Workwear, Corona COVID-19 virus • 5 min read

We’re in this together, Europe: creating a PPE value chain without borders

Christof De Bruyn April 28, 2020

It’s worth stopping to think about it: at this moment, organisations the world over are working tirelessly to increase their production capacities and organise their supply chains to ensure the availability of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) on the market. We’ve seen heart-warming initiatives, where countries literally cross borders to provide intensive care beds, logistics facilitation and even medical personnel for those in need.

Unfortunately, we’ve also seen instances of countries turning inward, restricting exports of COVID-19 tests or masks to other markets in order to protect themselves first. The European Safety Federation (ESF) expressed its concern about PPE distribution as the COVID-19 crisis began to unfold. On April 3rd, the ESF released an official warning on market restrictions and trade barriers impacting the PPE sector, highlighting the severity of the problem at hand. 

At TenCate Protective Fabrics, we believe it’s time to think and act regionally in order to create a borderless European value chain — one which allows the equal distribution of PPE to frontlines all throughout Europe, allowing those in critical professions to continue working.

While we are a Dutch-originated company, with production plants for protective and workwear fabrics located in the Netherlands and the US, our focus markets are scattered globally across many different industries. We’ve always seen this as one of our strengths, but never more so than right now. As a result of our global approach, we’re used to looking beyond borders. We believe it’s critical now to see ourselves not as a Dutch company, but a global company. We urge other companies who form a valuable link in the European PPE value chain to join us in this mindset. 

"It’s critical we see ourselves not as a Dutch company, but a global company." 

Our best innovations are always fuelled by keeping the end user in mind. That’s why TenCate Protective Fabrics is doing everything we can to ramp up production of workwear for medical personnel and others in critical professions. In the spirit of solidarity, we’re also eager to share our knowledge with everyone who might benefit from our expertise in protective fabrics or our borderless approach to benefiting end users. 

Recognizing that the health and safety of many lives depend on the entire European protective workwear value chain, we’re dedicated to keeping the PPE industry as transparent as possible. We believe this is the moment to come together and use the power of the European Union. By joining forces, we’ll be able to create a European value chain for PPE with unhindered export and swift distribution to those in need — regardless of country or market, regardless of the location of production facilities. 

"By joining forces, we’ll create an European value chain with swift distribution of protective workwear to those in need — regardless of country or market." 

Now more than ever, TenCate Protective Fabrics is committed to supplying all our markets with our products. We’re equally dedicated to helping our industry pivot quickly through collaboration and the sharing of our knowledge. If each of us widens our perspective to include the needs of our neighbouring countries, we’ll be able to help each other across borders, act quickly and add immediate value at the frontlines.

Picture of Christof De Bruyn

Christof De Bruyn

Sales Director | TenCate Protective Fabrics