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Rise of Environmentally Preferred Fabrics

Rise of Environmentally Preferred Fabrics

 

As climate concerns continue to grow, everyone is making an effort to live more sustainable lifestyles. Including businesses - taking steps to reduce the negative impact they have on the environment. Over the last several years, there has been a huge rise in the demand for sustainable or environmentally preferred goods - including fabric.

 

Why do we need Sustainable Fabrics?

There are a lot of resources, chemicals, water, and energy that go into the production of fabric. The textile industry is one of the leading waste contributors globally, accounting for millions of tons of waste each year. A lot of resources, chemicals, water, and energy go into the production of fabric. It is also one of the top polluters in the world! There has been a growing need in our industry to look toward environmentally preferred (sustainable) fabrics to reduce the carbon footprint of the textile industry.

 

What are some common sustainable fibers & Finishes?

ORGANIC COTTON/COTTON

Unlike manufactured, chemically produced fibers like rayon and polyester - cotton is natural and comes from the earth. Modern farming techniques have reduced the number of resources needed to grow cotton. In fact, most U.S. cotton is grown using only rainfall. Cotton is a heat and drought-resistant crop, so not much irrigation is needed to grow into the fiber used in fabric.

 

RECYCLED POLYESTER

Recycled polyester (rPet) is made from recycled plastic bottles. The production of recycled polyester requires far less energy than that of virgin polyester, generates fewer CO2 emissions, uses less water, and prevents used plastic from ending up in our landfills and oceans.

 

REPREVE®

This amazing, innovative fiber is made from recycled bottles. It is used by the world’s leading brands to make athletic and fashion apparel.The production process to create it embeds properties like wicking, adaptive warming and cooling, water repellency, and more at the fiber level. For reliable, durable quality. At this time, Unifi, which makes REPREVE, has recycled over 30 billion plastic bottles!

 

TENCEL™

Active cellulosic fibers of botanic origin keep your body pleasantly cool and dry with their natural comfort and versatility. Is derived from renewable wood sources using sustainable production processes.

 

X4ZOL™-J

This thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) fiber, embodies the very meaning of versatility. It is a replacement for spandex which is a wasteful fiber to produce. Sustainable benefits of X4J include processing at lower temperatures and recyclable fiber.

 

HEIQ FINISHES

HeiQ is a leader in textile innovation creating some of the most effective, durable, and high performance textile finishes in the market today. Their mission is to improve the lives of billions of people by perfecting the everyday product of textile.

 

CICLO® ADDITIVE

CiCLO® additive technology is an easy-to-implement upstream solution that allows synthetic (plastic-based) fibers to behave more like natural fibers, such as wool, when they end up as pollutants in the environment. CiCLO reduces the synthetic fiber pollution in our oceans and landfills. Microfibers shed from products made with CiCLO fibers biodegrade in natural seawater at greatly accelerated rates compared to similar untreated fibers.

Looking for Made in the USA sustainable fabrics?

We've created an innovative product line that helps to minimize the effects of waste within our industry - while also fulfilling a need within the apparel industry. The EcoThriv® product line was purposefully designed for responsible yet resilient performance apparel and activewear. This environmentally preferred (sustainable) line of fabrics was made from the market's most responsible and innovative fibers and finishes.

The mission of EcoThriv is to provide Made in the USA textiles that keep our environmental footprint small and advance the sustainability of textiles. These fabrics are not only better for the environment, but they also perform at a high level. In fact, this product line was chosen for the 2020 Industrial Fabrics Foundation (IFF) Innovation Award Honorable Mention

EcoThriv includes 6 different fabrics, each fit for a variety of end uses you may have in mind. These fabrics are available in low minimum order quantities and are available to purchase by the roll. Custom colors are available if the dye lot minimum is met (varies by fabric).

 

Joshua

This solution-dyed double-knit interlock is made of 84% Recycled Polyester and 16% X4zol™-J with HeiQ Smart Temp and Fresh finishes. X4zol™-J is a Lubrizol TPU fiber that provides a balanced stretch for both comfort and shaping, and is environmentally friendly and recyclable. HeiQ finishes follow strict best practices that limit wastewater and energy. Joshua is perfect for yoga pants, leggings, athletic wear, and rompers.

Joshua fabric is black and swirled to show texture.

 

Buckeye

This interlock fabric is made of 100% REPREVE® with Sorbtek® fibers delivering an environmentally preferred fabric with inherent breathability and moisture-wicking. Use it as an entire garment for easy future recyclability. Our Buckeye fabric is perfect for quarterzip jackets, mid-layer tops, and knit shorts.

Buckeye fabric is blue and swirled to show texture.

 

Juniper

This jersey fabric is made using environmentally preferred fibers: 50% Recycled Polyester with CiCLO®, 25% Cotton, and 25% TENCEL™ fiber. Juniper is a fabric that has lower GHG emissions than virgin fabrics and has the performance to keep you cool and comfortable through a wide range of activities. Our Juniper fabric is perfect for making T-shirts, base layers, and gussets. Note: Ribbed version available for collars and cuffs.

Juniper fabric is gray and swirled to show texture.

 

Birch

This is a mechanical stretch woven fabric made of 100% Recycled Polyester. This fabric has mechanical stretch in the weft to avoid the addition of spandex. Spandex is petroleum-based, requires lots of energy to produce, and is not biodegradable. Use it as an entire garment for easy future recyclability. End uses for Birch include shorts, pants, athleisure dresses, woven tops, and gussets. Note: imported yarn was used in this fabric.

Birch fabric is black and swirled to show texture.

 

Willow

This grid fleece fabric is made of 100% REPREVE® and finished with HeiQ Smart Temp. HeiQ finishes follow strict best practices that limit wastewater and energy. This fabric provides the warmth and performance of a typical grid fleece with enhanced environmental attributes. Willow is perfect for creating outerwear, soft shells, and fleece jackets.

Willow fabric is black and swirled to show texture.

 

Aspen

This warp knit fabric is made of 100% REPREVE® Polyester (53% 70D Microfiber and 47% 50D Microfiber) and finished with HeiQ Fresh FFL anti-odor. REPREVE® is a fiber made from recycled plastic bottles. This fabric is made with microfiber yarns that feel more like natural fibers and less “clammy” in warm weather than regular synthetic yarns. End uses include pants, shorts, and quarter-zip jackets.

Aspen fabric is black and swirled to show texture.

 

EcoThriv is a stock program for MMI, so we typically have these products ready to ship! Please contact us or give us a call at 440-899-8050 for pricing, samples, and more information.

Author

MMI Textiles