Movers & Shakers February 2024: Hemp-Based Period Pads


Mewalii hemp femcare pads
Mewalii hemp femcare pads

In the dynamic and global textile fiber industry with its various manufacturing processes and end-uses, news and information is breaking on a daily basis. International Fiber Journal is tracking stories relevant to our industry from manmade to natural to bio-based fibers, innovations in nonwoven, woven, braided and technical textiles, technologies for additives, bonding, coatings and polymers, and applications from apparel to hygiene to transportation, and more. Here we will post news stories relevant to textile fibers and their downstream applications on an ongoing basis. Please check back for regular updates. If you have news that you feel should be added to this summary report, please email it to Ken Norberg at ken@ifj.com.

Most recent update: February 23, 2024

Oerlikon to Separate Polymer Processing Solutions Business

Swiss industrial group Oerlikon plans to spin off its Polymer Processing Solutions business in order to focus on surface solution markets. The Polymer Processing Solutions division, which is responsible for all of the company’s fiber filament and nonwovens processing technology, includes the well-known Barmag and Neumag brands. The spin-off will take place within the next three years.

According to reports, the company has been planning to become a surface solutions business. The filament fiber business has been extremely cyclical, impacted by slowwon in consumption and the global nonwovens market.

www.oerlikon.com

INDA Calls for Presentations, Award Nominations for RISE® 2024

INDA, the Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry, announced a call for presentations and award nominations for the RISE® (Research, Innovation & Science for Engineered Fabrics) Conference.

RISE 2024

RISE will be held October 1-2, 2024, at the James B. Hunt, Jr. Library, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, N.C. RISE is a two-day conference presenting new research and science that drives innovation and product development. The theme for this year’s event is “The Other Sustainability Story: Extended Use and Reduced Consumption.”

Nonwoven professionals are encouraged to submit their technical abstracts by Friday, April 12, 2024. Presenting at RISE is an opportunity to share ground-breaking work with industry leaders looking for new technologies, processes, and materials. Topics being considered are raw materials, equipment and processing, product-related technologies, and applications. For a more detailed list of topics, visit https://www.riseconf.net/papers.html

Abstracts may be submitted via the RISE website, https://www.riseconf.net/papers.html. The deadline for submissions is April 12, 2024. For questions about abstract submissions, contact Deanna Lovell.

www.riseconf.net

Aptean Acquires Momentis

Aptean, a global provider of mission-critical enterprise software solutions, announced the acquisition of Momentis, a provider of purpose-built software solutions designed for the fashion, apparel, footwear, textile and accessories industries.

With the acquisition of Momentis, Aptean adds new capabilities to its fashion and apparel offerings for wholesalers, importers, manufacturers and self-sourcing retailers.

Aptean

Founded in 1994 and headquartered in Montreal, Quebec, Momentis provides mission-critical software designed to manage enterprise-wide business processes, streamline efficiency, increase profitability and provide real-time operational insights. Momentis delivers an integrated suite of cloud-based solutions including product lifecycle management, sales order management, sourcing and logistics, warehouse management, financial management and business intelligence.

The Momentis platform is designed to manage operations across the entire fashion and apparel supply chain – customers include manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers, importers and self-sourcing retailers. Momentis is utilized by over 250 leading fashion and apparel brands and supports more than $7 billion of annual order volume.

www.aptean.com

Hemp-Based Period Pads

Danish Femcare company Mewalii has introduced the period pads crafted from Sero regenerative hemp fibers without the use of cotton. The launch, which took place in January 2024, marks a significant milestone for the founders after more than four years of dedicated effort and passion of development.

Mewalii hemp femcare pads
Mewalii hemp femcare pads

“We had an amazing launch, and it was so soothing to be able to say that from this day you be able to buy Mewaliis hemp pads – it was unbelievable amazing,” said Frederikke Dahl, Co-Founder of Mewalii.

Mewalii’s journey began in 2019, inspired by a university entrepreneurship program, envisioned developing fully biodegradable sanitary pads. During the founders’ research, they investigated the use of different types of natural fibers and found hemp used less water than other materials and could be grown without the use of pesticides.

