The Hohenstein Institute, an international research centre involved in the development, testing and certification of textile products, is set to present a webinar on textile biodegradability issues on September 19, 2017. The webinar will discuss on the importance of decomposition of textile products in an environment-friendly manner.
Hohenstein has developed testing processes to assess the aerobic biodegradation in soil or the breakdown of organic matter by microorganisms when oxygen is present. Hohenstein evaluations provide an end of life profile by answering the following: First, how quickly does the textile product decompose in microbiologically active soil and second, are there any toxicological impacts to the environment as a result?
For the first phase, textiles are buried and examined over time to quantify the rate of decomposition. Then the soil around the decomposing textile is evaluated to ensure biological safety using methods such as the cress test and the earthworm test. Products that meet Hohenstein’s strict criteria for both components can obtain the Hohenstein Institute Quality Label for Biodegradability, an independent, third party certification that can be used in sustainability marketing campaigns. Hohenstein’s biodegradability certification is applicable for a full range of textile products including fibres and yarns, fabrics, apparel, home textiles, geotextiles and nonwovens.
Experts at Hohenstein work closely with clients to understand the relevant questions that should be answered in order to determine the best testing plan. Many choices made at the design stage can affect a textile’s environmental impact at the end of its useful life. These choices include fibre and component selections, finishing specifications, and testing for harmful substances before the textile product ever goes to market.