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INDA Lifetime Award 2024 INDA
09.04.2024

INDA Honors Three Nonwoven Industry Professionals with Lifetime Awards

INDA, the Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry, announced three recipients for the INDA Lifetime Service Award and Lifetime Technical Achievement Awards. David Powling, Paul Latten, and Arnold Wilkie are being recognized for their key contributions to the advancement of the nonwovens industry and INDA.

David Powling and Paul Latten will receive their awards at the World of Wipes® (WOW) International Conference, June 18th beginning at 4:30 pm
Arnold Wilkie will receive his award at the RISE® Conference, October 1st at 4:30 pm.

The Award recipients are:

INDA, the Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry, announced three recipients for the INDA Lifetime Service Award and Lifetime Technical Achievement Awards. David Powling, Paul Latten, and Arnold Wilkie are being recognized for their key contributions to the advancement of the nonwovens industry and INDA.

David Powling and Paul Latten will receive their awards at the World of Wipes® (WOW) International Conference, June 18th beginning at 4:30 pm
Arnold Wilkie will receive his award at the RISE® Conference, October 1st at 4:30 pm.

The Award recipients are:

David Powling
David Powling has worked for Kimberly-Clark Corporation for nearly 25 years and has been a contributor to the Wipes Task Force and Technical Committees at INDA and EDANA for over 15 years. Powling served as Chairman of the INDA Wipes Task Force from 2009-2013. His work on these committees include developing the first and second edition of the Flushability Guidance Document (GD) and he was later instrumental in the roll out of the third and fourth edition GDs. Throughout this time, Powling coordinated activities with Kimberly-Clark Corporation to provide critical supporting data, as these flushability test protocols were developed.

Powling has been actively involved in collection studies where he was key in framing the work packages of those studies, collating and analyzing the data, and drafting reports. These collection studies include: Moraga, CA (advisor); Maine – Part #1 and Part #2 (hands-on); Jacksonville (hands-on); and the Northern and Southern California studies in 2023, which combined, was the largest study to date. Powling led the charge in the California study and was personally involved in identifying 1,745 samples.

Powling has been a key technical contributor to the INDA Government Relation efforts that has resulted in labelling regulations in multiple U.S. states. He has also been an active participant in efforts to develop an ISO standard for flushable products.  In this effort, he was a test method sub-team leader during the preparation of the proposed ISO standard responsible for organizing appendices of existing flushability methodologies. Additionally, Powling has been awarded, or has pending, 25+ U.S. patents, including many covering the development of dispersible wet wipes.

Paul Latten
Paul Latten has been an active member of the nonwoven and fiber industries for over 35 years. Most recently he has led innovation at Southeast Nonwovens, commercializing more than 75 new nonwoven products per year. Prior to joining Southeast Nonwovens, Latten held senior leadership positions with Basofil, Consolidated Fibers, Invista, and KoSa (and Trevira and Hoechst Celanese precursors to KoSa.)

Latten has a successful career of reinvigorating company R&D efforts by instilling a focus on customer-centric innovation. He is an inventor of record for a number of patents and pending applications. Latten has given numerous presentations on innovative nonwoven materials, at events such as INDA’s World of Wipes® (WOW) International Conference, RISE® (Research, Innovation & Science for Engineered Fabrics), the VISION International Conference, and the Converting and Bonding (CAB) Conference.

His recent innovations have been diverse in scope and include nonwovens for use in hydrogen fuel cells, moisture detection media, proprietary wipe designs, and natural fiber-based packaging. Aside from new fiber and nonwoven products, Latten has championed process innovation that has resulted in tangible output gains that broadened the market opportunity for his current and prior companies.

Latten’s portfolio of innovations has spanned across the nonwoven markets, often involving wetlaid and drylaid nonwovens. These include materials for moisture detection, synthetic papers, fuel cell cathodes, protective covers for treats, melamine nonwovens for surface treatment, and the development of binder fibers. His work also touched upon disposable hygiene applications entailing dry-laid web containing hollow synthetic fibers to improve absorbent core fluid uptake.

Latten has been a board member of INDA for multiple terms and served as Chairman in 2008-2010. Additionally, he has contributed to many INDA conference planning committees, helping drive the success of these events.

