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Jeanologia: The Era of Air and Sustainable Textile Innovations

interview with Mr. Enrique Silla, President at Jeanologia – A Video Tour at Jeanologia booth

In the ever-evolving world of textile manufacturing, sustainability and efficiency are at the forefront of industry innovation. Today, we are joined by a leading expert who has pioneered groundbreaking advancements in denim production and textile sustainability. From creating waterless stone wash finishes to developing technologies that combat microfiber pollution, their work is setting new standards for eco-friendly practices. Join us as we delve into these revolutionary technologies and their potential to transform the textile industry.

Thank you for joining us today. Let’s start with the main breakthrough in denim production that you’ve achieved. Can you explain what makes your new process revolutionary?

Certainly. In traditional denim production, the final product is finished using water washing machines. These machines use a combination of water, chemicals, and stones to achieve the desired stone wash effect. This method, known as the “water area,” is resource-intensive. Our goal was to drastically reduce water usage, and we’ve now moved towards completely eliminating it. We’ve created the G2 Super, the first air-washing machine that produces a stone-wash look using air instead of water.

That sounds impressive. How does the G2 Super achieve this?

The G2 Super, thanks to a new technology called Indra, transforms an existing ozone machine into an air washing machine. We can load 100 kilograms of denim, equivalent to 150 jeans, and in just 30 minutes, using only air, humidity, and controlled levels of oxygen, we achieve the stone wash finish. This marks a shift to what we call the “era of air,” utilizing air to transport chemistry and react, all while controlling humidity without the presence of liquid water.

Can you elaborate on how the Indra technology works?

Of course. Indra increases the air’s humidity to the maximum level without forming droplets, combining it with ozone, an oxidation gas. This combination mimics the effects of traditional stone washing but uses the water present in the atmosphere. In essence, we are leveraging atmospheric moisture to create the stone wash look, aligning sustainability with efficiency by reducing resource consumption without increasing costs.

You’ve mentioned another significant project with Inditex. Can you tell us about the Air Fiber Wash machine?

Yes, the Air Fiber Wash is a collaborative project with Inditex, the world’s largest retailer. This machine addresses the problem of microfibers released during the first few washes of textile products. These microfibers, especially from synthetic materials, can end up in oceans, contributing to pollution. The Air Fiber Wash machine, using a polyedric drum, airflow, and an electrical charge, removes microfibers before garments reach consumers. It captures these fibers in a vacuum filtration system, preventing them from entering waterways.

How effective is this system in reducing MICROFIBER pollution?

Each Air Fiber Wash machine can collect up to 325 kilograms of microfibers annually. This process happens in the production phase, meaning garments will release up to 60% fewer microfibers when washed domestically. While it doesn’t solve the entire problem, it’s a significant step towards reducing microfiber pollution. We’re proud to open this technology to other brands, promoting a collective effort to tackle this issue.

Looking ahead, what do you see for the future of textile manufacturing?

The future of textile manufacturing will focus on localized production, serving consumers within specific regions. Post-COVID and amid current economic challenges, this approach ensures faster delivery times, typically within 10 days from factory to consumer. Countries like Turkey, Egypt, and regions in North Africa will become key players for Europe, while India and Central Asia will cater to their local markets. This shift will enhance efficiency and sustainability in the industry.

As we conclude our discussion, it’s clear that the textile industry is on the brink of a significant transformation. The introduction of air-based washing technologies and innovative solutions to reduce microfiber pollution are monumental steps towards a more sustainable future. By aligning efficiency with environmental responsibility, these advancements promise to reshape manufacturing practices and set new benchmarks for sustainability. The commitment to open these technologies to the broader market underscores a shared vision for a cleaner, more sustainable world.

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