Shima Seiki
Hanson Wade

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Intertextile offers high performance with low impact

Major activewear and outdoor brands have all been releasing news about what’s new in their environmental efforts.

18th June 2019

Knitting Industry
 |  Shanghai

Knitted Outerwear, Sports/​Activewear, Collections, Colours/​Trends

Functional Lab offers a spotlight for the textiles industry’s innovations. © Intertextile Shanghai Apparel Fabrics

Major activewear and outdoor brands, such as adidas, Columbia Sportswear, Nike, Patagonia and more, have all been releasing news about what’s new in their environmental efforts. Meanwhile, social media has proved successful for smaller brands offering products, such as recycled activewear and shoes. For consumers with a highly active outdoor lifestyle, it stands to reason that they seek products with maximum functionality and minimal environmental impact.

From 25-27 September, stand-out fabrics suitable for sportswear, swimwear and lingerie can be sourced from Functional Lab, at the 25th Autumn Edition of Intertextile Shanghai Apparel Fabrics.

“We are looking for high-quality raw material suppliers, and the quality of the exhibitors this edition is very good. Our customers are brands such as Nike, adidas, New Balance, Columbia Sportswear, Decathlon, Li-Ning and Anta, so this is an important platform for us to find quality products which can meet the needs of our clients,” commented Zhen Wang, Product Engineering Manager of Textile Dyeing (Suzhou), who sourced from Functional Lab at last year’s Autumn Edition.

Smart and responsible solutions

According to the EU Commission’s Science Hub, over 80% of a product’s environmental impact is determined during the design phase. As such, even the accessories on a garment should be responsibly produced. Solutions can be found at Functional Lab with suppliers such as Vetex, who creates highly durable transfer tape coatings. Its eco-friendly production process is compliant with REACH and Standard 100 by Oeko-Tex; Vetex is solar-powered, does not produce water waste, and converts any fumes into energy that heats up its factory, ensuring circularity in its process. Another Functional Lab exhibitor, Giftstart, offers reflective yarns and fabrics, and is committed to developing eco-friendly compositions.

Many Functional Lab exhibitors will feature their latest textile developments made from unique raw materials. This includes Yalta, who has developed a decomposable stretch fibre from polylactic acid, extracted from genetically altered corn. New Wide Group is the first to master the application of aerogel – typically used as insulation by NASA – to yarn, which creates a lightweight knitted fabric with thermal conductivity. It will also bring its Tempsense thermostat fibre, a functional regenerated cellulose coated in PCM, which regulates body temperature and deodorises.

Recycled fabrics at Functional Lab

Unifi will feature its Repreve brand, which recycles plastic bottles into fabric that offers wicking, warming, cooling and water repellent functions. What’s more, buyers supporting Unifi’s Repreve will help them to meet their goal of recycling 20 billion plastic bottles by 2020.

Lee Ven will bring performance wear fabrics made with recycled fibre. It has also developed a new knitting method using a modified knitted jacquard machine, which avoids the issue of white stretch marks that accompanies digital printing.

Klinger Asia will return with its PureCool fabric, made with recycled jade stones, which offers a cooling function, as well as odour control, quick-dry effects and UV protection. Shanghai Tiqiao Textile Yarn Dyeing will feature a wide variety of fabrics with functional properties, including recycled options, organic cotton and fabrics made with soybeans.

Hyosung and Lycra pavilions return

The Hyosung Pavilion will showcase functional fibres suitable for sportswear, athleisure, swimwear and intimate apparel. It will bring its creora brand, a range of functional fabrics with functions such as such excellent dyeability, heat resistance, degradation prevention and more.

Lycra produces innovative apparel fibre and technology solutions, as well as specialty chemicals used in the spandex and polyurethane value chains. It owns leading consumer and trade brands: Lycra, Lycra T400, Coolmax, Thermolite, Supplex and Tactel. The company will return to Functional Lab with its pavilion, focusing on comfort and lasting performance.

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