Upfront with Freudenberg
In addition to reduced consumption, more recycling, and increasing the quality of garments to ensure that they can be worn for longer, innovative ecological solutions are urgently needed for the end of the garment life cycle. Freudenberg is a pioneer in this field and in 2020 they launched comfortemp® TencelTM padding, the world’s first 100% biodegradable padding. It is completely biodegradable within 57 days without polluting the soil. Zero waste – the aim is clear. YH-F: The EU plans to implement household collections of textiles by 2025. At present, there is no clear idea of what to do with these textiles after they are collected. There are numerous examples of mechanical processing to recover fibers, which can then be fabricated into new products – such as felts to absorb sound and to provide insulation. There are also the very first examples of commercial garments that are made fully or partly incorporate recycled fibers. What can be a useful contribution by global market leaders like yourself, the organization you represent to make change happen also in that respect?
AF: Another important topic when it comes to sustainability indeed is the traceability and transparency of the entire manufacturing chain. All components must be produced in a resource-efficient manner and must be either degradable or reusable. Besides that, we support the Global Recycling Standard and are fully GRS certified. This underpins our strategy of sustainability, our long-term goals of reducing waste in the apparel industry, and our commitment to the circular economy. We also provide products that enable some of our customers to produce and offer products fulfilling the Cradle-to-Cradle standard.
Apart from a focus on products, our efforts at Freudenberg involve production energy monitoring, energy efficiency audits, ongoing CO2 reductions, and reclaiming waste as a raw material in itself, to name just a few. It is a continuous process that requires focus, perseverance, and a strong commitment from all stakeholders – including customers.
Moving consistently towards greater sustainability is a journey – and there is no single strategy that will work for all companies. Ultimately, the sum of many improvements and initiatives along the entire value chain will make a company and its products more sustainable and contribute to a more eco-friendly textile industry overall. About Freudenberg Performance MaterialsFreudenberg Performance Materials is a leading global supplier of innovative technical textiles for a broad range of markets and applications such as apparel, automotive, building interiors, building materials, healthcare, energy, filter media, shoe, and leather goods as well as specialties. In 2020, the company generated sales of more than €1 billion, had 33 production sites in 14 countries around the world and had some 5,000 employees. Freudenberg Performance Materials attaches great importance to social and ecological responsibility as the basis for its business success. www.freudenberg-pm.com The company is part of Freudenberg Group, which employed more than 48,000 people during 2020 in some 60 countries worldwide and generated sales of more than €8.8 billion. –NE–