Cleaner and greener: embracing a sustainable future

Sustainability

Sustainability is more than just a principle, it’s a frame of mind. The textile and manufacturing industry is cognisant of the role sustainable development plays in informing future innovation. As the industry seeks to adapt to the gradations of conscious consumerism, the value of eco-efficiency and circularity in the supply chain is integral in conserving precious resources and energy, signalling a shift from raw materials towards renewable, environmentally-friendly textiles.

Revolutionising durability: a thriving CORDURA® Brand vision


Images taken from CORDURA® brand sustainability presentation PCIAW seminar series November 2020. Any, third party logos and imagery used herein remain the property of their respective owners and are used with permission. © 2020 INVISTA.

Cindy McNaull is an innovative driving force, thought leader and “durable ambassador” at INVISTA’s CORDURA® Brand. As CORDURA® Brand Business Development Director, Cindy has harnessed over 25 years of passion and experience within speciality chemical, textile and non-woven industries.

She has led the expansion of the brand from its heritage in military and outdoor applications, to today’s durable performance textile powerhouse offering advanced fabric solutions in workwear, sportswear, denim and other lifestyle and ready-to-wear applications. Cindy is renowned for her creativity, connectivity and dynamic thought process. She has spearheaded innovations and collaborations with leading brands and supply chain partners whilst recently championing the brand’s strong growth in the softer side of durability, with the introduction of durable knit technologies which led to numerous ISPO Textrend category award-winning fabrics in 2020. Cindy’s dedication to advancing the CORDURA® Brand and the performance fabric industry is unwavering. She continues to lead impactful business development initiatives that take the CORDURA® brand’s 50+ year heritage into new, innovative spaces, including diversified sustainable platforms for gear and apparel. As the CORDURA® Brand continues to expand its innovative fabric portfolio, Cindy remarks, “It’s been an exciting journey that could not have been made possible without our loyal brand customers, collaborative partners and durably passionate global CORDURA® Brand team – and we’re not stopping anytime soon.”

PCIAW® Editor, Declan Osborn, was honoured to join the renowned Cindy McNaull, CORDURA® Brand Business Development Director, for an insightful discussion on the future of sustainable practices at the CORDURA® Brand.

The PCIAW® is proud to unite with CORDURA® Brand to promote a brighter, more sustainable future for all, strengthening what is already an enduring and positive partnership.

How does the CORDURA® Brand policy approach and address the wide-ranging issue of sustainability?

For CORDURA® brand, sustainability has never been just a fashionable word. It’s been at our core since CORDURA® was founded over 50 years ago, when we were designing apparel and gear products with longevity, versatility, durability and performance in mind. Our sustainable policy is based on our brand’s enduring, proven and tested, proposition: durability. It defines CORDURA® at every level. For us, it means constantly innovating whilst maintaining a drive towards a circular economy by keeping products and materials in use for as long as possible.

What are the wider trends taking place around sustainable products and fabrics, and how have you responded to these?

Having conducted our own cross-market research on this issue at ISPO Munich, we understand how complex sustainability is; it means different things, to different people, in different countries, sectors, life stages and corporate DNAs. Our brand and mill partners tell us that there is greater interest in the subject than ever before. Reflecting end-consumer interest, the supply chain has become more well informed. The commercial realities are also becoming clearer. Mirroring this, there is a more pressing need for companies to communicate what sustainable activity they are taking or planning. For example, we are encouraging our CORDURA® supply chain to share their accreditations – like bluesign® and Global Recycled Standard (GRS) – and to design products and systems with recycling in mind. We strive for durability throughout – from top to toe – and consider the challenges of recyclability.

How has sustainability affected your manufacturing and supplying process?

It has led us to think more deeply about how and where we can work to reduce our impact on the environment by building sustainability into everything we do. It’s an ongoing process and part of a larger care, growth and flexible change agenda within the textile industry. We are proud to have many partners who are committed to sustainability within the network of CORDURA® authorised mills. For example, Artistic Milliners, a key partner for CORDURA® Denim, are working towards zero liquid discharge by looping 2 million gallons of water consumed daily back into their manufacturing systems. They are also investing in wind power by providing clean energy to the national grid in Pakistan as well as solar panels to support energy requirements for a new Eco Tech facility.

Everest Textiles, another key partner for CORDURA® Naturalle technology, operates a “7R programme” in all of its facilities to encourage waste recycling and reuse. Their on-going investments in alternate energy sources have enabled them to save US$1.95m per year through related processes, like fabric dyeing.

How has sustainability impacted the consumer’s choice of fabrics?

CORDURA® brand believes that the link between durability and sustainability has been significantly reinforced. Durability itself has become more important. People are realising that the end-benefit of long-lasting products is that they need to be replaced less often, which means less use of resources. It’s also making people think differently about the selection and purchase of their clothes. Consumers want to feel good about their purchase. Many people we work with have great affection and personal stories about their gear made with CORDURA® fabrics. They keep that favourite jacket, work jean, or rucksack. These items become a part of their lives and are seen as dependable, reliable – and indeed sustainable.

