Textile Technology section
Levi’s: collaboration for safer chemicals
To bring safer chemicals to the apparel industry, the apparel manufacturer Levi Strauss & Co. (Levi), San Francisco, CA/USA, collaborates with the testing service provider and research partner, Hohenstein Institute, Bönnigheim/Germany. The collaboration utilizes the Eco Passport by Oeko-Tex certification system in the supply chain.
Levi and Hohenstein both approach chemicals management from the perspective that safer inputs lead to safer outputs. Screened Chemistry, originated by Levi’s as an open source program others can adopt, scrutinizes chemical formulations to prevent potentially hazardous compounds from entering the apparel supply chain and identify safer alternatives. By screening emerging chemistries that are not yet covered by Manufacturing Restricted Substances Lists (MRSLs) Levi has created a more holistic approach to ensuring safe and responsible chemicals management.
Eco Passport by Oeko-Tex is an independent certification system for chemicals in the apparel, textile and leather industries. During a multi-stage process, Eco Passport analyzes whether each individual ingredient in a chemical product meets international statutory requirements and is not harmful to human health. On-site inspections can validate claims that suppliers are using safer and better chemistry, manufactured according to industry best practices.
The combined use of Screened Chemistry and Eco Passport complements the recognized standards agreed upon by the Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC) Roadmap to Zero initiative, an industry collaboration designed to drive the adoption of safer chemistry across the apparel supply chain.
Fare’: CRCC Certification
The first nonwoven geotextile CRCC certificate for the company Fare’ S.p.A. Synthetic Fiber Processing Machinery, Fagnano Olona/Italy, has been released by China authorities for PP based spunbond line.
CRCC Certification is mandatory for the export, sales and/or usage of railway products in the Chinese market. The governing authority for this certification is the China Railway Test & Certification Centre (CRCC).
The spunbond line has been supplied by the Italian company, confirming its top position in the construction of lines (spunbond and staple fiber) for the geotextile applications. Different kinds of spunbonds produced by the line have passed the certification at once. This spunbond is recognized to be the new standard for the PP nonwovens geotextile in China. The products from 100 - 1000 gsm have isotropic characteristics and tensile properties much higher than the former nonwovens utilized.
Lenzing: fully biodegradable fibers
The producer of cellulosic fibers, Lenzing AG, Lenzing/Austria, has received confirmation of the full biodegradability of its fibers in fresh water by the independent research laboratory Organic Waste Systems (OWS), Ghent/Belgium. The new and existing international certifications conducted by OWS and issued by TÜV Austria, Vienna/Austria, verify that Lenzing Viscose fibers, Lenzing Modal fibers and Lenzing Lyocell fibers are biodegradable in all natural and industrial environments: in the soil and compost as well as in fresh and in marine water.
The biodegradability of cellulosic products and the synthetic fiber polyester was tested in fresh water at OWS according to valid international standards, e.g. ISO 14851. At the end of the trial period, Lenzing wood-based cellulosic fibers, cotton and paper pulp were shown to be fully biodegradable in fresh water in contrast to synthetic polyester fibers.
Covestro: TPU films Oeko-Tex certified
Platilon thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) films from the specialty chemicals producer Covestro AG, Leverkusen/Germany, are good for many smart and pollution free textile applications. They are breathable, waterproof, tear resistant and skin friendly.
Several of these film products have recently been certified with Standard 100 by Oeko-Tex, which confirms their high level of product safety for consumers. The films were awarded certification for Product Class I. This applies to articles with direct skin contact for infants and young children up to 3 years of age.
Standard 100 by Oeko-Tex is a globally uniform, independent testing and certification system for textile raw materials, intermediate and end products at all stages of processing. The test criteria and limit values often go far beyond national and international specifications. The certification guarantees high and effective product safety.
Kelheim: more transparency in supply-chain
The cellulose fiber producer Kelheim Fibres GmbH, Kelheim/Germany, is joining the CanopyStyle initiative. The CanopyStyle initiative aims to make sure that no wood from ancient and endangered forests is used for the production of viscose fibers by seamlessly documenting the supply chain. The initiative is actively supported by numerous leading fashion brands such as H&M, Zara and Levi Strauss. As a European producer, Kelheim Fibres already meets the requirements of the strict EU Timber Regulation and exclusively uses wood pulp from sustainable forestry with either FSC or PEFC certification. Joining the CanopyStyle initiative is a logical next step which will deliver more transparency to customers and consumers.
