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Global Business Development (Senior Director) Microban
Do you indulge in consumer engagement practices as a marketing technique?
We partner with brand and retail customers to conduct category-specific research and measure Microban brand awareness with consumers and consumer concerns. We engage with consumer panels for wear and odour control testing. In addition, our social media outreach enables us to have an open dialogue with consumers about their preferences. Lastly, we work with consumers to ensure that our package messaging and point of purchase displays are useful in the buying decision.
Can you give us a glimpse of how your current fiscal is going to turn out?
Like the 2015 US economy, we're off to a strong start and expect that momentum to continue. This is particularly exciting, since we have had double-digit growth in textiles over the past few years.
Anything new, specifically in the sportswear industry?
We recently introduced Microban SilverShield at the Outdoor Retailer Winter Market. SilverShield is our new highly durable technology based on silver salts. By combining SilverShield with our proprietary carrier designed for polyester-based performance fabrics, we engineered a technology that is highly resistant to washing and reduces the amount of silver required.
We see a continuing trend of technology incorporated in sportswear and broader adoption of technologies across product lines, in general. As more people wear activewear for non-exercise activities, such as shopping and working around the house, we are seeing very strong growth in the "athleisure" market space. With increased use of synthetic activewear, there has been a growth in long-term odour that will not go away, what we call "permastink." We have focused on a combination of technologies to control both short and long-term odours to mitigate this growing consumer concern. Today, we work with a selection of iconic brands including Oakley, Reebok and Teva.
What are the challenges in using antimicrobial additives in textiles?
The challenge is making sure we recommend the right antimicrobial solution for our customers' applications taking into account multi-material fabric constructions, fabric processing routing and cost constraints, and the need for antimicrobial compatibility with a broad array of fabric finishes. Additional challenges include the global footprint of textiles manufacturing that requires special attention to regulatory, technical and marketing support. It's also important to select appropriate test procedures and protocols.
We address these issues by having a global network of offices in Europe, Asia, South America and the US. Our team of technical and regulatory personnel supports our partners as they implement the process at the manufacturing and market levels. Specifically, we support our partners with product testing. Our lab performs 40,000 tests and quality audits each year. Our global team includes microbiologists, analytical chemists, textiles experts, and sales and marketing professionals.
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