Movers & Shakers – October 2021: INDEX attracts large audience in Geneva as global nonwovens community reunites

IFJ Movers & Shakers - Textile Fiber Industry Updates
IFJ covers the latest news and information coming out of the textile fiber industry. Photo: iStock/allanswart

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 Matt Migliore at

Most recent update: October 28, 2021

Indorama Ventures releases latest Sustainability Report celebrating a decade of PET recycling

Indorama Ventures Public Company Limited (IVL), a leading sustainable chemical company, launched its 10th annual Sustainability Report and a video celebrating a decade of PET recycling and carbon reduction milestones. The company noted that it is committed to intensifying its drive towards ending plastic waste and a more circular economy in the decade ahead.

Since its first Sustainability Report in 2011, IVL has grown its sustainability initiatives through the 3Ps – People, Planet and Prosperity. From the baseline in 2013, the company achieved a 10% reduction in GHG intensity, 4% in energy intensity and 7% in water intensity. It also increased total waste diverted from landfill from 48% to 84% in 2020. Moreover, IVL’s global PET recycling capacity has improved almost 100 times from 3,576 tons per year in 2011 – the first entry of IVL to the PET recycling business – to more than 330,000 tons per year in the second quarter of 2021.

Throughout the decade, IVL has adopted international standards for its sustainability reports to drive benefits for the environment, society and economy. The effort resulted in recognition by world-class sustainability ratings agencies such as the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI) and the Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI).

Recent Sustainability Reports have featured business cases and special situations such as COVID-19. In 2016, IVL was the first Thailand-based company to introduce an additional, shorter version of the report called the Sustainability Report Executive Summary. This year, IVL has made further improvements with an interactive approach, including links to videos and shortcuts to highlighted articles. As a global company operating in 33 countries, the report is available in 15 languages.

Read the full report:

Watch IVL’s companion video release for its Sustainability Report:


BASF reports positive Q3 results, driven by strong performance of its Chemicals and Materials businesses

BASF Group reported demand for its products remained solid in Q3 2021, with revenues being driven by a 36% price increases and a 6% volume increase. At €19.7 billion, sales were €5.9 billion higher than in the prior-year quarter. This was largely attributable to higher prices in all segments, especially in Chemicals, Surface Technologies and Materials. The sales growth was also due to a significant increase in volumes in almost all segments.

At €1.9 billion, income from operations (EBIT) before special items was €1.3 billion higher than the level of the third quarter of 2020. This was mainly driven by the significantly higher EBIT before special items in the Chemicals segment. The significant earnings increases in the Materials and Industrial Solutions segments as well as in Other also lifted earnings. By contrast, earnings contributions from the Agricultural Solutions, Surface Technologies and Nutrition & Care segments declined considerably.

“With strong earnings contributions from the Chemicals and Materials segments, the earnings mix in the third quarter of 2021 was comparable with the second quarter of 2021,” said Brudermüller. “Our downstream businesses are still confronted with further rising raw material, energy and freight costs. Price increases in most downstream businesses could only partially offset these higher costs.”

Special items in EBIT amounted to minus €43 million in the third quarter of 2021. Expenses resulted primarily from restructuring measures, divestitures and integration costs. Other income had an offsetting effect. Special items in the previous year were minus €3.2 billion, mainly from impairments in all segments as well as restructuring measures.

EBIT amounted to €1.8 billion, considerably above the figure of minus €2.6 billion reported in the prior-year quarter. This figure includes income from integral companies accounted for using the equity method, which rose by €144 million to €200 million, due largely to the higher earnings contribution from BASF-YPC Company Ltd., Nanjing, China.

Compared with the third quarter of 2020, income from operations before depreciation, amortization and special items (EBITDA before special items) increased by €1.2 billion to €2.8 billion and EBITDA rose by €1.7 billion to €2.7 billion. At €1.3 billion, net income was €3.4 billion higher than in the prior-year quarter. Earnings per share amounted to €1.36 in the third quarter of 2021 (third quarter 2020: minus €2.31). Earnings per share adjusted for special items and amortization of intangible assets amounted to €1.56 (third quarter 2020: €0.60).

Cash flows from operating activities amounted to €1.9 billion in the third quarter of 2021, €204 million below the figure for the prior-year quarter. Free cash flow was €1.1 billion, which reflects a €287 million decrease from the figure from the prior-year quarter due primarily to lower cash flows from operating activities.

BASF Q3 2021 highlights:

  • Considerable sales growth of 42% to €19.7 billion
  • EBIT before special items increases significantly to €1.9 billion
  • 2021 outlook for sales raised to between €76 billion and €78 billion and for EBIT before special items to between €7.5 billion and €8.0 billion


Klopman launches dedicated Supplier Portal, aiming to ease supply chain challenges

Klopman, a European leader in the production of technical fabrics for workwear, has focused on the impact of its production processes and now aims to optimize its supply chain processes through an innovative, dedicated portal.

With the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic and the consequent changes that have taken place for businesses globally, companies had to face shifting dynamics that significantly stressed the Supply Chain. The procurement of raw materials, mainly from Asia, highlighted the vulnerability of the entire procurement system and the extreme importance that the accuracy and timing of trading information have for reliable performance across the entire Supply Chain.

Klopman hasdesigned and implemented a web-based application called Supplier Portal, which is shared with suppliers and aims to speed up the entire information flow between all parties, optimizing time and processes.

Klopman’s Supplier Portal provides a shared end-to-end vision of the company’s Supply Chain process, generating interaction with suppliers and promoting transparency in the supply chain. Within the portal, in real time, suppliers will have access to all the documentary information regarding their orders. Klopman, at the same time, will gain real-time evidence of the progress of all orders and related information.

This information flow will directly feed the Klopman ERP system, making the same data available to each department that needs it, throughout the entire organization.


Archroma receives EcoVadis ‘Platinum’ rating for corporate social responsibility

Archroma, a leader in specialty chemicals for the textile industry, has been awarded the EcoVadis “Platinum” rating in corporate social responsibility (CSR), placing the company within the top 1% of the best-rated companies in its industry.

