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Bohrgerät Schiefergas Bohrhaken Photo: Pixabay
26.04.2022

Natural gas embargo against Russian Federation would mean the end for man-made fibre producers

With its current position paper, the Industrievereinigung Chemiefaser e.V. takes a stand on the intense discussions about an embargo against Russian natural gas supplies. The association believes that Germany's economic and global political future can only be secured with a strong industrial base and therefore, weighing up all positions and influencing factors and assessing the consequences for labour and the market economy, cannot support a short-term natural gas embargo on Russia.

An interruption of the continuous supply of natural gas would result in immense losses for the chemical fibre companies, which could even lead to the destruction of the industry in Germany. The losses are made up of technical damage caused by an uncoordinated shutdown of plants on the one hand and market-related consequential damage caused by lost production and a lack of product sales on the other.

With its current position paper, the Industrievereinigung Chemiefaser e.V. takes a stand on the intense discussions about an embargo against Russian natural gas supplies. The association believes that Germany's economic and global political future can only be secured with a strong industrial base and therefore, weighing up all positions and influencing factors and assessing the consequences for labour and the market economy, cannot support a short-term natural gas embargo on Russia.

An interruption of the continuous supply of natural gas would result in immense losses for the chemical fibre companies, which could even lead to the destruction of the industry in Germany. The losses are made up of technical damage caused by an uncoordinated shutdown of plants on the one hand and market-related consequential damage caused by lost production and a lack of product sales on the other.

Depending on the location and size of the plants, a short-term outage due to a lack of natural gas would result in average losses of EUR 5 million/plant. In addition, an ongoing daily loss would have to be expected which could be in the order of e.g. 250 000 EUR/day/plant, depending on the location. Furthermore, restarting the plants is questionable if supply chains could no longer be serviced and customers globally look for other suppliers in the meantime. Thus, entire sites would be at risk. With China's global market share in man-made fiber production already exceeding 70 %, a scenario is more than realistic that China will also take over these supply chains, thus leading to an even greater dependence on China.

The vast majority of power plants used for the production of man-made fibers, especially the highly efficient combined gas-and-steam power plants based on the principle of cogeneration with efficiencies of 90 %, are designed exclusively for the use of natural gas. Quite often, there are no technical facilities for operating gas turbines or steam boilers with fuels other than natural gas. Only in exceptional cases could a switch be made to mineral oil. However, even in these cases, the necessary stockpiling of mineral oil is designed only for a short-term failure of the gas burners. A change to base-load supply with mineral oil could take a time window of between 3 and 56 months, depending on the type of plant and taking into account licensing requirements. The use of hydrogen as an energy source is only possible in the very long term. In the few cases where natural gas can be substituted, investment costs of EUR 250 million/plant can be incurred, depending on the emission level of the converted plant.

A natural gas embargo imposed by the European Union on the Russian Federation would not only mean the cessation of production and the end for man-made fiber producers, but also for other industries such as basic chemicals, paper, metal production and glass and ceramics manufacturing, as well as their related sectors. As the German economic institute Institut der Deutschen Wirtschaft Köln e. V. (IW Köln) concluded in its summary report 40/2022 of April 2022: "No one can accurately predict what future these businesses would then still have in Germany. That would be an unprecedented development."

Source:

Industrievereinigung Chemiefaser e.V.

(c) Eton
22.04.2022

More localised and automated textile manufacturing with TMAS technologies

At the forthcoming Texprocess, Techtextil and Heimtextil shows taking place in Frankfurt from June 21-24 – members of the Swedish Textile Machinery Association TMAS will be showcasing a range of solutions aligning with the growing trend for more localised and automated textile manufacturing.

Digitalisation and the push for more sustainable, shorter and less expensive supply chains are currently making manufacturing in high-cost countries within Europe more attractive and there have been many other contributing factors to this over the past two years.

The Covid-19 pandemic exposed the vulnerability of many countries to shortages of essential items like PPE while at the same time making the full exploitation of new digital options essential during national lock-downs and long periods of restricted travel. The escalating cost of global transportation, as well as the growth of online retailing and the associated benefits of on-demand digital manufacturing, are further reinforcing the many benefits of short-run and near-shore new operations.

At the forthcoming Texprocess, Techtextil and Heimtextil shows taking place in Frankfurt from June 21-24 – members of the Swedish Textile Machinery Association TMAS will be showcasing a range of solutions aligning with the growing trend for more localised and automated textile manufacturing.

Digitalisation and the push for more sustainable, shorter and less expensive supply chains are currently making manufacturing in high-cost countries within Europe more attractive and there have been many other contributing factors to this over the past two years.

The Covid-19 pandemic exposed the vulnerability of many countries to shortages of essential items like PPE while at the same time making the full exploitation of new digital options essential during national lock-downs and long periods of restricted travel. The escalating cost of global transportation, as well as the growth of online retailing and the associated benefits of on-demand digital manufacturing, are further reinforcing the many benefits of short-run and near-shore new operations.

Secure supply
At Texprocess, for example, Eton Systems will be unveiling its latest Ingenious software solution which further enhances the company’s Opta Unit Production System (UPS) introduced in 2021.

“Our automated technology has already had a great impact on the productivity of thousands of garment production lines,” says Eton’s Managing Director Jerker Krabbe. “Our systems help producers across the world to reduce repetitive manual tasks and increase efficiency, which evens out some of the differences between production in high and low-cost countries, making reshoring a feasible option. Creating a diversified production portfolio with a mix of production facilities, some closer to home, makes for a more secure product supply.”

Flexibility
Imogo meanwhile recently installed the first industrial scale dyeing system in Sweden for many years. The Dye-Max spray dyeing line has the potential to slash the use of fresh water, wastewater, energy and chemicals by as much as 90% compared to conventional jet dyeing systems. It is capable of carrying out the application of a wide range of fabric pre-treatments and finishing processes, providing users with unbeatable flexibility in production.