Arnold Wilkie
Arnold Wilkie has a distinguished career in advancing yarn, fiber, and nonwoven technologies since 1970. Since 1988, he has been President and Owner of Hills, Inc. where he has sustained their innovative culture. Wilkie has over 40 patents and applications covering yarns, bicomponent fibers, ultra-fine fibers, nanofibers, dissolvable filaments, meltblown nonwovens, and polymer processing innovations. He established Hills as a leading innovator in bicomponent fiber nonwovens and in the equipment to produce these materials. During Wilkie’s time leading Hills, their pilot capabilities have become well-known and highly regarded for enabling material innovations.

Many of his patents pertain to the development of equipment solutions that enable the production of complex bi- and multi-component fiber structures. These solutions include the method of forming a continuous filament spun-laid web, the method and apparatus for producing polymer fibers and fabrics including multiple polymer components, the method and apparatus for controlling airflow in a fiber extrusion system, and controlling the dissolution of dissolvable polymer components in plural component fibers.

Arnold Wilkie, President, Hills, Inc., earned his bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Tennessee and an MBA from the University of West Florida. He is a licensed Professional Engineer in Florida, and has been engaged in the synthetic fibers industry since 1970. The first 17 years were with the Monsanto Company, where he held positions in Fiber Process Engineering, Fiber Product R&D, and Product Management. Since 1988, he has been a majority Owner and President of Hills, Inc., a 52-year-old company located in West Melbourne, Florida, specializing in the development, manufacture, and supply of advanced custom fiber extrusion equipment. Wilkie has been involved with and supported The Nonwovens Institute, since its founding in 1991 as the Nonwovens Cooperative Research Center (NCRC), with Hills joining as a Member in 2001

More information:
INDA lifetime achievement
Source:

INDA

California’s Largest Sewage Collection Study Photo: INDA
05.04.2024

California’s Largest Sewage Collection Study: Wipes Clogging the Pipes?

In accordance with California’s Proper Labeling of Wet Wipes law (AB 818), state wastewater agencies and industry experts went deep to find out exactly what is passing through—and clogging up—municipal wastewater systems. The Responsible Flushing Alliance (RFA) alongside the California Association of Sanitation Agencies (CASA) and the Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry (INDA) released the results from the largest known domestic sewage collection study conducted to reveal what’s really being flushed down the drain – and shouldn’t be.

“We took a forensic approach to this collection study, engaging industry and wastewater experts to examine our findings and determine what exactly is being flushed and how much of it,” said Adam Link, Executive Director at CASA, a co-sponsor of the Proper Labeling of Wet Wipes Law. “Now that we have the data to see what Californians are flushing and the types of non-flushable items that are causing issues within wastewater systems, local agencies can refine their public outreach and messaging to target specific problems and educate more efficiently.”

In accordance with California’s Proper Labeling of Wet Wipes law (AB 818), state wastewater agencies and industry experts went deep to find out exactly what is passing through—and clogging up—municipal wastewater systems. The Responsible Flushing Alliance (RFA) alongside the California Association of Sanitation Agencies (CASA) and the Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry (INDA) released the results from the largest known domestic sewage collection study conducted to reveal what’s really being flushed down the drain – and shouldn’t be.

“We took a forensic approach to this collection study, engaging industry and wastewater experts to examine our findings and determine what exactly is being flushed and how much of it,” said Adam Link, Executive Director at CASA, a co-sponsor of the Proper Labeling of Wet Wipes Law. “Now that we have the data to see what Californians are flushing and the types of non-flushable items that are causing issues within wastewater systems, local agencies can refine their public outreach and messaging to target specific problems and educate more efficiently.”

Collection and material investigation took place in October 2023 at two locations: Inland Empire Utilities Agency (IEUA) in Southern California and Central Contra Costa Sanitary District (Central San) in the greater San Francisco Bay Area in Northern California. Wastewater and wipes experts collected, sorted and identified more than 1,700 items pulled from the two locations during peak flow times. Kennedy Jenks, an independent engineering firm, designed the study and compiled the findings into the report.

