a profession again, because that knowledge is now located in other countries and should certainly be preserved in Tilburg. But then applied in a new and innovative way."
People may be familiar with Wolkat's products from 013Denim, which they made together with the Municipality of Tilburg and Rabobank especially for King's Day 2017. "This collaboration has been successful and we are looking for new collaborations with local or regional parties. We are currently working with a large local fabrics supplier. That's what's so great about Tilburg; here we work together and offer each other the same opportunities. Everything is here too, you don't have to look far. There is a wide range of companies and when I see what is happening here at Tilburg University and how much new talent there is....We will never leave."
*Impactmaker is the successor of 'Company of the Month' by the municipality of Tilburg and Make it in Tilburg (Citymarketing Tilburg). Every quarter, the initiative focuses on a Tilburg-based company that is distinguished by innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship. They are the entrepreneurs in Tilburg who make an impact, both within and outside the city limits.
Photo caption: Alderman Berend de Vries hands over a social sofa to Philip Boumans and Kimberley van der Wal.