BARCELONA — With the tenth edition of Planet Textiles only a matter of weeks away, we take a look at the exhibitors who will form this year’s Innovation Zone, a platform to showcase the latest breakthroughs from across the apparel and textile sectors.
In addition to the return of the Pitch for the Planet platform which proved so popular last year in Vancouver, the Innovation Zone will enable visitors to hold in-depth discussions with exhibitors to gain a better understanding of the latest industry developments that could directly improve their organisation’s environmental credentials.
The focus of this year’s summit will be ‘sustainable innovation and technology’, with Planet Textiles 2019 taking place inside giant ITMA textile exhibition, an event expected to draw up to 120,000 visitors from 147 countries. Delegates to Planet Textiles will also get special discounted access to ITMA, meaning they can discover the latest in textile production technology in action.
This year’s Innovation Zone participants are:
Functional textiles firm Sympatex is both a B Corp-certified organisation and founding signatory of the UN Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Change, in which companies set an initial target to reduce their aggregate greenhouse gas emissions by 30 per cent by 2030. B Corp certification is only bestowed on companies that are deemed to have prioritised the well-being of its shareholders, customers, employees, along with all environmental and social aspects of its operations.
Cellulosic fibre producer Lenzing, the company behind Tencel, will once again be exhibiting at Planet Textiles. The Austrian firm has a strong commitment to the sustainability of its products, and is a member of organisations such as forestry non-profit Canopy in order to collaborate with the wider industry to further push standards forward. Aside from its material innovations, Lenzing has recently announced its use of blockchain technology to provide verification of its fibres provenance throughout the value chain.
The youngest of all Innovation Zone exhibitors, Higg Co. is a spin-out company from the SAC’s flagship High Index suite of industry tools. As a public benefit company run independently from the SAC - but still very much linked - High Co. aims to increase both the efficiency and scale of the Higg Index throughout global fashion supply chains.
Sourcing specialist KenDor Textiles has built a global network of textile mills specialising in ‘environmentally & socially responsible’ knit and woven textiles, offering services ranging from low minimum, in-stock programmes all the way up to large. KenDor aims to ensure that all partner mills adhere to multiple standards and certifications, including Standard 100 by Oeko-Tex.
Since its launch, the ZDHC has become inseparable from discussions of textile chemistry. The ZDHC Foundation oversees its eponymous programme, seeking to advance the sector towards zero discharge of hazardous chemicals. ZDHC has amassed a broad spectrum of industry supporters and participants, with a combination of signatory brands, value chain affiliates and associates all on board to pursue safer chemical management practices.
Swiss-based textile chemical specialist Archroma will be showcasing its latest development in dyeing and finishing. At Planet Textiles 2018, the firm used the platform to launch its newest ‘Aniline-free’ indigo dye. Archroma’s CEO, Xander Wessels, will also be partaking in a one-of-a-kind textile chemistry session on the main stage.
Infinited Fiber Company
The Infinited Fiber Company is perhaps the easiest of all the innovators to guess the purpose. The company has developed a technology which it claims allows textile waste to be used “again and again,” while also “preserving 100 per cent quality.” Textiles, cardboard and agricultural waste can all be feedstocks for new fibres with the companies technology.
The Microfibre Consortium
Set up to tackle the colossal challenge of microfibre pollution, The Microfibre Consortium (TMC) is working to facilitate the development of practical solutions for the textile industry to minimise microfibre emissions into the environment, both from textile manufacturing and a product’s life cycle. The consortium aims to align the industry internally - through member participation - and externally - via affiliate partnerships.
The ICEA, or Istituto per la Certificazione Etica ed Ambientale, is an Italian non-profit consortium comprising industry bodies, associations and businesses. ICEA inspects and certifies companies relating to the environment, dignity of workers and consumer rights. The institute also works to aid the sustainable development of organic farming, inspecting and certifying in the areas of Food, Non Food and Corporate Responsibility.
The pioneer of a disruptive dyeing technology, Nano-Dye is a drop-in solution for existing cotton and cotton-blend production processes. Changing to its product from the industry standard is said to reduce GHG emissions by more than 90 per cent, excess dyes in effluent by over 97 per cent and water usage by at least 60 per cent.
A range of environmental services and solutions to both industry and municipalities are offered by Waterleau. Operating in the areas of water, air and waste treatment along with new energy recovery. Based in Belgium, Waterleau has a network of local companies and representatives across the world to support the adoption of ‘green technologies’.