Why Study What’s Being Flushed?
When products that aren’t meant to be flushed down the toilet wind up in the sewer system, it can cause serious threats to public and environmental health. In fact, estimates show that local public agencies throughout California (and the ratepayers they represent) are spending more than $47 million annually to repair wastewater treatment equipment and respond to sewer overflows caused by improper flushing.

“Part of keeping communities healthy requires not flushing things we shouldn’t,” said Lara Wyss, President of the RFA. “However, the data to support which non-flushable items to target as part of education campaigns has been lacking. That’s likely why when we surveyed Californians about what they are flushing, the results revealed that approximately 25% think baby wipes are flushable (which is never true) and 60% self-reported that they flushed something they knew they shouldn’t have.2 Our study results reinforce that finding, as more than 99% of materials collected were items that shouldn’t have been flushed.”

The breakdown of items collected from pipes at the two study locations included:
•    34.1% wipes labeled with the “Do Not Flush” symbol (baby wipes, cleaning wipes, makeup wipes, etc.)
•    64.9% other non-flushable items (paper towels, period products, trash, etc.)
•    0.9% wipes labeled as flushable

“We pulled material larger than 1-inch square directly from the bar screens, and it wasn’t until everything was sorted and identified that we could see what we actually had,” said Matt O’Sickey, Director of Education and Technical Affairs, INDA. “There were a lot of paper towels and baby wipes and all of the ‘Do Not Flush’ labeled wipes we collected were fully intact, showcasing why they should never be flushed.”

What Not to Flush—and How We Tell Consumers
According to the Proper Wet Wipes Labeling law, manufacturers of non-flushable wipes, including products such as baby wipes, cleaning wipes, makeup removal wipes and many others that are primarily used in a bathroom setting must include the “Do Not Flush” symbol on the front of the packaging.
The #FlushSmart consumer education campaign promotes the “Do Not Flush” symbol and provides information on what should and should not be flushed. The message shared with consumers is simple: Look for the “Do Not Flush” symbol on wipes packaging, and if you see it – throw the wipe out. Extrapolating from the results of this study, refraining from flushing “Do Not Flush” labeled wipes, paper products and feminine hygiene products would capture over 90% of items clogging sewers.

Source:

INDA

INDA remembers CK Wong (c) INDA
03.04.2024

INDA remembers CK Wong

INDA is warmly remembering CK Wong, a veteran of the nonwovens industry for more than five decades and long-time member of INDA’s Board of Directors and Executive Committee. Wong passed away on March 22, 2024 at the age of 86.

Wong recognized the importance of the emerging nonwovens industry in the early 1970s. He began his career in the 1980s as a marketing consultant and, one year later, Wong set up his corporate headquarters in Hong Kong to convert nonwoven roll goods into disposable medical and industrial protection products. Over the past 35 years, Wong’s business grew to include household, beauty salon, sports applications, and other value-added products.

In 1994 Wong’s company officially became U.S. Pacific Nonwovens Industry Limited. His business expanded with a new converting plant in Dongguan, China, and in 2007 he invested in an adjacent building to handle his growing business. In 2018 Wong’s business broadened to include manufacturing PLA nonwovens. In addition to converted products, Wong’s business provided sales, service, and training for nonwovens equipment.

INDA is warmly remembering CK Wong, a veteran of the nonwovens industry for more than five decades and long-time member of INDA’s Board of Directors and Executive Committee. Wong passed away on March 22, 2024 at the age of 86.

Wong recognized the importance of the emerging nonwovens industry in the early 1970s. He began his career in the 1980s as a marketing consultant and, one year later, Wong set up his corporate headquarters in Hong Kong to convert nonwoven roll goods into disposable medical and industrial protection products. Over the past 35 years, Wong’s business grew to include household, beauty salon, sports applications, and other value-added products.

In 1994 Wong’s company officially became U.S. Pacific Nonwovens Industry Limited. His business expanded with a new converting plant in Dongguan, China, and in 2007 he invested in an adjacent building to handle his growing business. In 2018 Wong’s business broadened to include manufacturing PLA nonwovens. In addition to converted products, Wong’s business provided sales, service, and training for nonwovens equipment.

