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Insights from SIOEN Industries

Source:Interview: Gilles Vercaemst, SIOEN Industries

Today, we have the pleasure of speaking with Gilles Vercaemst, Business Development Director for SIOEN Industries in the Asia Pacific region. As SIOEN prepares to attend this year's R+T Asia show, we are eager to hear from the company before the event opens its doors from May 28th to 30th

DK: Hi Gilles, it’s a pleasure to talk to you. Could you please give us a brief introduction to SIOEN Industries?


GV: Sioen Industries NV (‘Sioen’) is a world-renowned, Europe-based textile solutions provider. Founded in the 1960s in Belgium, Sioen has gradually grown into a highly diversified, global industrial group employing around 6,000 people around the world. Sioen develops, produces and distributes a wide variety of products within the world of technical textiles: fibers, coloring solutions, woven and non-woven, coated fabrics and protective clothing. Technical superiority is what binds all divisions. With permanent investments in state-of-the-art machinery, innovation and talent, Sioen continuously lifts its products, people and business partners to new heights.


DK: Would you tell us about the innovative products or solutions your company will be showcasing at R+T Asia this year? What visitors to R+T Asia should be excited about?


GV: We are launching Sioen’s high-quality flex-out fabrics for stretch tents at R+T Shanghai 2024. These materials feature high stretch, high abrasion resistance & many possible colors.

Of course, we’ll also present our wide range of tried and tested coated fabrics for tensile architecture and façade mesh at R+T Shanghai 2024. These materials help manage heat in buildings, on sport fields and playgrounds. On top of that, we will also be exhibiting our Saint Clair Textiles brand and our Sunaro brand. Saint Clair Textiles are produced in the South of France and specializes in a diverse range of high quality, lightweight solar protection materials. Sunaro, on the other hand, is produced in a new, state of the art facility in Belgium and is a brand that focuses on glass fiber coated sun-protection meshes with an openness of 1 to 10%. Our goal is to find good and reliable partners that can help us distribute these new high quality brands in the Chinese market


DK: What makes your products unique on the market, particularly in terms of technology or design?


GV: Innovation fuels our mission at Sioen, driving us beyond the boundaries of traditional textiles. We're not just creating; we're innovating with purpose, embedding sustainability and advanced technology into every fiber and filament. Our promise of "protection through innovation" reflects a dedication to exceed the ordinary, championing advancements that inspire change and set new benchmarks worldwide. Choosing Sioen is choosing quality, choosing Sioen is choosing innovation.


DK: How does your company plan to leverage its participation at R+T Asia to expand its market presence?


GV: We hope that this participation at R+T Asia can help us boost our presence on the Asian market. By leveraging our knowledge and know-how gained on our European market, we believe that through this exhibition, we can showcase our capabilities to potential partners and end-users.


DK: Can you share insights into the growth potential you see within your Asian market?

We are observing more and more demand in high quality and premium materials in this sector. The market has more understanding of the importance of material quality for their sun shading and door/gate solutions. Increased UV resistance and truly performant block-out are, moreover, highly sought after features. As people become more aware of the importance of proper sun protection, we only expect the demand for high quality products, that actually protect, to rise.


DK: What steps does your company take to ensure customer satisfaction and engagement, both locally and globally?

GV: Sioen's strategy is built on six pillars aimed at leading the market in technical textiles and protective clothing by: 'Protection through Innovation'.

We ensure excellence and innovation through vertical integration, tailor solutions to customer needs, set industry standards, pursue sustainable growth, and commit to environmental, social, and financial responsibility. These guiding principles drive our success and continuous improvement in our field. By having boots on the ground and a highly trained workforce in the vicinity of all our customers, we also try to accommodate to and maintain our customer relationships in the best possible manner. This expertise, excellence and customer centric approach is why we have very long-term partnerships with almost all of our customers.


DK: How does your company integrate sustainability principles into its product development and manufacturing processes?


GV: We are focusing on developing and producing sustainable and even circular products, thus closing the loop. We’re consciously taking into consideration sustainability during all the product development, production and distribution stages. We’re set on producing sustainable products. Here, we consider the entire environmental performance of our products through life cycle assessments. From raw material, over design, manufacturing, packaging, distribution, use of the product, until the product is finally discarded and handled to end up as resources for other product life cycles. One of the things that will, for example, be presented at R+T Shanghai will be our sustainable BRIO range from Sioline.


 DK: What do you foresee as the key trends shaping the future of the sun shading and door/gate industry?

GV: People are recognizing the importance of protecting themselves from the potential harm of the sun in a qualitative manner. There is also a move towards energy efficiency and the reduction of heat islands in cities. In order to accommodate with these growing concerns, we believe that in the sector there will be more demand in premium and high quality materials. There is, of course, also more awareness when it comes to ecological sustainability. In order to accommodate with this we have developed bio-based PVC materials as well as recycled polyester products.


DK: What specific advantages do customers gain from purchasing your products? What are the advantages of your products over the competition?


GV: We are vertically integrated, which means that we produce the main elements of a tensile architecture membrane in-house ourselves. This offers you a major advantage as it implies a quality and delivery reassurance. In addition, we can co-create customized colors, fabrics and even entire complexes with and for our customers. Our flexibility and service is unrivalled.


DK: What impact does the "Made in Belgium" label have on consumer perception and confidence in your products, both domestically and internationally?


GV: Domestically, the "Made in Belgium" label carries a strong positive connotation among consumers, as it signifies adherence to high standards of quality, craftsmanship, and reliability. Belgian consumers often associate this label with superior, durable products.


The "Made in Belgium" label holds significance in international markets as well. Belgium is located in the heart of Europe and houses the European institutions. It symbolizes precision and compliance with stringent European regulations. This label often serves as a stamp of approval for quality and authenticity, enhancing consumer trust and confidence in our products on the global stage.


DK: How does the reputation for quality, innovation, and reliability associated with products labeled "Made in Belgium" contribute to market competitiveness and customer trust?

GV: The reputation for quality, innovation, and reliability tied to the "Made in Belgium" label boosts our market competitiveness and customer trust by signaling excellence and authenticity. It sets us apart from competitors, instills confidence in customers, fosters loyalty, and drives repeat business through consistent delivery of high-quality, innovative products.

DK: Dominika Karwala, International Marketing Manager, Globus Events, R+T Asia
GV: Gilles Vercaemst, Business Development Director for SIOEN Industries in the Asia Pacific region