Interview with Ana Silva

Face2Face
Ana Silva
Ana Silva
Head -Sustainability and Innovation
Tintex
Tintex

There's an increased interest in responsible innovation

Tintex started out by making high quality, natural based, responsible jersey fabrics, and now combines its core expertise with the latest and best sustainable hi-tech dyeing and finishing processes. It aims to build a new generation textile business that adheres to an eco-sustainable strategy for all its production and fabric innovations. Ana Silva, head of sustainability and innovation, talks about the efforts to switch from the use of conventional cotton in its creations.

What is the global market size of knitted fabrics?

According to the Global Knitted Fabrics Market Research Report 2018-2021, the global knitted fabrics market was valued at $777 billion in 2017.

What are the key drivers of global knitted fabrics market?

Obviously, the price ratio is a key factor for the market, but we have experienced an increased interest for values as Made in Europe when combined with traceability, transparency, sustainability, innovation and aesthetics.  In specific markets for sportswear and activewear, increased performances are fundamental; while the innerwear market is looking more for well-being solutions.

What are the latest trends in terms of texture, performance, colours, innovation, and fabrics reigning for fashion, sports and lingerie markets globally?

Our perception from the market sample requests and from our sales is that cotton fleeces have been of major interest lately. Moreover, at Tintex, we have experienced an increased interest in responsible innovation from our customers. Specifically, our customers appreciate the naturally advanced effects, which are our unique and advanced finish applied on natural fibres for a truly smart product. As we are able to offer products that blend together design, innovation and responsibility, we are able to provide to the market an absolutely contemporary choice with the added value of sustainability.

What kind of fabric does the smart shirt use?

This season, Tintex announced its complete switch from the use of conventional cotton and the concomitant launch of a new fabric range that is the highest expression of the new generation of cotton: Naturally Advanced Cotton. This new range offers an advanced choice of three premium and responsible advanced cotton solutions such as Ecotec by Marchi & Fildi, GOTS-certified organic cotton and Supima. Additionally, Tintex is now a member of the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI), a not-for-profit organisation that makes global cotton production better for the people who produce it, better for the environment it grows in, and better for the sector's future. Through BCI and its partners, farmers receive training on how to use water efficiently, care for the health of the soil and natural habitats, reduce use of the most harmful chemicals, and apply decent work principles. And now it's the time for a new challenge: the knitted formal shirting. We think that a shirt made with knits, can be much more comfortable and stylish, and the easy-care will increase exponentially too. Through our smart blends, we can offer extra performance to our materials. For example, our newest high-performance introduction for next-to-skin quality products use the Roica Feel Good family. Tintex has selected Roica CF (Clean Fit), a premium stretch innovative yarn offering a real and durable 'natural' solution with a smart odour neutraliser property since its active ingredient is locked inside the yarn. For colour effects, the Tintex range uses the Roica Colour Perfect family of yarns that deliver a flawless colour surface and a responsible finish in all its new performance stretch fabric designs.

Tell us about your latest sustainable fabric range.

All new textile and design innovations boast up to 90 per cent use of more sustainable materials including: 40 per cent contemporary cottons within the Naturally Advanced Cotton Collection (Ecotec, GOTS certified organic and Supima), 40 per cent Tencel, Modal and Micromodal, 20 per cent other smart materials as Cupro, Seacell, natural organic linens and Roica Eco Smart family, all supported with original or brand supplier supported certifications. In addition to this, Tintex is now a BCI member. And last, Tintex has also decided that from 2018 the company will no more use conventional cotton in its collection. Priority is being given to new generation of cottons such as organic, Ecotec and Supima.

What fabrics and dyeing specifications need to be maintained while supplying to high-street labels?

High-street labels are looking for high quality at 360°, meaning contemporary design, innovation and sustainability. We are the right partner for them to offer these values through both basic and seasonal articles. We do not see ourselves just as suppliers, but also as partners. We create a direct conversation with brands to offer articles that fit their needs within our collection. A clear example is Filipppa K, a leading Nordic fashion brand with a modern, smart approach to the responsible development of their lines, with whom we created a joint communication in 2017. Filippa K over the last few years has created a clean slate for itself, building the company structure of a curious and conscious brand that recognises innovative sustainability as a way to inspire a mindful consumption.

Which innovative technologies do you make use of to reduce or curb the consumption of water?

Tintex is committed to a continuous programme of sustainable innovations and refinements throughout processing, production and supply of better-made, nature-based textiles. Moreover, Tintex is transparent about its sustainability credentials, and proud to guarantee a 70 per cent improvement in terms of environmental impacts for all its resources, production and processing:
  • Water: Improving water use using the latest Jet dye and finishing equipment, garnering an CITEVE environmental impact assessment with improved metrics for: (i) reduced water consumption; (ii) improved energy use and natural gas consumption; (iii) minimising chemical product use; (iv) reduction of waste water volumes and organic load.
  • Waste: We successfully recycle 98 per cent of all production waste.

How do you plan to remain sustainable?

Tintex aims for full transparency and traceability of all products and processes as well as that of suppliers, including origins of their yarns and fibre contents by 2018. To secure this, strong partnerships with global material manufacturers will grow season on season. Tintex is always looking not just for smart fibres materials and production processes, but as we are a vertical company, we are also working on dyeing and finishing. We are always looking at new ways to replace conventional processes with smart ones. Not an easy one as this as it is the most complex part at a technological level.

How has the company performed during the last couple of years and what are the expectations for the future?

Tintex had a turnover of €11 million in 2017, which was an increase of around 20 per cent over 2015. We expect to grow nearly 30 per cent till the end of 2019 because of a strategic approach to the market and also since we analyse the increase of gross added value of our products. (RR)
Published on: 03/05/2018

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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