Wong was an active member at INDA since the late 90s. He served as Vice Chair of Finance on the Board of Directors for many years before becoming an Appointee on INDA’s Executive Committee. Wong was instrumental in helping INDA set up partnerships with key contacts and associations in China. He was also the Honorable Chairman for the Guangdong Nonwovens Association (GDNA) and the China Nonwovens & Industrial Textiles Association (Spunbond Division).

More information:
INDA nonwovens
Source:

INDA, the Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry

03.04.2024

EURATEX: 3rd project addressing shortage of qualified labour

The association has launched another initiative to promote upskilling and reskilling in the textiles, clothing, leather and footwear industry: the “TCLF SkillBridge” project will focus on establishing regional skills partnerships.

In the context of the EU TCLF Pact for Skills, EURATEX will work together with CEC  and COTANCE  to support the creation of regional partnerships in the area skills; this new SkillBridge project, supported by the European Commission DG GROW, will specifically help to develop action plans with regional authorities, local TCLF industry and education providers. These action plans should respond to the changing needs of the TCLF industry in the area of education and skills. The project will also offer a mobility scheme for regional stakeholders from the industry and offer support to SMEs, to help them develop reskilling or upskilling initiatives in their company.

The association has launched another initiative to promote upskilling and reskilling in the textiles, clothing, leather and footwear industry: the “TCLF SkillBridge” project will focus on establishing regional skills partnerships.

In the context of the EU TCLF Pact for Skills, EURATEX will work together with CEC  and COTANCE  to support the creation of regional partnerships in the area skills; this new SkillBridge project, supported by the European Commission DG GROW, will specifically help to develop action plans with regional authorities, local TCLF industry and education providers. These action plans should respond to the changing needs of the TCLF industry in the area of education and skills. The project will also offer a mobility scheme for regional stakeholders from the industry and offer support to SMEs, to help them develop reskilling or upskilling initiatives in their company.

The TCLF SkillBridge project complements the MetaSkills and Aequalis projects, which have been launched earlier this year. They all share the same objectives which have been established in the TCLF Pact for Skills, and thus contribute to addressing one of the most critical bottlenecks which is faced by the TCLF industry: the shortage of qualified labour. These 3 projects will, collectively, allow EURATEX and its partners to work with all relevant stakeholders from our sector across the EU and beyond.

Dirk Vantyghem, EURATEX Director General, welcomes these initiatives to support the TCLF industries: “Addressing the skills gap, and attracting young people with the right set of skills, is essential to strengthen the European textiles industry. We are grateful to the European Commission to offer the necessary support, and want to reach out especially to the regional authorities, to work together and design a skills strategy that works for its local TCLF industry.”

Source:

Euratex

26.03.2024

CARBIOS joins Paris Good Fashion

CARBIOS, a pioneer in the development and industrialization of biological technologies to reinvent the life cycle of plastic and textiles, announces its membership to Paris Good Fashion, the association that unites over 100 French players in the sector - brands, designers and experts - around their commitment to sustainable fashion. CARBIOS is the first recycling technology supplier to join, demonstrating the importance given to recycling to achieve textile circularity. By contributing its solution for the biorecycling of polyester, the world's most widely used and fastest-growing textile fiber, CARBIOS aims to contribute Paris Good Fashion’s mission, which focuses on concrete actions, best practice sharing and collective intelligence to accelerate change in the fashion industry.

CARBIOS, a pioneer in the development and industrialization of biological technologies to reinvent the life cycle of plastic and textiles, announces its membership to Paris Good Fashion, the association that unites over 100 French players in the sector - brands, designers and experts - around their commitment to sustainable fashion. CARBIOS is the first recycling technology supplier to join, demonstrating the importance given to recycling to achieve textile circularity. By contributing its solution for the biorecycling of polyester, the world's most widely used and fastest-growing textile fiber, CARBIOS aims to contribute Paris Good Fashion’s mission, which focuses on concrete actions, best practice sharing and collective intelligence to accelerate change in the fashion industry.

