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Fulgar SPA is an international leader on the manmade fibre market, manufacturing and distributing polyamide 6,6 and covered elastomers for the technical and textile sectors. First set up in the 1970s, Fulgar lost no time in pressing forward and opening new facilities and plants, soon becoming a world leader in its sector. Marketing manager Alan Garosi discusses the steady growth for polyamide 6,6 yarns and the sustainable initiatives at Fulgar.
What is the market size for bio-based yarns? At what rate is it growing?
It is still a pretty limited market, but there is growing interest in yarns with natural origins. In line with growing consumer demand for eco-sustainable clothing an increasingly large number of brands from different price ranges use bio-based yarn in their collections.
The growth rate for our bio-based Evo yarn is very high, over 30 per cent a year. It is still a new product. In general, the favourable market response to our Evo organic yarn is a source of great satisfaction for us and it rewards our commitment and investment.
Over the last three years, Fulgar has launched an all-round sustainability programme, investing in research and development (R&D) and developing products made from recycled raw or natural materials. Fulgar's products and manufacturing methods have gained sustainability certification in a number of areas, including life cycle assessment (LCA), assessment of the environmental impact caused by the entire production process, and Q-Nova's inclusion in the Higg Index that measures the environmental impact of a garment's entire lifecycle.
What is the global market demand for polyamide 6,6 yarns?
Polyamide 6,6 yarn has its own, constantly-growing market, most probably down to its unique mix of performance and tactile and aesthetic qualities. The sectors registering the most significant growth are sportswear and outerwear.
How is the demand for bio-based versus polyamide 6,6 yarns at Fulgar?
Unlike traditional polyamides, where demand comes from across the market, as a result of costs and technical performance the demand for bio-based polyamides is focused on premium clothing.
Which are your major markets for nylon products and covered yarns? In which regions do you see the application growing?
The main markets where spiral yarns are used are legwear, weaving and circular knits. These sectors have always been very important for the textile market. Unfortunately, in recent years the legwear market has seen significant changes, but now it is stable once again. On the other hand, weaves and knitwear are experiencing a steady growth.
Fulgar's Evo was recently used in MFW 2018 by a designer to make shoes. Where are the applications growing the most for Fulgar's products?
Evo combines its organic origins with a truly unique versatility of use, from the outdoors to fashion clothing, legwear and outerwear. Applications by top-class brands include the athleisure collection by Freddy, fully made in Italy, or the Tierra outdoor collection.
The latest developments made using Evo involve the footwear market. Of course, we are talking about innovative, futuristic design shoes, like those chosen by eco-designer Tiziano Guardini for his runway collection at the most recent Milan Fashion Week.
What is the annual budget allocated towards R&D? How big is the team? Any special launches planned this year?
Fulgar has an ongoing commitment to R&D activities with a dedicated in-house team that integrates several areas of competence - production, marketing and sales. This division is allocated a significant budget every year, but it is always linked to individual projects and fixed in relation to them. As for new products, we plan to launch a new speciality in the second half of the year.
Which have been your three top-selling products in 2017-18?
The most high-performance and innovative yarns were among our best-selling products for last year - Qnova, a yarn produced exclusively from regenerated raw materials, Emana, a fibre developed by Solvay that uses the heat generated by the human body to care for the skin, and melange-effect yarns.
What milestones do you plan to achieve by the end of 2018 in sustainable production?
In 2018, we will introduce new products that are linked to sustainability, and we will be presenting an environmental balance updated to the three-year period of 2015-2017.
What are your future plans?
We have many plans in the pipeline and in practice, they mean a growing commitment to technological investment to further enhance our Italian yarn mill's production flexibility and efficiency, as well as investment in the Sri Lanka mill, which serves that region of the southern hemisphere. We also intend to explore new, potentially interesting markets for our type of products. (HO)
Published on: 23/04/2018
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