The Mewalii pads contains a 100% hemp-based core and a top sheet combining hemp and viscose for added softness. Additionally, the hemp was softened via mechanical processes.

www.mewalii.com

Nonwovens Institute Adds to Executive Committee

The Nonwovens Institute (NWI) is announced the election of three new members to the Executive Committee of its Industrial Advisory Board (IAB). Dr.-Ing. Martin Lehmann, Principal Expert Research Network and Public Funding at Mann+Hummel in Ludwigsburg, Germany; Dr. SA Ravishankar, R&D Manager for Nonwoven Product Technologies at Saint-Gobain Research North America in Northboro, Massachusetts, USA ; and Mr. Arnold Wilkie, President, Hills, Inc. in West Melbourne, Florida, were each elected during the Fall 2023 IAB meeting.

www.thenonwovensinstitute.com

INDA Elevates Sustainability as Top Priority for 2024

INDA, the Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry, announced sustainability as a primary focus for 2024. This strategic initiative, backed by resounding support from INDA’s leadership, is a direct response to feedback from association members affirming that sustainability remains one of the nonwovens industry’s highest priorities.

INDA Sustainability 2024

INDA’s sustainability endeavor will center around three core pillars crucial to the industry’s future: Responsible Sourcing, End-of-Life Solutions, and Innovations in Sustainability. This multifaceted initiative will introduce a spectrum of new and enhanced offerings, including:

  • Cutting-edge webinars addressing sustainability issues impacting members and the industry.
  • Specialized technical and government affairs committees enabling members to collaborate on sustainability opportunities and challenges.
  • The inaugural release of a comprehensive sustainability report from INDA’s Market Intelligence department.
  • A dedicated sustainability special edition of the International Fiber Journal, produced by INDA Media.
  • Significantly enriched sustainability programming at INDA events, including a dedicated focus at the IDEA® 2025 conference.

“INDA member companies are at the forefront of innovation, actively investing in research and development to pioneer eco-friendly materials, explore alternative production processes, and integrate recycled and biodegradable materials, all while advancing circularity,” said INDA President Tony Fragnito. “This heightened emphasis on sustainability resonates with the nonwovens industry’s dedication to minimizing environmental impact, and underscores INDA’s commitment to driving positive change within the industry to meet evolving member and customer desire for minimizing environmental impact.”

As INDA embraces sustainability as a theme for 2024, its commitment extends far beyond this year’s horizon. Ongoing efforts will continue to evolve and expand, with a strategic emphasis on amplifying influence and fostering relationships with stakeholders beyond the industry’s confines. INDA anticipates close collaboration with its members and welcomes their feedback on how the association can serve the needs of the industry on this important topic.

www.inda.org

Nanodiamonds Could Hold Key to Cool Clothing

Researchers from RMIT University in Australia are using nanodiamonds to create smart textiles that can cool people down faster. Their study, published in the journal Polymers for Advanced Technologies, found fabric made from cotton coated with nanodiamonds, using a method called electrospinning, showed a reduction of 2–3°C during the cooling down process compared to untreated cotton. They do this by drawing out body heat and releasing it from the fabric—a result of the incredible thermal conductivity of nanodiamonds.

Research supervisor and Senior Lecturer Dr. Xin Wang, lead researcher and research assistant Dr. Aisha Rehman and project leader and Senior Lecturer Dr. Shadi Houshyar. Credit: Cherry Cai, RMIT University
Research supervisor and Senior Lecturer Dr. Xin Wang, lead researcher and research assistant Dr. Aisha Rehman and project leader and Senior Lecturer Dr. Shadi Houshyar. Credit: Cherry Cai, RMIT University

Project lead and Senior Lecturer, Dr. Shadi Houshyar, said there was a big opportunity to use these insights to create new textiles for sportswear and even personal protective clothing, such as underlayers to keep fire fighters cool. The study also found nanodiamonds increased the UV protection of cotton, making it ideal for outdoor summer clothing.

www.rmit.edu.au

Oerlikon to Focus on Road Safety and Health Protection at Techtextil

At this year’s Techtextil in Frankfurt from April 23 to 26, Oerlikon Polymer Processing Solutions will inform trade visitors about technologies for the production of technical textiles. At the VDMA joint stand in Hall 12 C55/56, the focus will be on sustainable solutions in the areas of safety, automotive and health.

