Swiss traceability company Haelixa is collaborating with Damteks Textiles to mark and trace the Turkish manufacturer’s recycled acrylic yarn. Now Damteks customers can order recycled yarn with the unique Haelixa DNA marker already attached.
“The textile industry is adapting to the requests of consumers and regulators for more transparency and credibility when it comes to eco-friendly materials,” said Dr. Michela Puddu, CEO and co-founder of Haelixa. “Haelixa solutions allows Damteks to offer to brands traceable products that showcase their recycled origins.”
The Haelixa solution DNA markers are solved in liquid and applied to fibers as a fine spray. Spot checks are completed after spraying to determine the presence of the DNA and identify the product. The test is based on PCR technology, similar to what’s employed in some Covid tests, that’s 100 percent reliable and has forensic validity.
Damteks saw an increase in demand for blended yarn in the past year, with the request most often being for a composition of 30 percent recycled fiber with 70 percent standard fiber. It offers the yarn with Haelixa DNA to validate the recycled acrylic in the mix.
The Haelixa team visited the Damteks recycling facility in Istanbul to kick off the partnership that will continue throughout 2023. The traceability program designed for them has the DNA sprayed on the recycled fibers before spinning. The project also saw the use of a tailored Haelixa liquid sprayer designed by the team based in Switzerland. When manufacturers don’t have built-in moisturizing systems, Haelixa provides a custom unit to shower the DNA liquid onto the fibers. This unique sprayer is engineered to match the individual customer’s mechanical processing needs.
Damteks is a family-owned business that offers environmentally responsible options for its production processes. On top of the certifications it has obtained—including GRS, RCS, GOTS and OCS—Damteks decided to have its products “marked and traced by Haelixa” for additional credibility and reliability.
“As a manufacturer, we feel the pressure to offer sustainability [sic] options to our customers,” İsmail Cem Atalay, board member of Damteks, said. “Our project with Haelixa allows us to ensure that we are offering the best product while taking into consideration the future of the planet.”
Damteks plans to offer marked and traced by Haelixa yarn in different dyes to brands.
In October 2022, Haelixa began tracing Egyptian cotton from the source up to premium shirts through a DNA marker it developed to label the raw material “premium Egyptian cotton.” And in June of last year, the Swiss company partnered with Nettle Circle to provide the first available known traceable nettle fiber, a sustainable option getting increased interest from fashion innovators and royalty alike.
Haelixa develops and commercializes physical product traceability solutions to ensure full end-to-end supply-chain consumer good traceability, focusing on sustainable manufactured products, such as organic or recycled textiles. Based on DNA markers, the Haelixa technology is physically applied to the material and stays linked to it, providing a traceable physical fingerprint from producer to retail.
Damteks began as a factory manufacturing operation in 1997. Alongside acrylic yarn production, Damteks expanded its operations to cotton yarn production in 2021, becoming a co-founder of ABM Cotton.