Double interview: Roef Gaasbeek and Guy Lynch look back and take you along in the exciting developments at Rivertex
Roef, Managing Director at Rivertex in The Netherlands, kicks off the interview: “I have been working at Rivertex since April 1998. So 25 years this year. When I started I was the 2nd employee in the Netherlands! During these years I have done every conceivable job. From administrative tasks, warehouse work to marketing and sales. My great passion lies in product development and developing and maintaining the supply chain”.
Guy who is Managing Director of Rivertex in the UK, has been associated with Rivertex almost all his life. “When I was 8 years old, we moved to the UK so that my father could form Rivertex UK Ltd. During these years I have met many wonderful people and made lifelong friendships. Both with people who work at Rivertex, but certainly also with our business partners. People are the foundation of a thriving business. I work every day with colleagues who have a heart for the business. And I am very proud of that!”.
What makes your work so much fun?
Roef: “In those 25 years I have learned to respond to the needs of our customers so that we can develop products that are well suited to the customer. For example, we have already developed many new products, also for new markets. Developing concepts and marketing them widely in the market is my strongest and favourite side of the profession".
“No day is the same”, Guy adds, “Every day there are new and interesting challenges. It is my passion to find solutions to these challenges. These solutions also help us with product development and innovations.”
2022 has been a special year in many ways. Of course also for Rivertex. Are there any developments that also had an impact on Rivertex?
“These last few years have been crazy. Every year something unexpected happens, such as the COVID pandemic or the war on Europe's borders. It is difficult to accept that we are still dealing with war in the 21st century,” says Roef.
Roef continues: “However, Rivertex has turned out to be a very robust company and we owe that to our employees. A big compliment to the people is certainly in order. Our colleagues always act very quickly and flexibly in the event of changes. That is something to be proud of. The continued growth, year on year, is the result of that”.
Guy indicates that Rivertex has always been focused on the development of sustainable technical fabrics that last for years. “In 2022 we were able to formally introduce our recyclable range Rivercyclon® at the Techtextil show in Frankfurt. The positive feedback we received there has given us a boost in the belief that all our fabrics can become more sustainable," says Guy.
These developments take place in the new Rivertex Innovation Lab, the driving force behind the Research & Development department. And that brings us to 2023 and Guy immediately lifts a corner of the veil: “In 2022, Gavin Hodgins was hired as our first sales manager in the Australia and New Zealand region. The success achieved in the region in 2022 will lead to further exciting developments in 2023!”. More news about this will follow soon.
Innovate. Make. Deliver.
“Innovation is at the heart of everything we do. And it all happens in our new Innovation Lab, which helps us in our pursuit of more sustainability in the textile industry through the development of fully circular materials. Our focus can be summarized in 3 words: Innovate. Make. Deliver.” says Guy.
Roef immediately adds: “The global climate targets in particular are the driving force behind our latest developments. We have developed very high-quality recyclable alternatives to PVC-coated fabrics, Rivercyclon® and with the HPL Comfort™ 'R' Series we offer waterproof and breathable outdoor clothing fabrics that, in addition to containing 90% recycled raw materials, can also be recycled again. In 2023 we hope to be able to extend this concept to 90% recycled, 100% recyclable outdoor clothing such as parkas and softshells."
Finally, Guy and Roef address you with a beautiful and personal New Year's wish. “I hope that the sharp division in society will decrease, it causes many problems in the world. More understanding, patience and empathy would make the world a lot more beautiful”.
“We have all had our personal struggles due to Corona and the restrictions this pandemic has brought. We wish to travel more again in 2023 and meet our colleagues who are spread all over the world!”.