Specialty Fabrics Review May 2020 - 34

TOP: The Sunbrella® Renaissance
program takes leftover fabric scraps,
fiber and yarn and turns them into a
sustainable textile with vintage charm,
rich coloration, soft feel and excellent
performance. Photo: Sunbrella.
BOTTOM: Combining up to 50 percent
of post-industrial recycled Sunbrella®
fiber with virgin Sunbrella fiber, the
Sunbrella Renaissance yarns transform
fabric waste into beautiful fabric options
consumers can feel good about using.
The company plans to expand upon its
Renaissance work by introducing a new
collection of fabrics consisting of greater
than 50 percent recycled material.
Photo: Sunbrella.

fit-for-use analysis like weathering, flame
resistance, tensile/tear tests, abrasion
resistance, cold crack and others designed
to ensure long-term wear. But there are
times when an outside lab might be used,
such as in the case of a one-time test or a
test run so infrequently that the expertise
of an outside lab is required.
Dickson Coatings manufactures its
products in France, abiding by the EU's
REACH compliance regulations, says
Pappalardo. These regulations specify
chemicals and substances banned because
of their environmental impact. The
Evergreen fabrics are also certified to
GREENGUARD Gold, OKEO-TEX 100,
A+ and Safety of Toys NF EN 71-3. The tests
are conducted by an outside third party.
"We also have ISO conduct a life cycle
assessment to ISO 14040-14044, which
compares our Evergreen fabrics to typical
vinyl products found on the market,"
Pappalardo adds. "This test concludes that
the Evergreen fabrics have a better carbon
footprint and are better for human health
due to the lack of emissions emitted from
the water-based coatings."
At Glen Raven, sustainability starts
with solution-dyed fibers, which require
less water than traditional dyed yarns and
are more durable and colorfast, says Gant.
Sustainability also takes place at the plant
level. For example, the North Carolina and
South Carolina plants have been recycling
all textile and packaging waste for more
than 25 years. And in 2009, the Anderson
(S.C.) plant became the first to divert all
waste from landfills by partnering with
recycling companies.
Further illustrating their sustainability
commitment-among the goals is
becoming zero-waste-to-landfill-are the
Sunbrella Renaissance and the Recycle
My Sunbrella programs. The former takes
leftover scraps, fibers and yarns, upcycling
the material into something new. The
Renaissance yarns combine up to 50
percent post-industrial, recycled Sunbrella

fiber with virgin Sunbrella fiber. Plans are
to introduce a new collection of fabrics
consisting of greater than 50 percent
recycled materials.
The latter program allows domestic
consumers of Sunbrella products to
participate in the company's recycling
processes, providing a "take-back" option
for fabric scraps, awning covers, boat
covers and upholstery. Gant says since this
program's inception, Glen Raven's business
partners and homeowners have recycled
nearly a million pounds of fabric.
Glen Raven conducts many tests
in-house-its labs are certified by outside
agencies to ISO 17025 and it ensures
quality control to meet the requirements of
ISO 09001 certifications in all plants where
Sunbrella products are made. However,
products are still submitted for third-party
certifications for verification purposes.
Gant says most of the company's fabrics
are GREENGUARD Gold certified to meet
the standards for low-chemical emission;
furniture fabrics are certified to meet the
Standard 100 by OKEO-TEX standards;
and most contract fabrics are also certified
by the Association for Contract Textiles
"Facts®" program. Additionally, Sunbrella
fabrics are EU REACH-compliant and
meet California Prop 65 requirements.
LOOKING AHEAD
Gant says more companies will strive
to improve their sustainability practices.
However, says Beringer, if this is to
happen, everyone involved in the effort
must work together, particularly since
the concern over sustainability is being
pushed all the way down the supply chain.
For example, he explains, if a sustainable
polymer becomes part of a product or
material that hasn't been sustainably
produced, then all the benefits of that
polymer have been lost.
He also suggests that as tests have
become more complex, providing more
data, it may become necessary for textile

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Specialty Fabrics Review May 2020

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