Bayer MaterialScience has launched of INSQIN, a novel turnkey solution for a new generation of polyurethane (PU) coated fabrics.
Bayer MaterialScience explains PU technology is used to enhance and transform many of the fabrics that surround us. Every year, around seven billion pairs of shoes, two billion bags and one billion garments are produced with PU leather and other PU coated fabrics.
With pure waterborne PU technology and rich application expertise, Bayer MaterialScience states it inspires brand owners to explore new possibilities in the design and creation of “magical” PU coated fabrics with their INSQIN service portfolio.
“Today is an exciting and pivotal day for all textile-consuming industries, as we look ahead to an innovative and sustainable way of producing coated fabrics with INSQIN. Not only are we now able to join efforts with brand owners to shape a more productive innovation process, we are also contributing to a practical solution that addresses the ongoing battle between sustainability and scalability,” said Nicholas Smith, Global Head of Textile Coating at Bayer MaterialScience.
Through INSQIN, Bayer MaterialScience claims it will provide brand owners with a turnkey solution for the development and scaling of new waterborne PU coated fabrics
“Our hope is that by interacting directly with brands as well as with manufacturers, we can reshape material innovation in the apparel and footwear industry. We are committed to reducing harmful effects on people and the environment, by enabling manufacturing that eliminates worker exposure to solvents and lowers resource consumption,” said Nicholas Smith.
According to Bayer MaterialScience, INSQIN enables the manufacture of all kinds of coated fabric to be carried out without solvent. It states the social and environmental benefits of waterborne PU technology are of particular importance to PU leather, which it says has been one of the largest sources of environmental and health hazards amongst all types of coated fabrics.
Bayer MaterialScience explains that globally, more than 4 billion square meters of PU synthetic leather are manufactured per year to meet the fast growing demand and China manufactures 90% of this figure, putting a heavy strain on local ecosystems. Worker exposure to solvents needs to be addressed and pollution risks need to be minimised. Sustainability goals will be hard to achieve if the industry continues to use the mainstream solvent-based processes to produce PU leather. It claims INSQIN waterborne PU technology not only enables PU leather to be manufactured without solvent, it also reduces water consumption by up to 95% and energy consumption by up to 50% in the coating process.
In addition, Bayer is also developing the INSQIN Partner Manufacturer Program, a quality assurance scheme in which Bayer helps manufacturers improve sustainable practices, such as reducing resource consumption in coating processes and safe chemical management. Manufacturers will be audited in terms of consistency and high standards in the application of waterborne PU technology, allowing brand owners to source newly developed materials via an INSQIN partner list with high efficiency and better transparency in the value chain.
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