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One of the showpieces of the young company Lamoral on the Brightlands Chemelot Campus is a water-repellent coating for textiles. Without using fluorine, which means that no PFAS or other hazardous substances end up in the environment. Several major sports brands are currently testing the capabilities.

Joris van Tongerloo Lamoral
Joris van Tongerloo

“It’s only a matter of time,” business developer Joris van Tongerloo sys showing his optimism. The coating has been fully developed, tested and certified and has garnered plenty of interest, not only from the sports industry, but also from the world of workwear and outdoor apparel. Among others, Adidas, Speedo and the Kering group (main company of Gucci and Balanciaga as well as others). I think things will move fast when the clothing is on the shelves soon, so we will be actually commercial. But, of course, you don’t let your 2024 winter collection depend on a company you are not familiar with. Which is why our resources are now being tested on a production scale with customers.”

Lamoral stems from a research project focused on the shielding of satellite antennas. An adhesion mechanism was developed that protects satellites in space from UV radiation, for one thing. “That mechanism has turned out to be the basis for the rest of our technologies,” he says.


After earning his master’s degree in technical business administration at TU Eindhoven, Van Tongerloo (1996) says he joined a company where everyone is motivated to make the world a little better. “We focus mainly on the development of sustainable and durable coatings. The goal is to extend the life of products and reduce toxic chemicals that are released into the environment. I find it a lot of fun to develop an idea into a commercial company. We are busy with innovative developments, we really are making great strides.”

They have outsourced the production and logistics. There are other rivals out there who are trying to develop sustainable water-repellent coatings, because by the end of 2023 the use of fluorine will be practically banned. Van Tongerloo claims Lamoral got in early and therefore has a head start, in fact it’s leading the way. “What we offer is certified for more than a hundred washing cycles,” he explains. He also says that he is happy to compete with large manufacturers, which he labels fast fashion.

“Clothing that you buy for a few euros and can throw away after two washes. These products contain a fluorine coating that is produced extremely cheaply but is already worn away after two washes. We are committed to making better clothing that you can wear longer. Most water-repellent coatings you buy now have to go into the dryer because they need heat to make the coating work again. Our product works by just being left to dry on the clothesline.”


But how does it work? “It’s a chemical thing.” Imagine our coat as a forest. We put a forest of trees on the textile. The leaves of the trees are water repellent. A polymer is a chain of monomers and what you then see is that the higher the forest and the more foliage that’s on the trees, the more water repellent the coating is. What we do: We’ve optimized the roots of the coatings so that when you wash the trees, they don’t fall over and wash off. The trees stay upright with the water-repellent leaves facing up. With other coatings, the trees fall over and the leaves no longer face upwards but next to the stump. And water and rain pass through the fabric. In our coating, the morphology of water-repellent groups remains more or less the same.”

According to Van Tongerloo, Lamoral is enabling manufacturers to make products that last much longer. “That’s the key to the future: making stuff that is durable so that you buy less and far less needs to be produced. We also really need to get rid of the idea that we need to wear something new every year or something different every season. Buy good sustainable products instead. Whether it’s textiles, coatings on the roof of your house or ultra-hard bio-based coatings that protect other substrates from scratches, water, oil and dirt.”


Lamoral feels at home in Geleen because of the community on the Brightlands Chemelot campus and the presence of CHILL. “Because we are an agile organization, collaboration is indispensable for us and we work there using equipment that we could not have financed ourselves.” Everyone is on the same page. “The majority of companies are well aware that there is no longer a business model possible without sustainability being factored in. It’s not a marketing gimmick. For me, that’s the binding factor at Brightlands. Everyone is committed to a better world.”

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