Textile industry giants upheld sustainability cause

February 15, 2017 - Germany

Small, flexible companies from the sporting goods industry have usually upheld the cause of ecological awareness right from the start and the industry giants are now following suit. Companies like Gore Tex, Patagonia and We are SpinDye are taking steps towards sustainable production. Sustainable clothing in sport is also in greater demand among consumers.

Gore Tex of WL Gore and Associates had announced at ISPO Munich 2017 that its production will be PFC-free in the future. Columbia, an industry leader in outdoor apparel, has already moved and was represented at the trade fair by the bluesign-certified pure white OutDry Extreme Eco.

At American clothing company Patagonia, environmental protection has been a tradition since the company was founded in 1973. "Our first and greatest interest is in the wellbeing of our planet. We are all humans, who wish to experience unspoiled nature. Protecting these areas is much more important than any business. How does the saying go? Nobody can do business on a dead planet," said Ryan Gellert, general manager of Patagonia.

Patagonia calls for a rethink, not only in the sense of nature, but also in the value chain in the industry, in accordance with the motto 'reduce, recycle, repair, resell'. Through the sustainability project 'Worn Wear' the Californian company also encourages the repair of damaged functional clothing, instead of a new purchase.

High water consumption, a lot of chemistry – this is what the dyeing process used to look like. The Swedish company We are SpinDye melts plastics. The desired color pigments are then added to the undyed material.

Textile trends researchers predict that mixing materials will become a great trend. Merino wool could also be combined with synthetic fibers for the first time at ISPO Munich. (KD)