Interview with Carlo Centonze

Carlo Centonze
Carlo Centonze

Dynamic warming and cooling technologies are going to be the next big thing in functional fabrics.
HeiQ develops and manufactures high-performance textile effects. Founded in 2005 as a spin-off of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zürich (ETH), HeiQ is the innovation partner for unique textile technologies. Carlo Centonze, CEO, HeiQ, discusses the latest in textile finishing.

What is the size of the global textile chemicals industry? What percentage share do speciality chemicals hold in it?

Including dyestuff, the total textile chemical market is 25 billion USD per annum, whereas specialties are 4 billion USD per annum.

How would you describe the market for functional clothing and functional textiles?

I would say challenging. Tough regulation by chemical laws, low add-on cost that can be charged, global business, very long payment terms of more than 120 days, just in time delivery, low level of education in the value chain, strong global competition in specialties and brutal local competition, performance oriented, test intensive and legally regulated are the main issues.

What is the USP of specialty chemicals at HeiQ?

HeiQ helps its brand partners to bring differentiating innovation to market. HeiQ is a 3-in-1 company with R&D, manufacturing and branding.

Which are your major markets? Where do you see the market growing?

The United States of America, Europe and Japan are our main markets, where US and China are growing.

The demand for which products at HeiQ - HeiQ Smart Temp, HeiQ Fresh Tech, HeiQ Eco Dry, HeiQ Glide and HeiQ Sun Block - is high and for which is growing?

All of our technologies are growing. The strongest products are HeiQ Smart Temp for intelligent thermoregulation, HeiQ Fresh Tech for odour control and HeiQ Clean Tech for sustainable textile manufacturing.

What are the latest innovations trending in the textile finishing industry?

Smart textiles have a strong focus in the industry.

What new research and development is being undertaken at HeiQ?

Oh, if we tell you, we will have to shoot you. The pipeline is very, very healthy and we are hiring more scientists to execute it. Applications are welcome.

Please share a few details about the testing services at HeiQ.

HeiQ offers to its brands all industry standard tests in:
Antimicrobials, odour control, water repellence, water column, water vapour permeability, oil repellence, antistatic, UV protection, far infrared reflection, friction measurements, dynamic cooling, moisture management, wicking, pilling, colour changes, washing standards, application technologies of padding, spray, exhaust, coating, foaming; compliance claims as well as marketing claims.

What is the next big thing in functional fabrics?

Dynamic warming and cooling technologies are going to be the next big thing in functional fabrics.

Please share details of your last fiscal and your expectations for the next year.

HeiQ grew 27 per cent CAGR in 2015, we are doing 31 per cent in 2016 year to date and we plan to do 30 per cent in 2017 again.
Published on: 27/10/2016

DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of Fibre2Fashion.com.

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