“Here in Scandinavia, we are currently seeing an explosion of companies developing sustainable new cellulosic fibres – many from waste clothing – but a problem is that all of the environmental benefits they deliver can potentially be lost in the further processing, and especially in conventional dyeing,” observes the company’s Founding Partner Per Stenflo. “The Dye-Max system positively addresses this, but interest in it has not just been confined to Europe. We are currently seeing a lot of activity in Turkey – largely as a near-shore partner to European brands – but also in Bangladesh.”

Robotics at Heimtextil
ACG Kinna Automatic specialises in automation solutions for filled products such as quilts, pillows and mattresses and its live demonstrations of robotics in action have proved a magnet for visitors to Heimtextil. This year’s show will be no exception.

“The use of robotics is now standard across many industries dealing in solid goods, but the handling of soft materials such as textiles is a little more complex,” says Managing Director Christian Moore. “Nevertheless, it’s something we have successfully mastered, and our robotic systems are proving highly beneficial to their users. There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution when it comes to automation and our approach is always to carefully examine where it will make the difference in each bespoke system. A focus is on identifying and eliminating bottlenecks which will increase product flows.”

During the Covid-19 pandemic, ACG Kinna drew on all of its automation know-how and extensive network of contacts to build a new nonwovens fabric converting and single-use garment making-up plant in a matter of weeks, in order to supply the Swedish authorities with urgently-needed medical gowns.

Instant colour
Localised textile production is also booming in the USA, where Coloreel has recently secured multiple orders for its instant thread colouration technology via its US partner Hirsch.

“Coloreel technology enables the high-quality and instant colouring of a textile thread while it is actually being used in production and can be paired with any existing embroidery machine without modification, while also making it possible to produce gradients in an embroidery for the first time,” explains VP of Sales Sven Öquist.

“Advanced rapid colour formulation software and high-speed drive technology allow a single needle to carry out what it previously required many multiples of them to do – and with much more consistent stitch quality. By instantly colouring a recycled white base thread during production, our system enables complete freedom to create unique embroideries without any limitations. Colour changes along the thread can either be made rapidly from one solid colour to another, or gradually, to make smooth transitions or any colouring effect desired. This provides big benefits when it comes to sustainability and design creativity.”

Milestone
Svegea will be promoting its latest EC 300 collarette cutting machine at Texprocess 2022. This machine is used by garment manufacturers around the world for the production of tubular apparel components such as waistbands, cuff and neck tapes and other seam reinforcements. With its E-Drive 2 system and fully automatic FA500 roll slitter, the EC 300 has an output of around 20,000 metres per hour.

“Advances in automation are only making the specialised, bespoke machines we engineer even more efficient and we are expecting a very busy year,” says Managing Director Håkan Steene. “The garment components our collarette cutters produce make it logical for them to be integrated into the operations of making-up operations, wherever they are.”

Sensors
The advanced yarn tension monitoring technologies of Eltex of Sweden meanwhile play an essential role in rectifying defects in  weaving, tufting and composite reinforcement operations.

“A correct tension of the warp and weft threads ensures proper machine operation,” explains Eltex Global Marketing and Sales Manager Anoop K. Sharma “The constant tension monitoring and automatic control of the tension of the thread help to overcome unnecessary problems.

“We continue to make advances in both the hardware and software of our tension monitoring systems, such as the EyE™ for the warping process. With the EyE™, the yarn tension values from all yarns are continuously updated and displayed on screen. In addition, tension values outside the warning level are indicated both on the sensor’s LEDs and on the screen for complete quality control. No fabric can be woven without the appropriate and correct tension.”

Source:

AWOL Media

21.03.2022

OEKO-TEX® Association turns 30: Trust, Safety, Sustainability

The vision of the OEKO-TEX® Association, which was founded in March 1992 through a partnership between the Hohenstein Research Institute and the Austrian Textile Research Institute (OETI), is still reflected today in the organization's core values: trust, safety, and sustainability. For three decades, OEKO-TEX® has pursued the goal of building trust for companies and consumers and enabling them to make responsible decisions to protect people and the planet. "Our services bring transparency to the international textile and leather industry supply chains," says OEKO-TEX® Secretary General Georg Dieners. "They enable all stakeholders to make mindful decisions that help preserve our planet for future generations."

The vision of the OEKO-TEX® Association, which was founded in March 1992 through a partnership between the Hohenstein Research Institute and the Austrian Textile Research Institute (OETI), is still reflected today in the organization's core values: trust, safety, and sustainability. For three decades, OEKO-TEX® has pursued the goal of building trust for companies and consumers and enabling them to make responsible decisions to protect people and the planet. "Our services bring transparency to the international textile and leather industry supply chains," says OEKO-TEX® Secretary General Georg Dieners. "They enable all stakeholders to make mindful decisions that help preserve our planet for future generations."

OEKO-TEX® market leadership
In 1992, 20 years before the United Nations announced the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), OEKO-TEX® launched STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX®, now one of the best-known labels for product safety.
"It emerged from the Schadstoffgeprüft nach ÖTN 100(tested for harmful substances according to ÖTN 100), developed by OETI in 1989 to address increasing public interest in textile ecology and health," the Austrian Textile Research Institute reminds us. The limit values and test methods on which STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX® is based were internationally standardized and are adapted to the latest scientific findings and legislation at least once a year - a principle that is applied to all OEKO-TEX® standards. Prof. Dr. Stefan Mecheels, the owner of the textile testing service provider Hohenstein, adds: "From the very beginning, we have considered the needs of all players in the textile value chain and continue to create solutions for current and future market requirements."

