As project partners, the following nine organisations from the sporting goods industry, the household appliance and detergent industries, research and environmental protection contribute their respective know-how to the TextileMission project.
"Reducing the negative impact of textile microplastics is an important future issue for our industry as sports and outdoor apparel is mostly made of synthetic fibers.
Nicole Espey, Managing Director
The Association of the German Sporting Goods Industry (BSI) is the federation of German sporting goods manufacturers, importers and wholesalers founded in 1910. BSI currently has around 150 member companies. In addition to large international companies, over 80% are small and medium-sized companies that belong to the market leaders in their sports segments. The members of the Association of the German Sporting Goods Industry generate an annual turnover of around 25 billion euros.
"The world we live in is increasingly demanding comfortable, "easy-care" and "easy to handle" products with complex requirement profiles that are as well fashionably exciting, attractively priced and easy to maintain for the customer. Designing products that are not only aesthetically appealing, but also sustainable and environmentally friendly is one of the constant challenges and responsibilities that designers and product developers have to face today. Sustainable textile design means taking into account the entire life cycle of products - from their creation to their use and disposal - right from the concept stage and including them in the creative creation process. The research project "TextileMission" starts right here. I hope that this project will provide me with decisive insights, research results and relevant innovations for the design of all textile products of the future".
Prof. Dipl-Des. Ellen Bendt, Department of Textile and Clothing Technology
Hochschule Niederrhein - University of Applied Sciences is one of the most research-intensive universities of applied sciences in the Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia (Germany). At the Research Institute for Textiles and Clothing (FTB), which is affiliated to the Department of Textile and Clothing Technology with over 2000 students, 12 professors and 20 scientific staff work on scientific, industrial and publicly funded projects together with over 60 students. The entire textile value chain from yarn production to surface area can be covered. The institute focuses on the chemical and constructive functionalisation of textiles, smart textiles, product development and sustainable production.
"Many tons of textile microplastics are emitted every year throughout Germany. Its persistence in the environment has to be investigated in more detail: Are the fibrous microparticles efficiently retained by the wastewater treatment plant? Is the retention dependent on the fiber size? How much textile microplastics reaches the rivers via the effluent of the wastewater treatment plant? How much of the active sludge reaches the fields? By answering these questions, we would like to help understanding and evaluating possible risks that could arise from textile microplastics".
Prof. Dr. habil. Stefan Stolte, Head of the Institute of Water Chemistry, TU Dresden
The overall aims of the research and teaching activities at the TU Dresden -Institute of Water Chemistry are directed to environmental and water protection. Occurrence, properties and (environmental) behaviour of in particular anthropogenic chemicals and materials such as pharmaceutical residues, microplastic particles or plant protection agents are being investigated. Moreover, treatment strategies allowing the efficient removal of trace pollutants from potable water and sewage are in our research focus.
"VAUDE works with passion on innovative and sustainable solutions to leave positive traces. Within the framework of this project, we would like to tackle the problem of microparticle emissions at its roots together with our partners in the research association: Directly in the materials and textile technologies that we use for our products. We want to make our products even more eco-friendly and are eager to implement the findings in product development."
Hilke Patzwall, Senior Manager CSR & Sustainability
VAUDE offers functional and innovative products for mountain and bike athletes. As a sustainably innovative outdoor supplier, VAUDE contributes to a world worth living in, so that tomorrow's people can enjoy nature with a clear conscience. The family-owned company sets ecological and social standards worldwide. VAUDE stands for environmentally friendly products from fair production. At its headquarters in Tettnang in southern Germany, the company employs around 500 people.
"The introduction of non-biodegradable fibres from plastic textiles into waters and oceans plays a significant role in the environmental impact of microplastics. Following the precautionary principle, the input of microplastic must be significantly reduced. The study of alternatives to plastic fibres conducted by the TextileMission partners can play an important role. By participating in the project, the WWF would also like to ensure that other sustainability aspects are not left out when alternative textile fibres are considered."
"Dr. Bernhard Bauske, Senior Advisor Marine Litter Reduction
WWF Germany is part of the international environmental organization World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF). For over 50 years, the WWF network has been working around the globe to stop environmental degradation and shape a future in which man and nature live in harmony. In more than 100 national and international projects, WWF Germany is currently working to preserve biological diversity and our natural resources. More than 500,000 supporters support it in this endeavour.
"At adidas, we believe in close collaboration along the supply chain. Furthermore, innovation is a key part of our business. TextileMission, with its innovative partners, is well positioned to better understand the issues and find new solutions for consumers and industry."
Philipp Meister, Senior Director Sustainability Strategy, adidas AG
adidas is a global leader in the sporting goods industry with core brands adidas and Reebok. Headquartered in Herzogenaurach, Germany, the company employs 60,000 people worldwide and generated sales of € 21 billion in 2017.
"Henkel's commitment to playing a leading role in sustainability is deeply rooted in our corporate values. We participate in numerous projects, dialogue platforms and specialist conferences at local, national and international level in order to play an active role in shaping the common task of sustainable development. In this context, the joint project is of particular interest. The solutions proposed within its framework appear very promising to us in order to reduce textile microplastic emissions in the future. Our aim is to support the partners in the development and continuous further development of the experimental setup for the washing factor chemistry and to contribute our expert knowledge on typical washing and drying parameters of the consumers".
Christina Röleke, Head of Textile Technology, International R&D Laundry & Home Care
Henkel has a balanced and diversified portfolio worldwide. With its strong brands, innovations and technologies, the company holds leading market positions in both the industrial and consumer businesses: Henkel Adhesive Technologies is the global market leader in adhesives. With its Laundry & Home Care and Beauty Care divisions, the company is also a leader in many markets and categories. In the fiscal year 2017, Henkel generated sales of 20 billion euros.
"Simple solutions, such as mechanical filtration of microplastic particles from laundry, are currently not available and are difficult to imagine. Miele has long been involved in the development of holistic solutions based on its own self-image - from textile quality to waste water systems. At the same time, Miele is interested in gathering information on how to reduce microfibre emissions in washing processes. Miele will participate in the "TextileMission" project as an associated partner with its expertise in laundry care and the provision of household washing machines."
Dr. Karsten Gayk, Head of Development/Laboratory Washing
Miele is the world's leading supplier of premium household appliances for cooking, baking, steam cooking, cooling/freezing, coffee preparation, dishwashing, laundry and floor care. Other products include dishwashers, washing machines and tumble dryers for commercial use, as well as cleaning, disinfecting and sterilising equipment for medical facilities and laboratories ("Miele Professional"). Founded in 1899, the company has eight production sites in Germany and one each in Austria, the Czech Republic, China and Romania. Turnover in the 2016/17 financial year amounted to around 3.93 billion euros, 70 percent of which was generated outside Germany.
"Impossible made possible - It is our concern to tackle problems at their roots and to find solutions where there have not been any so far. As a sustainable, technological company, we are very anxious to ensure that microplastics do not end up in the oceans. We will make our resources, our technologies and our knowledge available for this."
Senel Celik, Sales Marketing Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Iceland, Turkey, NL
Polartec, LLC is a premium manufacturer of innovative textile solutions. Ever since the company invented synthetic fleece in 1981, Polartec's engineers have been continuously working on new fabric technologies that have always crossed boundaries. Today, Polartec delivers the most advanced fabric innovations in the world. Polartec® offers a wide range of functional fabrics, from lightweight baselayers and thermal insulation fabrics to fabrics for extreme weather conditions. The fabrics are processed into high-performance products by leading apparel manufacturers, the US military, workwear brands and partners in the upholstery industry worldwide.