i+D - July/August 2021 - 54

Material
Matters
Textiles
Sunbrella's Reflections collection of
contract upholstery evokes feelings
of serenity with nature-inspired
motifs while honoring new demands for
commercial environments with elements
like stain resistance and bleach cleanability.
(Images: Jason Varney)
The Eco Factor
Environmental impact has been top of mind among textiles
makers in recent years. Sustainability has been a cornerstone
of Fil Doux right from the start. " My grandfather [the company's
founder] always told us, we have a responsibility in this world
to leave a better world for our children, employees, friends ...
for everyone, " says Novik. " Our green history is because we
are a community, not only with humans but with our planet and
the animals. We have an ethical responsibility to not pollute
and to respect others. "
Although Fil Doux fabrics meet the hospitality industry's
stringent standards for durability, stain resistance, and
performance, they're designed to do so in a way that minimizes
their impact on the environment. For instance, instead of using
backings and chemical adhesives to achieve seam strength,
Fil Doux fabrics use a denser construction. And the company's
Otratex vinyl alternative is the industry's first degradable vinyl
alternative, converting in landfills to methane and CO2
.
Fil Doux's mission and production facilities are also focused
on sustainability: 80 percent of the energy used to run its mills
comes from solar or wind power, and dye water is reclaimed
and reused rather than polluting local waterways, an extra
step in production that Fil Doux has been doing for decades,
even though it adds an extra expense to production. The
company also is on a mission to protect the Brazilian rainforests
by planting a tree for each yard of Otratex sold.
And the industry is responding to this environmental push:
" In hospitality, we're seeing a real twist in green, they're
trying to certify products that are more mindful and are made
without polluting the environment, " says Novik. In the future,
he says, companies will have a vested interest in being
more environmentally responsible and partnering with other
companies that also exemplify these practices, and he points
to banks beginning to favor companies that use green products
and initiatives in terms of loan approval. " It's going to be a
must, not an option anymore, " says Novik.
At Nassimi, meanwhile, the company is also working to make
products that are more sustainable, environmentally sound,
and better for human health. " We've removed a lot of the
chemicals from products that were conventionally used, like
phthalates and flame retardants, " notes Nassimi. " We've
been working a lot lately with silicone [a safe and sustainable
material], which has inherent benefits and properties. It's highly
flame retardant, antimicrobial, antibacterial, and stain resistant.
And it's made from an abundant natural resource: silica sand. "
Schumacher, too, embraces sustainability and often works with European
vendors that are light years ahead of the United States in terms of their
environmentally responsible practices. Early next year, Schumacher will
launch a small collection of fabrics and wallcovering that incorporate
recycling and upcycling. " It's been one of the more creative, fun things to
have worked on, thinking about what we can do in this space that's unique, "
says Marshall.
And at Sunbrella, its new RETWEED collection, designed by Richard Frinier,
is made of up to 93 percent recycled content, features classic neutrals
as well as colorful earthen hues, and reflects the idea of seeing beauty
in recycled and repurposed materials. " Sustainability continues to be an
area of focus, " says Voorhis. " Looking ahead, sustainable design will further
influence everything from color to texture and material at both the pre- and
post-consumer level. "
As consumers expect more and more from their textiles-comfort,
performance, responsible production, and, of course, on-trend colors and
patterns-there's no doubt that the textiles industry is ready to deliver.
JESSICA GOLDBOGEN HARLAN
has written about the home furnishings industry for
more than 20 years, and her work has appeared in
HFN, Town & Country, Stylus, TastingTable.com,
ALLRECIPES.COM, AmericasMart magazine, and
54
Yahoo! A culinary-school graduate, she also is the author
of nine cookbooks, including Ramen to the Rescue,
Mason Jar Lunches, and The Little Book of Takoyaki.
i+D - July/August 2021
http://www.TastingTable.com http://www.ALLRECIPES.COM

i+D - July/August 2021

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