For the third time IHOFMANN has been performing the SportsGear Sourcing Days conference (December 8/9, 2016) in Annecy, France, including concept and moderation. This year´s main focus was on innovation and sustainability as well as smart textiles applications.
Below you will find insights in the exciting lectures:
Tibtech Innovations is focusing on the module-based functionalization of apparel and sports accessories. According to the customer´s requirements the company is offering technical modules ready for serial production or developing them together with the customer. Guillaume Tiberghien, president of Tibtech Innovations (SAS): “For each required product we develop the ideal functionalization and allow technology to merge manufacturing without necessitating any major adjustments.” Interesting application options are: furniture, to warm you up, functional pocket interiors to keep your hands warm, reins to warm your fingers, heated sleeping bags – There are no limits to the imagination.
Nicolas Malaquin, Flax Composites, France, showed very descriptively the interesting application opportunities for linen. As one of the oldest natural fibers, cherished already by the Egyptians and Romans, France provides 70 percent of the global linen production. Together with Belgium and the Netherlands they sum up to 85 percent. Linen truly fulfills sustainability criteria and allows interesting blends with other materials to ensure functionalization. Apart from crease-free linen, dirt repellant and flame resistant linen types, linen is also part of the production process of recycable bio resins, a basic material used in jewellery, helmets or bags. Nicolas Malaquin: “Linen is an interesting materials as well for apparel as for composites. Linen is used in the manufacturing process of moulded parts, that are used within the production process of backpacks or safety vests. Linen has the advantage of being a very light material, that matches perfectly with carbon fibers and can be used as a shock absorber.”
Designer Florence Bost from Sable Chaud in Paris is specialized in developing smart textiles. Her innovative approach is characterized by applying all types of sensor and measuring techniques in her creative work. She redefines design aesthetics by adding new functional contemporary features. In 2014 she published “Textiles, innovations chez matières actives”. The book decodes the mechanisms of the creative process related to textiles in the areas of fashion, design, art, architecture, health and sports. Her lecture “When technologies confer sensations to textiles” demonstrates the interesting new connections between textiles and new technologies, paraphrased in the term “texturgie”, that has been created by Christine Browaeys, T3nel. Bost differenciates between active textiles, e-textiles and ecotechno textiles. The multidisciplinary technologies have created totally new production and distribution chains with a new network of business relations. Bost defined and described four different designer profiles in her lecture. Florence Bost: “Unfortunately we are still facing relatively few apparel items with integrated electronics in retail shops. This is due not only to technological challenges that have not been solved yet, but has various other reasons such as a complex interdisciplinary dialogue and new customer relations, that have major importance on the creative process.”
Peter Sjösten, Vice president Polygiene, Sweden, explains the results of a recent customer survey in Sweden in his presentation titled “Wear More, Wash Less®”. According to this survey 45 percent of the interviewed stated they had thrown away garments that still smelt bad after washing. The majority of 81 percent wash their sports garments after each use, but they would be willing to reduce the frequency if they had odor control. His credo: With the permanent odor control of Polygiene consumers may reduce washing cycles drastically and thus save the environment.
Boris Fournier is enhancing sustainability and innovation at Outdoor Sports Valley. They provide useful tools for their 335 member companies, such as sector related information, collaborative projects, networking and events. OSV opened a repair center for outdoor garments and made their contribution to enlarge the garments’ lifecycle and save the planet. 59 repair services have been installed since September 2015. Further services such as thermo welding or material maintenance and repair are planned.
Chamatex, partner of Newlife® is 100 percent committed to the C2C principles and stands for sustainability in the entire value chain. Emmanuel Robin, Associé Chamatex illustrates the environmental impact by giving some striking data and figures: “Producing 1 ton of Newlife™ yarns is equivalent to an energy saving that occurs if a track is transporting 1 ton of goods for about 3.387 km or the use of a computer with LCD monitor during 5.780 Hours,” Chamatex has an agreement and partnership with Sympatex and supplies 100 percent recyclable Newlife® material.