THE FUTURE OF TEXTILES: PERFORMING AND SUSTAINABLE

Paul Fogleman,

The continued resurgence of textiles manufacturing will encompass environmental accountability and performance capabilities not imagined in the last decade. Such was the message given to executives at the recent conference for members of the Synthetic Yarn and Fibers Association (SYFA).

Global brands such as Patagonia are pushing research on recovery of shedding of microfibers from jackets and the impact on the environment. This entails the impact from disbursement of microfibers in air, land, and water….from the depths of the ocean to the atmosphere. According to Elene Egorova, environmental metrics analyst for Patagonia, studies are showing a “plasticized ingestion”in a number of species, especially those that feed in the water. Ms. Egorova concluded that the goal should be reducing washing to extend the life of garments.

The co-founders of The Textile Foundry, Michelle Letendre and Stephanie Rodgers, pushed the innovation theme with a presentation “Yarn is the Next Invention.” They currently are following the goals of the federally-funded Advanced Functional Fabrics of America (AFFOA} which is pushing high-tech developments in textiles for military purposes. They were followed by presentations on understanding the low emissivity treatments for wovens, nonwovens and knits.

The growth of textiles in the U.S. Is evidenced by the decision of Lenzing Fibers, an Austrian company, to build a multi-million plant near Mobile, AL. Lenzing manufactures Viscose, yarn made from wood pulp. David Adkins, director of sales for the Americas, said Lenzing only purchases wood from sustainable forestry operations.

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