Textile Technology section
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.
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.
SCTI: chemical companies unite to accelerate sustainability
Launched in October 2020, Sustainable Chemistry for the Textile Industry (SCTI) is an alliance of 7 leading chemical companies that strives to empower the textile and leather industries to apply sustainable, state-of-the-art chemistry solutions that protect factory workers, local communities, consumers and the environment.
All of the founding members of SCTI – Archroma Management LLC, Reinach/Switzerland, CHT Group, Tübingen/Germany, Huntsman Textile Effects, Singapore, Kyung-In Synthetic Corp. (KISCO), Seoul/Korea, Pulcra Chemicals GmbH and Rudolf Group, both Geretsried/Germany, and Tanatex Chemicals BV, Ede/Netherlands – have made substantial investments in sustainable solutions in recent years.
Specifically, SCTI will support brands, retailers and manufacturers of all sizes at every stage in their sustainability journey to achieve the highest levels of sustainability, by sharing members’ knowledge of chemistry and its application, and by providing training and tools to ensure stakeholders can adopt technologies and optimize processes.
SCTI is also developing a global harmonized sustainability standard for chemical products used in the industry, along with a supporting assessment tool that covers all aspects of the products, from hazards through to environmental, ecological and social impacts. The ultimate aim is to produce more sustainable products through cleaner and more transparent supply chains that use less water and energy and produce less emissions and pollution.
Photo: Rohit Aggarwal, SCTI Chairman and President of Huntsman Textile Effects
HKRITA: new direct-to-customer recycling system G2G
Sustainability plays an essential role in the work and purpose of many companies. The Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel (HKRITA), Hong Kong/China, demonstrates that it is possible to use fewer resources and repurpose old clothes by presenting the recycling model “Looop”.
This is the first retail model of the Garment to Garment Recycling System (G2G) and will be launched in one of the H&M stores in Stockholm/Sweden in October 2020.
G2G is a direct-to-customer recycling system. In the Stockholm G2G system the customers bring their old clothes which will then be broken down into fibers and yarns to become the raw material for new knitted clothes. Customers can watch the entire end to end process in real time in the store. The G2G system allows customers to take charge of the reuse of their own wardrobe. Thus sustainability can be personal.
HKRITA is actively continuing to research various forms of “Garment to Garment” recycling and repurposing. The original G2G project is in its 2nd phase. In this phase the system capacity is improved, the functionality is optimized and the various processes are automated.
The original G2G project was an award-winning project. It is an innovation and technology fund project, also sponsored by Novetex Textiles Ltd., Hong Kong/China and in collaboration with H&M Foundation, Stockholm/Sweden.
ISPO Munich: new hybrid concept
The international fair for sporting goods, ISPO Munich will take place from January 31-February 3, 2021, for the first time as a hybrid event that will be held both in-person in Munich/Germany and online.
The new concept marks the event’s systematic transformation into a platform and applies the broad range of digital expertise that the event has gained over the past 10 years. With the threat of travel restrictions looming over the trade fair, the digital elements will create the ideal basis for integrating global target groups: While representatives from European markets are generally expected to attend in person, the digital enhancements will enable an intercontinental audience to participate as well. Another new addition next year will be the digital integration of end consumers.
New participation options, new topics and expanded target groups are reflected in particular in the large number of physical and digital attendance options devoted to the focus topics of creativity and digitalization, health, and sustainability. In addition to product presentations in the trade fair halls, the event will focus on networking, matchmaking, knowledge transfer and innovations.
ISPO Munich will also include 2 single-day conference formats: Ispo Digitize Summit (February 1, 2021) and the Sports Tech World Series Conference (February 2, 2021).
Personal interaction on the exhibition grounds in Munich will remain the provision of the B2B audience. Exhibitors will have more flexibility as a result of the extension of deadlines and flexible cancellation terms. If needed, pre-built booths may be used in order to cost-effectively and efficiently participate in the trade fair.
Bremen Cotton Exchange: World Cotton Day
Stemming from a 2019 initiative of the African Cotton-4 countries Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad and Mali, World Cotton Day will take place on October 7, 2020. The event is organized by the World Trade Organization (WTO), Geneva/Switzerland, and is supported by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the International Trade Centre (ITC) and the International Cotton Secretariat (ICAC).
The Bremen Cotton Exchange, Bremen/Germany, actively supports World Cotton Day with cross-media coverage.
The aim of World Cotton Day is to highlight the global economic importance of cotton and to raise awareness of the raw material by recognizing the work of everyone involved in its cultivation, processing and trade. A wide variety of campaigns and events are taking place everywhere to draw attention to the importance of cotton and its possible uses.