Yarns produced on Oerlikon Barmag machines are used in seatbelts.
Yarns produced on Oerlikon Barmag machines are used in seatbelts.

In modern passenger cars today, an average of 30 to 35 kg of yarn ensures safety and comfort. Airbags play a large part in this: the yarns used are mainly made of polyamide. Due to the ever-increasing variety of airbag applications and the ever-growing size of the systems, polyester is also often used today, depending on the application requirements and cost/benefit considerations. In addition to high productivity and low energy consumption, the technologies from Oerlikon Barmag score particularly well with their stable production processes.

In the event of an accident, the number one lifesaver is not the car body or the airbag, but the seat belt. It holds the vehicle occupants firmly in position and thus enables other protective technologies to develop their full function. Yarns produced on Oerlikon Barmag machines ensure all-round safety.

“They meet all the high-quality standards for airbags, which – like almost all other textile products in vehicle construction – must guarantee maximum safety for the occupants,” said Dr. Jen Supra, technology manager of Technical Yarn at Oerlikon Barmag. “And without any loss of function in any climate, anywhere in the world, for the entire service life of the vehicle.”

www.oerlikon.com

Fiberpartner ApS and Stein Fibers, LLC Announce Strategic Cooperation

Fiberpartner ApS, a leading global supplier of responsible and innovative fiber solutions, is entering a strategic partnership with Stein Fibers, LLC, a renowned distributor of special fibers and materials. This partnership is designed to make new and innovative fiber solutions widely available and accessible, contributing to a more responsible future. The goal is to support the transition towards a non-petroleum-based development of fibers and work towards an environmentally friendly tomorrow.

Jaren Edwards, Stein Fibers, and Thomas Wittrup, Fiberpartner.
Jaren Edwards, Stein Fibers, and Thomas Wittrup, Fiberpartner.

This collaboration will provide manufacturers and brands with easier access to responsible fiber solutions, enabling them to meet their sustainability goals and reduce their environmental impact.

The collaboration offers several advantages, such as:

  1. Enhanched Availability: We’re increasing availability for fiber solutions, providing customers with easier access to these responsible materials for seamless integration into their products – this is gained through Stein Fibers’ leading distribution network across the USA.
  2. Sustainable collaboration: Fiberpartner ApS and Stein Fibers, LLC share a commitment to driving innovation in sustainability. Through this partnership, their collective efforts will be strengthened, promoting the delivery of environmentally friendly solutions to the market.
  3. Expertise and Assistance: Customers will gain valuable insights and support from both companies, guaranteeing a seamless transition to these more sustainable fiber alternatives.

“We are excited about our partnership with Stein Fibers, LLC,” said Thomas Wittrup, CEO of Fiberpartner ApS. “Together, we are better equipped to meet the growing demand for better and less harmful fiber solutions. We are committed to making our solutions more readily available to businesses worldwide. Stein Fibers is a market leader in the distribution of textile fibers for the fiberfill, nonwovens, and spinning industries. Together we can provide our global customers world class supply chain solutions.”

“We are pleased about this collaboration with Fiberpartner ApS in promoting our supply chain solutions in conjunction with their innovative fiber solutions,” said Jaren Edwards, President at Stein Fibers, LLC. “This partnership aligns perfectly with our mission to provide cutting-edge fiber materials with a lower footprint to our customers. We believe that these innovative fibers will play a vital role in reducing the environmental impact of the industries we serve.”

www.fiberpartner.com

Rieter Reports Major Win in Infringement Patent Dispute in China

In a judgment in December 2023, the Supreme People’s Court of the People’s Republic of China ruled in favor of Rieter in a legal dispute. The case concerned the infringement of a Rieter patent by a competitor’s draw frame. Rieter protects its innovations with patents and registered designs and consistently takes action against infringements of its intellectual property.