Archroma was evaluated by EcoVadis, an organization specialized in assessing the CSR performance of companies on a global basis. The assessment focuses on 21 criteria which are grouped into 4 themes: Environment, Labor & Human Rights, Ethics, and Sustainable Procurement. EcoVadis assesses more than 75,000 companies in more than 160 countries and 200 industries.

Participating in the assessment for the fourth consecutive year, Archroma had set itself the target to reach the EcoVadis “Platinum” rating.

“Sustainability is a process”, comments Heike van de Kerkhof, CEO at Archroma. “We started our journey with the EcoVadis assessments only 4 years ago. Our progress all the way to the Platinum rating is testament to our continuous efforts and hard work to improve our societal, environmental and economic performance, and that of our customers!”


Scripps researchers confirm Lenzing cellulose fibers biodegrade in marine environments

The Lenzing Group, a leading provider of wood-based specialty fibers, announced research scientists from Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO) at the University of California, San Diego confirmed that the company’s wood-based cellulosic fibers biodegrade in the ocean. The research was the result of an independent project trying to understand the “end-of-life” scenarios for textiles and nonwovens discarded in the environment.

SIO has a global reputation for being one of the oldest, largest and most important marine research centers worldwide. In this study, SIO compared the degradation processes of nonwovens made from fossil-based synthetic materials, such as polyester, with those of cellulosic materials, such as Lenzing’s wood-based lyocell, modal and viscose fibers in specific scenarios – under various real oceanic conditions and controlled aquaria conditions. Results showed that wood-based cellulosic fibers fully biodegraded within 30 days, the fossil-based fibers tested were practically unchanged after more than 200 days.

“Our business model is one of a circular economy. We take wood from sustainable forestry and use a highly efficient system of processing all raw materials to produce fibers that are able to return to the ecosystem at the end of their life cycle,” said Robert van de Kerkhof, member of the Managing Board at Lenzing Group. “The textile and nonwoven industries have to change. Our goal is to raise widespread awareness of major challenges such as plastic pollution and persuade the industry to make the transition to wood-based, biodegradable Tencel, Lenzing Ecovero and Veocel fibers,” said van de Kerkhof.

The biodegradability of Lenzing fibers was also tested in the laboratory of Organic Waste Systems (OWS) in Belgium – one of the world’s leading companies in biodegradability and compostability testing – which showed data confirmed by those found with the real-life measurements at Scripps. The OWS assessment was conducted in accordance with applicable international standards and reflects relevant natural and artificial conditions in which biodegradation can occur. Certificates from the certification organization TÜV Austria show that Lenzing fibers rapidly biodegrade in all test environments (soil, industrial composting, home composting, fresh water and marine water) within the time frames set by the applicable standards.


INDEX attracts large audience in Geneva as global nonwovens community reunites

Following a record year for nonwovens production in Greater Europe, with a growth of 7.2% in 2020 to reach 3,075,615 tonnes (largely due to the highest ever demand for materials used to fight the COVID-19 pandemic), INDEX, a leading global conference and exposition for the nonwovens industry, was presented Oct. 19-21 in Geneva, Switzerland. The event attracted 9,300 total visitors to the live edition, with an additional 1,000 participants in the virtual edition, and 500 exhibitors, according to show organizers EDANA and Palexpo.

INDEX 2021
INDEX attracted 9,300 visitor entries over four days of live event programming, with another 1,000 participants in the virtual edition, as the event was presented for the first time ever in hybrid form. Photo courtesy of EDANA.

Due to the ongoing challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, INDEX was presented for the first time ever in a hybrid format, allowing exhibitors to leverage both live with virtual stands to showcase their products and services. The virtual platform also featured the full INDEX conference program, which will remained accessible through November 15 to allow all on-site and virtual participants to watch the content from the event’s six sector seminars (Sustainability, Filtration, Geosynthetics, Transportation, Smart Nonwovens and Infection Prevention), as well as engage with the content provided by the exhibitors.

We are delighted to note that this ‘augmented reality’ offer was so well received, and since the Swapcard platform which supported this will continue to be accessible to the 2500 pre-registered delegates for several weeks, as well as any other new visitors, we expect that those who missed the numerous side events such as the six sector seminars, or wish to prolong their contacts with exhibitors, will continue to benefit from INDEX in an innovative way” said Magali Fakhry Dufresne, INDEX exhibition director for Palexpo.

“With over 9,300 visitor entries over the four days, and an overwhelming sentiment among exhibitors of an unexpected attendance and quality of key decision-makers from across the globe, we are told by all those we have met that this is undoubtedly a resounding success under the circumstances” said Pierre Wiertz, general manager of EDANA.

INDEX will return to Geneva Apr. 18-21, 2023.


Milliken acquires Encapsys, LLC, adding microencapsulation technology to enhance specialty chemicals business

Milliken & Company, a global diversified manufacturer with more than a century and a half of materials science expertise, has formally acquired Encapsys, LLC, a world leader in microencapsulation, from the Cypress Performance Group LLC. The transaction officially closed October 18, 2021.

“Moving the needle on sustainability requires big thinking and powerful collaborations. We’re thrilled to welcome Encapsys to Milliken,” said Halsey Cook, president and CEO for Milliken & Company. “Encapsys’s expertise coupled with our ability to scale will propel our efforts to deliver sustainable innovations for our customers.”

“Encapsys brings a unique combination of innovation, science and technology to the Milliken team,” added Cindy Boiter, executive vice president and president of Milliken’s Chemical Business. “Enhancing our portfolio of specialty chemicals with global reach, this acquisition will accelerate sustainable solutions for the markets and customers we serve.”

As Encapsys integrates into Milliken, daily operations will continue without interruption, including relationships with existing suppliers and customers.