At least seven SDGs are firmly integrated into the OEKO-TEX® product portfolio. For example, Good Health & Well-Being (SDG 3) and Clean Water & Sanitation (SDG 6) are reflected in the STeP by OEKO-TEX® factory certification, and Responsible Consumption & Production (SDG 12) and Climate Action (SDG 13) are implemented through the comprehensive MADE IN GREEN by OEKO-TEX® product label.

Today, the international association consists of 17 independent research and testing institutes focused on textile and leather, with contact offices in over 60 countries. They are responsible for the joint development of the test methods and limit values in the OEKO-TEX® Standards and carry out laboratory tests and factory audits according to globally uniform specifications. These comprehensive product and process audits to ensure appropriate risk management, consumer and environmental protection, and legal compliance. With their wide-ranging research and development, the accredited OEKO-TEX® test institutes provide important insight for innovations within the textile and leather industry. They work in close cooperation with manufacturers and make a significant contribution to the development of high-quality textile and leather products at all stages of the value chain.

Mirror of social and political development
Being close to the market, and ideally, one step ahead is essential to supporting companies who are adapting to constantly changing conditions and meeting consumer expectations. Therefore, the development of OEKO-TEX® is not only a reflection of scientific knowledge but also of social and political trends. The focus is always on standardizing sustainable action and measures and making it easier for the industry to quickly and comprehensively implement sustainability goals.

Exchange with third parties is particularly valuable for this purpose. OEKO-TEX® participates in various international multi-stakeholder initiatives such as the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles, the ZHDC (Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals), and Greenpeace.
In addition to cooperation with external multi-stakeholder initiatives, the OEKO-TEX® International Advisory Board (IAB) meets annually. The core function of the IAB is to help review consistent and market-oriented Standards development proposals by the OEKO-TEX® Working Groups. In addition, OEKO-TEX® is conducting a public stakeholder consultation to gain further insights from all interest groups, which it will integrate into further development of the Standards.
Using three decades of experience for the future
The founding goal of enabling responsible choices that preserve our planet for future generations has become increasingly urgent over the past 30 years. So, OEKO-TEX® is even more resolute than ever in developing comprehensive solutions. We stand by industry and consumers as a trusted partner for the challenges ahead. In addition to the IMPACT CALCULATOR launched in January 2022, which helps STeP by OEKO-TEX® certified production facilities reduce their carbon emissions and water consumption, this summer, the association will launch a service to help companies transition to the upcoming Due Diligence Laws.

Source:

Oeko-Tex

DNFI: Microplastic pollution is a global challenge Photo: pixabay
10.12.2021

DNFI: Microplastic pollution is a global challenge

Microplastic pollution is a global challenge across many industries and sectors – one of critical importance being textiles.

A 2021 study by the California Ocean Science Trust and a group of interdisciplinary scientists acknowledges that microfibres from textiles are among the most common microplastic materials found in the marine environment. Every time synthetic clothes are manufactured, worn, washed, or disposed of, they release microplastics into terrestrial and marine environments, including human food chains. Synthetic fibres represent over two-thirds (69%) of all materials used in textiles, a proportion that is expected to rise to 73% by 2030. The production of synthetic fibres has fuelled a 40-year trend of increased per capita clothing consumption.

Global textile consumption has become:

Microplastic pollution is a global challenge across many industries and sectors – one of critical importance being textiles.

A 2021 study by the California Ocean Science Trust and a group of interdisciplinary scientists acknowledges that microfibres from textiles are among the most common microplastic materials found in the marine environment. Every time synthetic clothes are manufactured, worn, washed, or disposed of, they release microplastics into terrestrial and marine environments, including human food chains. Synthetic fibres represent over two-thirds (69%) of all materials used in textiles, a proportion that is expected to rise to 73% by 2030. The production of synthetic fibres has fuelled a 40-year trend of increased per capita clothing consumption.

Global textile consumption has become:

  • more reliant on non-renewable resources,
  • less biodegradable, and
  • increasingly prone to releasing microplastics.

The increased consumption is also discretionary, driven by consumer desire and remains unchecked. Thus, the long-term trend in the textile industry parallels the intentional addition of microplastics to products such as cosmetics. The contrast is that the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has recommended such intentional additions be restricted, whereas the over-consumption of synthetic fibres continues unchecked. One way for the EU to account for and mitigate microplastic pollution is through an EU-backed methodology measuring and reporting microplastic emissions, so that consumers and procurement officers have the information needed to minimise microplastic pollution resulting from their purchasing decisions.

There is a critical opportunity to address microplastic pollution in the fashion textile industry through the EU Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) methodology. To meet the environmental objectives of the Circular Economy Action Plan, the EU is proposing that companies substantiate their products’ environmental credentials using this harmonised methodology. However, microplastic pollution is not accounted for in the PEF methodology. This omission has the effect of assigning a zero score to microplastic pollution and would undermine the efforts of the European Green Deal, which aim “to address the unintentional release of microplastics in the environment.”

The incorporation of microplastic pollution as an indicator would increase the legitimacy of the PEF method as well as better inform consumer purchasing decisions, especially as the European Green Deal seeks to “further develop and harmonise methods for measuring unintentionally released microplastics, especially from tyres and textiles, and delivering harmonised data on microplastics concentrations in seawater.”

Whilst we continue to learn about the damage of microplastics and there is new knowledge emerging on the toxic impacts along the food chain, there is sufficient information on the rate of microplastic leakage into the environment to implement a basic, inventory level indicator in the PEF now. This is consistent with the recommendations of a review of microplastic pollution originating from the life cycle of apparel and home textiles. There are precedents in PEF for basic level (e.g., ‘resource use, fossils’) and largely untested (e.g. land occupation and toxicity indicators) indicators, and therefore an opportunity for the EU to promote research and development in the measurement and modelling of microplastic pollution by including such emissions in the PEF methodology. For such an indicator, the long and complex supply chains of the apparel and footwear industry would be a test case with high-impact and a global reach.