Rieter draw frames are known for their stable operation with high sliver quality and productivity. Superb scanning precision and highest autoleveling dynamics ensure outstanding sliver evenness and thus the production of high-quality yarns. Draw frames have also been the subject of a patent litigation by Rieter in China at various levels of jurisdiction. Rieter had sued a competitor for unauthorized use of its patented draw frame technology.

In the summer of 2022, the Shanghai Intellectual Property Court confirmed the patent infringement identified by Rieter and prohibited the accused competitor from continuing to use Rieter’s patented technology. The infringing party was also ordered to pay damages to Rieter.

The culpable competitor then appealed the decision of the Shanghai court to the Supreme People’s Court of the People’s Republic of China.

www.rieter.com

Berry and Glatfelter Announce Merger

Berry Global and nonwovens manufacturer Glatfelter Corporation announced they have signed an agreement that will see Berry spin off and merge the majority of its Health, Hygiene and Specialties business, including its Global Nonwovens and Films (HHNF) business with Glatfelter.

Berry Global

Berry announced late last year that it was exploring strategic alternatives for its health and hygiene business, which is a major supplier to a broad range of end markets including healthcare, hygiene, consumer, building and construction, and industrials.

Under the terms of the deal, Berry is expected to receive net cash proceeds of approximately $1 billion once the transaction closes. Berry shareholders will own 90% of the combined company’s common shares with Glatfelter shareholders owning the remaining 10% of the combined company.

With unanimous approval from the boards of directors of both companies, the combined company will offer a highly complementary range of nonwovens and films including both polymer-based and fiber-based products, with significant geographic diversification and a presence in all major markets.

The remaining health and hygiene businesses, including Berry’s tapes business, will be retained by Berry.

www.berryglobal.com

World of Wipes® International Conference Opens Registration

INDA, the Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry, announced that registration and tabletop exhibit reservations are open for the World of Wipes® (WOW) International Conference. WOW 2024 will take place June 17-20 at the Hyatt Regency Minneapolis, Minneapolis, MN. The theme for this year’s event is “Wipes Innovation & Sustainability – From Inception to Perfection.”

WOW 2024

WOW will feature not-to-be missed content in responsible sourcing, end-of-life solutions, and innovations in sustainability. Industry leaders, such as The Clorox Company, Kimberly-Clark Professional, and Nice-Pak, amongst others, will present their sustainability insights in formulations, industrial and institutional wipes, alternatives to plastics, production technologies, recycling options, and regulatory issues.

Preceding WOW will be three pre-conference webinars led by wipes experts:

  • Berry Global – “Unveiling Sustainability: Navigating the Complexity of Raw Materials Through Life Cycle Assessments” – Wednesday, May 29th, 11 am EDT
  • NatureWorks – “EU Biopolymer Regulations” – Wednesday, June 5th, 11 am EDT
  • RFA – “#FlushSmart – Fighting Toilet Crimes All Over the U.S.” and INDA – “Flushability Standards and Labelling” – Wednesday, June 12th, 11 am EDT

www.worldofwipes.com

Sawgrass Sustainable Acquires Assets of Carpenter Material Group

Sawgrass Sustainable LLC, a long-time leader in textile recycling, announced that it has partnered with Carpenter Material Group, a forward-thinking organization that has established itself as a leader in automotive recycling.

Carpenter Material Group brings to the table significant grinding and sortation capabilities, wash lines and extrusion capacity, which will enhance Sawgrass Sustainable’s ability to offer a full-service solution for consistent resin.

With the acquisition of Carpenter Material Group’s assets, Sawgrass Sustainable’s facilities will now extend to Lafayette Ga., Dalton, Ga. and Scottsboro Ala. This expansion allows Sawgrass Sustainable to better serve its customers in the region, providing improved accessibility and efficiency.