Headquartered in Appleton, Wisconsin, Encapsys is a leader in microencapsulation technologies, which put a uniform polymeric shell around a core material at the micron level to create capsules. Microencapsulation has applications across industries and helps companies achieve more sustainable products by advancing responsible consumption and efficient delivery of active materials.


CNITA elects new council, celebrates 20th anniversary

On October 20, China Nonwovens and Industrial Textiles Association (CNITA) held its fifth Member Congress and the celebration ceremony of its 20th anniversary in Beijing. The Congress reviewed and approved the report of the fourth Council, and elected the fifth Council. Ms. Li Guimei was elected as the president of CNITA. Zhu Xiusen, Duan Shoujiang, and Ji Jianbing were elected as the vice president, Li Yuhao was elected as the chief engineer, and Zhu Xiusen concurrently served as the secretary general. The first session of Board of Supervisors was also established. Mr. Li Lingshen, ex-president of CNITA was elected as the chairman of the Board of Supervisors.

“In the past 10 years, under the leadership of Mr. Li Lingshen, CNITA has made remarkable achievements, and the number of member companies reached more than 900. Now the baton of CNITA is passed to me. I will take on the responsibility of safeguarding the interests of the industry, meeting the needs of member companies, and promoting the development of the industry. I will work with all my colleagues to promote the high-quality development of the industrial textile industry through our innovative work and services,” said the newly elected president, Li Guimei.

Ms. Li Guimei, President of CNITA.
Ms. Li Guimei, newly elected president of CNITA.

“The newly elected Board of Directors marks that CNITA has entered a new stage. The team of officers are composed of outstanding persons. It is a team that is completely trustworthy.” Li Lingshen said. In addition, He reviewed his experience as the President of CNITA in the past ten years, shared his thoughts and insights, and suggested that the industry should adhere to the perspective of globalization in the future to form an industrial ecosystem that is interconnected, high-efficient and synergistic with application fields.

After the congress, a celebration ceremony for the 20th anniversary of the  founding of CNITA was held. Many congratulatory messages and blessing videos were received from China National Apparel and Textile Council (CNATC), Chinese Academy of Engineering, INDA, IFAI, EDANA, IGS, INWA and other associations.

“20-year continuous service to this fast-growing industry is noteworthy and evidence of the value CNITA provides,” said Dave Rousse, president of INDA, during his congratulatory speech. “From the organization of trade shows and conferences to the compilation of industry statistics to the outreach to global partners such as with us, CNITA and its leadership have responsibly led the growth and success of nonwovens in China and beyond. We applaud your accomplishments to date, and wish you continued success as you start your second 20 years.”

As part of the ceremony, Meritorious Figures of China’s Industrial Textiles Industry were announced. Academics from the Chinese Academy of Engineering, Sun Jinliang, Yao Mu and Yu Jianyong won the honor of Meritorious Figures.


Levi’s 501 made with Circulose fiber to be launched in early 2022

In early 2022, Levi’s will launch a version of its most iconic product, the 501 Original, made with organic cotton and post-consumer recycled denim, and designed to itself be recyclable. The launch is part of the ongoing partnership between Renewcell and Levi’s.

“We’ve been working with Levi’s for several years now to push the frontier of what’s possible for textile-to-textile recycling at scale. Incorporating Circulose in the 501 Original and launching it in retail showcases Levi’s® innovative capacity and the promise that Circulose carries to substitute significant shares of virgin cotton with recycled textiles in products widely known for their superior quality.” said Patrik Lundström, CEO of Renewcell.

Levis 501 Jeans with Renewcell's Circulose Fiber

This launch builds on last year’s release of a collaboration between Renewcell and Levi’s Wellthread line on the 502 for men and High Loose for women using the same materials, which was named a “World Changing Idea” by Fast Company. In each case, Levi’s used a mix of Renewcell’s pioneering Circulose fiber, a sustainably sourced viscose made in part from recycled denim, and organic cotton.

“Last year’s Wellthread collaboration with Renewcell showed that this could be done, that we could find man-made cellulosic fiber made with recycled denim that was strong enough and durable enough to meet our quality standards. That hadn’t been possible before with mechanically recycled denim,” said Paul Dillinger, vice president of Design Innovation.

“Now we’re taking that innovation and applying it to what could rightly be called the most iconic garment in all of apparel, the 501, which shows how serious we are about moving in the direction of circularity. Not only will our circular 501 jeans be designed to stand the test of time, just as they always have been, but they’ll also be able to find a second, third or fourth life as new garments.”

Making these jeans with recycled denim content blended with certified organic cotton means the garment uses far fewer natural resources and fewer chemicals to produce. Reducing the environmental impacts of materials is part of Levi’s® broader strategy for resource conservation across the life cycles of Levi’s products and is an important part of their Buy Better, Wear Longer message and campaign.

“We are still early stages in apparel’s move towards real circularity, which is so necessary given how consumptive and wasteful this industry can be,” Dillinger said. “By producing our signature jean, the 501, with recycled content and in a way that makes them recyclable, we’re hoping to show ourselves and the industry that it really can be done, and that we can deliver more sustainable product that saves resources, still looks great, and meets the highest quality standards.”


Dr Frederik Cloppenburg awarded Karl Arnold Prize 2021

Textile researcher Frederik Cloppenburg, Ph.D., scientist at the Institut für Textiltechnik (ITA) of RWTH Aachen University, was honored with the Karl Arnold Prize of the North Rhine-Westphalian Academy of Sciences and Arts, endowed with 10,000 €, for his scientific achievements.

Dr. Cloppenburg earned the award due to his interdisciplinary work within nonwovens production, his research in the field of artificial intelligence in the textile industry and his commitment to structural change in the Rhenish mining area with the help of scientific innovations. He has been working as a research assistant at the ITA of RWTH Aachen University since 2014, where he completed his doctorate. He is now in charge of the nonwovens technologies research group at the Aachen site. He is responsible for all nonwovens activities at the institute. In addition, in his function as chief digital officer, he is responsible for digitalization at ITA and the digitalization of the institute’s infrastructure and processes. Dr. Cloppenburg has multiple publications and lectures on his research.