CARBIOS will be particularly involved in the association's project to set up a working group dedicated to the development of a "fiber-to-fiber" industry, one of Paris Good Fashion's top priorities over the next five years. While only 1% of textiles are currently recycled fiber-to-fiber (circular), this working group will identify levers for significantly increasing the share of recycled fibers in the industry.  Polyester currently follows a linear model from which we need to break out: virgin polyester is made from petroleum, and recycled polyester from PET bottles. After use, most of these products end their lives in landfill or incineration. A circular, "fiber-to-fiber" industry will give new life to textiles and reduce the environmental impact associated to their end-of-life management.

Source:

Carbios

25.03.2024

NCTO: USTR seeks Input on Domestic Supply Chain Resilience Policy

Glen Raven hosted United States Trade Representative (USTR) Ambassador Katherine Tai in an important visit to the company’s yarn spinning manufacturing facility and headquarters for its Sunbrella® flagship brand in Burlington, N.C. followed by an industry supply chain roundtable.

Ambassador Tai’s visit coincides with USTR’s Federal Register notice for public input to inform the administration’s development of trade and investment policy initiatives related to a domestic supply chain resilience plan.

USTR has highlighted domestic textiles as a critical part of the supply chain. The textile sector, which includes yarns, fabrics, apparel and other finished goods, will be part of its fact-finding investigation into shaping policy tools that could be deployed to enhance supply chain resilience. The office is requesting input on policies that are currently working well for these sectors, and those that are not working well, in advancing domestic supply chains.

Glen Raven hosted United States Trade Representative (USTR) Ambassador Katherine Tai in an important visit to the company’s yarn spinning manufacturing facility and headquarters for its Sunbrella® flagship brand in Burlington, N.C. followed by an industry supply chain roundtable.

Ambassador Tai’s visit coincides with USTR’s Federal Register notice for public input to inform the administration’s development of trade and investment policy initiatives related to a domestic supply chain resilience plan.

USTR has highlighted domestic textiles as a critical part of the supply chain. The textile sector, which includes yarns, fabrics, apparel and other finished goods, will be part of its fact-finding investigation into shaping policy tools that could be deployed to enhance supply chain resilience. The office is requesting input on policies that are currently working well for these sectors, and those that are not working well, in advancing domestic supply chains.

The Ambassador’s visit to Glen Raven included a tour of the Sunbrella facilities, a design and innovation center, and a roundtable discussion with several other textile executives based in North Carolina who highlighted the significant impact of the sector to the U.S. economy.

Glen Raven, a family-owned company founded in 1880, operates five manufacturing facilities in North and South Carolina employing 2,500 people, including their joint venture with Shawmut Corporation. The company is currently in the process of scaling a $250 million multi-phase U.S. capacity expansion plan of its facilities and infrastructure to meet customer demand.

 

Source:

National Council of Textile Organizations

22.03.2024

EURATEX: European Commission announces “Textiles of the Future” Partnership

In the fringes of the EU Research and Innovation Days, the European Commission has announced 9 new European co-funded and co-programmed partnerships, including “Textiles of the Future”. These partnerships will be at the core of the Horizon Europe Strategic Plan 2025-2027, addressing the green and digital transition, and a more resilient, competitive, inclusive and democratic Europe.

EURATEX has been working towards such a partnership over the last few years. Investing in innovation is a critical component to successfully implement the EU Strategy for Sustainable and Circular Textiles. EURATEX therefore welcomes the Commission’s decision, as a measure to help their 200.000 EU textile companies to remain competitive.

The Textiles of the Future Partnership will be co-managed by the European Technology Platform for Future of Textiles and Clothing (ETP). With a deep knowledge in textiles research and a vast innovation network, ETP stands ready to bring that partnership into reality.

In the fringes of the EU Research and Innovation Days, the European Commission has announced 9 new European co-funded and co-programmed partnerships, including “Textiles of the Future”. These partnerships will be at the core of the Horizon Europe Strategic Plan 2025-2027, addressing the green and digital transition, and a more resilient, competitive, inclusive and democratic Europe.

EURATEX has been working towards such a partnership over the last few years. Investing in innovation is a critical component to successfully implement the EU Strategy for Sustainable and Circular Textiles. EURATEX therefore welcomes the Commission’s decision, as a measure to help their 200.000 EU textile companies to remain competitive.

