How important is it to Meryl Fabrics as a company to be sustainable?
It is important for all businesses to monitor what they’re doing from a sustainability perspective. It’s slightly different for Meryl Fabrics, because we built the business around sustainability rather than plugging sustainable practices into an existing business. However, we saw the issues surrounding the environmental impact of textiles, especially the textiles that are large scale use, and developed a model that can be easily adopted by any business to make their textile use more sustainable, whether that be workwear, bedding, or uniforms. We are also able to sell just the fabric if a business already has a strong relationship with a particular supplier.
Why was it important to you to find sourcing and production processes that don’t use water?
It’s been reported that nearly two thirds of the world’s population could face water shortages by 2025, that’s extremely scary to think about. Water scarcity is a growing risk for everyone on the planet, we need to stop wasting it. It currently takes about 2,700 litres of water to make just one shirt, Meryl uses none. In addition, to that scarcity, we are also polluting, especially in the textile industry. Approximately 20% of the worlds clean water pollution is caused by the dyeing processes. Meryl fabrics does not use harmful chemicals or solvents, do not shed microfibres and we use no water in manufacturing or dyeing.
Please could you explain how your fabrics are antibacterial and why?
As an option in all Meryl Fabrics we have permanent antimicrobial, antibacterial and antifungal properties, a technology developed by Virology partner, HeiQ, in Switzerland. It is a combination of silver ion technology and a patented vesicle technology that speeds up the process to under 2 minutes. This technology helps the fabric performance by adding an extra layer of protection and also tackles the bacteria that causes smelling. This, in turn, reduces the necessity for additional wash cycles, extending the life of the garment and further saving water in use.
The fabric you produce has become part of your company’s circular economy, how does this work?
Meryl Fabrics was created with a circular economy at its core. All of our fabrics and items are made to be used and sent back to us to be remanufactured. This also means that we have no production waste, all fabrics cut away during the item construction phase are put back into the system to be made into other items. We have a very simple process of manufacture, use, return, remanufacture that is available to all businesses that wish to implement a greener solution within their workwear. As our business model relies on getting the material back to us, there is a high level of traceability to the end user and minimises security risks as all workwear will be shredded and reborn.
You have described Meryl EcoDye as being the ‘next generation of dyeing processes’, why is this?
Currently the textile industry uses approximately 79 billion cubic metres of water!! A lot of this is during the dyeing processes, which then have a large amount of waste fallout that is discarded into clean water. This has a devastating effect on the environment and marine life… and beyond. Meryl EcoDye offers significant environmental benefits. Traditional dyeing uses large quantities of water and requires effluent treatment to address the dye discharge whereas Meryl EcoDye process does not use water, thereby reducing the environmental footprint. Meryl EcoDye colours have been made 100% with dyes and pigments and its colour masterbatch is considered environmentally friendly and healthy and does not contain heavy metals.
Traditional dyeing consists of a two-step process: The production of white fabric and the subsequent dyeing. By contrast, Meryl EcoDye uses one step colouration process in which the pigment is added to the polymer and the colour becomes an inherent part of the yarn. Meryl EcoDye boasts Absolute colour fastness and tighter colour control. The fibre is dyed throughout assuring a perfect colour uniformity and offer offers outstanding colour fastness to UV rays, washing abrasion, migration and ironing.