The Karl Arnold Prize has been awarded annually to young scientists and artists for outstanding research work or artistic achievements. The prize is named after the founder of the Academy, Minister President Karl Arnold, and is endowed with 10,000 euros. The prize money is donated by the Foundation of Friends and Sponsors of the North Rhine-Westphalian Academy of Sciences and Arts.


Indorama Ventures listed on THSI for the seventh consecutive year

Indorama Ventures Public Company Limited (IVL) has been included in the Thailand Sustainability Investment (THSI) 2021 list by the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) for the seventh year running. IVL’s performance in Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) practices and sustainability management contributed to its selection.

Being listed in the THSI for the seventh consecutive year reflects the success of IVL’s sustainability journey, which responds to the challenges of the global situation, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Yash Lohia, chief sustainability officer at Indorama Ventures. “This year, we launched our 10 annual Sustainability Report demonstrating our progress in 2020. From a 2013 baseline, we recorded reductions of 10% in GHG intensity, 4% in energy intensity and 7% in water intensity, as well as an 84% increase in total waste diverted from landfill from 48%.”

Following each industry’s business nature, the THSI list requires sustainability assessments in economic, social, and environmental as well as governance dimensions. The consideration also aligns with the issues that investors around the world are interested in and is related to the areas where businesses can use their potential to solve social and environmental problems. The THSI list will be one of the criteria used to select companies on the SETTHSI Index, which promotes the investment in listed companies with outstanding ESG performance.


Kelheim Fibers earns ‘Gold’ status in EcoVadis CSR rating

Kelheim Fibers was awarded gold in the CSR rating by EcoVadis, scoring among the top 3% of all companies evaluated. Companies are evaluated in environment, labor and human rights, ethics and sustainable procurement, with Kelheim Fibers achieving top scores in the environment area.

“We create plant-based specialty fibres that enable healthy lifestyles while helping to preserve our environment for future generations,” said Craig Barker, CEO at Kelheim Fibres. “Environmentally friendly production and our overall environmental, social and ethical performance is the measure of how seriously we take our own aspirations.”

In addition to the gold status in the EcoVadis rating, Kelheim Fibres has a certified EMAS environmental management system and ranked highly in the Canadian NGO Canopy’s “Hot Button Report” for sustainable wood and pulp sourcing.

Renewcell, Kelheim Fibres to develop commercial-scale viscose fiber production from 100% recycled textile material

Renewcell and Kelheim Fibres Gmbh have signed a letter of intent to develop commercial-scale production of viscose fibers from up to 10,000 tonnes of Renewcell’s 100% textile recycled material Circulose annually. The collaboration provides a fully European closed loop in which textile waste is collected, recycled and regenerated into new Circulose fibers for people who want to reduce their fashion footprint.

“European fashion consumption has great impact on climate and the environment globally. It also contributes to tremendous amounts of waste going into landfill and incinerators either in Europe or abroad after export. We will now work with Kelheim to prevent waste and reduce the need for virgin resources, while also enabling a fully regional supply of low impact circular fibers for textiles” said Patrik Lundström, CEO of Renewcell. “We are thrilled for the opportunity to work closely with a partner like Kelheim, who is at the leading edge of innovation and sustainability in this industry.”

Craig Barker, CEO at Kelheim Fibres said, “We see an excellent fit between our two companies, not only on the technical side with Renewcell we have found a highly professional partner who shares our vision for future forward technologies that enable full circularity in the textile chain. Finding the answers to the challenges of our times is what drives us every day.

Our recycled cellulose fiber solution made of Renewcell’s Circulose and manufactured using environmentally sound processes at our Kelheim plant is an answer to the fashion industry’s need for sustainable, resource and waste reducing solutions, and a more regional and reliable supply chain. chain.”

Source: &

Fitesa invests in Reicofil 5 line to bolster high loft and spunmelt offering in Europe

Fitesa has invested in a new multibeam Reicofil 5 line in Europe, with start-up planned in the second quarter of 2023. The new machine will be installed in one of Fitesa’s current facilities in the region and will be equipped to produce full high loft and standard spunmelt products, using a variety of sustainable raw materials including bioPE and PLA.

“This line will be a state-of-the art machine capable of serving the growing demand for sustainable spunmelt products,” said Michael Baumgartner, Fitesa’s senior vice president for Europe & China. “Once the machine is online, we will ramp up production from our pilot lines which significantly increases our ability to supply the market with softer products and increased circular and green content produced locally in Europe.”

According to Fernanda Gastal, Fitesa’s vice president of procurement and marketing and head of the company’s ESG Committee: “This investment is part of our strategic direction that will contribute to change the sustainability profile of the spunmelt industry. It should be seen as one of three pillars where we believe we can make a significant impact: innovative technology offering, environmentally friendly raw materials and reduction of GHG emissions in our operations”.

Fitesa has been producing nonwovens from biobased polymers since the early 2010’s and was awarded for its 100% biobased spunbond materials.


Greycon walks from London to Athens for WasteAid

Greycon, a supply chain specialist servicing the nonwovens and converting industries, has sponsored its team members in a collective walk covering the distance between its London office and Athens office to raise money and awareness for WasteAid, a nonprofit that partners with public, private and community-based organizations in countries where poor waste management is harming the environment, economy and society. Each member of the team is contributing steps toward the challenge, which is an estimated 3,466,000 steps covering 1,733 miles. Upon completion of the London to Athens walk, Greycon will contribute £250 toward the total amount raised. 

WasteAid is an independent non-profit charity, set up by waste management professionals to share practical and low-cost waste management know-how with communities in low-income countries. Donations could be used to train unemployed workers to become a city waste champion, equip a community group to transform organic waste into useful products or provide machinery for processing plastic waste.

Pollution caused by waste harms people’s health, the environment and damages the local economy. In contrast, an affordable waste management system is relatively simple to implement, improving the environment, creating jobs and protecting public health – particularly for children.