The Lycra Company: Advanced Textile Innovation Center in China
The provider of fiber and technology solutions for the global apparel and personal care industries, The Lycra Company, Wilmington, DE/USA, (formerly the Apparel & Advanced Textiles business of Invista S.a.r.l., Wichita, KS/USA) officially opened its new Advanced Textile Innovation Center (ATIC) in Nanhai, Guangdong/China, on May 16, 2019. The new 4,500 m² research and development (R&D) laboratory, the company’s fourth, represents an increase in the company’s global R&D capabilities.
Scientists at the R&D center will help customers throughout Asia, as well as Western-based companies with local sourcing offices, create innovative fabrics and garments using The Lycra Company’s branded textile solutions, which include Lycra fiber, Lycra HyFit fiber, Coolmax fiber and Thermolite fiber. The research team will also engage with customers in opportunity identification, as well as the development and commercialization of new polymers, fibers and textile technologies.
In the ATIC real world manufacturing processes including knitting, weaving, dyeing and finishing can be simulated. In addition, the lab has garment engineering, fabric certification and analytical testing tools to help customers achieve desired performance attributes for their fabrics or garments.
Oeko-Tex: new regulations in force
After a transitional period, the new Oeko-Tex regulations of the Oeko-Tex Association, Zurich/Switzerland for all certification systems and services finally came into force on 1 April 2019. At the beginning of each year, the existing guidelines for the Oeko-Tex product portfolio are updated to reflect the latest scientific findings and industry trends. The most recent changes relate to the Eco Passport by Oeko-Tex Standard.
A free webinar with detailed information on the new regulations for 2019 is available at www.oeko-tex.com/webinare.
Intertextile Apparel: sustainable and functional fabric options
Over 3,000 exhibitors from more than 20 countries are joining this year’s Spring Edition of Intertextile Shanghai Apparel Fabrics from March 12-14, 2019, spanning a huge range of textile product categories, from fashion to technical innovation.
Comprehensive product zones will reflect demand for different products such as sustainable solutions, functional fabrics, digital printing, accessories and denim. With the added element of the fringe program, which will include seminars held by exhibitors, the fair offers a versatile experience for visitors with opportunities to learn more about the latest industry opinions and regulations.
The All About Sustainability zone houses environmentally-friendly textile products and innovations, and exhibitors who provide testing and certification services. The Functional Lab continues to bring fresh innovation to the fair. The Digital Printing Zone includes onsite demonstrations of direct-to-garment digital inkjet printing solutions, while Accessories Vision will comprise of over 450 exhibitors, including 13 new international exhibitors. Highlighted newcomers include the Korea International Trade Association, who will represent their members’ collections of buttons, lace, ribbons, embroidery, labels, rhinestones, beads, sequins and more.
The fair will be held concurrently with Intertextile Shanghai Home Textiles, Yarn Expo Spring, PH Value and CHIC.
For further information: www.intertextileapparel.com
GOTS: continued significant growth of certified facilities
In 2018, the number of facilities certified by the non-profit operating unit Global Standard gGmbH (GOTS, Global Organic Textile Standard), Stuttgart/Germany, showed an increase of 14.6% to 5,760 facilities. Certified facilities are now located in 64 countries around the globe.
GOTS is the stringent voluntary global standard for the entire post-harvest processing (including spinning, knitting, weaving, dyeing and manufacturing) of apparel and home textiles made with certified organic fiber (such as organic cotton and organic wool), and includes both environmental and social criteria. Key provisions include a ban on the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), highly hazardous chemicals (such as azo dyes and formaldehyde), and child labor, while requiring strong social compliance management systems and strict waste water treatment practices.
The progress is seen in both production and consuming regions. Countries and regions with the largest growth in percentage in 2018 in GOTS certification are: Bangladesh (+29%), North America (+25%), Pakistan (+23%) and South Korea (+23%). In terms of total numbers, the highest increase is reported from India (+315), followed by Bangladesh (+155) and Europe (+98).
OETI: new certificate for natural fiber products
The Institute for Ecology, Technology and Innovation GmbH (OETI), Vienna/Austria, has launched a new certificate for natural fiber products. “Inspected Quality” is a label which OETI has developed for products which are composed of 100% natural fibers, produced regionally and produced in an environmentally friendly way.
With this label, products are certified against the clearly defined quality and environmental criteria of the Inspected Quality guideline. Natural fibers include plant, animal and mineral fibers like i.e. cotton, flax, hemp, animal wool and hair and silk. The label is targeted at SMEs who want to illustrate the regional, eco-friendly and high quality character of their products.
The key to meeting the certification’s requirements is the implementation of an environmental and quality management system. This means: commitment to improving environmental performance and commitment to pollution prevention; investigation of the environmental aspects – both direct (i.e. waste water, emissions) and indirect (i.e. environmental performance of contractors and suppliers); definition of quality and environmental goals; risk management and quality control; and a transparent supply-chain.