SPARTANBURG, S.C. — June 6, 2022 — The Textile Business of Milliken & Company has announced its participation in two commercial textile-to-textile U.S. product trials with Accelerating Circularity. Serving as the fabric manufacturer in both trials, Milliken will be developing two separate garments — a polyester Polartec Fleece and a cotton/polyester twill — that will be manufactured at scale.
The polyester Polartec Fleece trial will use chemically recycled textiles made possible by Gr3n Recycling while the cotton/polyester twill trial will feature a mechanical recycling process. Milliken will use Unifi fiber to develop and manufacture the fabric used in each trial.
“At Milliken, our approach to sustainability is action-oriented. That’s why we joined Accelerating Circularity, because we knew they were addressing the challenge of circularity head on rather than simply talking about possible solutions down the road. We have the operational capabilities and workforce innovation that make participating in these trials a great way for us to help reduce the environmental impact of the textile industry,” said Jeff Strahan, director of sustainability, compliance, and research at Milliken & Company.
According to the EPA, approximately 16.9 million tons of textile waste go to landfills.* The U.S. trials are designed to assist Accelerating Circularity in proving a functioning textile-to-textile circular supply chain that reduces textile waste is possible.
“Milliken has been an invaluable partner and participant from the beginning of the formation of Accelerating Circularity. They have a long history of textiles in the United States and are well integrated with the rest of the supply chain which is required to make circularity a reality,” said Karla Magruder, president and founder of Accelerating Circularity. “Milliken’s Rapid Prototype Center (RPC) also gives them a competitive advantage in terms of being able to quickly run small process trials prior to scaleup. They can give ACP preliminary feedback on quality, aesthetics, and consistency as part of the feedback on the initial ACP trials.”
The Rapid Prototype Center (RPC) at Milliken, the largest privately-owned textile testing center in the United States, is a major contributor to the ability to run these trials quickly and efficiently. “Milliken’s RPC provides our organization with an invaluable tool—the ability to fail fast and adjust. Typical production equipment requires hundreds of pounds of fiber that leads to thousands of yards of fabric. The risk profile is not advantageous to ‘try something’,” notes Magruder. “Milliken’s RPC lets us process small amounts of material and give the interested parties confidence these materials will work on true production equipment.”
Milliken joined Accelerating Circularity as a Steering Committee member, a group of companies that provide strategy and guidance to the U.S.-based project, in 2021. Additional current members include Eastman, Gap Inc, Giotex, Gr3n, Lenzing, Nike, Target, VF Corp. and Unifi.
Posted: June 6, 2022
Source: Milliken & Company