If, on one side, scientific research shows that the textile industry is among the production sectors that contribute most to the pollution of our planet, on the other side it must be admitted that there are many innovative textile solutions developed to ensure their protection. The result of technological progress, sustainable manufacturing processes and an increasingly green and responsible approach to fashion.
From street fashion to technical clothing for sports, outdoor and indoor, the rule that moves these revolutionary design projects is to create a production that is increasingly attentive to the nature and health of consumers, without sacrificing aesthetics and performance techniques of a dress. This is especially the case of synthetic fabrics, which have the greatest impact on the creation of harmful waste and scraps.
Among the different paths that the sector is taking to fully embrace sustainability, there is the one of biodegradable synthetic fibers capable of minimizing their footprint on the environment.
Accelerated biodegradability: a new sustainability
What does it mean for a fabric to be “biodegradable”? In general, we refer to the ability of a textile material to decompose through the transformation of the substances that constitute it into simpler others, without releasing polluting substances. Let’s see what happens if we talk about artificial yarns that may seem more difficult to dispose of than organic ones.
Even synthetic fabrics can biodegrade in not too long times if they are composed of fibers with characteristics and if they have undergone special manufacturing processes. In fact, making a fabric truly sustainable is not only the raw material with which it is produced, but also the process with which it is made, which must be as controlled and transparent as possible, attentive to the well-being of nature and people – from workers in the sector, to consumers themselves.
A virtuous example in this sense is the use of accelerated biodegradability fibers, which thanks to specific additives are able to decompose much faster than normal synthetic fibers, without producing toxic substances during the degradation process and thus ensuring a reduced impact on the environment. It is therefore a feature that ennobles all those man made fabrics that are notoriously labeled as the most harmful for our Earth, improving their intrinsic qualities and making them a valid response to the “end of life theme” in the textile field.
Synthetic fabrics with accelerated biodegradability are fully part of a circular economy model applied to fashion and sport, according to which any garment that has ended its life span can be transformed into a new product capable of still generating value, fueling a cycle of potentially infinite use capable of promoting a sustainable approach to production and consumption.
Synthetic fibers biodegradable, but performing
Thanks to technological innovation, garments made with biodegradable synthetic fibers are able to ensure the wearer with high performance, combining maximum physical comfort with technical characteristics capable of making them suitable for certain environments or for carrying out particular activities.
Designed to give voice to this need is the BioBack technology developed by M.I.T.I which uses accelerated biodegradability yarns made thanks to two special components. The first is Amni Soul Eco® Polyamide, produced by Fulgar, which does not contain toxic components and is capable of biodegrade in extremely fast way during its end of life phase. The process is simple: by getting in contact with existing microorganisms, in an autogenous environment, a process is started which causes the yarn to degrade within 5 years compared to the 50-100 years of a classic synthetic fiber. In addition, during its production and transformation cycle, this polyamide has a very limited effect on the environment – with low water consumption for its creation and energy necessary for the care of the garment, such as drying and ironing.
This is accompanied by the elastane of Asahi Kasei’s Eco Smart Roica™ V550 range, produced sustainably from a latest generation polymer. This hi-tech stretch fiber also consumes less energy to be produced than standard elastomers and does not release toxic substances during the degradation process. This is confirmed by the Cradle to Cradle™ certification, which promotes the creation and use of non-toxic products and materials in full respect of a sustainable circularity.
The combination of these two advanced technology fibers is used to produce fabrics that are characterized by excellent performance: lightness, quick drying and a high moisture management capacity that makes them suitable for the production of t-shirts or light jerseys for various sports activities. Other characteristics of BioBack fabrics are great resistance to wear and abrasion, useful for producing sweatshirts or clothing for first and second protective layers.
Sustainability and Performance are two essential and complementary aspects of an eco-friendly textile: this is the heart of #greenperforming and of all the products that marry this revolutionary vision of production and consumption.