PROTEQ Bodygear is a German body armor manufacturer who manufactures vests for the German police force. General Manager and Owner, Mr. Fred Tijink, founded the company 12 years ago to deliver flexible, high quality ballistic solutions.
The company focuses on the manufacture of light body gear and tactical body gear with a primary focus on ballistic protection. BodyArmorNews.com had the opportunity to talk with Mr. Tijink about the mission of the company and their products.
Founding PROTEQ Bodygear
When asked why he founded the company, Mr. Tijink replied, “It was based on my frustration.” Before he was the owner of PROTEQ, Mr. Tijink worked at another company that also manufactured body armor.
“I was a bit fed up with the quality of the vest. I saw the performance and the wearability, and I thought to myself, ‘I can do much better’. We have a completely different vision. At PROTEQ, our focus for the ballistic vest lies in its flexibility and its wearability.
“I was frustrated that I had to make a very stiff and unwearable vest. We don’t want to focus on the functionality in the sense of stopping bullets or creating a lightweight vest. We are the manufacturer of the most flexible vest on the market.”
“We want to produce ballistic vests,” Mr. Tijink said, “that people can wear, and that can also make an advertisement. We want to supply a vest that meets all the specifications. But in the end of the day, it has to be worn by people, not by government officials.
“Policemen and women need to feel comfortable in the vest, and they have to do my advertisement. They have to say, ‘I wear PROTEQ Bodygear and it’s very nice.’ It’s our mission to create products that people like and forward to somebody else.”
Since PROTEQ focuses on creating flexible vests, they primarily use woven fabrics in their products. These fabrics are mostly composed of aramids. As for the outer carrier, it is made of a mixture of cotton and polyethylene or polyamides.
The company manufactures bespoke products using high quality materials based on the sport-tech design. They aim for a unique position in the current market of producers, manufacturers, retailers and distributors, with a focus on cost performance, custom production, second generation materials and elegant design.
The value of quality
“I don’t want to be the biggest,” Mr. Tijink said, “I want to be the best. Not everybody can afford a Mercedes, but we want to be the Mercedes of bulletproof vests. We want to supply to the people who notice the value of price compared to quality. That’s my goal for the future.
“We’re a small company and we focus a lot on innovation. One thing we focus on is innovation of the outer carrier. The most important thing is that the vest stops the bullet, but we also strongly believe in improving how the vest looks on the outside.
“We want to create a vest that looks sporty, and we want to give it some features that are not really necessary, but they improve the wearability of the vest. It’s not an extra functionality because even an ugly vest will stop the bullet, but we want to focus more on the design.”