Today, consumers expect their clothes to look good, but they are also value conscious. They want garments that last and holds up wear after wear. In response, the apparel industry has been actively developing treatments that lend a range of performance attributes. However, performance isn’t the only concern. Shoppers also want products that are long lasting, cost effective and environmentally friendly.
World Textile Sourcing (WTS) has found a solution that offers all of that and more. The global textile sourcing company has partnered with Fuze™ Biotech as the first company in South America to offer the antibacterial, anti-mold solution that is also sustainable.
WTS, which ships more than a million units a month, is headquartered in Lima, Peru, with a New York City-based business development office. The company specializes in full-package knit garments, with services spanning in-house fabric development to lab testing and inspection. The vertical nature of the business plus its proximity makes WTS a valued partner to brands and retailers across North America and Europe. These clients rely on WTS to continuously develop new ways to enhance their products.
Rather than employing chemicals to provide these benefits, the Fuze™ technology based in non-ionic silver nano particles mechanically breaks down bacteria without chemicals or toxic substances. The solution can be dialed up or down, depending on the level of protection needed. Applications to sportswear and athletic wear are clear opportunities, in addition to hotels and hospitals where linens benefit from medical-grade protection against pathogens.
“Whether you see it or don’t, there’s bacteria everywhere. In 24 hours, one bacteria reproduces to over 7 million,” said Andrew Peterson, chief technology officer of Fuze™. “We apply Fuze™ to all kinds of textiles—cotton or silk or polyesters or nylons. The particles are small enough that they embed all over the fibers.”
WTS specializes in high-quality fibers like Peruvian Pima cotton, viscose, modal polyester as well as branded fibers like Lenzing’s TENCEL™ x Refibra™. The Fuze™ technology further enhances these offerings, providing key characteristics while keeping prices in line.
The water-based process allows brands to provide garments with odor-eliminating properties that are also gentle on the environment. Additionally, the treatment enhances fabrics’ wicking abilities, kills mold and fungus and provides UVA/UVB protection.
Unlike other treatments on the market, the Fuze™ technology never fades. It has been tested to 100 washes. Wash after wash, clothes continue to perform at the same level as day one. This provides a lasting positive impression with shoppers, who are used to clothes letting them down over time.
“When you’re working with a brand, the question is always, ‘prove it,’” said Elayne Masterson, vice president of sales and business development for WTS. “And Fuze™ can.”
Fuze™ is applied to fabrics via a fine mist that embeds the particles all over the fibers. While it can be used at the mill level, Fuze™ can also be applied to finished garments, providing flexibility in the development and production process. Additionally, there is no curing time, which means there is no down time.
WTS has invested in the first Fuze™ machine in South America, which is housed in the company’s largest facility. The machine can apply the treatment to several hundred/thousand yards in just a few hours.
“Fuze™ gives us the ability to reach more customers that are looking for value-added product with a sustainability message,” she said. “We’ve always had performance-related products, but the value add here is really meaningful.”