Which factors do you consider important in regards to sustainability when formulating a company product? 

To reinforce the relationship between sustainability and durability, we make CORDURA® fabrics designed to withstand the test of time. Their unparalleled enduring qualities include high tensile strength, abrasion resistance and tear resistance. These are fabrics built to last with a legacy of proven performance – and dependability. 

How does your company see the issue of sustainability affecting your business and the professional clothing market in 2021? 

When it comes to sustainability, we all have a responsibility to do what we can. Consumers are increasingly waking up to this reality and demanding change. We believe CORDURA® fabric has something valuable to offer and feel it is right to share our activities. As we move into 2021, we will see more research into sustainable materials and technologies, as well as issues around circularity. As we are not the end-makers of consumer products, it is even more important that we support our brand partners’ sustainability strategies, communications and actions. 

For us, 2021 will continue to be about taking a holistic perspective, encouraging transparency and making sustainability real. 

We would like to thank the talented Cindy McNaull for a thoughtful and engaging interview with PCIAW®VOICE. 

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Calvelex: paving the way for corporate sustainability

In order to support a healthy, circular supply chain, recyclable materials which ensure longevity and ethical responsibility must be inserted back into the market.

As a conscious, social responsibility for eco-efficiency extends into all facets of the industry, corporate sustainability stands as the forefront of this collective effort.

By minimising carbon footprint, reducing waste, and promoting resource efficiency, corporate sustainability can create a valuable stakeholder experience in an overarching, multinational business like Calvelex.

Calvelex is proud to represent the finest quality tailoring, from a range of premium designers and retailers

With over 30 years of experience, Calvelex masterfully covers the entire supply chain, from sourcing, procurement, manufacturing, stockholding and delivery. It has a globally renowned reputation for innovative collaboration with clients across the world, upholding a sustained commitment to striving for excellence. Calvelex offers a comprehensive service of range development, independent testing, stock holding and delivery.

Calvelex is committed to promoting environmental wellbeing, optimising the integrated management of water, energy and waste. State-of-the-art technological innovation blends renewable energy sources, including sustainable solar panels and fitted LED lights. As an industry titan, Calvelex is dedicated to advancing resource efficiency in its modernisation drive of conscious and measured consumption. Calvelex is a proud member of SEDEX, a leading ethical trade service provider advancing working conditions in supply chains across the world.

The Calvelex vision grounds a beneficial and positive work experience, supporting the professional and personal wellbeing of its employees. As part of its integrated work safety policy, Calvelex has incorporated a biennial SMETA audit to regulate working conditions and health and safety. Calvelex has invested in continually training and upskilling workers in order to foster a powerful work ethic among employees.

As consumer attitudes are evolving and becoming desirous of transparency in clothing supply chains, Calvelex implicitly recognises the need to integrate a principle of ethics, social responsibility and smart environmental practices into a uniquely fortified sustainability policy.

Calvelex has been at the forefront of socially conscious practices, prioritising the recycling of garbage with deposits of various colours to correctly manage a system of waste separation. It has successfully implemented a system of monitoring noise and illumination, focusing on conscious consumption across the board.

Calvelex has championed eco-efficient solutions for over a decade, synthesising with patterns of consumer demand and behaviour. It has created a dedicated team to source reusable ecological materials, including fabrics and trims. 

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Project Plan B: the drive for circularity

As companies implement visions of social responsibility in the supply and demand circle by fortifying foundational structures, a transparent and sustainable benchmark is set for future endeavours.

Tim Cross

The PCIAW® was joined by the Director of Project Plan B, Tim Cross, to discuss the future of sustainable textiles solutions in the workwear and PPE markets. Project Plan B’s full manufacturing service offers a comprehensive circularity cycle – from designing recyclable garments, to end of life recycling.

What are Project Plan B’s thoughts on the disposal of PPE as we head into the second wave of Covid-19?

With the second wave of COVID-19 approaching, it is now more important than ever to ensure that PPE is recycled rather than placed in landfill or left to litter the streets and countryside. If we implement good decisions and put measures in place now, we can prevent a waste epidemic.

Does end of life recycling still have a place in PPE, especially now that we are looking at a huge surge in the production of face masks and other protective wear?

Absolutely. The more PPE we can recycle the better. An industry- wide change toward a circular economy is urgently needed and PPE is no exception. There needs to be more opportunity for innovation that encourages sustainable PPE.

Can you explain a little more about the closed-loop system and how this specifically relates to face masks and PPE?

The closed-loop system starts with a product, which at the end of its useful life is recycled back into another useful product, thus removing the need for waste at the end-of-life stage. Face masks and PPE can be made in such a way that makes them recyclable. Once they are at the end of their use, they can be collected back into a central point to be processed and recycled back into raw materials. These raw materials can be used to make new

PPE and face masks once again. By continually recycling, we can supply demand whilst avoiding a huge waste problem.

Can you tell us a little more about the in-house technology previously hinted at?