The acquisition of Carpenter Material Group’s assets and the expansion of facilities in Georgia and Alabama represent an exciting chapter in Sawgrass Sustainable’s journey. As the company continues to grow, it remains dedicated to delivering sustainable materials and making a positive impact on the environment.

sawgrassrecycle.com

Ahlstrom Launches Home Compostable Coffee Lid

Ahlstrom, a leading provider of sustainable specialty materials, announced the launch of PureLid™, a fiber-based lid offering for single-serve coffee capsules to support the coffee industry in its sustainability journey. With its ground-breaking design, PureLid™ offers a high-performing, home-compostable alternative to aluminum or plastic lids used in coffee capsules.

PureLid™ has received the OK compost HOME and OK compost INDUSTRIAL certifications from TÜV®. OK compost HOME and OK compost INDUSTRIAL certifications confirm that PureLid™ can be composted at home and in an industrial facility. All tests have been carried out with an independent laboratory certified and accredited to ISO 17025.

This innovative, patented coffee lid structure is ready to seal on coffee capsules, making it an ideal choice for manufacturers who are looking to embrace the future of sustainable coffee packaging.

PureLid™ is compatible with the most common bio-based coffee capsules on the market, making it a versatile choice for coffee brands looking to reduce their environmental footprint. PureLid™ also features an adequate Oxygen Barrier that preserves the coffee’s flavor and freshness.

Furthermore, PureLid™ incorporates a built-in filter that effectively retains dust, ensuring optimal brewing performance and a consistently pure coffee taste with every cup. One of the remarkable features of PureLid™ is its transition from industrial compostability to home compostability while preserving capsule performance and the critical oxygen barrier.

www.ahlstrom.com

Lenzing Teams up With Recyc Leather and GANNI to Unveil New Footwear Materials

Lenzing Group, a leading global producer of wood-based specialty fibers, has partnered with leather alternative expert Recyc Leather to introduce Pélinova®, an innovative material that fuses TENCEL™ Lyocell fibers and recycled leather fibers for high-end fashion applications. Joining forces with Danish advanced contemporary brand GANNI, this dynamic trio is set to bring this next-generation material to the market as an alternative to genuine leather materials, starting with GANNI’s Slouchy Boots launching early this year.

Pélinova will be used in Ganni’s slouchy boots, which are due to launch early in 2024, as well as other projects. Photo courtesy Lenzing
Pélinova will be used in Ganni’s slouchy boots, which are due to launch early in 2024, as well as other projects. Photo courtesy Lenzing

Recyc Leather’s next-generation material, Pélinova®, is created through a unique, transparent process which involves collecting pre-consumer recycled leather and then hydro-jetting the leather fibers into the TENCEL™ Lyocell fibers, a standout material within the TENCEL™ brand portfolio that is produced from a resource-saving, closed-loop production process. TENCEL™ Lyocell fibers are also unfavorable to odor-causing bacteria. The combined efforts between Lenzing and Recyc Leather result in a material which is supple, flexible, and durable, with a low environmental impact utilizing 70% less water than traditional methods and reducing CO2 emissions.

“Since our establishment in 2017, we have recycled 100 tons of leather from landfill, earning recognition from European authorities and positive responses from brands”, said Olivier Grammont, Co-founder of Recyc Leather. “Our partnership with Lenzing and GANNI demonstrates Pélinova®’s potential as a truly sustainable alternative to traditional leather, inspiring us to continue to broaden the application of Pélinova® in shaping the future of the leather industry.”

www.lenzing.com

Exhibit Space for IDEA®25 Is Selling Fast

INDA, the Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry, announced that exhibit space reservations for IDEA®25 are rapidly approaching 70% capacity. INDA encourages all potential exhibitors to make their reservations as soon as possible to ensure they receive the best location for their booth. IDEA is being held April 29-May 1, 2025 at the Miami Beach Convention Center in Miami Beach, Florida.

Global suppliers and manufacturers who exhibit at IDEA will connect their technologies and innovations to C-suite leaders, R&D developers, and specifiers. Exhibitors can demonstrate their products to participants from around the world, answer their technical questions, and collaborate on new products.