Source:

DNFI / IWTO – 2021

28.10.2021

The Renewable Carbon Initiative (RCI) celebrates its first anniversary

After its launch on 20 September 2020, the RCI is proud to celebrate its first anniversary this fall. The balance sheet of the first year is impressive: starting from 11 founding members, that number increased to 30 member companies within 12 months. Numerous webinars, press releases, background information, a glossary and a comic allowed to convey the “Renewable Carbon” concept to the public. The RCI is actively working on labelling and policy analysis, and more activities will follow in the next year.

After its launch on 20 September 2020, the RCI is proud to celebrate its first anniversary this fall. The balance sheet of the first year is impressive: starting from 11 founding members, that number increased to 30 member companies within 12 months. Numerous webinars, press releases, background information, a glossary and a comic allowed to convey the “Renewable Carbon” concept to the public. The RCI is actively working on labelling and policy analysis, and more activities will follow in the next year.

Key for this success: the topic of renewable carbon in chemicals and materials is increasingly becoming a focus of politics and industry. Larger companies will have to report their GHG emissions and also the footprint of their products as part of legislative changes surrounding the European Green Deal. In this context, indirect emissions and the carbon sources of materials will play a much more crucial role. The RCI is actively working on solutions for companies to shift from fossil to renewable carbon, which consists of the use of bio-based feedstock, CO2-based resources and recycling. In the future, reporting on GHG emissions will also include Scope 3 emissions, which are all indirect emissions that occur along the company’s value and supply chain and where the used raw materials account for a large proportion of the footprint. Here is where the carbon source of chemicals and plastics comes into play as an important contributor to the carbon footprint. Without a shift from fossil to renewable carbon feedstocks (combining bio-based, CO2-based and recycled), a sustainable future and the Paris climate targets will be almost impossible to master.

To discuss, promote and realise the shift, 30 innovative companies have already joined forces to support the transition to renewable carbon, considering both technological and economical approaches – and helping to shape the political framework accordingly.

For the second year, RCI plans to focus on a comprehensive understanding of the expected political framework conditions in Europe and across the globe, since they will determine the future of chemistry and materials more than ever. Building on this knowledge, the topic of renewable carbon could then to be systematically integrated into new political directives, which has so far not been effectively managed.

In reality, the political focus lies on the strategy of decarbonising the energy sector, a very central and Herculean task. However, it cannot be applied to the chemical and material world because carbon is usually the central building block that cannot be dispensed with. On the contrary, the demand for carbon in the chemical and materials sectors is expected to more than double by 2050. In order to meet this demand in a sustainable manner, we must move towards quitting fossil carbon. For the first time in industrial history, it is possible to decouple chemistry and materials from petrochemicals and completely cover the demand through the utilisation of biomass, CO2 and recycling.

Source:

Renewable Carbon Initiative (RCI)

15.09.2021

REACH4Textiles: Better market surveillance for textile products

The REACH4texiles project just kicked off. Funded by the European Commission, it aims at exploring solutions for fair and effective market surveillance on textile products.

Every year, about 28 billion of garments circulate across Europe, 80% of which are imported from outside the EU and its jurisdiction.
 
Inevitably, such huge volumes pose enormous challenges for market surveillance authorities which are called to ensure that uncompliant dangerous products are kept away from the EU citizens.

The European Union has the world most comprehensive chemical legislation which is set to protect consumers, the environment and, theoretically, even the competitiveness  of the business.

Such EU chemical legislation evolves constantly, increasing scope and ambition. New restrictions impact authorities and sectors like the European textile value chain and generate new costs for all actors.

Evidence suggests that such advanced regulatory framework is not completed with an equally advanced or effective EU-wide control system capable of ensuring compliance, especially in the case of imported products.

The REACH4texiles project just kicked off. Funded by the European Commission, it aims at exploring solutions for fair and effective market surveillance on textile products.

Every year, about 28 billion of garments circulate across Europe, 80% of which are imported from outside the EU and its jurisdiction.
 
Inevitably, such huge volumes pose enormous challenges for market surveillance authorities which are called to ensure that uncompliant dangerous products are kept away from the EU citizens.

The European Union has the world most comprehensive chemical legislation which is set to protect consumers, the environment and, theoretically, even the competitiveness  of the business.

Such EU chemical legislation evolves constantly, increasing scope and ambition. New restrictions impact authorities and sectors like the European textile value chain and generate new costs for all actors.

Evidence suggests that such advanced regulatory framework is not completed with an equally advanced or effective EU-wide control system capable of ensuring compliance, especially in the case of imported products.

The REACH4texiles project aims at exploring solutions for fair and effective market surveillance on textile products; it pools together the key actors to address three objectives:

  • Keep non-compliant products away from the single market.
  • Increase skills and knowledge.
  • Support a Network addressing chemicals in textiles and applying the EU regulation 2019/1020

The 2 years project will share best practices, identify efficient approaches against non-compliant products, offer training and support for a more effective surveillance and for level playing field.

The project welcomes collaboration with concerned authorities across the EU Member States.

Details:

A well-functioning EU market surveillance system is an essential prerequisite to protect citizen, the environment and competitiveness of responsible business. When it comes to textiles, the broad range of products, the large set of REACH subjected chemicals used in textiles as well as industrial strategies like fast fashion make this a challenging task.

Challenges may include lack of resources, difficulties in identifying higher risk products, cost and management of chemical tests, lack of test methods and knowledge of best practices. These challenges are yet likely to increase with the upcoming REACH restrictions and the growth of e-commerce.

