Sportswear goes green
A healthy mind, in a healthy body and … healthy clothing. Specialist sportswear manufacturers are surpassing themselves to meet the ethical and environmental expectations of order givers. Technicity goes hand-in-hand with sustainability: “This is currently our number one priority. We aim to include a sustainable approach at all stages of the production process, from the choice of material to the services via the manufacturing,” explained Tsveta Slavova, the sales director of the Bulgarian company Natalia, founded in 1926. Present for the first time at Première vision Manufacturing – Proximity, Hall 6, this vertically-integrated circular knitting company meets high social and ecological responsibility standards (Iso 14001 and 9001, Bsci, Step by Eco Tex, among others). Its range of items knitted in simple jersey, interlock, flannel, piqué or ribbed knit is coloured using dyes free from azo colouring agents. Pattern printing is done using colourants and inks that are Eco Tex 100 certified. “Our primary market, Germany, attaches great importance to that requirement.” Natalia produces tee-shirts, sweat shirts, jogging pants and polo shirts for Gerry Weber and Hallhuber in a lifestyle vein. Its expertise in the area of finishes – anti-pilling, antibacterial, fire resistant, reflective – has opened up new horizons. The company provides technical anti-transpiration tee-shirts to the German army. In all, its production capacity is approaching 150 000 knitted items per month.
At Triwool, this trend towards sustainable manufacturing is also tangible: “Brands we work with, such as Zara or Marks & Spencer, now respect very strict codes of conduct,” said Sandra Costa, the quality manager. To comply with its customers’ requirements, this Portuguese manufacture of circular knitted fabrics has working on obtaining two labels: Ocs (Organic Content Standard) and Rcs (Recycled Claim Standard). The first applies to organic materials, while the second concerns the monitoring of recycled primary materials throughout the entire production process.
The Athleisure line of its fellow Portuguese company, Soeiro, is also tending towards responsible production. The sweaters made by this Portuguese manufacturer, which produces 90,000 items per month, are now offered in lyocell and viscose. Its women’s jogging pants are knitted in a jersey certified “Renew prime”, using bi-elastic and recycled nylon fibres. “Our clients, which are mainly European, Canadian and American, are sensitive to primary materials that respect the environment and well-being,” notes Ana Oliveira, the sales director.
The same perception of the sector has been seen at another Portuguese company, Toddler: “The sportswear manufacturing market is growing, driven by a durable trend and the quest for “green” products. Today, holding Gots certification is practically compulsory,” explains Sérgio Santos, the company’s sales director. Toddler produces technical clothing for the outdoor, fitness and yoga sectors as well as the casual fashion sector. Its manufacturing process includes cutting-edge technologies: ultrasonic bonding, laser cut-outs and flatlock seams – which has contributed to its reputation.
Find out the complete list of the Première Vision Manufacturing – Proximity exhibitors HERE
PREMIERE VISION MANUFACTURING – PROXIMITY – HALL 6