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Industry Talk

New Performance Apparel Markets reports

Latest market research reports on performance apparel now available for purchase.

7th June 2021

Knitting Industry
 |  United Kingdom

Knitted Outerwear, Technical Textiles

Leading UK based business information service, Textiles Intelligence has recently published five new market research reports from its Performance Apparel Markets series. The reports are available to purchase from Knitting Industry’s sister website Innovation in Textiles, as follows:

1.Fast track: are performance apparel consumers ready for mono material garments? Buy this report now

As pressures to recycle textiles and clothing continue to grow, problems are being encountered because recycling plants are unable to work with complex mixtures of fibres, dyes and finishing chemicals from which many garments are manufactured. The difficulties of recycling are compounded by the rise in popularity of stretch in garments as the rise has led to the growing inclusion of elastane fibres. Consumers, as well as wanting stretch, expect garments to be comfortable, functional and stylish and to provide performance.

Given the difficulties of recycling these complex mixtures, it is not surprising that 73% of clothing ends up in landfill or is incinerated at the end of its useful life and only 1% of textiles are recycled into new fabrics. To address the problem, a small number of highly influential brands are designing prototypes of mono material garments. Among these brands is the sportswear brand Adidas, which was the ISPO Award Gold Winner in the Urban Life category of the Outdoor segment in 2020 for its minimalist Futurecraft.Loop Anorak—a mono material garment.

Furthermore, the company is planning a launch of mono material sports shoes for large volume markets. In Scandinavia, mono material garments have been introduced by the sportswear company Houdini, headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden. In 2020 Houdini was the ISPO Award Gold Winner in the Mid Layer category of the Outdoor segment for its Mono Air Houdi, and in 2021 it won the Outdoor Retailer Innovation Award for the same product. Other Scandinavian brands to introduce similar mono material garments include Fall Winter Spring Summer and Helly Hansen—both based in Oslo, Norway—and Tierra, based in Stockholm, Sweden.

However, most of the properties which consumers want their apparel items to possess are difficult to achieve in mono material garments. Furthermore, developments in mono material garments rely solely on polyester for their performance attributes but the bulk of the world’s polyester is derived from petroleum and is not therefore seen as being environmentally sustainable. Meanwhile, Sysav Industri—a company based in Malmö, Sweden, which is owned by 14 municipalities and treats waste from households and industries—has started to operate the world’s first fully automated sorting plant for textiles recycling. The plant forms part of the Swedish Innovation Platform for Textile Sorting (SIPTex)—a project funded by the Swedish government which aims to develop “a sorting solution” tailored to the needs of textile recyclers and the garment industry.

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2.Performance apparel markets: product developments and innovations, May 2021

This report provides information on the latest developments in antimicrobial fabrics, finishing treatments, fabric technologies, insulation, membranes, performance apparel, performance fabrics, protective fabrics and workwear. Furthermore, the report includes news from the following innovative brands and other organisations: Bergans, clim8, Dow, DuPont Biomaterials, Freudenberg Performance Materials Apparel, Halley Stevensons, HeiQ, Mechanix Wear, NICCA Chemical, NIPI (Natural Insulation Products Inc), Nylstar, Optimer Brands, Polartec, Primaloft, Royal DSM (DSM), Rudolf Group, Spinnova, Sympatex and Westex.

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3.Antimicrobial textiles: promoting hygiene during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond

Antimicrobial textiles are designed to provide protection from algae, bacteria, fungi and viruses, and they have been in widespread use for a number of years. More recently, awareness of antimicrobial textiles has been brought to the forefront by the COVID-19 pandemic as consumers have sought ways of improving their overall hygiene and well-being.

Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic has boosted demand for antimicrobial textiles which are capable of destroying viruses in particular, and several of the textile industry’s leading companies have rapidly developed antiviral treatments and launched them on the market at record speed. Antimicrobial textiles can be made by applying finishes to the surfaces of fabrics or by incorporating fibres with antimicrobial properties while the fabric is being manufactured. To manufacture the antimicrobial fibres and finishes, a broad variety of substances can be employed, including copper, graphene, silver and silane quaternary ammonium compounds (QACs).

Looking ahead, applications for antimicrobial textiles are expanding beyond activewear and medical applications to include face masks, athleisure apparel and fashion products. Furthermore, antimicrobial finishes are being used in the manufacture of specialist products such as sewing threads and zippers.

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4.Profile of Bolt Threads: a leader in novel biomaterials

Bolt Threads is a USA-based biomaterials company which produces artificial silk fibre on a large scale. It was established in 2009 by three specialists who gained expertise in silk production while conducting research at university. The company has focused on the development of three innovative materials: an artificial silk fibre called Microsilk, an artificial leather material called Mylo, and a pure protein powder called b-silk protein. When developing its products, the company drew inspiration from nature and paid great attention to environmental sustainability.

This caught the attention of key players who are working to minimise the environmental impact of their operations. The company has secured partnerships with a number of high-profile apparel companies—including adidas, Kering, Lululemon Athletica, Patagonia and Stella McCartney—and it has collaborated with several of these companies in the development of garments incorporating its materials. Four of these companies have pledged to launch products incorporating Mylo during 2021 after joining the Mylo Consortium—a group of world class companies which was established in 2020 to generate demand for the material. Looking to the future, the company is seeking to continue its expansion.

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5.Performance apparel markets: business update, May 2021

This report provides information, analysis and valuable insight into developments relating to the performance apparel industry in the following categories: capacity expansions; corporate social responsibility (CSR); corporate strategy; investments; and joint ventures, cooperation, licensing and distribution. Brands, companies and other organisations featured in this report include: Allbirds, Arc’teryx, Ascend Performance Materials (Ascend), Huntsman Textile Effects, Hyosung, Kraig Biocraft Laboratories (Kraig Labs), MtheMovement, Myant, Natural Fiber Welding (NFW), Sciessent, the New Zealand Merino Company (NZM), The S Group and VF Corporation.

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