Because of this, products that do not comply with REACH regulations encounter today little or no barriers to enter the market. This creates not only a health risk for Europeans but also undermines the competitivity of responsible businesses that take all necessary measures to comply with these regulations.

Addressing the challenges requires more knowledge at market surveillance and stronger collaboration between these authorities, the textile and clothing industry and testing laboratories. More knowledge about the identification of risk baring textile products and REACH chemicals likely to be used in these products, suitable test methods and strategies such as fast screening on REACH chemicals, trustworthiness of labels, etc can increase the effectiveness of market surveillance considerably.

The REACH4Textiles first objective (keep non-compliant products away from the EU Market) will be pursued by increasing knowledge on market surveillance functioning by and working on a risk-based approach to identify products at higher risk.

The second objective supports a network to address the specificities of chemicals in textiles with market surveillance authorities and involving other relevant stakeholders. The third objective focuses on sharing knowledge with market surveillance actors on textile products and suitable test methodologies.

Supported by the European Commission DG Growth, the project team is coordinated by the Belgian test and research center Centexbel and include the European Textiles and Apparel industry confederation, EURATEX, the German national textile and fashion association Textile und Mode, t+m, the Italian association Tessile e Salute. Several other European industry associations and national authorities are welcomed to become involved through the project activities.   

More information:
Euratex market surveillance Import
Source:

Euratex

30.08.2021

The Renewable Carbon Initiative RCI is joining forces

  • From fossil to renewable materials: Members advocate policy analysis and focused implementation of the renewable carbon strategy

The members of the Renewable Carbon Initiative (RCI) (www.renewable-carbon-initiative.com), founded in September 2020, have joined forces to shape the transition from the fossil to the renewable age for the chemical and materials industry. This means spreading the concept of renewable carbon and developing new value chains based on renewable carbon as a feedstock.

In the meantime, several activities have started from which future members can benefit as well. First and foremost is the kick-off to comprehensive policy analysis. What influence will forthcoming regulation have on chemicals, plastics, and other materials? When and where should the renewable carbon idea be emphasized and referred to?

The policy analysis will examine pending policies in the European Union – and a later expansion to America and Asia is planned as well.

  • From fossil to renewable materials: Members advocate policy analysis and focused implementation of the renewable carbon strategy

The members of the Renewable Carbon Initiative (RCI) (www.renewable-carbon-initiative.com), founded in September 2020, have joined forces to shape the transition from the fossil to the renewable age for the chemical and materials industry. This means spreading the concept of renewable carbon and developing new value chains based on renewable carbon as a feedstock.

In the meantime, several activities have started from which future members can benefit as well. First and foremost is the kick-off to comprehensive policy analysis. What influence will forthcoming regulation have on chemicals, plastics, and other materials? When and where should the renewable carbon idea be emphasized and referred to?

The policy analysis will examine pending policies in the European Union – and a later expansion to America and Asia is planned as well.

A particular focus will be placed on upcoming policies and regulations and how they impact renewable carbon. The members are currently deciding on where to start specifically, but questions that may be considered are: What does the new climate law and the “Fit for 55-Package” mean for chemicals and materials? What can be expected from REACH and microplastics restrictions? How relevant is the “Sustainable Products Initiative” and the coming restrictions for Green Claims? Circular Economy, Zero Pollution and Sustainable Financing are keywords of the future European landscapes, which might become very concrete for chemistry and materials in the next few years. To what extent the concept of renewable carbon for materials is considered in policy already and how it could be further introduced in future legislation are two of the main questions investigated in the working group “Policy”.

This working group is open to all members of RCI. Policy experts provide the respective analysis as a foundation, organising discussions between members of the policy group and plan meetings with policymakers to introduce the Renewable Carbon concept.

Additional working groups have been created, one with a focus on communication, the other looking at the development of a renewable carbon label. In early September, a renewable carbon community will be launched as a starting point for even more interaction between the members, to discuss strategies, create new value chains and start project consortia.

The Renewable Carbon Initiative (RCI) is a dynamic and ambitious group of interested parties. Membership numbers have now more than doubled since the launch almost a year ago, with RCI now boasting 25 members, 6 partners and over 200 supporters. It welcomes all companies that are on the way to transform their resource base from fossil to renewable.

More information:
Renewable Carbon Initiative
Source:

nova-Institut für politische und ökologische Innovation GmbH für RCI

08.07.2021

ECHA: Candidate List updated with eight hazardous chemicals

Some of the newly added substances are used in consumer products such as cosmetics, scented articles, rubber and textiles. Others are used as solvents, flame retardants or to manufacture plastics products. Most have been added to the Candidate List because they are hazardous to human health as they are toxic for reproduction, carcinogenic, respiratory sensitisers or endocrine disruptors.

Companies must follow their legal obligations and ensure the safe use of these chemicals. They also have to notify ECHA under the Waste Framework Directive if their products contain substances of very high concern. This notification is submitted to ECHA’s SCIP database and the information will later be published on the Agency’s website.

Some of the newly added substances are used in consumer products such as cosmetics, scented articles, rubber and textiles. Others are used as solvents, flame retardants or to manufacture plastics products. Most have been added to the Candidate List because they are hazardous to human health as they are toxic for reproduction, carcinogenic, respiratory sensitisers or endocrine disruptors.

Companies must follow their legal obligations and ensure the safe use of these chemicals. They also have to notify ECHA under the Waste Framework Directive if their products contain substances of very high concern. This notification is submitted to ECHA’s SCIP database and the information will later be published on the Agency’s website.

Background
The Candidate List includes substances of very high concern that may have serious effects on our health or the environment. These substances may be placed on the Authorisation List in the future, which means that companies would need to apply for permission to continue using them. The Candidate List has now 219 entries – some of these cover groups of chemicals so the overall number of impacted chemicals is higher.
 
