China Interdye 2018: Driving Textiles Sustainability Through Innovation

Earlier this month I attended the China Interdye 2018 exhibition at the Shanghai World Expo Exhibition and Convention Centre. With 4 halls covering more than 40,000 square meters and over 600 exhibitors, the show is one of the major fixtures on the textile chemicals calendar.

The focus of the show is primarily on dyes, dyeing chemicals and dyeing equipment but other chemicals used in the textile manufacturing process were also promoted, offering a great opportunity to discuss our Pegasus based process for low-temperature cotton bleaching.

Working with textile auxiliary houses around the world, we developed our Pegasus system based on a stable manganese metal-complex catalyst (Mn-TMEM) for use with hydrogen peroxide in aqueous oxidation processes. By enhancing the activity of the hydrogen peroxide used in the bleaching phase, less energy is required for the reaction and the operating temperature can be reduced by up to 30°C. Not only does this reduce energy consumption and production time, but it also produces a softer feeling, higher quality cotton, with improved yields. Our technology provides a workable solution for an industry looking for ways to improve the sustainability of cotton, in a holistic manner.

Though the core of the show is not focused on sustainability, several major brands were there to promote their environmentally-friendly offerings. It was great to see Archroma – who are a longtime collaborator of ours – advertising their sustainably produced EARTHCOLORS range, produced from non-edible nuts and leaves. Japanese corporation, Nicca Chemicals, also had a strong presence at the show, highlighting their alignment with the Bluesign initiative and the zero discharge of hazardous chemicals (ZDHC) programme. Major international Chinese companies had impressive stands also, including Transfar Zhilian Co., Ltd and Zheziang Longsheng Group Co. Ltd who now own Dystar.

I was encouraged from my discussions at the show that there is a high level of interest in finding ways to reduce energy consumption and to increase efficiency in all stages of cotton processing.

Textile manufacturers are recognising that while traditionally they have been slow to change and adopt new chemistries, the increasing international focus on sustainability and growing pressure to find faster, cleaner, safer ways of working, means they are starting to appreciate the need to embrace innovation – which is a very positive sign!

I brought along copies of our recent white paper – Collaborate To Innovate: Reducing The Textile Industry’s Environmental load – which invites perspectives from stakeholders from across the supply chain on how we can work together to secure a cleaner, greener, more efficient future for textiles. This was enthusiastically received by attendees at the show and again showed a willingness and receptivity to discovering smarter ways of working.

Collaboration is key to finding a more sustainable way forward for the textile industry and Catexel is proud to be supporting the textiles industry in reducing its environmental load.

Liz Manning, Business Development Manager at Catexel.

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