Van Slingelandtplein 5 | 1051 DD Amsterdam


+31 020-6246002



Zoetelief Bedrijfskleding has been delivering craftsmanship for 125 years!


The history of Zoetelief Workwear is closely linked with the family history of Henk Vermeulen Jr., owner of the company since 2008. Knowledge and skills are transferred from father to son for three generations.


From accountant to companion

J. Zoetelief, manufacturer of workwear and uniforms was established in 1891. About 200 seamstresses worked in a stately building on the noordermarkt in Amsterdam and in 3 Canal houses on the lindengracht. They made overalls for shipping, uniforms for the army, pinafores for maids; there was plenty of work.

"My grandfather, who, like my father and I was called Henk Vermeulen, was in the 1930 's accountant at a shipping company," says the current owner Henk Vermeulen jr. "So he came into contact with j. Zoetelief, that supplied uniforms and overalls for the staff. He left the shipping company in the early thirties and became accountant at Zoetelief. Within the company he then managed to climb on to partner. "

J. Zoetelief flourished. The Shipping and the army were major customers. A uniform house was opened, and there were depots in Antwerp and in Indonesia. All the layers of the society could find their recognizable and specific uniform: from maids to surgeons, hairdressers, waiters, painters, butchers, bakers and dentists.



A lot has changed since then. In 1959 Vermeulen SR. took the lead. The specialization of Zoetelief Workwear came increasingly to lie in the food sector and workwear was an essential part of the image of the fresh retailer.

Henk Vermeulen Jr. got a spoon-fed knowledge of entrepreneurship and about Workwear. His father told at home about the ups and downs in the fresh food industry and what he went through in his work. "I loved listening to his stories," Henk remembers. "I found it really interesting to see what was happening in the market. As a boy of 10 I fixed buttons in the workshop during holidays and made buttonholes. I later helped at fairs and arranged the automation within the company on my 19th. In 1986 I started to digitalize patterns. It was the first step towards an automated cutting system. That system is still state-of-the-art, and we continue to innovate and improve. My wife plays an important role in that "Yet it is still hand work: In the workshop in Amsterdam, professional seamstresses assemble the clothing professionally.  "They are all professionals with a passion for the product."


‘We are always on the move’

A company that passes from father to son, has something special, says Henk. "My parents still work with us, their knowledge and experience is of inestimable value. The search for good fabrics and staying on top of trends about workwear, a store of nice and properly fitting workwear that matches with the Interior that are the great things about my Job. It is always in development. We are always on the move! "

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