At the 2019 Performance Days in Munich (November 13 & 14, hall C1, exhibit booth C11), Sympatex Technologies is presenting a selection of new, unmixed polyester laminates that perfectly supplement the Sympatex portfolio in light of the company’s goal of being able to offer completely non-toxic, recycled and recyclable functional textiles by the year 2020. As a pioneer in the field of sustainable, waterproof functional textiles, the Munich-based company is focused on the strategic expansion of unmixed functional laminates made from recycled polyester, which meanwhile make up more than 80 per cent of the Sympatex apparel business line. With this strategy, outer and inner lining materials produced from already-recycled and recyclable polyester, plus the 100-per cent non-PTFE/PFC Sympatex membrane made from completely non-toxic polyether/polyester, are laminated together into an unmixed functional material that in turn can be fed back into the closed textile loop at the end of its product life cycle.

One new example is the bio-based, three-layer BERLIN TIDE functional product, which is an ideal supplement to the sustainable Sympatex portfolio. With this unmixed and recyclable functional textile, polyester fibers are partly replaced by bio-based Sorona® fibers. The result is that non-renewable energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions are reduced. The climate-neutral Sympatex membrane contributes to a positive eco-balance as well. BERLIN TIDE is well-suited for the athleisure and sportswear segments. This soft, easy-to-care-for article features a natural look and thanks to the Sorona® polymer structure, is highly elastic without having to rely on elastane.

BERLIN TIDE and all other unmixed polyester laminates in the Sympatex portfolio are perfectly suited for being fed back into the closed textile loop that Sympatex is pushing through the creation and continuous expansion of the wear2wear consortium. At the AplusA international occupational safety trade fair in Dusseldorf, the wear2wear European industry partnership, together with founding partner Schoeller Textil, introduced its latest upcycling product, a recycled/recyclable functional jacket that combines the best worlds of ecological and economical reuse in a single product. Apart from the Sympatex membrane, high value was also placed on fully reusable polyester in the selection of the materials for the jacket components (i.e., cord, zippers, Velcro fasteners) in order to manufacture a recycled, unmixed polyester product that in turn can be easily fed back into the upcycling process at the end of its life cycle.

Roughly 25 tons of used clothing are currently being tested within the framework of the wear2wear partnership as part of a collaboration with the FRIVEP project, a joint effort between the French Government and industry (the so-called Green Deal). The cooperation aims to develop extensive synergies between wear2wear and FRIVEP (Filière pour le Réemploi et Recyclage des Vêtements Professionnels), in order to bring used polyester fibers back into the textile loop, thus preserving their value. During the 15-month pilot phase, the French postal service, SCNF (State-run rail system), the city of Paris and the Gendarmerie will be collecting more than 20 tons of clothing. The goal is to reuse the majority of the textile raw materials for the manufacture of functional apparel products.

“In Germany, around 70 per cent of the used clothing is collected and sorted by the various collection organizations. Europe-wide, this number is lower, but it’s still typically around 50 per cent. This presents a huge opportunity for our industry to rapidly close the apparel loop and reclaim valuable raw materials,” explains Dr. Rüdiger Fox. “Our industry can and must create the conditions for this to happen. Given that roughly 50 per cent of the textiles used by our industry are manufactured from polyester, it’s obvious that we have to use unmixed materials where possible before we can even produce them circularly. This is a vision that can already be turned into reality by working together with all of the wear2wear™ partners,” adds Fox.

Dr. Rüdiger Fox will appear on the podium two times during “Sustain & Innovate” (November 14, Expert Talks Area), a sustainability conference organized as part of the Performance Days trade fair. Among other topics, Dr. Fox will address the important issue of “Designing for Recycling”.

The program can be viewed online at https://www.sustainandinnovate.com/app/uploads/2019/10/114747_Mode6_02_02.pdf