Sewing workshop aids vulnerable groups, reduces waste in Rotterdam

Sewing workshop aids vulnerable groups, reduces waste in Rotterdam

ROTTERDAM, 1 May 2023 - Oxious Talent Factory (OTF) opens its doors in Rotterdam's Feyenoord district, focusing on tackling the issue of textile waste and providing employment opportunities for vulnerable groups through a regenerative business model.

Oxious Talent Factory aims to make a difference

In the Netherlands, 300 million kilograms of textile waste is generated annually, with only 1% being recycled into new textiles. OTF intends to process recyclable textile waste into new products, while also repairing production errors to ensure defective collections find their way to consumers. From the outset, OTF collaborates with My Jewellery and Tomo, the first circular department store in the Netherlands, handling the repairs of their returns.

One hundred new jobs within five years

OTF aims to provide jobs for one hundred people who are not currently participating in society within five years. This includes asylum seekers with a background in the textile industry and mothers receiving welfare benefits. Ester Smit of Oxious said, “We want to help these individuals, who are currently 'invisible,' take the next step towards economic independence through our workshop.”

Reviving the manufacturing industry

OTF welcomes people from all backgrounds to develop and showcase their talents. The potential workforce is primarily sought among a large group of women and asylum seekers in and around the Feyenoord district. “We want to attract these skills by offering this target group perspective within a safe and attractive working environment,” said Smit.

OTF founders Esther Smit and Loes Stapper. Photo credit: Pressrecord.OTF founders Esther Smit and Loes Stapper. Photo credit: Pressrecord.

Oxious x Talentfabriek010 = Oxious Talent Factory

Rotterdam-based Oxious, led by Esther Smit and Loes Stapper, produces textile products under its own label and on behalf of well-known brands. Since 2015, the founders have been committed to promoting equal rights for women in the local community and using recycled materials. In 2022, Oxious was named B Corp Best for the World, placing it among the top ten most impactful companies globally. With OTF, Oxious aims to make a similar impact in Rotterdam.

OTF was founded by Talentfabriek010, an impact enterprise whose goal is to help Rotterdammers with a distance to the labor market develop their talents, receive training, and transition to paid work. OTF offers learning and work experience placements for this target group, as well as paid jobs. OTF aims to contribute to Rotterdam as the Circular Capital of the Netherlands, alongside other initiatives such as Makers Unite and Van Hulley, by bringing the textile manufacturing industry back to the country.

Group photo OTF. Photo credit: Pressrecord.Group photo OTF. Photo credit: Pressrecord.

Investing in a regenerative economy

Investors Start Foundation and Sociaal Impact Fonds Rotterdam both advocate for a Rotterdam where everyone participates and counts. They join forces as financiers of OTF. Rob Verbakel, investment advisor of Start Foundation, said, “OTF is one of these sustainable initiatives in which we believe. We are happy to support them with our knowledge, network, and money to help them grow in their ambition.”

Location and directions

The Oxious Talent Factory is located in the Feyenoord district of Rotterdam. The area is easily accessible by public transport, with bus and tram stops nearby. Surrounded by local businesses and residential areas, it contributes to the vibrant community atmosphere.


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