Performance textile companies are taking steps to improve product sustainability and make them more practical at the consumer level.
Kingwhale, a manufacturer of performance textiles, is furthering its sustainability initiatives by emphasizing recyclable fibers in its portfolio of products.
Through new processes, Kingwhale said it has better positioned itself to recycle discarded resources to develop new, reusable textiles and in turn minimize carbon emissions and its reliance on petrochemicals.
“We call it a ‘textile-to-textile’ process, where we can make new fibers from existing ones,” James Huang, president of Kingwhale, said. “Forget about landfills. We’re collecting discarded garments, breaking them down and reviving them as sustainable fibers. And it’s all done with environmentally safe treatments.”
Known for its range of technical knits and fleeces, Kingwhale is a vertically integrated company controlling the entire production process from fiber spinning to textile manufacturing to garment construction. The company, based in Taipei, has also long placed an emphasis on sustainability, with its proprietary technologies resulting in manufacturing practices that minimize energy consumption, reduce waste and utilize fewer resources.
“We’ve long been proponents of a circular economy for apparel, so we’re working hard to develop innovative recyclable fibers that can be regenerated into new materials over and over again, and thereby minimize the industry’s dependence on petroleum and other mined resources,” Huang said.
New sustainable and biodegradable fiber-based products from Kingwhale are slated for launch this year. To further demonstrate its commitment to carbon neutrality and responsible production, Kingwhale joined the RE100 global initiative in 2020, pledging to 100 percent renewable electricity by 2040. RE100, led by the international non-profit The Climate Group, brings together large, influential organizations that are committed to taking ambitious actions to combat climate change.
The company’s L.I.T. (Low Impact Technology) modifies the molecular structure of yarn fibers, making the dyeing process more efficient, leading to 60 percent less water for dye preservation, 15 percent less dyestuffs to achieve color and 22 percent less electricity for heating and cooling.
“We’ve been paving the path for responsible textile production for years,” Huang added. “Looking ahead, I know Kingwhale can help establish new best practices to reduce carbon emissions and minimize the industry’s dependance on petroleum. And I know we’ll launch some game-changing sustainable fibers in the process.”
Kingwhale is a Bluesign system partner and Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certified, using the latest sustainable materials, machinery and practices to produce a wide range of performance fabrics.
Leading absorbent and leakproof textile technology company Confitex has been recognized with Best Product of the Year and Best Brand of the Year in the 2021 Plus X Awards–an innovation awards program given in Germany for technology, sports and lifestyle brands.
Confitex, based in Aucklaand, New Zealand, received six out of seven possible seals, recognized for innovation, high quality, ease of use, functionality, ergonomics and ecology in the health and personal care category. Confitex for Men reusable incontinence underwear and Just’nCase washable period-proof and pee-proof pants for women and reusable nursing pads for breastfeeding mothers are available online in the U.S., U.K., Australia and New Zealand at confitex.com.
Confitex founder and design director Frantisek Riha-Scott says the awards are a testament to Confitex’s commitment to creating the most innovative and high-performing textile technology in the leakproof absorbent apparel industry.
“Rather than settle for the old-fashioned method of leak-proofing with a layer of PU plastic, which remains the industry standard for the vast majority of brands, we have invented and patented the only fully waterproof fabric for reusable innerwear products that doesn’t contain PU plastic,” he said. “As well as the obvious environmental advantages, not using PU plastic also provides practical benefits in that we can mold and heat-seal our designs without distorting the textile and stitch through the waterproof layer without causing leaks, allowing for a far wider range of design options, as well as superior leakproof performance.
“For our customers, another benefit is that they can launder our products in the washing machine and tumble dryer, whereas the layer of PU plastic in other brands tends to distort when tumble dried, leading to unwanted leakage,” he added.