ORSM'17 - Sustainability Advancements
in the Outdoor Market
BY KATHY SWANTKO
In the past 20 years, sustainability has become a driving issue in the outdoor market, creating the need to find a balance between developing innovative technical textiles to meet performance demands and fulfilling the demand for more sustainability in technical textiles. In addition, Millennials and Gen-Z’s are now the dominant consumer group, and want to know a “green” production story before making buying decisions.
The FabricLink Network looks at several companies exhibiting at the recent Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2017 that have integrated a sustainable message into innovative textile products targeted towards the outdoor market
Schoeller featured its 2019 Summer collection of upcycled fabrics with ECONYL® yarn, mulesing-free wool and PFC-free bio technologies based on renewable raw materials, such as bio foam.
Schoeller textiles manufactured with ECONYL® yarn, an Aquafil S.P.A. property, are genuinely upcycled from regenerated waste material. The ECONYL®Reclaiming Program reduces the worldwide quantity of waste by collecting regenerable material from waste disposal sites, as well as ocean water and reintroducing it into the production cycle. The resulting yarn in no way differs in quality and performances from conventional textiles. The Schoeller ECONYL® fabric family encompasses a complete package with diverse, exciting qualities such as ultra-light, bi-elastic schoeller®-dynamic (e.g., for windbreakers), very soft, fine schoeller®-dryskin (e.g., for high-tech sports) and a variety of light schoeller®-WB-400 weights.
Depending upon the requirements, these softshell fabrics are available with various natural fiber backings or as a doubleface with smooth, color-contrasting reverse in ECONYL® yarn. The special feature of this softshell is its complete sustainability; even the bio foam in the center is based on renewable raw materials. Water repellence is ensured by the new fluorocarbon-free ecorepel® Bio technology, also based on renewable raw materials.
Fiber & Yarn Products & the Poole Companyintroduced its new ECOSURE® BIOBLAST™, a new biodegradable polyester fiber made from 100% recycled PET bottles. As big brands and private labels address a growing need to be more sustainable from a recycled and bio-degradable perspective, Poole Company specialists have developed its ECOSURE® BIOBLAST™.
ECOSURE® BIOBLAST™ is a polymer-based nonwoven fiber that is not only made from recycled materials but is specifically designed to help break down more quickly under anaerobic conditions in a landfill. Third-party testing proved that ECOSURE® BIOBLAST™ fibers biodegrade at least 12 times faster over a year, compared to traditional polyester and other petroleum-based fibers. In addition, the fibers are soft, durable and strong, and have the same physical properties as polyester. ECOSURE® BIOBLAST™ is currently making its way into the denim market, working with Denim North America.
YKK is determined to meet the challenges of developing “greener” products for the planet. At Outdoor Retailer, YKK featured its NATULON® and Organic Cotton fastener series. For these product, the company integrated recycled / recyclable polyester and organic cotton fibers to help in reducing the consumption of virgin materials.
As part of its NATULON® Eco product family, YKK developed a line of sustainable zippers designed to meet the needs of those consumers utilizing a closed loop recycling program. The NATULON® brass zipper tapes are produced using a chemically recycled polyester (post consumer) that regenerates fiber material, using a methanolysis process. The process, in contrast to material recycling, gives the fiber virtually the same qualities as virgin polyester and preserves the virgin polyester’s superior strength and color fastness. The NATULON® tapes are ideal for denim applications and related materials.
DuPont Tate & Lyleshowcased many new innovations based on Susterra® propanediol, a pure bio-based, petroleum-free diol. Susterra® delivers high performance in a variety of polyurethane applications from footwear and waterproof films to artificial leather and coatings.Durable coatings and waterproof, breathable membranes made with Susterra® propanediol are manufactured through a proprietary fermentation process using plant-derived glucose instead of petroleum-based feedstocks. In addition to being renewably sourced, Susterra® is manufactured using a sustainable process that produces 50 percent less greenhouse gas emissions and consumes 42 percent less nonrenewable energy than equivalent petroleum-based diols.