The circular textile economy is rapidly approaching, with companies such as Worn Again Technologies and Ventile taking key steps along the journey. At the same time, innovators like Voormi are set to introduce materials aimed at performance and weather protection.
Worn Again Technologies
Worn Again Technologies announced plans to build a new textile recycling demo plant in Winterthur, Switzerland.
The company said it is in the final planning stages of an innovative demonstration plant that will showcase its ground-breaking polymer processing technologies for textile recycling. The facility will have the capacity to prevent 1,000 tons of textiles being incinerated annually, paving the way for industrial-scale operations.
Worn Again Technologies’ demonstration plant will be constructed near to one of the startup’s technology partners, Sulzer Chemtech, in Winterthur, which it said represents a crucial step toward upscaling and commercializing the company’s recycling process technology.
“We are delighted to see our technologies being leveraged to create a state-of-the-art textile recycling plant,” Torsten Wintergerste, chairman of Worn Again Technologies, said. “Building it in Switzerland gives Worn Again Technologies direct access to Sulzer Chemtech’s global R&D facilities and the Swiss textile industry. We will build an ecosystem of partners around this demo plant and drive forward the creation of a circular economy of textiles. Switzerland is an ideal location for Worn Again to realize the demonstration plant with all stakeholders in the shortest time period possible.”
The new industrial-scale infrastructure will also help validate the closed-loop chemical recycling solution developed by Worn Again Technologies and its strategic partners. The process obtains polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and cellulose from non-reusable, hard-to-recycle textiles that constitute post-industrial and post-consumer waste.
“We are excited to be taking the next step in making reliable, high-performance textile recycling a reality,” Erik Koep, CEO at Worn Again Technologies, said. “The construction and operation of this demonstration plant are the next major milestones in achieving our vision for textile circularity. We look forward to starting operations soon and see this as the first plant in a global network of processing facilities.”
The process purifies the products by removing dyes, contaminants and impurities, a step forward from traditional recycling methods. The result allows the company to deliver high-quality, virgin-like materials that can be reintroduced into supply chains to become new fibers, textiles and other products.
Performance textile manufacturer Ventile has launched a new fabric as part of its Eco range to further meet customer demand for blended fabrics with a highly ecological composition.
The new fabric, Ventile Eco 200, is a cotton and lyocell blend set to replace its earlier Eco 290. The new material fabric weighs in at 200 grams per meter and boast a 600-millimeter hydrostatic head rating, one of the highest in the range, the company noted. Eco 200 is available in white and olive and has been developed to absorb dye coloring in such a way as to give an even color distribution across both fibers.
At the same time, the company is introducing Ventile Eco 280 Organic. The canvas fabric delivers a new hand, as well as rounding off the weight range in the Ventile Organic collection. This will initially be available in caramel and is expected to be popular for designers looking to develop structured jackets and trench coats
“Ventile is built upon developing premium textiles that support sustainable developments in the industry,” Ventile brand director Daniel Odermatt said. “We are proud to continue to push forward our range of fabrics and launch incremental additions in line with customer trends. Development of such fabrics takes many skilled craftspeople and we are looking forward to seeing the response from our customers.”
Ventile fabric is now treated with a PFC-Free durable water resistant (DWR) finish as standard after the company announced its move away from methods that use PFCs.
Voormi, manufacturer of innovative technical apparel, announced what it called “the next horizon in the future of Core Construction technology.”
Following a multi-year investment in advanced machinery, the company’s affiliate technology provider, SWNR Technologies, is now offering its textiles with advanced functional cores.
“When we launched the first generation of Core Construction Technology, there was so much excitement and speculation about where the technology could go,” said Timm Smith, chief technology officer at Voormi. “What followed was a multi-year development project aimed at realizing the full potential of core-knitted textiles.”
According to Smith, while the first generation of Core Construction products was designed to bring superior performance and weather protection to fleece and other thermal layers, the long-term vision was to enable the insertion of even more complex functional substrates into the broader knitwear market, as well as the explore opportunities beyond apparel.
“From the beginning, fine-gauge knits, technical yarns and the insertion of advanced substrates have all been key areas of focus for us,” Smith said. “It ultimately came down to equipment limitations. This Gen2 machinery truly opens up the world for us in terms of capability. With brand new patterning and multicore insertion capabilities, there’s no reason why every yard of knitted fabric in the world shouldn’t contain a multi-functional core.”
In addition to a host of new products to be released over the coming year under the Voormi brand, the company has kicked off a number of pilot projects in non-apparel sectors, providing enhanced functionality in industries ranging from automotive applications to e-textiles.