Becoming sustainable isn't a 5-minute job but has to be seen as a dynamic process.
Professor Stefan Mecheels discusses the importance of testing and certification in textile industry along with the technological innovations taking place with Mary Christine Joy.
Hohenstein institute is a leading textile research body based in Germany. It was founded by Professor Otto Mecheels and Professor Stefan Mecheels is the third generation head of the family business.
Professor Mecheels is a scientist and a renowned figure in the field of textile technology. He heads the institute and is responsible for all the findings of the institute.
To start with, can you explain a bit about the importance of Hohenstein Institute in the field of textiles? The institute is established since 1946 and is a family concern. How has the journey remained in all these years?
The Hohenstein Institute provides testing, certification and research in every aspect of textiles – expertise from a single source. Over 4,500 clients the world over profit from the textile know-how of approximately 500 staff based at the head office in Boennigheim (Germany) and from a global network of international offices in over 40 countries. These provide access to the broad range of services of the research and service center locally, in all the major production and trade regions for textiles. In the last century, the main challenge for us was to keep up with the growing globalization of textile production. Because of this, we were able to win new customers mainly outside Europe. Without a doubt, this trend will continue in the future. Aside from our good reputation being spread by our satisfied customers, our more than 40 international offices are of major importance. Our global presence in all the countries and regions involved in textile production gives potential customers a direct point of contact. The staff members in our international offices speak their language, and are familiar with the special demands of the relevant markets. These are advantages which are highly appreciated by European importers, who in turn refer their suppliers to Hohenstein. Apart from cultivating and building on our direct contacts, we put a lot of emphasis on public relations and online media to inform potential customers as well as research partners about our work.
Since you are into innovation and services, can you tell us about the types of clients you have in the textile industry? Which type of clients can approach you for your services and when?
The Hohenstein Institute offers manufacturers, retailers, service providers and consumers "competence from a single source", covering a wide range of distinct but closely linked fields of work. Our clients differ greatly in their size, structure and countries of origin. They range from medium-sized companies to large corporations and are based both in Germany and in all the other textile-producing regions of the world. Our branch offices abroad, in over 40 countries, play a key role in customer support. The contact with our customers is generally very close, personal and oriented towards dialogue. This reflects the fact that the special know-how at Hohenstein does not just cover testing and certification of all kinds but also includes intensive consulting and support. We particularly see ourselves as trouble-shooters who don't just brush their customers off with their measuring results, but also help with solving problems that arise during production and optimizing products.
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