Has Bordeaux got something to offer in terms of organic and sustainable products?
Definitely. Eden PG has received the GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certification, which means that you can use this ink on organic textiles, and the final products would still be organic. So, this ink is great for printing on organic clothing.
In addition, everything in the textile industry must be 100 per cent safe. These are products that we wear or cover our table or food with. These are products that our kids sit on, so these are products in close proximity to the body. They need to be completely non-hazardous. In this aspect, we have received the Oeko-Tex 100, class 1, certification. This guarantees that Eden PG is completely free from all harmful materials, and can even be used on baby clothing. So, we do make sure that our products are first of all safe to the person who is using them.
Also, there is a need to be sustainable and environmentally safe. In terms of environment, there is a huge amount of water and electricity required to print digitally on fabrics in current technologies. Dye inks require steaming for fixation and multiple washes in order to get rid of excess colours. They also require a lot of electricity for heating and drying. With Eden PG, there is only heat fixation of the ink, so we have reduced the electricity consumption by around 30 per cent. We have also been able to save between 95-98 per cent of water consumption, since there is no need to wash the printed fabrics after printing.
What have you got to offer in terms of water-less dyeing?
We are not active in this field. The company believes that the future is going to be pigments. All of the rest of printing industry is pigment, be it UV ink, solvent ink or anything else. Even in traditional printing inks, we are talking about pigment inks, and we believe that pigment ink is the answer for current and future textile printing. So we are not focusing on water-less dyeing, but we do offer something in the next frontier, which offers even more advantages that water-less dyeing.
Please share details of your last two fiscals, and the factors affecting them.
Bordeaux is a privately owned company, and we have been growing in this industry continuously in the past 16 years. Digital printing generally in the world is expanding every single year, and so is our business. In textiles, we started doing dye sublimation four years ago and the growth is exponential. We are seeing huge growth every year.
The factors affecting our performance are mostly market and trends oriented. The digital printing market has been very different other markets. Usually, in a lot of markets, there are producers who are coming up with a product to the market and the market either embraces it or rejects it. The success or failure depends on the market reaction. But in digital textile printing, it is completely the other way around.
For the past ten years, the market is approaching creators or printers of inks. The market has been asking for specific solutions, one ink that simplifies the entire printing process. This is the main factor for our success. We were able to introduce to the market exactly what the market required for the past few years. There was no question of success or failure of this product once it was introduced to the market. It has immediately been embraced by early adopters, and it replaced many products, for the demand was always there in the market.
What macro environmental factors affected your performance?
Generally speaking, there is a big change in the textile printing industry over the past few years. It was always very large company oriented. But now, it is changing and people are asking for shorter and shorter print runs. People want to be unique. For the textile printing industry, it is becoming more and more challenging, and in terms of profit, it is becoming more and more costly to comply with the market's need for shorter print runs. Actually from this downfall of the industry, came our success. The world is going digital, and people needed solutions which have smaller environmental footprint and capability to expand businesses into new products, without the need for large capital investments.
What are your latest research findings - in terms of market and products?
The biggest challenge for R&D was to create the perfect binder to add to the ink. The problem with the pigment ink was to create a perfect binding of the ink to the fabric. Our R&D centres were able to create the perfect binders last year, which produced prints that has 7/8 color fastness (ISO 105-B02) and 5/5 washability (ISO 105-C06). This basically means that the ink is great for outdoor use and for products that need to be continuously washed like garments. That was the main thing that they were able to achieve.
In addition, they had managed to produce a binder which doesn't make the fabric feel stiff. Especially in the fashion industry, you need to maintain the natural soft feel of the fabric. This is true when you are making use of fibres which are very delicate like silk. Making of a binder which doesn't make the final product stiff is something very very difficult, which is why we are so proud of this product.
What is the budget allocated to R&D?
The company is very research and development oriented. Our company, of course, does manufacturing, marketing, sales, etc but a lot of the company budget goes to the R&D department. One of our research centres is completely dedicated to textiles. R&D is definitely in the centre of the company, and a lot of company's budget is diverted to R&D. This has always been the engine behind our success.
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