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Mandela Day: 18 July

In 2020, the essence of Mandela Day: “take action, inspire change, and make every day a Mandela Day” is more important than ever before.
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July 16, 2020
Mandela Day

During Mandela Day, which will be held online this year due to corona, the book “Ubuntu, we are the Earth” will be presented. The book based on the (South) African Ubunty philosophy of life is an annual collaboration between Ubuntu Society and Herman van Veen (Arts Center). This year, with the theme “sustainability” in special collaboration with Prof. dr. Dr. André Nijhof of Nyenrode Business University.

The 67 authors of the book describe a pearl in their (work) life, someone in whom they see “a little Mandela”.

Edwin Jonkers, Lecturer At Nyenrode Business University And Ex CEO Of O’Neill Wrote One Chapter About Our CEO Monique Maissan, Which We Are Happy To Share With You: Monique Maissan – Founder Waste2Wear, Innovative Textiles From Recycled Plastics

This essay is about a true frontrunner in the textiles industry elevating Sustainability and Purpose impact in the textile industry Monique Maissan, an independent Dutch textile entrepreneur based in Shanghai PRC since 1997 and founder of Waste2Wear and Vision Textiles, a platform for sourcing , developing and producing of recycled  textile products.

Integrating Sustainability Within Supply Chain Processes

As a skilled textile engineer Monique was conscious and triggered by the environmental challenges as an outcome of the end to end operating processes in creation-, and production- of textiles in Asia. A key cause for this environmental impact relates to the fact that a high percentage of materials/ yarns in textiles are oil- and cotton based materials, both having a negative environmental impact during the end to end supply chain process until the actual delivery of a product into the markets. This awareness formed the base for Monique’s conviction that she had to contribute by structurally integrating sustainability and purpose into her businesses and become a lever in optimising some of the most pressing social and environmental challenges.

Collaboration As A Force For Good

Mid 2000 oil prices were excessively high, impacting costs of goods in the oil based industries including textile industry. An American article referring to the opportunity to recycle pet bottles and to convert these into recycled polyester yarns and eventually fabrics for textile usage and positively impact Sustainability, was the inspiration for Monique to rebuild her business model and structurally integrate recycled yarns in the end to end operation cycle of her business, including to bring all involved stakeholders on board from raw material-, yarn- and fabric-, as well garment suppliers, supply chain partners, clients and banks. With a mix of her belief, financial investments and perseverance formed the base for Monique to bring partners on board.

Post-Consumer Plastic Waste As New Resource

Today Waste2Wear offers sustainable recycled polyester yarns, fabrics and ready made garments, collected from post-consumer waste: PET bottles from multiple sources including the Ocean. In Monique’s journey to continuously raise the bar of sustainability, Waste2Wear has launched also recycled polypropylene material, sourced from electronical devices including white good products (refrigerators, a/c’s). This new extension of circularity, provides a major opportunity potential for industries to positively leverage the footprint of the sustainability dilemma around packaging materials in multiple industries.

Social Enterprise Waste2Weave

Purpose was simultaneously leveraged as a structured standard with the Waste2Weave initiative.  This social enterprise works through investment in hand loom weaving machinery in rural  areas in India which is improving the livelihood of  women and their families. QR codes on the ready-made product provides the final consumer fact based intelligence concerning the source of the material, and information on the journey of the women who produced the product.

Pioneering Frontrunner

In an era where factual transparency is key in order to guarantee sustainable credibility and integrity, Monique is one of the pioneers who uses block chain based data information, cloud based, providing insights on the status quo of the yarns/ fabrics including supply chain info such as source, volume and quality.

Monique has achieved an stunning impact, fuelled by her intrinsic belief to make this world a better place. Developing towards the new standard of a sustainable, purpose driven as business, serving the people, our planet, including unlocking lasting economical value. There is a long road to pursue in order to achieve a broad integrated awareness and industrial commitment towards sustainability elevation and integration. Monique and her Waste2Wear team are an inspirational example how her belief and vision, contributes towards an optimized sustainable output.

I’m a true supporter of pioneers like Monique who make a positive difference in sustainability and purpose in business. As a seasoned sports industry veteran, I am a believer of Nelson Mandela’s claim:

“Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire and unite people in a way that little else does”.

Edwin Jonkers / Lecturer Nyenrode Business University


Leveraging the full potential of sustainability pioneers  such as Monique, together with leading international sports brands, will elevate awareness and inspire industries and consumers to elevate Sustainability as a structural standard going forward, that will benefit our planet and the people.

