Textile industry, leaving room to a new awareness

29 July 2019  Carvico 

A new attention to the environment has inspired the good practice policies of several textile companies. But not all companies are into recycling.

It doesn’t take much to change things for real. Just a trip to the sea may be enough; the sea is an important re source which plays a crucial role in this article. And, later on, you will understand why so.

Let’s take Ellen MacArthur’s experience as an example: during one of her many adventures at sea with her sailing boat, she had an “inspired hunch”, an epiphany in the form of a metaphor: our planet, like her sailing boat, has to be seen as a “closed system, with limited resources not to  be wasted”.

«For over 150 years, we have been working to optimize a linear economy according to which we extract some raw materials which are then used to create some new products which are eventually thrown away », claims MacArthur, who promotes and institutionalizes through a foundation bearing his name – the idea of a circular economy, i.e. a system which foresees the re-use of materials in different production cycles and thus reduces waste to the minimum.

Even the textile industry has been affected by this revolution and is now ready to play a crucial role into the transition towards more sustainable economic models.

Nowadays, we are living in an era in which the debate about the environment is critical. And the textile industry, which produces 20% or the overall waste of water and 10% of CO2 emissions, has been obviously involved.

An unambiguous signal which has led many textile companies to embrace no-waste philosophies and to launch a selection of recycled fabrics.

The recycling process of raw materials, however, has always characterized the industrial processes of many companies which have redesigned their production plants so as to be able to use recycled materials for the creation of new products.  It is a virtuous practice which only recently has become appealing for the marketing sector.

Now, the situation has changed; nevertheless, despite the fact that many businesses have been making an extensive use of recycled fabrics, not everybody works in the same way.

Carvico commitment in the production of sustainable fabrics

Conceiving, redesigning, acting. These are the main principles of circular economy which also apply to the textile industry.  Post-industrial waste, once reprocessed, is the main focus of such model, whereas regenerating post-consumer waste, saving them from the landfill, is another story.

Not an easy task which requires commitment, creativity, fantasy, imagination.  And the ability to open one’s eyes and see the world around us. At the beginning of this article we mentioned the sea, and Carvico has been inspired by it to produce its sustainable, recycled fabrics. How are they produced? Some of them are made starting from ghost fishing nets. Waters of the world tell stories, show marks which unfortunately are caused by pollution and waste. However, such waste materials can be regenerated.  There is a NGO named Healthy Seas, which knows very well the story of our seas and deals with the collection of  ghost fishing nets, tries to inform people about re cycling and re-use and co-operates with fishermen for recovering discarded fishing nets.

Once collected, the fishing nets are delivered to Aquafil Spa regeneration plant in Lubjiana, Slovenia, which turns them, along with other pre and post consumer wastes such as tulle, carpet fluff, fabrics etc., into ECONYL®, a brand new polyamide yarn with the same features of virgin polyamide coming from a process which doesn’t involve any fossil, non renewable raw materials have been used.

Fabrics recycled from plastic: is it feasible? Yes, it is…

Such recovery of resources involves waste polluting our seas but not only. The attention to the safeguard of our planet has drawn attention towards another issue: plastic which is intoxicating our seas and invading beaches. Well, the textile industry can turn problems into solutions.

Indeed, Carvico also produces fabrics made of yarns deriving from plastic; fabrics such as Melville, which is made of 45% PBT (polybutylene terephthalate) and 55% REPREVE® recycled polyester, a sustainable fiber produced by regenerating plastic from the food industry (PET). Patented by Unifi, this fiber allows the company to prevent about 250.000 plastic bottles per hour from ending up in the environment. Thanks to a dedicated process, such bottles are collected, washed and grinded; fragments are then melted and turned into chips which are then transformed into the REPREVE® yarn, the basic raw material used for the creation of a high performance, innovative eco-sustainable, recycled fabric.

Carvico eco-sustainable fabrics: more examples.

Carvico collection comprises 5 eco-sustainable fabrics made of  ECONYL®, each boasting different features, which have been inspiring designers all over the world.

Vita, an ultra-thin fabric made of a recycled fiber, is chlorine proof and resistant to suntan creams and oils. Vita Power ideal, for the creation of high performance, shaping garments and  Vita Suede, soft, delicate and suede like are both eco-sustainable and recycled and made of ECONYL regenerated nylon.

Those who are into extreme sports and are in need for performance garments fitting the body like a second skin, and supporting muscles while, at the same time, ensuring maximum breathability and moisture wicking properties, will love  Revolutional® Eco, once again made of ECONYL®, the 100% recycled yarn from pre and post consumer materials.

Last but not least, Carvico has recently launched XLAnce Eco: lifestyle beachwear interpreted by a fabric derived from putting together  ECONYL® nylon and XLANCE® elastomeric fiber, ideal for really different applications such as water sports requiring high-tech, strong swimsuits, or  the most glamorous beachwear. We anticipated that the sea would be important…

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