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Platform for envIRonmentallY Sustainable Textile processing, to be replicated worldwide in the fashion industry Feasibility Study

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - SPIRYT (Platform for envIRonmentallY Sustainable Textile processing, to be replicated worldwide in the fashion industry Feasibility Study)

Reporting period: 2015-09-01 to 2016-02-29

The necessities of textile finishing, imparting specific effects on the final garments, are currently achieved through practices considered as borderline, in terms of the environmental sustainability and for the health and safety of the operators. In many case, the chemicals employed are banned or phased out by the environmental regulations and REACH restrictions. So far, the availability of cheap reactants (based on noxious permanganate or chlorine chemicals) has been driving the choice of processes for the aesthetics, wearability and hand in the fashion wear, as well as for the fast processing capacity.
The big names of fashion industry are now leading the development of a greener chemistry in textiles finishing, not compromising on the final image effects, and the ever evolving fashion collections. The optimal solution would rely on a high quality finished garment, processed in a highly automated way, with a strongly reduced use of energy and water, and a marginal application of chemicals, none of which considered as a dangerous or banned from the regulations. The idea underlying the SPIRYT project is to develop a suite of processing which can overcome the current limitations and at the same time grant the possibility to achieve the final effects on textile or garments, with a comparable operation time and a much lesser environmental footprint.
The commitment of NEARCHIMICA is to apply the knowledge gathered in more than 35 years operation in the development of fine chemicals for the textile finishing, developing recipes and formulations that can be the unique selling point for own customers. The end users addressed are the big names in the fashion industry, willing to remain at the edge of the fashion products, but with a strong green communication capacity, to be used not only as leverage to attract customers, but also in the respect of the stricter rules and standards. The core of the SPIRYT projects aims at combining in innovative way laser, ozone, chemical, resins and enzymes processing, mixed in a appropriate way to target the required, specific final effects on garments.
The activities of the project have been established, on the basis of the original workplan exposed within the Description of action, according the three main tasks foreseen.
Through wide experimentation, trials in own facilities and in equipments from own suppliers, NEARCHIMICA managed to address the methodologies in order to transform the textile materials in accordance to the fashion requirements, through the technologies granting a reduced energy and water consumption.
The results have been assessed through a comparative LCA assessment, and they demonstrated the achievement of the final effects on garments, showing at the same time lower environmental impact, less energy and water used, within a comparable time frame and with no dangerous chemicals involved.
Focus has been established as well on the identification, assessment and implementation of market strategies to extend the application of the new fabric and garment finishing techniques, assessing therefore the channels accessible by NEARCHIMICA to be adequate to permit a successful strategy of product development and market access.
The selected approach is intended to generate a platform in which the added value is the long-standing expertise of Nearchimica, and the availability of a complete set of technologies, unlocking green growth potential, at the same performances level of the current processing. The final results achieve a cut in the overall environmental footprint up to 50%, in terms of LCA equivalent: this secures to Nearchimica a primary role in the supply of fine chemicals and in process consultancy to industries engaged in the fashion industry to continuously innovate the achievement of the final image effect.
The Business Models objectives of the project are expected to permit the consolidation of the current position, unlocking a real blue ocean of new opportunities in the sector for the company, thanks to the combined sales of the products and the set-up of dedicated process recipes, allowing the transformation of the raw fabric into the required end products.