WasteAid is helping tackle plastic pollution in the marine environment by working with upstream and coastal communities to set up small recycling centers and help keep plastic out of rivers and the oceans. It also shares skills in managing organic waste, helping people make the most from the ‘waste’ materials they have.

WasteAid shares these skills with local trainers so that the knowledge can be passed on from community to community. It keeps the cost of equipment as low as possible and makes sure there are local markets for any products made from recycled materials, maximizing the value to the local economy.


Sustainability is center stage at Hygienix 2021

Hygienix 2021, held in-person from November 15-18 in Scottsdale, Arizona, will highlight advances in absorbent hygiene and personal care products.  The program will delve into topics such as New Options for a Responsible End-of-Life; Product and Process Innovation in Absorbent Hygiene Products (AHPs); Haptics: Four Approaches to Assessing Feel, and E-Hygiene Advancements.

Hygienix presenters include:

  • Susan Thoman, Principal and Managing Director, Compost Manufacturing Alliance, will provide a Compost Industry Perspective on Compostable Product Development. Attendees will learn about issues related to composting hygiene and personal care products including labeling and other emerging legislation and material challenges.
  • Nick Carter, Vice-President of Marketing, and DeeAnn Nelson, Ph.D., North America, Research & Development and Innovation Manager, Avgol Nonwovens will present Biotransformation Technology in Polyolefin Fibers and Nonwoven Fabrics, Focus on Fugitive Used Articles, examining waste single-use articles in the environment, recycle-friendly, biologically-sourced colorants and other aspects of sustainability.
  • Behnam Pourdeyhimi, Ph.D., William A. Klopman Distinguished Professor and Executive Director, North Carolina State University, The Nonwovens Institute, will be joined by other leaders in Haptics Assessments in discussing the use of data and analysis to develop products that have the tactile feel consumers desire.
  • Olaf Isele, Ph.D., Nonwovens Consultant, Metaxi SimBioSys LLC, will lead the intriguing session on Smart Sensors: Absorbent Hygiene Products on ‘Fire’ and ‘Siri.’ Isele will explore how modern absorbent hygiene products are becoming electronic information systems for tracking such developments as wellness of babies and incontinence among senior populations using smart devices.

Other themes that will be spotlighted in sessions are Absorbent Hygiene Products Market Stats, Trends and Policy Insights; Feminine Care: Challenges to the Status Quo; and New Approaches and Unmet Needs in Baby and Incontinence AHPs.

In addition to the in-person conference, the event will feature two nonwovens workshops, a welcome reception, opportunities for 60 tabletop displays with receptions, 30 presenters engaging in eight moderated panel discussions, and presentations for the Hygienix Innovation Award and the INDA Lifetime Service Award.


* International Fiber Journal is owned by INDA, Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry (

Bast Fibre acquires textile processing plant in Germany to meet demand and support plans for growth

Bast Fibre Technologies (BFT), a manufacturer of specialty natural fibres for the global nonwoven industry, announced the acquisition of Faser Veredlung Tönisvorst (FVT), an ISO 9001 certified textile processing facility located in Tönisvorst, Germany.

This purchase enables BFT to immediately increase capacity to meet customer demand for its sustainable bast fibres and provides a firm platform for expansion and continued growth, according to the company. With over 20 years of fibre processing experience, FVT is located within close proximity to major European centres for bast crop cultivation and nonwoven fabric construction.

This transaction follows BFT’s strategy of establishing low carbon, regional supply chains by sourcing, producing, and selling within specific regions. The facility is currently being expanded with the installation of specialty refining equipment specifically designed to optimize natural bast fibres for use in a variety of nonwoven applications.

BFT/FVT team members in Tönisvorst, Germany
BFT/FVT team members in Tönisvorst, Germany. Photo courtesy of Bast Fibre Tech

“We are excited to have FVT as a part of our company” said BFT President, Jim Posa. “FVT has a long history of working with natural fibres and this acquisition has accelerated our transition towards becoming a fully integrated manufacturing company. FVT has consistently produced the highest quality bast fibres for BFT, so it was a logical step to bring this capability in house. Europe is leading the way on single-use plastic reduction strategies and the ability to produce these fibres in Europe will become increasingly important for the production of truly sustainable nonwovens in wipes, hygiene products and more.”

The Tönisvorst operation is positioned in the heart of the EU nonwoven belt in an historic textile complex established over 140 years ago. With a rich history of textile processing, this campus has been renewed and modernized in recent years and now hosts a mix of manufacturing and service-based industries. In the coming months the facility will be upgraded to optimize the
production of cost effective, high performance natural bast fibres for customers looking to accelerate their sustainability goals with BFT’s tree-free, plastic-free alternatives. The facility is also ideally equipped for rapid prototyping and product development of novel fibre modifications to develop natural fibre solutions that meet customers’ specific requirements.


ExxonMobil to build first, large-scale plastic waste advanced recycling facility in Baytown, Texas

ExxonMobil plans to build its first, large-scale plastic waste advanced recycling facility in Baytown, Texas, and is expected to start operations by year-end 2022.

By recycling plastic waste back into raw materials that can be used to make plastic and other valuable products, the technology could help address the challenge of plastic waste in the environment. A smaller, temporary facility, is already operational and producing commercial volumes of certified circular polymers that will be marketed by the end of this year to meet growing demand.

“We’ve proven our proprietary advanced recycling technology in Baytown, and we’re scaling up operations to supply certified circular polymers by year-end,” said Karen McKee, president of ExxonMobil Chemical Company. “Availability of reliable advanced recycling capacity will play an important role in helping address plastic waste in the environment, and we are evaluating wide-scale deployment in other locations around the world.”

The new facility follows validation of ExxonMobil’s initial trial of its proprietary process for converting plastic waste into raw materials. To date, the trial has successfully recycled more than 1,000 metric tons of plastic waste, the equivalent of 200 million grocery bags, and has demonstrated the capability of processing 50 metric tons per day.

