Bayer MaterialScience, a leading manufacturer of high-tech polymer materials, is launching a new program designed to foster collaboration and communication between suppliers, manufacturers and brand owners, called INSQIN Partner Manufacturer Program.
INSQIN is the company’s water-based, solvent-free polyurethane (PU) used for coating textiles that was introduced to the market in 2014.
“The textiles industry is extremely complex and often brand owners and retailers are not in direct contact with material manufacturers,” Nicholas Smith, global head of textile coating at Bayer, said. “However, higher expectations from consumers on the origin and quality of the products that they consume mean that brand owners and retailers care and are demanding more transparency within the supply chain on the materials as sourced.”
He added, “This is certainly a two-way engagement, while brand owners want to source new sustainable materials and would mandate greater certainty on the sourcing of materials, material manufacturers also require more insights into the expectations of the brand owners. Our Partner Manufacturer Program facilitates the alignment of their common interests and drives closer partnerships.”
The program was developed in response to the fast-growing applications of coated textiles, specifically those in the sportswear, fashion apparel and footwear categories.
It was designed with the idea that materials innovation must go hand-in-hand with sustainable development, along with strengthening the efficiency and effectiveness of the supply chain. The INSQIN Partner Manufacturer Program will act as an agent to connect players at different stages throughout the supply chain.
Using INSQIN technology, the program verifies through professional third-party audits, the management system and production processes of manufacturers of PU synthetics and other PU-coated fabrics.
The program will also provide new opportunities to material manufacturers because they will be able to connect with more brand owners and retailers who are interested in sourcing these materials through a mechanism of validation or recognition.
Korea-based leading PU synthetic materials manufacturer, Duksung Co., Ltd., has signed on as the inaugural partner manufacturer of the program.
“We are witnessing a paradigm shift in the synthetic materials manufacturing sector, and expect that PU dispersions will be a game changer as consumers are demanding higher quality but more sustainable products, whilst brand owners are responding with increasing supply chain transparency in material sourcing and the production processes,” said B.G. Lee, CEO of Duksung Co., Ltd.
Lee also illustrated the benefits the company would receive from participating in the INSQIN Partner Manufacturer Program. Duksung would receive world-class technical support from Bayer for the implementation of waterborne PU technology, validation for sustainable materials production and new business opportunities with brand owners who are interested in sourcing more sustainable materials.
According to Bayer, the companies have collaborated several times, including when they co-developed the official footballs for three previous World Cups.