New Advancements in
Bio-Based Textile Materials
By Kathlyn Swantko
Both the textile industry and its consumers have become more aware of the significant environmental impact created during manufacturing and disposal of apparel and textile products. In response, the global apparel industry and the major fashion brands are incorporating sustainable strategies into their production supply chains to minimize the environmental impacts; lower water and energy use; and reduce carbon emissions and waste.
The textile industry is also developing unique bio-chemistries, and transitioning into biomass production. These bio-based raw materials are constructed from monomer-/polymer-based, or through nanotechnologies derived from living matter, utilizing biomass production processes. Going forward, this will continue the move to a circular-based economy, rather than today’s predominantly linear-based economy.
At Outdoor Retailer Snow Show 2023, several textile companies featured new bio-based textiles, sourced from plants, renewable agricultural, marine, and/or forestry materials.
eVent fabrics, building on its revolutionary technical 100% waterproof, windproof and air permeable membrane outdoor wear, introduced its new eVent® BIO fabric. eVent® BIO looks to the future of the planet while keeping the body dry and comfortable. Its new bio-based membrane technology uses sustainable materials to provide all-weather protection and performance suitable for any activity.
The eVent® BIO technology is made from the highly renewable castor bean to create a light, tough, and flexible membrane that provides protection against wind, rain, and snow in a highly breathable laminate. The recycled face and backing fabrics, paired with DWR technology creates a PFC-free 100% waterproof and windproof fabric technology.
The eVent® BIO series features a sustainable membrane technology that repels rain, wind, and snow, while offering a high Moisture Vapor Transmission Rate (MVTR). The laminates offer stretch comfort and a soft hand feel that is an ideal choice for a variety of activities and seasons. The eVent® BIO membrane is WP/Breathable, and 100% windproof.
Nicola Craig Hora, Singtex Brand Mgr., Tom & Kathy Swantko, and Tony
Wang, VP Global Mktg, Singtex, showing Singtex's new bio-based
Singtex Industrial Co., Ltd. used ORSS’23 to introduce its new relationship with Modern Meadow, a purpose-driven material science and biology company based in Nutley, NJ, with a mission to be a catalyst for both the wellness of people and the planet. Singtex also showcased the partners’ first development, a bio-based soybean- and protein-based waterproof/ breathable membrane material. The Modern Meadow and SINGTEX co-development will create innovative textile bio-materials, across a range of applications, starting with this sustainably produced, high-performance, waterproof membrane-based material for outdoor apparel.
Modern Meadow's proprietary protein-based technology, and SINGTEX’s know-how as a global manufacturer of eco-friendly and functional textiles, marries performance with sustainability through a variety of innovations free of solvents and free of PFAS (per- or poly-fluorinated alkyl substances). The bio-derived membrane-based material is engineered to bring the outdoor industry a sustainable solution that protects human health and the environment while delivering superior product performance through waterproofing, breathability, abrasion and durability.
"This is only the start of SINGTEX’s and Modern Meadow’s collaborative innovations,” said SINGTEX Chairman Jason Chen. “Together, we are excited to work towards unveiling our new environmentally sustainable bio-based product that is ready for the next generation of sustainability and high-performance textiles.”
WidePlus introduced its WH3.PRO Textile. This is WidePlus Textiles’ new-age fabric, and is made of 95% bio-based polyester/5% spandex with a high level of waterproof and breathability in 3-layers. Using high performance film, the fabric offers superior performance and a minimum of 25K mm H2O of waterproofness along with 40K g/m2/24hrs of breathability.
The lightweight 3-layer engineered laminated textile offers targeted breathability for high-intensity outdoor activewear and all-season expeditions. The 3-layer fabric has high breathability and high waterproof qualities, with a 10-micron lightweight PU membrane lamination.
Going forward, as consumer demands for environmentally-friendly products accelerates, these types of textile innovations will continue to be developed and advanced. The use of monomer- and polymer-based bio-engineered materials will have a major impact on the future of circular synthetic fiber production, and will deliver high-performing sustainable and recyclable materials, while creating a real-world impact on all apparel and textile supply chains.