Sustainability in the Textiles Spotlight

Downlite to launch hybrid fills, Loftex Home rolls out verified recycled-PET towels
July 25, 2017Allison Zisko

LoftexblueFULLNEW YORK—From recycled feathers to recycled PET towels, sustainable materials and practices will be front and center during the textiles market next month.

Mason, Ohio-based Downlite, a down and feather processor that supplies performance fills, recently hired an outside organic recycling company to transform its large waste feathers—which usually end up in landfill—into soil compost. The recycling company typically receives high-moisture food waste for composting. The dry feathers help make the compost more manageable and their added pore space helps degrade the organic matter of the compost more efficiently, Downlite said. Feathers are also rich in keratin, a protein that slowly releases nitrogen when added to compost. The slow release of nitrogen allows for long-term plant growth stimulation.

Last fall, Downlite installed a waste water recycling system to treat and recycle water used to process down. It has so far treated and recycled more than 20 million gallons of water.

Downlite’s sustainable efforts go beyond its sourcing and production processes. They also serve as the foundation for new products, according to Brian Parnes, vice president of marketing, design and product development. “To help manage the upward costing pressure down is now facing, we will be introducing exciting hybrid insulations involving natural and recycled materials, which offer the dual benefit of enhancing the performance of the material, while being grounded in our core value of environmental stewardship. We look forward to announcing more information about our performance hybrid fills soon.”

Towel manufacturer Loftex Home has signed a multiyear license agreement with Applied DNA Sciences Inc., to use its Certain T procedures to verify the authenticity and origin of recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET post-consumer) used in bath and beach towels. The first products using recycled PET verified with the CertainT platform are expected at retail by the fourth quarter, Loftex Home said. Blended recycled PET and cotton towels require less drying time and use less water during washing, according to the company.

CertainT provides a single platform to tag, test, track and trace products throughout a certified supply chain by using a molecular tag that ensures the recycled nature and origin of the fiber.

“Retailers, brands and consumers want to know where their products come from, and where they are going,” said Loftex Home CEO Charles Gaenslen. “Sustainability product claims are central to our recycled PET programs and CertainT verifies our claims throughout the supply chain. ... The response from retailers based on our initial launch of our Fusion Fibers with CertainT collection announced in March exceeded our expectations, which is why we are expanding our use of recycled PET verified by the CertainT platform.”

CoCo-Mat mattressCoCo-Mat's Proteas Mattresses are made from natural latex, coconut, horsehair, cactus and seaweed.
Meanwhile, Athens-based Coco-Mat, whose Proteas Mattresses are made from natural latex, coconut, horsehair, cactus and seaweed, is launching the mattress in four new colors—Indigo, Sage, Chocolate and Cream. The seaweed soothes the respiratory system, while the cactus fiber and horsehair regulate humidity, according to Coco-Mat, which is sold in stores in 17 countries, including four in New York City, as well as 671 hotels.

Allison ZiskoAllison Zisko | Managing Editor/Tabletop Editor
azisko@hfnmag.com

After 15 years of covering the tabletop industry, Allison Zisko is still as enthusiastic as ever about the dinnerware, glassware and flatware categories. An in-depth analysis of how the category works intrigues her just as much as the latest fashion trends. As managing editor, Allison oversees the daily e-newsletter and works behind the scenes to help produce the print issue each month. She also directs HFN’s housewares coverage and covers the cutlery category. An avid reader, Allison is eager to talk to anyone and everyone about the latest book they are reading.

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