Under the REACH Regulation, companies may have legal obligations when their substance is included – either on its own, in mixtures or in articles – in the Candidate List. Any supplier of articles containing a Candidate List substance above a concentration of 0.1 % weight by weight has to give sufficient information to their customers and consumers to allow safe use.
 
Importers and producers of articles containing a Candidate List substance have six months from the date of its inclusion in the list (8 July 2021) to notify ECHA. Suppliers of substances on the Candidate List (supplied either on their own or in mixtures) have to provide their customers with a safety data sheet.
 
As of 5 January 2021, suppliers of articles on the EU market containing Candidate List substances in a concentration above 0.1% weight by weight must notify these articles to ECHA’s SCIP database. This duty comes from the Waste Framework Directive.
 
More information on these obligations and related tools are available here.

Source:

European Chemicals Agency

VDMA: Mask production: Nothing runs without textile machinery (c) VDMA Textilmaschinen
21.07.2020

VDMA: Mask production: Nothing runs without textile machinery

  • Protective masks, everyday masks, disinfecting wipes and surgical gowns are goods in demand in times of corona.
  • In their manufacture, textile machines are at the beginning of the production chain.

The production of the textile raw material is the first step of the usually multi-stage production processes. Members of the VDMA Textile Machinery Association are at the beginning of this technological chain.

The production of protective masks starts with the manufacture of the filter material, which for surgical masks as well as FFP2 and FFP3 respirator masks consists of fine-pored nonwoven fabric to intercept coronaviruses. In addition to the systems, machines and components used for this purpose, measurement and control technology ensures the highest quality of important parameters such as basis weight and air permeability. Nonwovens used for respiratory masks have to meet the same high-quality requirements as the masks – to ensure the protection of the mask wearer.

  • Protective masks, everyday masks, disinfecting wipes and surgical gowns are goods in demand in times of corona.
  • In their manufacture, textile machines are at the beginning of the production chain.

The production of the textile raw material is the first step of the usually multi-stage production processes. Members of the VDMA Textile Machinery Association are at the beginning of this technological chain.

The production of protective masks starts with the manufacture of the filter material, which for surgical masks as well as FFP2 and FFP3 respirator masks consists of fine-pored nonwoven fabric to intercept coronaviruses. In addition to the systems, machines and components used for this purpose, measurement and control technology ensures the highest quality of important parameters such as basis weight and air permeability. Nonwovens used for respiratory masks have to meet the same high-quality requirements as the masks – to ensure the protection of the mask wearer.

Members of the VDMA Textile Machinery Association have reacted to the new market requirements in a very short time and developed new technologies for knitted, warp knitted as well as woven mouth and nose masks that can be produced without the need for sewing. For surgical masks, FFP2 respirators and social distancing masks, a wide variety of other materials and combinations of materials are used (nonwovens, woven fabrics, knitted or warp knitted fabrics and laminates thereof). Elastic bands are required to wear the masks and several association members provide technologies for their production.

Materials for masks can be treated with textile chemicals to make them antiviral and antibacterial. For this purpose, the VDMA member companies offer application systems which apply the corresponding chemicals to fabric webs. As already mentioned, quality assurance is extremely important for medical products. For this purpose, member companies of the VDMA offer software systems with which each mask can be traced through the entire production process.

VDMA members also offer solutions for the assembly of respirator masks, some of which were developed at short notice. These solutions enable respirators to be produced that meet the relevant standards and the highest quality requirements of customers and market surveillance. This applies to systems for the production of surgical masks and FFP respirators. At the end of the production chain, machines are used to pack masks in single or multiple packs.

In pandemic times, the demand for protective gowns (so-called surgical gowns) also increases. The same applies to disinfecting wipes. For these textile products, too, VDMA members manufacture tailor-made machines for production through to packaging. The quality of the products is ensured by means of measurement and control technology.

In the wake of the corona crisis, VDMA Textile Machinery has launched a new series of web events called "Textile Machinery Webtalk". Here, experts from up to four VDMA member companies present their innovative technologies on a specific topic in a maximum of 90 minutes and are available to answer questions from participants. The presentations are held in English. Participation in the web events is free of charge.
Topics of the first two webtalks were:
"Technologies for the production of melt-blown nonwovens for respiratory protection masks (FFP masks and surgical masks)."
"Technologies for the production of respiratory protection masks (FFP masks and surgical masks)."

The format is well received. Around 180 people from more than 30 countries took part in the first two webtalks. With this format, the VDMA reaches both textile and nonwovens manufacturers who already manufacture these products and companies that want to invest in new business areas.

The next webtalk will take place on 23 July 2020 from 14.00 to 16.00 (CEST) on the current topic "Technology solutions to produce fully-fashioned community face masks." Experts from KARL MAYER, STOLL by KARL MAYER and Jakob Müller will be presenting their technologies for producing everyday textile masks to an international expert audience. Interested parties can register here.

Source:

VDMA Textilmaschinen

13.12.2019

NCTO Commentson the Administration’s Announced Phase One Deal on 301 Tariffs

The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO), representing the full spectrum of U.S. textiles from fiber though finished sewn products, provides initial comments on the Phase One deal on 301 tariffs reached between the United States and China today.

“We look forward to reviewing the details of the agreement as it becomes available, including the intellectual property enforcement mechanisms agreed to by both countries.  We have long supported the administration’s efforts to re-balance our trade relationship with China that has significantly eroded our U.S. manufacturing base for decades,” Kim Glas, President and CEO of the National Council of Textile Organizations said.

