After visiting the trade days 19-21 September we went home with an indication of the size of the organic part of the industry. Which is predominantly - a limited size.
Among the vast numbers of producers and suppliers, the organic proportion of the assortment was still niche-oriented.
By far at the majority of booth stands we had to specifically ask - and in most cases there was only a limited supply, often in development…
From the showroom in Hall 3 with cases of sustainability, you may get an idea about routes and directions for the sustainable thinking and development (besides of course certifications like OkoTex, BCI and GOTS, etc.) Main routes seems to be within
1- reduced consumption; ie. optimized processes and collect / recycle cutting residues etc.
2- recycled and/or new fibers; ie. materials developed from waste products, and/or new fibers, often adding new features
1- reduced consumption (collect and recycle materials)
A logical starting point for the industry is, of course, to limit waste from production, including collecting and recycling substances and materials.
Production is organized with reduced energy consumption, minimization and recycling of water and processes optimized with goals such as zero cutting waste. Surplus and waste are collected and recycled, including color separators so that repainting is minimized.
On the SmartCreation stand, recycled materials were shown with an example of final product from Fillippa K/Front Runners
2- recycling, waste and new fibers
One of the huge surprises was how far processing from waste and surplus production to fibers had come. A visit to the Japanese manufacturer StyleM was almost overwhelming, because it was silk quality fabric but based on plastic waste and shreddings. Unfortunately, the minimum quantities were also overwhelming ...
Constantly new fibers are being developed and at the PV fair we came across ”Orange Fiber” . As the name indicates, citrus-based fibers (from surplus production of juices and thus reuse of a waste product).
Sustainability requirements pave the way for experiments and productions based on alternative materials. Lyocell / Tencell is a newer, successful example of new fibers, extracted from fsc-certified wood quarry (beech tree and eucaluptus). However, the composition of the fibers provides unbelievably soft and comfortable material, comfortable to wear but at the same time with a unique absorption capacity that acts dehumidifying and thus bacteriostatic. On SMARTCreation, Portuguese RIOPELE kombinationer med TENCELL Refibra (Lyocell Tencell and recycled cotton).
At SmartCreation we also found CUPRO fibres, from AsahiKasei, demonstrated by a production from DRYKORN . CUPRO is a synthetic fiber derived from cotton in the form of cotton liners (cottonseed hair that cannot be used for spinning fibers, ie a waste product from production).
CUPRO spins thinner than other fibers and is therefore a soft and fine material resembling silk. Unlike silk, it can be washed and dried in a machine without damaging the fibers. Cupro also offers the ability to regulate body temperature and has antistatic effect.
However aside all the efforts in developing new production methods, upscaling recycling, new fibres and sustainable fabrics the overwhelming impression is, that the conventional part of the industry is very much still a life…