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Lenzing recently announced a strategic collaboration with KARL MAYER GROUP, a world leader in textile machinery, to enable the smooth adoption of more botanic, biodegradable and fossil-fuel-free materials during textile production in both warp knitting and flat knitting machines. This partnership represents an important step by the two companies in guiding the industry towards a more sustainable future and underscores their commitment to empowering partners in the textile chain with value-added solutions and innovation in reducing the carbon footprint of their supply chains.
To discuss the partnership further and understand how this will impact the textile value chain for the greater good, we sat down with Florian Heubrandner, Vice President Global Textiles Business, Lenzing to learn more about the business direction of the collaboration.
1. What are the reasons for the collaboration between Lenzing and KARL MAYER GROUP?
Florian: For decades, Lenzing and KARL MAYER GROUP have been encouraging innovation of the textile industry along the value chain. With more value chain partners and brands opting for sustainable raw materials to address shifting consumer preferences, we decided to join forces to further explore development areas together that help to reduce the industry’s environmental impact in a sustainable way.
Although our fibers are widely used in flat knitting, the strategic collaboration aims to facilitate the adoption of up to 100% fossil-fuel-free and biodegradable TENCEL™ fibers and filament at full production speed on existing equipment in warp knitting. This opens new application areas that have been dominated by synthetic fibers by giving textile manufacturers who have previously not used wood-based cellulosic fibers on their warp knitting machinery a new option.
Through the collaboration with KARL MAYER GROUP, we aim to encourage climate pioneers to further lower their carbon emissions with the use of carbon-zero TENCEL™ branded fibers and decrease material consumption while using the STOLL flat knitting machines of the KARL MAYER GROUP. This is only the beginning of Lenzing meeting the needs of brands and consumers for eco-friendly products.
2. How will the partnership drive fiber adoption for Lenzing and spur business growth?
Florian: Our partnership with the KARL MAYER GROUP aims to inspire the textile value chain to work hand in hand and take proactive steps towards achieving their climate goals, to reduce carbon impact, waste, and fossil-fuel-based materials that harm the environment.
Today more than ever, consumers are reducing their plastic consumption and striving to live a life focused on recycling and reusing items. With the industry migrating towards greener standards of operation, it is important for companies like Lenzing to lead the way in increasing consumers’ eco awareness. We constantly strive to be at the forefront of new developments and offer the most innovative sustainable products and circular solutions to our partners, such as offering biodegradable fibers in application areas which have historically been dominated by synthetics.
3. How do your sustainability commitments align with those of KARL MAYER GROUP?
Florian: We both share a vision to enable the sustainable development and growth of the industry by pioneering new solutions that increase the adoption of fossil-fuel-free materials with the goal of achieving a greener textile value chain. Together, we are committed to minimizing the environmental impact of the textile production process through innovative machinery and further adoption of botanic and biodegradable fibers such as TENCEL™ Lyocell fibers and filament yarn, as well as carbon-zero TENCEL™ Lyocell fibers to encourage climate pioneers to further lower their carbon emissions.
This collaboration is the start of a longer-term partnership, and we aim to enable the sustainable development and growth of the industry by empowering partners in the textile chain with value-added solutions and innovations in reducing the carbon footprint of their supply chains. At the same time, we are also offering sustainable solutions for consumer brands and retailers to enable them to be more versatile in meeting the changing demands of an eco-conscious fashion market.
4. You showcased the collaboration at the ITMA 2023 exhibition. Can you tell us more about this event?
We were delighted to return to ITMA 2023 exhibition, the world’s largest international fair for textile and garment technology. At the event, we showcased the potential of knitting innovations leveraged through the collaboration.
The exhibition allowed us to reach a wider audience and showcase Lenzing’s latest product concepts and technical developments, as well as connect with our industry peers from around the world and continue the discussion on the future of sustainability, and innovation in textiles.