On the road with a cargo bike since 1948
Our story all started in 1948 when Toos Van Ireland stepped on her cargo bike to collect scrap metals in Tilburg. With her foresight, she saw that many products can have a second life. A bit later, Wolkat was founded and our family decided to apply these ideas in textiles. A logical step, knowing that Wolkat is located in Tilburg Textile City.
Over the years our capacity and expertise grew in the field of textile collection and recycling. As entrepreneurs, we always kept our eyes and ears open to new possibilities. Sure thing! Thus, we shifted our focus in 1990 to recycled textile fibers. At that time, everywhere in the world there was a demand for cheaper fibers that did not succumb in quality. Because of this trend, we decided to design a new business model that would make Wolkat able to make – or re-create - new textile fibers. In 1995 the kick-from this model was put to the test in Moroccan factories.
Between 1995 and 2004, our first three pillars of the ‘re-inventing recycling’ concept were investigated and developed: re-use and recycle as much as possible, by using a sustainable process (reduce). By 2004 we saw even more opportunities and started with a thorough investigation on circular textile recycling: the process where you make a new product of an old used product (recreate). Yup, we're in control from A to Z.
Our innovative and sustainable foresight has been in the family for over four generations. Nowadays the third and fourth generation work with great passion in our family business, putting specific emphasis on innovation. Since 2014 we are the proud owners of a closed loop within the textile recycling chain. Our close family cooperation and innovative thinking make Wolkat the textile recycling company that it is today. With our circular process, we not only honor Toos but help making the world a better a more sustainable place by recycling and redeveloping.