IDEA25
IDEA25

INDA is responding to customer feedback with reduced expo pass fees for attendees and exhibitors to drive additional networking and business development opportunities. FiltXPO™, the International Filtration Conference & Exhibition, will again be co-located with IDEA bringing additional value to all participants. Registrants can attend both shows whether they are attending the expo or the conference and expo.

Tony Fragnito, INDA President, said, “Our theme for IDEA25 is ‘Nonwovens for a Healthier Planet’ and will culminate our 2024 focus on Sustainability with pillars on Responsible Sourcing, End-of-life Solutions and Innovations in Sustainability. We are excited to see the diversity of companies showcasing their commitment to sustainable concepts. This event is where the future of nonwovens will be on display.”

“Exhibit space for IDEA is being reserved at a brisk pace, with interest from both prior exhibitors as well as companies exhibiting for the first time. This show is where nonwoven companies can cement their status as a solution provider, acquire competitive market intelligence, and grow their business with new market applications,” said Joe Tessari, INDA Associate Director of Sales.

www.ideashow.org

Zuiko Acquires Cotton Manufacturer Teimen Corp.

ZUIKO Corporation of Japan announced that its subsidiary, COTEX Corporation, will acquire the cotton manufacturing business of Teimen Corporation. The acquisition was resolved during the Board of directors meeting held January 30, 2024.

Zuiko Corporation
Zuiko Corporation

This matter does not fall under the criteria for timely disclosure stipulated by the Tokyo Stock Exchange but is determined to be useful information and is therefore voluntarily disclosed.

The company believe this business acquisition will contribute to the improvement of ZUIKO Corporation’s business performance over the medium to long term, but minimal impact on business performance in the fiscal year ending Feb. 2025 is expected.

www.zuiko.co.jp

The Gildan® Ultra Cotton® 2000 is Getting Even Softer

Gildan®, a leading apparel brand of quality and affordable basics, announced that its classic Ultra Cotton® 2000 is about to get even softer. Using a new and unique cotton technology, the shirt will now feel softer to the skin and have improved printability qualities.

The Gildan Ultra Cotton 2000
The Gildan Ultra Cotton 2000

“Our 2000 t-shirt is already a smart choice, thanks to its heavyweight fabric, classic fit, and affordable price point. An industry legend that is tried and true, and now we’ve turned it into something even better,” said Emma Budzisz, Vice-President of Marketing at Gildan Activewear SRL. “With this update, Gildan® will become an even smarter choice for decorators and customers alike.”

The 2000 is made using U.S. cotton, which Gildan re-engineers from the yarn through to the finishing process, enhancing the fabric’s softness. The updated style, and the accompanying 2000 family, will make its official debut at Impressions Expo in Long Beach, California, one of the leading trade shows in the decorated apparel space, where Gildan® will have a dedicated booth featuring a t-shirt tower. Visitors will have the opportunity to experience the new 2000 firsthand, as well as the six new styles and nine colors Gildan® is adding to its portfolio in 2024. The new soft cotton technology will also be extended to Gildan®’s 5000, the 8000 and 18000 family of styles later this year.

www.gildancorp.com

Unifi REPREVE® Launches Alternative Sustainable Filament Yarn ReComfort™

Unifi, makers of REPREVE® recycled high-performance fibers, announced that REPREVE® has unveiled ReComfort™, a filament yarn crafted to act and feel like traditional cotton, acrylic and rayon, made with more sustainable materials.

Repreve
Repreve

ReComfort™ is an alternative to standard virgin cotton, acrylic, rayon and other spun yarn blends. This new combination has key features including being soft to the touch, and pill resistant. Optimized for REPREVE® Polyester, REPREVE® Nylon, standard (virgin) polyester and Standard (virgin) nylon this engineered thread has less drying time, and less processing time (such as fabric brushing or sanding), which in turn, saves energy.

ReComfort™ is available globally for brands to incorporate into their manufacturing process and products.

www.unifi.com