Upon completion of the large-scale facility, the operation in Baytown will be among North America’s largest plastic waste recycling facilities and will have an initial planned capacity to recycle 30,000 metric tons of plastic waste per year. Operational capacity could be expanded quickly if effective policy and regulations that recognize the lifecycle benefits of advanced recycling are implemented for residential and industrial plastic waste collection and sorting systems.

ExxonMobil is developing plans to build approximately 500,000 metric tons of advanced recycling capacity globally over the next five years. In Europe, the company is collaborating with Plastic Energy on an advanced recycling plant in Notre Dame de Gravenchon, France, which is expected to process 25,000 metric tons of plastic waste per year when it starts up in 2023, with the potential for further expansion to 33,000 metric tons of annual capacity.

The company is also assessing sites in the Netherlands, the U.S. Gulf Coast, Canada, and Singapore.


Messe Frankfurt names Ivonne Seifert marketing director for Textiles & Textile Technologies and Bettina Bär show director for Neonyt and Val:ue

Ivonne Seifert was appointed director of marketing communication in the Textiles & Textile Technologies Business Unit of Messe Frankfurt.

In her new position, Seifert is in charge of marketing communication for the international trade fairs, Heimtextil, Techtextil and Texprocess, and the Neonyt and Val:ue fashion fairs, as well as communication activities for the international brand management of around 60 events worldwide covering the entire value chain of the textile and fashion industry. She replaces Thimo Schwenzfeier, who is leaving Messe Frankfurt after more than eight years, to take up new professional challenges.

Ivonne Seifert, Messe Frankfurt
Ivonne Seifert, Director of Marketing Communication, Messe Frankfurt, Textiles & Textile Technologies

Her duties include the communication activities relating to the successful resumption of fairs in the textile sector and the establishment of the fashion brands of Messe Frankfurt as part of the Frankfurt Fashion Week. Additionally, she is responsible for the further expansion of smart-data-driven marketing for the textile fairs and the communication activities of the worldwide Texpertise Network.

Ivonne Seifert joined Messe Frankfurt ten years ago and, during this time, has held a variety of positions in marketing. She has extensive marketing expertise in both the B2B and B2C fields.

Bettina Bär is taking over as Show Director of Neonyt and new tradeshow format Val:ue in Messe Frankfurt’s Textile & Textile Technologies division. Both tradeshows are held during Frankfurt Fashion Week.

Bettina Bär, Messe Frankfurt
Bettina Bär, Show Director, Neonyt and Val:ue, Messe Frankfurt

In the future, Bettina Bär will be responsible for the strategy and concept for Neonyt and Val:ue, as well as their contents, organization and further development. She will be taking over from Thimo Schwenzfeier, who, after more than eight years at Messe Frankfurt, is leaving the company to pursue new professional challenges. In her new position, Bär will report to Olaf Schmidt, vice president of Textiles & Textile Technologies at Messe Frankfurt GmbH.

Since 2012, Bettina Bär has held various positions for Messe Frankfurt in the field of consumer goods fairs and was recently show director of Tendence.


International Conference on Cellulose Fibres issues call for Innovation Award nominees

The International Conference on Cellulose Fibres, presented by nova-Institute, 2-3 February, 2022, in Cologne, Germany and online has issued a “Call for Innovations.” Six nominees will have the opportunity to present their unique products during the event, with the aim of being awarded “Cellulose Fibre Innovation of the Year” for 2022.

In 2021, Stora Enso from Sweden won the Innovation Award for its cellulose foam for packaging. Second place was taken by Kelheim Fibres (Germany) for its hygiene products made of cellulose ahead of third place Metsä Spring from Finland, which presented a new cellulose fibre production process.

The Call for Innovations will be open until 15 November 2021. All producers, inventors and pioneers along the entire value chain from feedstock to final product are invited to enter the competition. Developments of new technologies and applications are welcome. An independent expert jury will select a total of six new materials and products from all entries for the award. The
innovators get a free 2-day ticket for the conference and the unique opportunity to present and market their product or technology to a huge professional audience.

After short presentations of the six candidates at the conference, the three winners will be elected by the participants of the conference and honored with the Innovation Award at a festive gala dinner.

For more information on the Innovation Award program:


California passes law requiring ‘Do Not Flush’ labeling for nonflushable wipes products

California Governor Gavin Newsom signed AB 818 by Assembly Member Richard Bloom into law, requiring all packaging for nonflushable diaper wipes, cleaning wipes, and cosmetic wipes to display clear “Do Not Flush” warnings. The bill is the result of a three-year effort between representatives from wastewater and product stewardship groups and wipes manufacturers to address an urgent pollution problem that has plagued public wastewater infrastructure. The legislation establishes disposal labeling requirements for wet wipes packaging and requires manufacturers of wipes to educate the public on the impacts of flushing wipes improperly.

The wastewater sector has shouldered the burden of managing debris from improper disposal of wipes and other trash into their systems for years. One recent national study estimates that California agencies spend around $50 million annually to remove wipes from the sewers. “This is a major step forward in the wastewater industry’s fight to keep wipes intended for the trash can out of our public sewer systems” said Jessica Gauger, director of Legislative Advocacy and Public Affairs for the California Association of Sanitation Agencies, a statewide trade association representing public wastewater agencies. “Through the leadership of Assembly Member Bloom, the wipes industry has taken a major step forward in addressing consumer confusion about improper disposal of these products which has been a major contributor to debris in our systems. Working collaboratively with industry stakeholders we have found a solution to provide clarity to consumers, which we are hopeful will result in a decrease in wipes being flushed.”

Lara Wyss, president of the Responsible Flushing Alliance, a 501(c)(6) created by the wipes industry to promote responsible consumer disposal habits, also lauded the passage of AB 818. “Public awareness and education around smart flushing habits is the key to changing behaviors.” Wyss indicated that this is the beginning of a new era of collaboration between the wastewater sector and wipes manufacturers noting, “Protecting public infrastructure and the environment is a high priority for our alliance and we look forward to our continued cooperative efforts with wastewater agencies in California.”


