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Russell and Dow Created a Tee That Kills Odor-Causing Bacteria

When it’s deliver-or-die, supply chains become the lifeblood of a company. To that end, the fashion industry has embraced technology to navigate today’s hyper-complicated supply chain, with myriad solutions shaping the first, middle and last mile. Call it Sourcing 2.0.

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Activewear maker Russell Brands and The Dow Chemical Company have achieved an industry first.

Dow, a multibillion-dollar manufacturer of personal care and consumer products, collaborated with Russell to provide advanced odor and freshness protection to performance apparel using its patented Silvadur technology.

Silvadur is an antimicrobial solution that delivers silver ions to fabric surfaces that activate in the presence of “undesirable” bacteria, which stops them from growing in the first place and thereby lengthens the life of a garment. According to a press release Monday, Russell products treated with this technology will feature the Intellifresh brand—one of the first times it’s been used in activewear.

“Dow research shows that more consumers are looking for products that promote a healthier lifestyle,” Larry Ryan, business president for Dow Energy & Water Solutions, said. “Consumers surveyed indicated they are interested in purchasing a wide variety of products with durable protection against odor or odor-causing bacteria. The collaboration with Russell is a prime example of how Dow, with its innovative technology behind Intellifresh, can partner with brand owners, manufacturers and retailers to fulfill consumer needs.”

Russell chose the Coolforce T-shirt as its launch product. The tee already includes a proprietary, chemical-free cooling technology that it said keeps wearers cool and dry. The inclusion of Intellifresh odor-protection complements these features and the new and improved T-shirt, available in a variety of colors, will retail at Walmart stores and online.

“We are thrilled to announce this exciting collaboration with Dow, which will allow us to offer our consumers one of the most innovative performance elements in today’s market,” Rick Medlin, chief executive officer and president of Russell Brands, a subsidiary of Fruit of the Loom, Inc, said. “Our brand is committed to seeking the highest standards of performance in athletic apparel at an affordable price and it’s a privilege to share this technology with all our consumers.”

Silvadur has been tested and approved by Oeko-Tex. It’s also registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the active ingredient is notified and supported under the E.U. Biocidal Products Registry (BPR). In addition, Silvadur technology is registered to meet REACH requirements in the European Union.

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