Sustainable textiles could drastically reduce Europe’s carbon footprint. One promising way to approach this is by moving towards higher-quality, long-lasting products, while drawing on the wealth of natural fibres and fabrics available across Europe. The PYRATEX® project, led by the R&D company and textile supplier PYRATES, is creating innovative knit fabrics made from plant-based fibres, and hopes to transform the European textile industry from within. The team’s key aims were to present innovative products made with traditional European textile techniques by combining the knowledge experts have in different processes, from textile fibre production to yarn, final textiles and finishings. “We wanted to bring property-rich fabrics with the functionality of natural fibres, something lacking in the textile market at the time,” says Regina Polanco, founder and CEO at PYRATES.
PYRATES uses sustainable fibres, which consume less water, energy and CO2 during production. No chemical treatments are added to the clothing, making the whole process cleaner, healthier and better for the environment. The PYRATEX® products are luxury knit fabrics, all made from vegetal, upcycled or biodegradable fibres – all coming from European sources. “The vegetal fibres originate each from a different plant, which gives the fabric its unique body-caring properties, all tested and certified by European textile institutes,” explains Pilar Tejada, Head of Design at PYRATES. The clothing is divided into several ranges, all offering beneficial properties. For example, the ‘PYRATEX® health’ range has two products, a fleece and a jersey made from vegetal fibre. These retain heat at comfortable levels, while also protecting against UV rays. The ‘PYRATEX® cosmetic’ range comprises five skin-caring fabrics, made from a bio-based fibre that can, the company claims, help reduce neurological-dermatitis and psoriasis, two common skin conditions. The fabric contains fibres originating in seaweed from the North Atlantic, which has antioxidant properties thanks to its high levels of vitamin E and minerals such as sodium, magnesium and calcium.
Redesigning the textiles industry
PYRATES was founded on the belief that clothing had to evolve with innovation-driven times. Now that it has developed sustainable, environmentally friendly fabrics, the goal is to innovate within the textile industry by sharing its technological innovations. “We can co-create with each brand in order to adjust to their specific aesthetic, functionality or structural needs. This can result in stable collaborations that may involve textile R&D, and production. We can also assist each brand’s teams to successfully explain the innovative fabrics to their own clients,” says Tejada.
A European revolution
The PYRATES team have already been commercialising the range of PYRATEX® fabrics for over 3 years, and have cultivated a growing client base, supplying the textiles to a number of different brands from sportswear to high-end fashion. “You will find them in brands such as Vaara, PANGAIA, Haute Hijab, and ASICS, which will be launching a women’s collection on 8 March made from our PYRATEX®!” says Polanco. The PYRATES smart fabrics team is proud to have woven itself into the long legacy of European textiles: blending European tradition and innovation, knitting fabrics with innovative fibres in a mill which has been in business since 1780. “We are also very proud of contributing to bringing back the textile industry to Europe, once a textile powerhouse, hopefully to regain its former textile glory once again,” Polanco concludes.
PYRATEX, fabrics, clothing, European, natural, health, benefits