AATCC announces last chance for research grants textile projects

The American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists’ AATCC Foundation Student Research Support Grants program provides funding for undergraduate and graduate research on textile-related projects. Applications are due October 15, 2021, for 2022 funding. Recipients will be announced in December and funds paid to recipients’ schools in January.

Undergraduate and graduate students may submit any textile-related research project. Projects that involve laboratory and end-use correlation studies, wet processing research, and other topics identified by the foundation receive special priority. A list of priority topics is included in the grant guidelines, available online.

In addition to monetary funding, grant recipients are recognized in AATCC publications and social media. Research abstracts are viewed by academics and professionals across the industry, offering additional opportunities for support and career development.

Recent research projects include:

  • Design and Development of Biotextile Stent to Prevent Post-procedural Debris Embolization after Stent Angioplasty
  • Development of a Model for Image Dehazing and Color Correction
  • Development of Regenerated 100% Protein Fibers of High Quality from Waste Keratin
  • Dual-Phase Solvent System for Sustainable Reactive Dyeing of Cotton Using Soybean Oil
  • Dyeing of Cotton Yarns for Denim with Ecofriendly Nanocellulose Gel-Natural Indigo Dispersion
  • Incorporation of Functional Matters in Nanofiber Webs for Drug Delivery Vehicle and Filtration
  • Nano Surface Coating-Ag Nanowires to Improve Thermal Protection Performance of Three Layers System in PPE
  • Study of Poly-4-hydroxybutyrate (P4HB) Degradation at Different pH and Enzymatic Conditions so as to Mimic In Vivo Environment of Use for Sutures
  • Thermal Regulation of Regenerated Cellulose Nanofibers

Apply by October 15 at Each applicant may apply for up to $4,000 for direct research costs. Additional travel stipends are also available to support presentation of research at technical conferences.


EDANA attracts key stakeholders for second edition of Circular Nonwovens Forum

Gathering key stakeholders and industry players, the second edition of EDANA’s Circular Nonwovens Forum was presented Sept. 30, both online and in person at La Hulpe, Brussels. The forum gathered 180 attendees from nonwoven manufacturers, their suppliers and converters for discussion of the challenges and opportunities in the pursuit of a circular economy for nonwovens.

The program covered biodegradable testing and certification, innovations in materials and production processes, and the challenges of recycling.

EDANA Circular Nonwovens Forum
EDANA’s Circular Nonwovens Forum attracted 180 attendees for the event’s second edition (live and virtual) on Sept. 30. Photo courtesy of EDANA.

“I am very encouraged by the growth of this event in both reach and scope. It is truly rewarding and motivational to see such expert level participation,” said Gil Stevens, external relations and sustainability director at EDANA. “To see such a considered understanding of the challenges at hand, and the range of solutions and innovations to meet them, has exceeded our objectives. Thanks to all who attended and contributed!”

The platform and all conference content will remain accessible to stream for attendees until 1st November. Registration will remain open for those who would like to access the conference and network with participants.

Register for on-demand access:


Auria announces $12.4M expansion of South Carolina facility for automotive materials

Auria, a global supplier of automotive flooring, acoustical and fiber-based solutions, announced plans to invest capital and grow operations in Spartanburg County. The more than $12.4 million investment will create 103 new jobs.

Founded in 2017, Auria provides interior and exterior components and systems designed to reduce cabin noise and improve overall driving comfort and convenience. Products include acoustical insulators and compression-molded flooring products as well as other interior soft trim products, such as package trays, trunk trim and wheel arch liners.

Located at 1 Austrian Way in Spartanburg, Auria’s business expansion will increase the company’s operating capacity to meet growing demand.

The expansion will incrementally take place over the next two years.

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NIRI to facilitate PHA melt-spinning trials for Renewable Carbon Textiles Project as it aims to decarbonize the fashion industry

The Renewable Carbon Textiles Project, launched by Fashion for Good, brings together groups such as Nonwovens Innovation and Research Institute (NIRI) to investigate, test and validate the potential for PHA (polyhydroxyalkanoates) polymers to disrupt the fashion supply chain and decarbonize the sector.

Members of the consortium will ship PHA formulations to NIRI for melt-spinning trials to compare and evaluate the manufacturing and technical assessments of the polymer formulations. The trials will be conducted primarily using NIRI’s filament extruder, with the capability of delivering high specification technical filaments for functional textile materials, as well as high performance composites and medical devices. The technology can extrude thermoplastic polymers with melting points up to 400 C.

NIRI Renewable Carbon Textiles Project
Melt-spinning trials with PHA polymers may facilitate a game-changer for the fashion industry.

“PHA is a promising class of polymers, which have significant potential for use in textiles,” said Brian Levy, Open Innovation, W. L. Gore & Associates. “This project provides an opportunity to contribute to the technical development of the fiber and is also a platform to explore possible future applications.”

In addition to processing sustainable resins, such as PHA and PLA, NIRI has the capabilities to extrude a range of polymers including resorbable, performance and engineered polymers, e.g. PHBH, PBS, PBAT, PEF, Bio-PE and Bio-PP.  These polymers are being developed for various applications including medical, hygiene, food and beverage, filtration, automotive and wipes.  The extrusion facilities at NIRI are designed specifically for detailed investigation into extruded textile materials, ideal for R&D and fundamental to the successful outcome of the Renewable Carbon Textiles Project.

The project is slated to reach completion in late 2022 with Fashion for Good publishing a report on research findings.


Virtual RISE conference attracts 145 attendees for three days of programming around material science topics

145 professionals in product development, material science, and new technologies convened for the 11th edition of RISE Research, Innovation & Science for Engineered Fabrics, conference held virtually, Sept. 28-30. The event was co-organized by INDA, the Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry, The Nonwovens Institute, and North Carolina State University.

The program focused on nonwoven material science developments, sustainability, increasing circularity, government/NGO challenges, market intelligence and economic insights and related topics.