From “Ubuntu, We Are The Earth”, By Edwin Jonkers

Would you like to attend Mandeladag 2020 and the book launch of “Ubuntu, we are the Earth”? The event will be held online July 18 from 10:15 AM to noon. Everyone is welcome, but registration is required. Sign up here for Mandela Day and the book launch of “Ubuntu, we are Earth.”

Ubuntu, wij zijn de Aarde, click here for direct ordering 
Uitgeverij Harlekijn (Herman van Veen Arts Center)
ISBN: 9789082485271

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Sven Bleekemolen

Sven Bleekemolen is a Dutch entrepreneur and textile engineer. He is a versatile executive with a broad skill set and experience in a global marketplace. Lived and worked in Europe, Indonesia, and Turkey. Solid expertise in management of start-up to mature fashion companies in competitive wholesale and retail markets.

In his role as director of several companies, Sven built strong knowledge of international wholesale, retail, B2B sales, production and brand development. He has a strategic and innovative mindset, always focused on business development. He has a record of identifying opportunities and leading diverse teams to surpass revenue goals.

Sven has a strong focus on sustainability and is excited to discover the possibilities that lie in Waste2Wear’s groundbreaking material and blockchain technologies. He is committed to creating a major contribution to the business performance of Waste2Wear along with the transition to a more circular economy for a better outcome of the world.

Hein Barnhoorn

Olivier van Migem

Ruma Kinger

Rena Jiang

Rena Jiang has over 20 years experience in the textile industry. Knowing how polluting the industry is, Rena is proud to be making a positive impact by doing the right thing with Waste2Wear.

Christophe Marze

Christophe Marze has over 15 years specializing in structuring and powering up businesses in Asia. As a French national, he has spent many years living and working in Germany and in China. Christophe is passionate about continuous improvement, sustainability and compliance which are from him the pillars of a healthy business drive.

Jeroen van der Wind

Jeroen van der Wind is an entrepreneur, specializing in international trade within the textile and promotional industries in South East Asia for over three decades. He was managing partner of The Cookie Company for many years, producing licensed kids apparel for several multinational customers. In combination with a healthy business drive, he is determined to help further the Waste2Wear mission of relieving the planet of the plastic problem to create a better world, especially for his four adult children.

Eduardo Garza Garcia

Eduardo Garza Garcia is a Mexican designer and entrepreneur specializing in sustainable solutions for plastics. He has been pivotal in innovations including the industry-first recycled polypropylene (RPP) from discarded domestic appliances; a unique RPET verification method (RA-3) proving the recycled plastic content in materials and the industry-first blockchain technology. Thanks to his innovations, Waste2Wear has won several prestigious environmental awards. Eduardo is truly an innovator in the world of recycled plastics constantly working for new ways to bring more transparency to the recycling industry.

Stefan Kleijkamp

Stefan Kleijkamp is a highly experienced Global Quality and Compliance Manager with over 15 years of experience in the industry. Originally from the Netherlands, Stefan has spent the last two decades working in Asia, with 17 of those years in China. He is fluent in Chinese and has worked with a wide range of product groups including textile, apparel, hard goods and plastics. Throughout his career, Stefan has held positions in quality and compliance management for both large and medium sized companies, as well as in purchasing and logistics. His extensive experience has given him a deep understanding of the challenges and issues facing the industry, particularly in relation to traceability of recycled materials such as textile, cotton and polyester. With his expertise in quality and compliance, Stefan is dedicated to ensuring that the products and services provided by Waste2Wear meet the highest standards in quality, sustainability and environmental responsibility.

Monique Maissan

Monique Maissan is a Dutch entrepreneur and textile engineer specializing in sustainable solutions for the industry. As CEO and founder of Waste2Wear, she leads a committed team in creating products and services for a better future. Her vision has driven the company to produce fabrics and products made from recycled plastic bottles (RPET) and recycled polypropylene (RPP) plus award winning blockchain and RPET verification test RA-3.

Monique has won several industry awards, most recently:

Finalist of “Future Leader” World Sustainability Awards 2022;
“Outstanding Achiever” of Global Green Economic Forum, Women Eco Game Changer Awards 2022;
“Woman Leader in Plastic Recycling” Plastic Recycling Conference Asia** 2022;
“The Sustainable Entrepreneur of the Year” of Entrepreneurs’ Organization*** 2021.

She is constantly on the lookout for new and better ways to recycle more plastic. Monique’s drive comes from her determination to do her part to leave this world in a better place for her two adult children and all of the next generation