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Vaude shows its commitment to fighting microplastics

German outdoor brand Vaude has offered information about the different steps its has taken to help combat pollution caused by the release of microplastics.

“Developing products that are completely safe for the environment and for people is our top priority. We would also like to make a contribution toward solving global ecological problems such as the environmental pollution caused by plastics, which can also originate from synthetic textiles,” said Antje von Dewitz, CEO of Vaude.

Vaude was one of a number of sports companies which founded a joint project in Germany in autumn 2017. They included Polartec and Adidas. The research project, which is known as TextileMission and has funding of €1.7 million from Germany’s federal ministry of education and research, aims to help brands reduce the release of micro-plastic particles from clothing made from synthetic fibre. It also counts on the support of washing machine manufacturer Miele, detergent manufacturer Henkel and representatives of academia and campaign groups.

“The aim of TextileMission is to optimise wastewater treatment plant technology with filters while also developing textiles with significantly lower microfiber emissions,” explained Hilke Patzwall, CSR manager at Vaude. 

The brand has also worked with Italian fabric specialist Pontetorto to develop an innovative fleece material made of a bio-based, biodegradable fibre. The material features Lenzing’s cellulosic fibre Tencel on the inner surface. Vaude has said the fleece will release no dangerous microplastics. Should any Tencel particles be released during washing they would decompose in around 90 days. 

“As a manufacturer of fleece clothing, we recognise our responsibility in this issue and are actively searching for solutions to prevent the shedding of microplastics into the environment," said Ms von Dewitz.

This fleece material is one of several natural materials Vaude will use in its new Green Shape Core Collection. It features 19 sustainable products, including apparel, footwear and backpacks, designed for use in outdoor activities. The brand has said around 90% of the material used to create these products are bio-based, recycled or natural materials. 

They will be displayed at the forthcoming ISPO exhibition in Munich (January 28-31) before being made available at specialist sports retailers in August. 

Image courtesy of Vaude.

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