Textile Technology section


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Andritz/Suominen: Expansion of cooperation

The international technology group Andritz AG, Graz/Austria, supports the nonwovens producer Suominen Corp., Helsinki/Finland, in reaching its goal to be a leader in innovation and sustainability for nonwovens.
Over the years, Suominen has modernized several machines and lines to a higher performance level. Andritz has supplied and upgraded several spunlace lines and most recently supplied a Wetlace line for production of high-quality products such as flushable wipes, baby wipes, personal care and household wipes.
In addition, Suominen and Andritz signed a service agreement for Metris Remote Assistance, which allows the Suominen equipment operators to have full online support from the Andritz process experts.


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More information: Andritz AG Suominen nonwovens

Freudenberg: re-using silk textiles for thermal insulation

The producer of technical textiles Freudenberg Performance Materials Holding SE & Co. KG, Weinheim/Germany, and the textile company Ratti, Guanzate/Italy, have been working together on sustainability projects since the start of 2020. The first fruit of this collaboration is a process for re-using silk textiles and use it for the manufacturing of high-performance thermal insulation, which Ratti is currently launching onto the market. As a production partner in this project, Freudenberg is contributing to the sustainable development of the clothing and textile industry.
Ratti re-uses silk textiles (outer fabrics/clothing) and Freudenberg uses this to produce thermal insulation made from 70% re-used silk, which Ratti then markets. In addition, Freudenberg´s solvent-free manufacturing process for the waddings significantly reduces the environmental impact of the new process.


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Messe Frankfurt: Texpertise Network continues to focus on SDGs

The UN Decade of Action was proclaimed at the beginning of 2020. The global community has 10 years from 2020 to achieve the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to which the United Nations member states have committed themselves in Agenda 2030.
Since 2019, the Texpertise Network of Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH, Frankfurt/Germany, has been working with the Conscious Fashion Campaign and the United Nations Office for Partnerships (UNOP), New York, NY/USA, to bring the Sustainable Development Goals to all of their 58 textile events in the network worldwide. Numerous measures have already been implemented. Others are imminent.
From December 1-30, 2020, the Texpertise Network is taking part in the virtual learning experience “Discover the SDGs”, which was initiated by the Conscious Fashion Campaign in collaboration with the UNOP. The aim of the event is to strengthen the knowledge and commitment within the apparel industry that is needed to further support the Decade of Action to deliver the SDGs. One component of the event is a virtual and interactive exhibition on the 17 goals, as well as on-demand discussions with industry leaders, United Nations representatives and advocates of the United Nations.
“Discover the SDGs” has been online at http://www.discoverthesdgs.com since December 1, 2020 and will continue until December 30, 2020. Registration and participation are free of charge.


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Lenzing: sustainability champion for global climate and forests stewardship

The producer of cellulosic fibers, Lenzing AG, Lenzing/Austria, has been recognized by the global environmental non-profit organization Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), London/UK, securing a place on its prestigious ‘A List’ for tackling climate change, as well as acting to protect forests. Through significant demonstrable action in these areas, Lenzing is leading on corporate environmental ambition, action and transparency worldwide.
CDP’s annual environmental disclosure and scoring process is widely recognized as the highest standard of corporate environmental transparency. This year, more than 5,800 companies were scored based on data submitted through CDP’s questionnaires.
Lenzing became the world’s first producer of wood-based cellulosic fibers making a strategic commitment to cut its CO2 emissions per ton of product by 50% by 2030. This target has been scientifically verified and approved by the Science Based Targets initiative. Furthermore, Lenzing aims for net-zero emissions by the year 2050.

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More information: Lenzing AG Sustainability Awards

HKRITA: recycling by hydrothermal separation

For the recycling of blended textiles the hydrothermal separation system, the Green Machine, was developed by the Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel (HKRITA), Hong Kong/China, in collaboration with the H&M Foundation, Stockholm/Sweden. The small-scale Green Machine was set up in Hong Kong in 2018 and now the first industrial scale system will be operational in PT Kahatex, Jakarta/Indonesia.
Garments are often made from a blend of different fibers to improve performance and comfort and to reduce cost. Yet this makes it difficult to recycle the blended materials. The result is most of these end up in landfills and incinerators. The hydrothermal separation system makes recycling of blended materials feasible by selectively decomposing cotton into cellulose powders, thereby enabling the separation of the polyester fibers from the blends. The whole process uses only heat, water and citric acid, a naturally occurring chemical found in lemon juice.
The processing capacity of the first industrial scale Green Machine is about 1.5 tons/day. PT Kahatex will start by using waste (fibers, yarn and fabric) from manufacturing as feedstock to produce garments. This pilot operation builds on the research in the separation of post-consumer apparel carried out in Hong Kong. The PT Kahatex operation will help optimize the parameters of the system.
The first fashion brand to use textile materials made from the Green Machine in their collection is Monki. The brand has announced its ambition to go ‘full circle’ in terms of sustainability, using the Green Machine system to create its first collection using recycled polyester from garments.
(photo: H&M)