We will be able to give more details in due course but at the moment this information is subject to non-disclosure agreements. The principles are that we are about to return polyester to its original form and spin new yarn from old!

Moving forward, how can companies and customers continue to consciously recycle during Covid-19, particularly relating to the disposal of garments and face masks?

Moving forward, companies can keep sustainability in mind during COVID-19 by making positive choices: choose suppliers that provide products made from recycled materials, which will be collected back in and recycled again. The end of life plan is central to the success of the circular system, without it, PPE and face coverings will simply end up in a landfill. When considering a new product, always ask about end- of-life. Raise expectations.

The technology is in place: it is now time for everyone to make a positive decision to choose responsibly. By designing recyclability from the outset, there is a chance that the garment can be recycled, even if you are not using the Plan B solution.

[boxout] Read the PCIAW® Industry News article, “Project Plan B explains recycling end of life garments” by clicking here.

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Altınyıldız: crafting sustainable fabrics

Altınyıldız began its journey to becoming a world-renowned Turkish fabric producer in 1952. 

Today, Altınyıldız is one of the five largest integrated facilities of woollen cloth production in the world, crafting a legacy of bespoke, top-quality, sustainable fabric. In 1992, Altınyıldız became the first textile company in Turkey to be awarded the ISO 9001 Quality Certificate.

Altınyıldız has been prepared to engage customer demand for ethically produced, environmentally-friendly fibres, by investing in reliable business partners across the world. As a leading fabric producer, Altınyıldız incorporates materials which strictly adhere to the responsible wool standard, as well as notable fibres like the recycled polyester blend. The production and innovation of sustainable fibres is particularly prescient as it forms the basis of the professional clothing manufacturing process in the entire world. Fatma Atay, Textiles Sales and Marketing V. Director, says: “The sustainable production of clothing is the only way to secure a lasting future for all living species on our planet.” Altınyıldız has been recognised for its contribution to the development of the industry, committing to reflecting accountability and sustainability to its customers and wider society.

Altınyıldız boldly champions a vision of creativity and functionality, optimising client-customer relations to ensure that responsibility is at the forefront of its policies. The company endeavours to showcase an ethical and transparent approach to business partners across the world. To reduce adverse effects on the environment, Altınyıldız has initiated projects requiring less raw materials, whilst curbing its energy and water consumption. Since 2011, Altınyıldız has carefully monitored its carbon footprint for all of its production and administrative activities at Altınyıldız Tekstil ve Konfeksiyon AŞ., seeking to substantially curb its emissions and reduce pollution. It sets environmental targets systematically by evaluating source allocation; carefully altering chemical use and production methods by investing in bold wool-dyeing techniques.

Altınyıldız goes beyond compliance with environmental law and regulations, seeking to raise awareness and implement eco-efficiency in all aspects. Raw materials and auxiliary products are utilised with efficiency and environmental impact is closely monitored through the Environmental Management System. 

Altınyıldız

Madeira: maintaining an ecological balance

How often do we reflect on the origins of our textiles, the manufacturing process, and the use of chemicals, which pollute local water sources and negatively impact the environment? Despite the contemporary regard for sustainability, these questions pose significant challenges which are yet to be addressed.

The Madeira brand is diligently enhancing its sustainable business practices, promoting conscious consumerism and championing an innovative future. For over 100 years, Madeira has pioneered exclusive embroidery threads using the highest quality raw materials in an expansive range of styles and colours. As the leading choice of global brands, Madeira caters to diverse industries, ranging from fashion to footwear.

In order to advance conscience resource management, the Madeira brand has established the MadeiraEnviro system, which ensures efficient textile production and added value in purchasing, production and sales. Its three axes of Carbon Footprint, Recycling and Lifecycle highlight the centring of sustainable business practices in the past, present and future.

Carbon Footprint

Scrupulous energy audits assist the permanent reduction of materials such as water, electricity, chemicals etc. Madeira’s AcquaZero patented process for dyeing decreases water consumption by 60%, utilising natural gas energy to diminish emissions. Madeira strives to harness raw materials from sustainable sources, including the preeminent best-selling CLASSIC viscose thread, which is produced using treated fibres from naturally sustainable plants.

Recycling

Madeira is conscious of the need for individual accountability, endeavouring to improve the legacy we leave behind. That’s why in all of Madeira’s operations, water and heat energy used during production are continually reprocessed. Energy recovery is key for climate-neutral thread drying, occurring in conjunction with the recycling of dye tubes and other plastics. This way, natural resources like water is purified and returned to the environment.

Lifecycle

Longer product life ensures longevity and durability, meaning that products will not need to be replaced as frequently. Madeira’s dynamic production methods only provide durable threads of the greatest quality. Customers can rest assured of Madeira’s prestigious certifications within the textile industry: ISO9001, OEKO-TEX and REACH.

Madeira prioritises genuine quality over quantity, collaborating with innovative companies who are adequately certified and regulated in order to advance a collectively ethical and sustainable future.

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