As brands become increasingly conscious about the environmental impact of the goods they produce and consumers take a greater interest in where those goods come from and how they are made, factories around the world are offering more products that are less harmful to the environment.
Exhibitors at the 18th edition of Texworld USA showcased available eco items to attendees seeking to be more sustainable.
Everest Textile Co., Ltd, a Taiwan-based functional fabrics supplier with Bluesign and OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certification, among others, was present at the show displaying organic cotton, recycled polyester and a stretch fabric with recycled polyester for use in yoga or running gear.
All products and processes at the vertically integrated facility are Bluesign certified, according to Everest’s Rebecca Yeh, and all ingredients used for weaving, dyeing and for quick-dry and water repellent finishes, for example, are natural and safe for the environment.
And in order to further lessen the facility’s impact on the environment, Everest works to recycle up to 80 percent of the factory’s heat and 90 percent of the water used there.
Everest works with brands based in Norway, Denmark and Sweden, among other countries, where Yeh said the policy on environmental products is strict.
“This is a trend,” Yeh said. “If you don’t follow the eco market, then you can’t compete.”
U.S.-based Burlington also displayed goods made from 100 percent recycled polyester and sustainable Tencel wool shirts and suiting.
For brands that need finishes like water repellency, the company offers an eco-friendly version of the process, called Durepel Eco.
At its China facility, Jiaxing Burlington Textile where all of its synthetics are made, processes are safe for the environment. China’s textile plants have been known to pollute waterways, so this facility provides reduced waste water processing needs, reduced steam and electrical generation needs, reduced chemical handling and raw material recycling and using capabilities.
Burlington’s Katie Anich said this year at Texworld she noticed a keen interest from buyers seeking not just eco-friendly products and processes, but goods Made is USA as well.
“If they can get both, that’s even better,” she said.
Turning to Turkey, Larmatex, which produces 100 percent organic cotton and organic stretch cotton for brands like H&M, Zara and Zara Kids that are both OEKO-TEX Standard 100 and GOTS-NL certified was also exhibiting at the show.
The fibers at this facility are organic, as is the weaving and the finishing, meaning no chemicals are added at any stage of production. The company even ensures organic goods are kept in separate warehouses from greige fabrics.
“We try to keep them as natural as possible,” Ali Yaman of Larmatex said. “Cotton is a natural thing, but in the production you use lots of chemicals and in the organic we are avoiding those things.”
With traceability increasingly key, Yaman said Larmatex, in partnership with GOTS, is providing hangtags on final products that allow consumers to trace goods as far back as the farm, and see that the processes were certified as organic at each stop along the supply chain.
Yaman noted that the interest in organic goods among American buyers is not as common as among European buyers and brands, and that while some buyers are interested in goods that won’t harm the environment, cost is always a hindrance.
“Today’s textile world is much more about price,” he said.