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More information: HKRITA

Kelheim Fibres: partner of ETP in strategic programs

The manufacturer of viscose specialty fibers Kelheim Fibres GmbH, Kelheim/Germany, has partnered with the European Technology Platform for the Future of Textiles and Clothing (ETP), Brussels/Belgium, in 2 strategic programs: “Bio-Based Fibers” and “Circular Economy”.
Against the backdrop of the increasingly important sustainability debate, fundamental changes inside the textile supply chain are taking place. The two 3-year ETP programs “Bio-Based Fibers” and “Circular Economy” are a clear response to this. The goal is to bring key players from industry and science together to develop a long-term strategy to actively shape the sustainable realignment of the European textile industry.
Kelheim’s fibers are made from the renewable material wood and they are fully biodegradable at the end of their product lifecycle. As an alternative to crude-oil based materials, these fibers are becoming increasingly popular in various applications. Part of the reason for this is the fact that the specialty fibers can be functionalized during the production process to give them the exact properties that are required for different end uses. In terms of performance, they can keep up with synthetic materials.


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More information: Kelheim Fibres

Coats: Elcatex optimizes garment costings with GSDCost

As a part of its sustainability and innovation strategy, the vertically-integrated textile manufacturer Elcatex Group, San Pedro Sula/Honduras, chose GSDCost from the provider of software solutions Coats Digital Plc., Uxbridge/UK, to quantify and optimize manufacturing methods and garment costing.
As part of their innovation strategy, Elcatex made the decision to digitalize their garment costing process and standardize their operation in order to reach optimal costing and achieve a high level of manufacturing. Considering the wide range of products manufactured in the factory, it is important for the company to have accurate and consistent information within their business in order to make decisions related to time, cost, capacity and compliance.
GSDCost is a fact-based garment costing and method standardization solution, to be implemented in the industrial engineering department. It is designed to help establish and optimize standard production time, using standard motion codes and pre-determined times.



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More information: Coats

Elevate: 2020 Sustainability Report shows progress on UN initiatives

The provider of advanced textile solutions, Elevate Textiles Inc., Greensboro, NC/USA, has released its 2020 Sustainability Report. The report serves as the first corporate report for Elevate and the 10th annual report to include the manufacturer of sewing and embroidery threads and technical textiles, American & Efrid LLC (A&E), Mt. Holly, NC/USA, as a brand.
Within the report, Elevate outlines progress towards its 2025 Sustainability Goals, focused on sustainably sourced fibers, reduced water consumption and reduction in greenhouse gases. As the first annual Communication on Progress for the UN Global Compact and CEO Water Mandate, 2020’s report shares the company’s performance against goals outlined within its environmental program, the Ten Threads of Sustainability.
Progress and achievements in the report include:
• 7.7% reduction of absolute greenhouse gas from 2016-2019
• 7.5% reduction of absolute global water consumption since 2016
• increased water recycling by 65% since 2016
The report emphasizes the company’s commitment to the principles of the UN Global Compact and the Sustainable Development Goals, and to contributing towards many other efforts including the ZDHC Program.



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Edana: discussion on a circular economy for nonwovens

With over 100 delegates in attendance, the 1st edition of the new Circular Nonwovens Forum, held on October 13, 2020, successfully created a new platform for discussion on sustainability and circularity within the nonwovens sector.  
Hosted as an online event by the association serving the nonwovens and related industries, Edana, Brussels/Belgium, the forum opened with a keynote speech from Paola Migliorini, the Deputy Head of Unit for Sustainable Production, Products & Consumption on the European Commission’s new Circular Economy Action plan. It was followed by a range of insightful presentations and discussions covering initiatives to address the circularity of AHP plastic waste, the biodegradability and compostability of nonwovens, material innovations, and developments in renewable polypropylene. The presentations were followed by well attended breakout sessions allowing for participants to engage with the speakers.
This forum is planned to be held annually with the next edition scheduled to be held in Brussels in September 2021.


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More information: Edana circular economy

Lenzing: sustainable wet wipes move away from fossil-based synthetic fibers

Wet wipes can pollute the environment because the greater share of the wipes contain fossil-based synthetic fibers. During the Sustainable Retail Summit in Berlin/Germany in October 2020, fiber manufacturers introduced the environmental initiative #ItsInOurHands.
The 2019 survey of MarketAgent, Baden/Austria, pointed out that only around 16% of consumers suspect fossil-based plastic in wet wipes. Moreover, the study underlined the great impact of creating awareness of the issue: 9 out of 10 participants would change their purchasing behavior if their favorite product contained fossil-based plastic fibers. With this in mind, the #ItsInOurHands Initiative shares tips for a sustainable life style, publishes interviews with experts from all over the world and informs about sustainable and biodegradable alternatives via its own website, social media channels and classical media communications.
The producer of cellulosic fibers, Lenzing AG, Lenzing/Austria, supports brand manufacturers and the retail industry with the development of sustainable wet wipes. As an ingredient brand, Veocel also offers orientation: Currently there more than 20 Lenzing-certified baby, care and hygiene products featuring the Veocel brand marketed around the world, which helps consumers to make a more conscious product choice. These co-operations are based on stringent certification standards. Both brand manufacturers and the retail industry use the Veocel logo only in connection with certified products made of biodegradable cellulose fibers.

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More information: Lenzing AG Sustainability wet wipes