BALTIMORE — December 12, 2023 — Following years of research in its innovation lab, earlier this year Under Armour announced a breakthrough fiber-shed test method to help address the invisible, but daunting sustainability threat microfibers and microplastics pose to society and the planet. Now, the brand has teamed up with James Heal, a precision testing solutions supplier, to bring its award-winning test method to life.
Over the past eight months, the partners have developed and optimized fiber-shed test kits for industry use that employ Under Armour’s simplified, repeatable method. The resulting test kits are now available for purchase from James Heal. As part of the partnership, the companies are receiving continued support and technical guidance from testing service provider Hohenstein — an internationally recognized and acclaimed testing, research, and certification leader with roots in the textile sector.
As synthetic and natural fabrics are produced, worn, and cleaned, they shed fibers at varying rates. By increasing access to their simplified fiber-shed testing method, the companies hope to make it easier for industry players to understand their own contribution to the microfiber issue.
“Until now, integrating fiber-shed testing into industry research and development activities has required a significant time and cost investment,” said Kyle Blakely, senior vice president of Innovation for Under Armour. “At Under Armour, we believe intervening early to mitigate shedding is critical, which is why our test method is designed to specifically address these time and cost barriers to entry. Thanks to our partners at James Heal, we are excited to make our innovative test method widely available as we address our own environmental impact.”
In addition to making the test method publicly available, Under Armour has provided complimentary test kits to high-volume textile mills in its global supply chain to encourage early intervention within its indirect scope.
“Sustainability is a team sport, and we are thrilled to make this innovative measurement alternative widely available to the industry as we leverage it across our own brand,” said Michael Levine, vice president & chief sustainability officer for Under Armour. “Under Armour’s sustainability ambitions reflect our belief that what lies under our products matters. As we progress toward our goal for 75 percent of products to be made of low-shed materials by 2030, we will continue to pursue opportunities to magnify Under Armour’s impact in the collective fight against shedding.”
Through a new pilot program, Under Armour is developing a reduced shed version of its largest fleece offering that is expected to launch in Fall/Winter 2024. As the company continues to support the redevelopment of fabrics to shed less, UA aspires to improve product durability and performance to support athletes.
“Fiber-shedding in the textile industry is an extremely prevalent topic, and we are as keen as any to support ways to reduce this,” said Sam Tissington, commercial director at James Heal. “We are proud to support Under Armour in their attempts to further reduce the shedding of fiber throughout the manufacturing process of textiles, and to show that support we are providing global access to the Under Armour test method with the purchase of the Under Armour compiled Fiber-Shedding kits.”
Dr. Timo Hammer, CEO at Hohenstein, added: “As one of the leading research and test labs for textile fiber-shedding, this new method perfectly complements our current testing portfolio. We are proud to support Under Armour and its suppliers as a neutral third-party facility for testing and technical guidance.”
To purchase a testing kit from James Heal, visit this link: https://info.jamesheal.com/-under-armour-and-james-heal
For more information on Hohenstein’s fiber-shed testing services, visit this link: https://www.hohenstein.us/en-us/contact
Additional information on fiber shedding and UA’s new method is available here: https://www.greenbiz.com/article/microplastics-are-everywhere-heres-what-we-can-do-about-it
Posted: December 12, 2023
Source: Under Armour® Inc.