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Sportswear firms' interest in sustainable processes has increased
OrganoClick AB, founded in 2006, develops and produces environment-friendly fibre chemistry. OrganoTex, the Swedish cleantech company's water repellant finish, is one of the prominent innovations in the field of textiles. Unlike major water repellant textiles that achieve the functionality using harmful chemicals, OrganoTex is based on nature's own chemistry and uses plant-based catalysts and organic polymers. CEO Marten Hellberg converses about the growing interest in eco-friendly fibre chemistry.
How would you describe the current market for performance textiles? What percentage of this uses environment-friendly processes?
The performance textile markets have traditionally focused mainly on adding more and better functions to textiles. However, during the last four to five years the focus and interest in sustainable processes among outdoor and sports goods companies has increased dramatically, not the least within durable water repellents (DWRs). Since the first Greenpeace report in 2013, the industry has quickly moved to more sustainable, DWRs free of perfluorinated compounds (PFCs).
Tell us about your latest innovation OrganoTex. How many laundry washes can it last?
Our latest innovation OrganoTex as a consumer product is supplied as a spray-on or a wash-in product. The product is completely biodegradable according to OECD 301A and is free from PFCs, isocyanates and cyclic siloxanes. When applied by consumers, it lasts 5-20 washes depending on the type of fabric and fibre. Our first retail customer is Naturkompaniet, Sweden's largest outdoor retailer owned by Fenix outdoor.
Do plant-based catalysts deliver the same result as the conventional ones?
In benchmarking tests to other PFC-free water repellents, we see that our product is performing very well and gives equal results.
How efficient and cost-effective is eco-friendly fibre chemistry?
In stores, our consumer product is sold in the same price range as competing products.
Which are your major markets for binders and water repellant additives? In which geographies do you see the potential growing?
We are working mainly in Europe, China, Japan and Taiwan. However, there are many other interesting markets such as South Korea, South East Asia, India, Turkey and the United States.
What is the annual budget spent on R&D? What are the current undertakings at your R&D centre in Taby, Stockholm?
We have an R&D team of five people with an annual budget of €1 million.
How have the last two fiscals been, what are the expectations for the next two?
In 2016 we had revenues worth € 4.1 million and in 2017 our revenue was €7.9 million. We expect to keep growing quickly with a double digit growth in the years ahead.
What are the future plans at OrganoClick? What kind of nature friendly products can we expect in the years to come?
We are working on other functionalities for technical textiles. Fire retardants are a product range that we supply to other fibre-based material producers and which we are currently adapting to technical textiles.
Where do you plan to market your products next?
We are now working closely with our retail and brand partners in joint marketing activities, but we are currently focusing on the European market. (HO)
Published on: 02/04/2018
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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