Other highlights included the announcement of Canopy Respirator as the winner of this year’s RISE Innovation Award winner. The annual award recognizes innovation in areas within and on the periphery of the nonwovens industry, which use advanced science and engineering principles to develop unique or intricate solutions to problems and advance the usage of nonwovens.

The RISE Innovation Award was presented to Canopy for its Canopy Respirator. The product is an innovative respirator that is fully mechanical, non-electrostatic, with a filter designed for superior breathability while offering the wearer facial transparency. The breakthrough respirator features 5.5mm water column resistance at 85 liters (3 cubic feet) per minute, 2-way filtration, and a pleated filter that contains over 500 square centimeters of surface area. The patented Canopy respirator resists fluids, and eliminates fogging of eyeglasses.

For information on the 12th edition of the Research, Innovation & Science for Engineered Fabrics (RISE) conference in 2021, visit


DuPont Biomaterials, Welspun India partner to launch home textile collection with bio-based materials

DuPont announced that Welspun India and DuPont Biomaterials launched a new home textile collection, including bath towels and bedsheets, made with bio-based materials. The collection was developed to meet demand for home textile products that not only bring desired performance, but also are sustainable. The collaboration brings together cotton and DuPont Sorona fibers to create home textile fabrics that provide exceptional comfort, moisture management, a luxurious drape, and a smooth, soft hand feel.

With a rich history of textile innovation, DuPont has invented fibers such as nylon, Lycra, and rayon. Its Sorona brand — made from 37% renewable plant-based ingredients — offers a high-performing, responsibly sourced material option. Fibers made with Sorona polymer are currently used in various apparel applications, including athleisure and athletic wear, insulation, swimwear, outerwear, suiting, faux fur, and more. Sorona polymer offers technical and performance benefits, including softness, stretch and recovery, and inherent stain resistance without the need for topical treatments. Sorona is a USDA-Certified Biobased Product and is certified as a Oeko-Tex Standard 100 product.

“Welspun India challenged us to deliver a fiber innovation that will enable them to offer a perceptible value addition to their end customers and yet provide a sustainable solution.  We were able to deliver to the Welspun team the Sorona fiber in a format that allows its incorporation into a range of applications, including towels and bedsheets” said Gowri Nagarajan, Ph.D., regional sales and marketing manager, for DuPont Biomaterials.

“Recently, we have seen an increasing demand for textile fabrics that demonstrate well-rounded performance in the most sustainable way possible at both the fiber and fabric level.  We have been working with our suppliers to achieve this performance, and, in the realm of comfort, stretch, and moisture management, DuPont has a long history of innovation. It is remarkable to see our teams develop this performance stretch Sorona Agile fabric without the need for spandex. It is able to withstand industrial wash conditions without any compromise in fabric property for the life of the fabric.  Our teams are currently closely engaged to incorporate other Sorona yarns into home textile applications,” said Umasankar Mahapatra, senior vice president, Innovation, Welspun India.

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Archroma announce $0.25 price increase across its portfolio

Effective October 1, 2021, Archroma, a global, diversified provider of specialty chemicals serving the branded and performance textiles, packaging and paper, and coatings, adhesives and sealants markets, will increase the prices of its products by up to $0.25 USD per kg. These adjustments will apply to all Archroma products globally. According to the company, the increase is necessary to offset the ongoing exceptionally high freight and logistics costs.

“Archroma made every effort to absorb these increases,” said Marcos Furrer, chief operating officer at Archroma. “We have however reached a point where these adjustments are needed for us to be able to maintain our service levels.”

This announcements comes amid similar price increase announcements by suppliers to the textile industry, as supply chain challenges remain an issue as the global economy struggles to recover from impacts related to the COVID-19 pandemic.


BASF and WPO Polymers cooperate to distribute biopolymer ecovio in Spain and Portugal

As part of its growth strategy for its biopolymers business, BASF will cooperate with WPO Polymers to expand in the developing Spanish and Portuguese markets. The plastics solutions provider will act as distributor of BASF‘s ecovio film product range for certified compostable shopping bags, organic waste bags as well as fruit and vegetable bags in Spain and Portugal. Building on their respective strengths, BASF and its new partner will be better positioned to accelerate business on this important market and to support food companies and retailers to comply with the Spanish Royal decree 293/2018 on the reduction of plastic bags including the mandatory usage of compostable bags (<50 µm thickness) certified according to EN 13432.

“We have chosen WPO Polymers as partner because of its recognized technical expertise in the field of extrusion and its in-depth knowledge of recycling and plastics materials, which complements BASF’s customer-focused strategy for ecovio® in the Spanish market,” said Mia Pettersson, head of BASF’s global business unit Specialty Polymers.” With this new partnership, we want to further improve services for our processors through greater proximity, to meet our customers’ needs more effectively and increase our delivery flexibility. The cooperation will also allow us to support the separate collection of organic waste, as high-quality compost is important for climate change mitigation.“ Since 2018 Spanish legislation has step by step tightened the consumption of bags made of conventional plastics, which in this year culminates in the obligation for retailers and bag producers to offer only light and very lightweight certified compostable bags to consumers. Thus, the Spanish market for biopolymers is expected to become one of the largest in Europe.

“Our expertise is backed by more than 40 years of experience in the plastics industry. With the inclusion of BASF’s innovative biopolymer ecovio into our portfolio, we will both expand our established business and push the adoption of organic recycling in the Iberian peninsula,” says Manuel Olaegu, CEO and Founder of WPO Polymers. “We give tailored material advice and technical support to each customer to ensure the optimal use of the right material for the respective process and certified compostable application – these are key success factors in the Spanish and Portuguese bioplastics markets.”

The BASF biopolymer ecovio is certified compostable in accordance with e.g. DIN EN 13432. It is a blend of BASF’s PBAT ecoflex and renewable raw materials, which means that ecovio is also partly bio-based. Typical applications for ecovio are organic waste bags, cling film, fruit and vegetable bags, as well as agricultural mulch films and food packaging applications.