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Swedish Textile Service Association 2023 Annual Meeting

The Swedish Textile Service Association meeting was held in central Stockholm.  Attendees were welcomed by outgoing chairman Jan Kluge who announced the newly elected chairman, Michael Sandin, who holds the titles of chairman of the municipal board and regional council position on the merit list.

Image:  Robert Johansson presents the Sustainability Award to Anders Thorgaard   Image Credit:  Daniel Karrholt.

Image: Robert Johansson presents the Sustainability Award to Anders Thorgaard
Image Credit: Daniel Karrholt.

Opening speaker, Robert Johansson, personal regional councilor Region Stockholm, presented the Swedish Textile Service Association’s sustainability award to Anders Thorgaard, entrepreneur, visionary and owner of the laundry and textile service group DFD/Textilia.

Thorgaard is upcycling textiles into new products on an industrial scale.  The practice, called upcy, turns discarded textiles into raw material in newly designed products.  For example, worn-out tablecloths become chef’s coats. Customers ordering the upcycled textiles contribute to a circular economy.

Three speakers were featured – Martin Stenfors, COO Renewcell, Martin Lofgren, Director of Group Procurement, Scandic Hotels and Mikael Jansson, Managing Director, ManpowerGroup.

Stenfors has over 25 years of experience within sourcing and supply chain both as a management consultant and in operational positions.  He is currently ensuring that Renewcell is scaling up feedstock sourcing to match the increased production capacity in the company.  By 2025, Renewcell aims to annually produce 250.000 metric tonnes of dissolving pulp from post consumer and post industrial textile waste and source equally large amounts of textile waste feedstock.

Lofgren presented, ‘How are we attractive and take responsibility as a customer,’ that Scandic, by virtue of its 280 hotels with 58000 rooms in six countries is an important part in making a sustainability mark in the hospitality industry.

Jansson, with seven years at the Tvattman Textil Service highlighted the importance of being an attractive employer both today and tomorrow.  A clear trend is the difficulty in finding employees with the right skills.  Three out of four Swedish employers can not find the right person for the job.

Thage Peterson also took the stage to speak on his experience of many years as one of the giants of Swedish politics with six cabinet portfolios, speaker of the Riksdag, member of the Riksdag and state secretary. He spoke of current issues as well as memories of meeting with Tibet’s spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, minister of finance Gunnar Strang and Nelson Mandela.

The comprehensive program also included Anne-Charlotte Hanning, Senior Project Leader and researcher Materials and Production, RISE. She presented “Upstream cleaning at industrial laundry with the intention of minimizing the release of microplastics and effects at the water and sewage plant,” a project in cooperation among others with Textilia, Christeyns and Sveriges Tvatteriforbund.

Ulrike Ryll, project manager SIS for the committee for Medical Textiles (SIS/TK 332) and Agneta Gunillasson, project manager SIS/TK, for Surgical Textiles (SIS/TK 333) also spoke, giving attendees insight into the work around show caseardization and revision of the Textilhandboken which was followed by a lively discussion.

Additionally, Carolina von Post, founder of Stormie Poodle & Beskow von Post, TexChain3 spoke on the theme, “From waste and end-of-life work clothes to new products.”  And Daniel Zhang took the floor, CXO (acquisition general and multitasker) at Teqnion, and board member at Textilia.  The speaker gift during the meeting was Zhang’s book, An Investment Thinking Toolbox. Zhang received a speaker gift from event sponsor Maxi-Press Kalle-Ville Lampi.


Photo Above Right: Riksdag member Per-Arne Håkansson, Daniel Kärrholt and  Nestor Thage G Peterson.

Photo Credit:  Kalle-Ville Lampi