The Textiles of the Future Partnership will be co-managed by the European Technology Platform for Future of Textiles and Clothing (ETP). With a deep knowledge in textiles research and a vast innovation network, ETP stands ready to bring that partnership into reality.

Source:

EURATEX

Robot system (c) STFI
20.03.2024

STFI: Highlights of textile research at Techtextil 2024

STFI will be presenting high-end textile products and solutions at Techtextil 2024. The highlights from current research results and innovations provide an insight into the digitalisation of textile production, show applications for 3D printing and smart technical textiles and provide examples of particularly sustainably designed products as well as innovative approaches for protective and medical textiles.

The central highlight of STFI's presence at Techtextil is a robot system that demonstrates the automated processing of a bobbin frame on a small scale. The pick-and-place application demonstrates camera-supported gripping of the bobbins. The robot is part of the STFI's “Textile Factory of the Future” which demonstrates automation solutions for the textile industry in a laboratory environment.

STFI will be presenting high-end textile products and solutions at Techtextil 2024. The highlights from current research results and innovations provide an insight into the digitalisation of textile production, show applications for 3D printing and smart technical textiles and provide examples of particularly sustainably designed products as well as innovative approaches for protective and medical textiles.

The central highlight of STFI's presence at Techtextil is a robot system that demonstrates the automated processing of a bobbin frame on a small scale. The pick-and-place application demonstrates camera-supported gripping of the bobbins. The robot is part of the STFI's “Textile Factory of the Future” which demonstrates automation solutions for the textile industry in a laboratory environment.

From the field of sustainable products and solutions, a sleeping bag with bio-based and therefore vegan filling material and a natural fibre-based composite element for furniture construction, in which LEDs and capacitive proximity sensors for contactless function control have been applied using embroidery technology, will be on show. Printed heating conductor structures demonstrate current research work for the e-mobility of the future, as the individually controllable seat and interior heating should ultimately reduce weight and save energy compared to conventional heating systems.

While a protective suit for special task forces protects against the dangers of a Molotov cocktail attack, a shin guard and a knee brace with patellar ring illustrate the process combination of 3D printing and UV LED cross-linking. Other highlights from lightweight textile construction include the rib of a vertical rudder of an Airbus A320 and a green snowboard made from recycled carbon fibres.

More information:
STFI Techtextil Smart textiles
Source:

Sächsisches Textilforschungsinstitut e.V. (STFI)

Collaboration between IHKIB and WRAP (c) IHKIB
18.03.2024

Collaboration between IHKIB and WRAP

In a move to enhance the global competitiveness of the Turkish apparel industry, the Istanbul Apparel Exporters' Association (IHKIB) has entered into a collaborative agreement with the Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production (WRAP).

IHKIB, representing 80% of Türkiye's apparel exports, aims to facilitate and guide its members in navigating new markets and staying abreast of sectoral developments.
WRAP, a US-based non-profit organization, focuses on promoting safe, lawful, humane, and ethical working conditions within the textile and apparel industry.

In a move to enhance the global competitiveness of the Turkish apparel industry, the Istanbul Apparel Exporters' Association (IHKIB) has entered into a collaborative agreement with the Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production (WRAP).

IHKIB, representing 80% of Türkiye's apparel exports, aims to facilitate and guide its members in navigating new markets and staying abreast of sectoral developments.
WRAP, a US-based non-profit organization, focuses on promoting safe, lawful, humane, and ethical working conditions within the textile and apparel industry.

Mr. Selcuk Mehmet Kaya, Chairman of the International Relations and Sustainability Committee of IHKIB, and Mr. Avedis Seferian, President and CEO of WRAP, officially inked a collaboration agreement on March 8, 2024, marking a significant step towards fostering business relations between Türkiye and the USA. The agreement focuses on a pilot project developed by IHKIB and WRAP, aiming to identify leading Turkish apparel companies exporting to the USA and encouraging these facilities to attain WRAP certification. In return, WRAP will provide in-person and virtual training at no charge to guide these facilities through the certification process. The project seeks to strengthen business ties between Türkiye and the USA, creating additional opportunities for mutual cooperation between the parties in both countries.

Source:

IHKIB - Istanbul Apparel Exporters’ Association