The proposed announcement means that 301 duties on textile inputs will remain at a 25 percent tariff. Meanwhile, penalty duties on finished apparel and textile products implemented on Sept. 1st will be reduced from 15 percent to 7.5 percent, and proposed duties on finished products set to be put in place on Dec. 15th will no longer go into effect.

The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO), representing the full spectrum of U.S. textiles from fiber though finished sewn products, provides initial comments on the Phase One deal on 301 tariffs reached between the United States and China today.

“We look forward to reviewing the details of the agreement as it becomes available, including the intellectual property enforcement mechanisms agreed to by both countries.  We have long supported the administration’s efforts to re-balance our trade relationship with China that has significantly eroded our U.S. manufacturing base for decades,” Kim Glas, President and CEO of the National Council of Textile Organizations said.

The proposed announcement means that 301 duties on textile inputs will remain at a 25 percent tariff. Meanwhile, penalty duties on finished apparel and textile products implemented on Sept. 1st will be reduced from 15 percent to 7.5 percent, and proposed duties on finished products set to be put in place on Dec. 15th will no longer go into effect.

“NCTO has strongly supported applying tariffs on finished products as key negotiating leverage since textile and apparel production is a key pillar of the Chinese manufacturing economy.  Finished apparel, home furnishings and other made-up textile goods equate to 93.5 percent of U.S imports from China in our sector, while fiber, yarn and fabric imports from China only represents 6.5 percent, according to government data.  Today’s announcement reduces tariffs on finished products at the same time it keeps tariffs in place on key inputs that aren’t made in the U.S. such as certain dyes, chemicals, and textile machinery. We believe a wiser approach would be to maintain penalty duties on finished Chinese products while reducing 301 duties on key inputs that are used by U.S. manufacturers. Doing so will maintain maximum leverage on China to reach a more comprehensive and enforceable intellectual property agreement, while reducing input costs for U.S. manufacturers.  As domestic textile companies fight to compete with China and their illegal trade practices, it is important that U.S. manufacturers should be the first to see penalty duties removed on inputs not made in the United States.

As we review this Phase One agreement, it is important that the administration strike the proper balance of maintaining its leverage with China by keeping duties on finished product until a final strong and enforceable deal with China is completed.  We look forward to reviewing and analyzing the deal in more detail.”

More information:
NCTO
Source:

NCTO

(c) TRSA
03.12.2018

All Twenty-three Angela Laundries Now Certified Hygienically Clean for Healthcare

Emphasis on Process, Third-party Validation and Outcome-based Testing

Angelica, one of the nation’s largest healthcare linen providers, now has 23 laundries that have earned the Hygienically Clean Healthcare certification. This is reflective of  their commitment to Best Management Practices (BMPs) in laundering as verified by on-site inspection and their capability to produce hygienically clean textiles as quantified by ongoing microbial testing. Angelica’s locations are throughout the United States, and the laundries now carrying the certification are located in Phoenix, AZ; Colton, Fresno, Los Angeles, Orange, Pittsburg, Pomona, and Sacramento, CA; Holly Hill and Safety Harbor, FL; Rockmart, GA; Chicago, IL; Somerville and Worcester, MA; Durham, NC; Henderson, NV; Batavia, NY; Lorain, OH; Pawtucket, RI; Columbia, SC; Ooltewah, TN; and Dallas and Houston, TX.

Emphasis on Process, Third-party Validation and Outcome-based Testing

Angelica, one of the nation’s largest healthcare linen providers, now has 23 laundries that have earned the Hygienically Clean Healthcare certification. This is reflective of  their commitment to Best Management Practices (BMPs) in laundering as verified by on-site inspection and their capability to produce hygienically clean textiles as quantified by ongoing microbial testing. Angelica’s locations are throughout the United States, and the laundries now carrying the certification are located in Phoenix, AZ; Colton, Fresno, Los Angeles, Orange, Pittsburg, Pomona, and Sacramento, CA; Holly Hill and Safety Harbor, FL; Rockmart, GA; Chicago, IL; Somerville and Worcester, MA; Durham, NC; Henderson, NV; Batavia, NY; Lorain, OH; Pawtucket, RI; Columbia, SC; Ooltewah, TN; and Dallas and Houston, TX.

The Hygienically Clean Healthcare certification confirms the organization’s continuing dedication to infection prevention, compliance with recognized industry standards and processing healthcare textiles using BMPs as described in its quality assurance documentation, a focal point for Hygienically Clean inspectors’ evaluation. The independent, third-party inspection must also confirm essential evidence that

  • Employees are properly trained and protected
  • Managers understand regulatory requirements
  • OSHA-compliant
  • Physical plant operates effectively

To achieve certification initially, laundries pass three rounds of outcome-based microbial testing, indicating that their processes are producing Hygienically Clean Healthcare textiles and diminished presence of yeast, mold and harmful bacteria. They also must pass a facility inspection. To maintain their certification, they must pass quarterly testing to ensure that as laundry conditions change, such as water quality, textile fabric composition and wash chemistry, laundered product quality is consistently maintained. Re-inspection occurs every two to three years.

This process eliminates subjectivity by focusing on outcomes and results that verify textiles cleaned in these facilities meet appropriate hygienically clean standards and BMPs for hospitals, surgery centers, medical offices, nursing homes and other medical facilities.
Hygienically Clean Healthcare certification acknowledges laundries’ effectiveness in protecting healthcare operations by verifying quality control procedures in linen, uniform and facility services operations related to the handling of textiles containing blood and other potentially infectious materials.

Certified laundries use processes, chemicals and BMPs acknowledged by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation, American National Standards Institute and others. Introduced in 2012, Hygienically Clean Healthcare brought to North America the international cleanliness standards for healthcare linens and garments used worldwide by the Certification Association for Professional Textile Services and the European Committee for Standardization.

