Wolford is bringing the Cradle to Cradle® approach to the lingerie business
February 6th 2017, Paris – What if your lingerie set or your tights could be turned into nutrients for the planet? or the yarns of which they are made of could be part of an infinite cycle that will never create waste? or the ingredients, dyes and chemicals used are healthy and safe?
These are just some of the questions our Product Development masterminds have been asking themselves and have spent most of the last three years in finding an answer to..
Since the very beginning, Wolford has met the highest standards in terms of environmentally compatible processes, efficient use of resources and targeted measures to protect and preserve neighboring ecosystems. Sustainability has been part of the overall responsibility that we have actively embraced for over 60 years. It was time to extend the Brand’s long lasting ecological commitment outside our production facilities.
“We are very proud to present today here in Paris the first prototype of tights and lingerie that are safe for biological cycles” said Andreas Roehrich, Director, Product Development & Textile Sourcing “As members of the smart-textiles industry network, we have been focusing all our ingenuity to rethink and redesign our core business collections with the Cradle to Cradle® approach that could help generate nutrients in multiple biological or technical cycles. With this innovation, we are strongly committed to develop products using healthy raw materials, chemicals and dyes that are safe for the consumer, the society and the environment.
To help us navigate the complexity of moving away from a linear into a circular production and economic system, we are working with a consortium of fifteen companies, all located in the Vorarlberg region in Austria, each producing Cradle to Cradle® individual components for the lingerie and hosiery industry. This consortium, named COIN (Cooperation Innovation), is also supported by the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) and designed to foster cooperation between companies and research institutions for the efficient translation of expertise into innovative products.
“Ability brings responsibility” our CEO Ashish Sensarma explained ” it is important to take the lead and serve as catalyst to accelerate the change needed in the fashion industry. We are aiming to bring to our consumers products belonging to both cycles, by AW 18″.
For the biological cycles both the lingerie set and the tights will be made from Lenzing Modal® , a cellulosic fiber derived from sustainable forestry, together with the specially modified oil based biodegradable polymer – infinito® by Lauffenmühle – and a special ROICA™ premium smart yarn, which on top of high stretch performance is able to degrade without releasing any harmful substances (as per Hohenstein Environmental Compatibility certificate #15.8.9.0037). All of these components comply with safe standards for biological cycles.
At the same time all of the products matching the requirements for the technical cycle will be made using Polyamide 6 as well as the above-mentioned Elastomer.
The development of these products and materials required the research on colorants, textile chemicals and accessories, which are qualifying safe for biological cycles in regard to the Material Health Assessment supported by the accredited assessor, EPEA Switzerland, for the Cradle to Cradle Certified™ certification.
To implement these specific materials and ingredients in the textile production requires additional innovative processes and machinery adaptations within a close cooperation of the consortium partners.
“It may seem that the path is still long and full of technical challenges, but we are positive we have reached the tipping point, things are going to move faster from now on, change is just around the corner” Andreas Roehrich said closing his presentation.