Trutex develops garments with low fibre shredding

Trutex’s new garments shed up to 60% less than its competitors

Schoolwear manufacturer Trutex has developed garments with low fibre shredding to help reduce the impact of microplastic fibres in our oceans.

Recent tests by Trutex reveal its sweatshirts shed 60% less than its main competitors’ (see research table), meaning less fibre shedding through the washing machine cycle making its way as micro-plastics to the oceans.

A microplastic is a piece of plastic less than 5mm in length.  These plastics mainly enter the oceans and rivers through washing garments in machines.  To date there is no British Standard test method to judge the shedding of microplastics however Trutex has worked with an independent test house to develop one.  More than 90% of microplastics found in the oceans comes from textile fibres and almost 80% of those fibres are polyester and acrylic

Matthew Easter, chief executive of Lancashire based Trutex, said: “School uniforms are worn for approximately 190 days a year, so they demand frequent washing.   We have chosen to use high quality fabric, with a tight yarn and weave, which is also specially treated during manufacturing, all to ensure it sheds far less than other fabrics.”

Trutex states it is continuing to work on developing fabrics for its uniforms, which are sold around the world, to reduce fibre shredding even more.

Katrina Fowler, sourcing and technical director at Trutex, said: “We are researching and manufacturing different fabric constructions which will reduce fibre shedding. We continually test our fabrics to a test method we think can be replicated in the home.  We also work closely with our fabric mills in regard to waste water treatment, fibre loss during production, waste material disposal and other environmental procedures.”

Mr Easter continued: “It can be done. We have a responsibility to ensure our products are not damaging our environment.  Plus, our customers are the decision makers of tomorrow and do not want to be contributing to the pollution of their planet through the clothes they have to wear.”

This is not the first time Trutex has been at the forefront of environmentally friendly uniforms. Back in 2014 the company launched a blazer made entirely from recycled plastic bottles.  Indeed one blazer uses 31 bottles in its manufacture and with Trutex selling 300,000 blazers a year this plastic blazer has the potential to save over nine million bottles saved from landfill.

Research shows that a large proportion of microplastic fibres found in the marine environment may be derived from sewage as a consequence of washing clothes. And as the human population grows and people use more synthetic textiles, contamination of habitats and animals by microplastic is likely to increase.

Trutex fibre shedding data

Fibre Shedding – Grams

Product Trutex Competitor 1 Competitor 2
1st Wash 0.0002 0.0031 0.0038
2nd Wash 0.0088 0.0446 0.0454
3rd Wash 0.0118 0.0051 0.0052
4th Wash 0.0062 0.0445 0.0041
5th Wash 0.0025 0.0153 0.0029
Total Weight Lost 0.0295 0.1126 0.0614
Total per Garment 2.52815 9.64982 5.26198


Fibre Shedding – Percentage

Product Trutex Competitor 1 Competitor 2
1st Wash 0.005 0.075 0.115
2nd Wash 0.256 1.093 1.062
3rd Wash 0.344 0.126 0.122
4th Wash 0.181 1.104 0.097
5th Wash 0.073 0.384 0.068
Total % Lost 0.859 2.782 1.464


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