Objective experts in epidemiology, infection control, nursing and other healthcare professions work with Hygienically Clean launderers to ensure the certification continues to enforce the highest standards for producing clean healthcare textiles.

“Congratulations to Angelica on their certifications,” said Joseph Ricci, TRSA president and CEO. “This achievement proves their commitment to infection prevention and that their laundries take every step possible to prevent human illness.”

Source:

TRSA

ROICA yarn (c) ROICA
ROICA yarn
01.10.2018

ROICA™ Joins FILO Speciality Yarn Fair in Milan

ROICA™ experts showcase the world-first ROICA Eco-Smart™ Family that offers 2 responsible made yarns: a GRS (Global Recycled Standard) version 3 certified yarn and the world’s first yarn awarded Cradle2Cradle Material Health Gold Level Certificate and Hohenstein Environment compatibility certification.
ROICA Eco-Smart™ Family is a range of the world's first responsibly made premium stretch fibers, which create ROICA™ smart yarns that offer sustainable solutions with impressive certifications:

ROICA™ experts showcase the world-first ROICA Eco-Smart™ Family that offers 2 responsible made yarns: a GRS (Global Recycled Standard) version 3 certified yarn and the world’s first yarn awarded Cradle2Cradle Material Health Gold Level Certificate and Hohenstein Environment compatibility certification.
ROICA Eco-Smart™ Family is a range of the world's first responsibly made premium stretch fibers, which create ROICA™ smart yarns that offer sustainable solutions with impressive certifications:

  • Global Recycled Standard (GRS) certified by Textile Exchange - ROICA™ constructed with more than 50% pre-consumer recycled content.
  • Cradle to Cradle Certified™ Gold Level for Material Health product and ingredients - ROICA™ yarn evaluated throughout the supply chain for lower impacts on human and environmental health. Striving toward eliminating all toxic and unidentified chemicals for a safe continuous cycle. Hohenstein Environment Compatibility Certificate - ROICA™ proudly breaks down without releasing harmful substances.

At the corporate level, ROICA™ has achieved the following certifications: Oeko Tex 100, ISO 14001:2004, ISO 9001:2008. Moreover, ROICA™ mills in Germany achieved the certification of ISO 50001:2001.
 

More information:
ROICA™ yarn
Source:

ROICA

Archroma breaks new ground with new aniline-free* indigo for denim
28.05.2018

Archroma breaks new ground with new aniline-free* indigo for denim

Archroma, a global leader in color and specialty chemicals, has presented an aniline-free* denim indigo dye at the recent Planet Textiles 2018 Conference in Vancouver, Canada. The brand new dye provides a non-toxic way to produce the traditional, iconic indigo blue that consumers associate with denim and jeans.
Currently, aniline impurities are an unavoidable element of producing indigo-dyed denim. Unlike other chemical impurities, aniline is locked into the indigo pigment during the dyeing process and therefore cannot be washed off the fabric.

Archroma, a global leader in color and specialty chemicals, has presented an aniline-free* denim indigo dye at the recent Planet Textiles 2018 Conference in Vancouver, Canada. The brand new dye provides a non-toxic way to produce the traditional, iconic indigo blue that consumers associate with denim and jeans.
Currently, aniline impurities are an unavoidable element of producing indigo-dyed denim. Unlike other chemical impurities, aniline is locked into the indigo pigment during the dyeing process and therefore cannot be washed off the fabric.

Scientific testing has shown that aniline impurities are toxic to humans, causing skin allergies, damage to major organs and genetic defects, as well as being linked to cancer. Aniline is also toxic to aquatic life, which is an issue as two thirds of the 400 metric tons of aniline waste on an annual basis ends up in the environment as wastewater discharge. The toxic chemical is therefore starting to feature on the restricted substance lists (RSL) of some major clothing brands and retailers. “We have tested denim garments and found that aniline concentrations are frequently higher than expected,” says Alexander Wessels, CEO, Archroma. “This could put some manufacturers over the limits agreed on their RSLs.”

True to its commitment to take on innovation challenges, Archroma decided to take a closer look at the issue with its R&D experts, and developed an alternative system that is aniline free*.
“At Archroma, we continuously challenge the status quo in the deep belief that we can make our industry sustainable,” continues Alexander Wessels. “By removing a hazardous impurity from the denim supply chain, we aim to protect the workers who create denim, the consumers who wear denim, and the environment with cleaner waterways.” The Denisol® Pure Indigo 30 dye is the latest in a long line of sustainable innovations for denim started in 2009. That year, Archroma introduced its ‘Advanced Denim’ technology which uses up to 90% less water during the dyeing process. “Being not indigo but sulfur based, ‘Advanced Denim’ itself was an aniline free solution too!”, adds Alexander Wessels. For designers and brand owners who long for authentic indigo inspiration, the new Denisol® Pure Indigo 30 now also makes it possible to produce indigo-dyed denim without high levels aniline impurities. Archroma successfully tested Denisol® Pure Indigo 30 at Absolute Denim mill in Thailand. “During the testing everything performed exactly the same as it would with conventional indigo,” says Vichai Phromvanich, Board Member, Absolute Denim. “There was just one important difference: no aniline.”

“We’ve had an overwhelming positive reaction from the industry in sneak previews and during the launch at Planet Textiles,” continues Alexander Wessels. “As a responsible industry leader, we believe it’s important to actively look for eco-advanced solutions that are attractive and at the same time cost-efficient for clothing brands, retailers and end-consumers.”

Archroma will make the Denisol® Pure Indigo 30 dye in the most sustainable way as possible. The new dye will be produced in Archroma’s facility in Pakistan, a plant that made the headlines in 2012 for being what Archroma believed to be the industry’s first zero liquid discharge plant.

Source:

EMG