Against the background of the current discussion on sustainability and sustainable consumption, the role of natural fibers is becoming even more important. Cotton is biodegradable and a renewable resource. It can be grown again and again in agriculture through cultivation in crop rotation. This secures incomes and enables efficient value creation within the global production and processing chain.
The videos can be found at: https://baumwollboerse.de/en/cotton-videos/
VDMA: webtalk on automation and digitalization in textile dyeing and finishing
The VDMA technology webtalk on October 6, 2020 focused on automation and digitalization in textile dyeing and finishing.
The textile industry faces enormous challenges including fashion trends, flexible production, rising costs, reduced prices, sustainability requirements, etc. To cope with these challenges and make reliable decisions, customers need automated processes, control systems and digitized data.
Axel Pieper of Brückner Textile Technologies GmbH & Co. KG, Leonberg/Germany, discussed the topic of digitalization and how it opens up completely new possibilities for increasing productivity, reducing the use of resources and improving quality.
Using the example of a stenter frame, Thomas Höpfl from Mahlo GmbH & Co. KG, Saal a.d. Donau/Germany, showed the possible savings and optimization potentials of data-controlled production.
Manfred Mentges from Sedo Treepoint GmbH, Mengerskirchen/Germany, talked about highly integrated systems from ERP level, linking to the MES systems, to the machine floor. His company offers solutions for process management, color management, printing and energy management, establishing IoT/Industry4.0 systems.
After the presentations, the 3 experts were available to answer the participants' questions.
CHT: sustainable product range for a circular economy
The Cradle to Cradle approach provides a trend-setting concept in the textile world. Right from the start products shall be created which are suited for biological (compostable) or technical (recyclable) circulation.
The producer of specialty chemicals CHT Group, Tübingen/Germany, focuses on the development of dyes, pigments and auxiliaries for textile finishing which can be decomposed without leaving any residues and easily returned to the natural circulation.
For textiles which are to be developed and produced strictly according to the Cradle to Cradle principle, CHT offers a comprehensive, constantly growing, compostable range for textile finishing. With 57 textile auxiliaries and 32 dyes/pigments CHT has succeeded in achieving the highest rating, the Platinum Material Health Certificate of the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute, Amsterdam/Netherlands.
These products help textile manufacturers to achieve the Platinum rating in Material Health, one of 5 categories of the Cradle to Cradle Certified product standard on finished textiles. This contributes to giving textiles a positive ecological footprint.
Kelheim Fibres: nomination for the sustainability heroes award
The aim of an increasing number of stakeholders is to help to reduce the use of crude oil-based plastics in single-use products and their negative impact on the environment.
The German Association for Sustainability (DQS), Frankfurt/Germany, and the German Association for Quality (DGQ), Frankfurt/Germany, will present the “sustainability heroes award” to pioneers in sustainability online on November 2-4, 2020.
The cellulose fiber producer Kelheim Fibres GmbH, Kelheim/Germany, is a finalist for this award. The company has secured the selection with its innovative plant-based fibers that can contribute to a plastic-free future in absorbent hygiene products such as feminine hygiene or incontinence products.
During the production process viscose fibers can be precisely modified and functionalized. Thus they can be adapted to meet the exact requirements of the single components of a hygiene product in terms of their liquid management properties and match the performance of synthetic fibers.
The company combines sustainably manufactured and completely biodegradable fibers with the technical performance of synthetic fibers. The aim is to help to reduce the use of crude oil-based plastics in single-use products and their negative impact on the environment.
Lenzing: founding partner of the Renewable Carbon Initiative
To speed up the transition from fossil carbon to renewable carbon for all organic chemicals and materials is the aim of 11 leading companies from 6 countries founded the renewable carbon initiative (RCI) in September 2020 under the leadership of nova-Institute, Hürth/Germany. The RCI addresses the core problem of climate change, which is extracting and using additional fossil from the ground.
Within the RCI the producer of cellulosic fibers, Lenzing AG, Lenzing/Austria, will especially focus on further greening up the textile and nonwoven businesses.
By 2050, fossil carbon shall be completely substituted by renewable carbon which is carbon from alternative sources.
The main avenues on which the initiative wants to deliver change are threefold. One, the initiative strives to create cross-industry platforms that will demonstrate feasibility of renewable carbon in tangible activities. One main target will be to advocate for legislation, taxation and regulation changes to give renewable carbon a level commercial playing field to play on. Finally, the 3rd avenue will be to create a wider pull for sustainable options by raising awareness and understanding of renewable carbon level amongst the business community and the wider public.
The aim is renewable energy and renewable carbon for a sustainable future