Industry, Innovation & Infrastructure, Responsible Consumption & Production, Climate Action
Longevity, raw-material, recycling, no-waste, fashion
Co-creation by technician Giovanni Benelli/ BFlex®, Italy & textile design Studio MLR, Denmark
BFlex® – a stretch yarn.
A yarn mechanically made elastic to meet the worlds demand for efficient recycling of garments.
How does it work?
In many basic garments, like t-shirts and jeans, the core material e.g. cotton is blended with 3-5 % of elastic, fuel-based fiber, to obtain comfort stretch and to assure a good recovery of the textile. When the garment is to be recycled at end-of-life, the material must be split to cellulosic and fuel-based parts to get recyclable pure raw materials. An expensive process meaning very little of these products are recycled back to pure raw materials. The process for BFlex® is twinning, two yarns are twisted together. This is known, but to obtain a stretch yarn the process has undergone some fundamental technical changes; the result is the BFlex® stretch yarn made of only one fiber, a mono-material. The known Crepe spinning technique changes the touch of the textile to be papery. Our BFlex® twinning maintains the specific characteristic of a material, e.g. a soft touch. The BFlex® yarn performs best when knitted or woven in open structures. A specific finishing increases the stretch.
Why is it needed?
The best you can do for the planet is to keep your things for long, also your garments. And to design for longevity. Thus, garments must keep their shape and remain nice, esthetically and quality-wise for long. For this reason, it’s fundamental that the textile have good recovery, so the garments shape and the comfort doesn’t deteriorate. This is why stretch is absolutely essential for longevity. Textile raw-material is a rising shortage. Most textiles fibers, from cotton to wool, are very resource-heavy to produce, even if organically grown. This is why it’s crucial to keep the material clean, to consider it a raw material, at all times in its life-cycles. If a material is blended with 3-5 % fuel-based elastic element, this little percentage will or pollute the material for all its life-cycles, or have to go through a resource heavy recycling process, splitting the two materials to restore the clean raw materials. The BFlex® stretch yarn can change this by being a mono-material yarn
How does it improve life?
Your daily t-shirt or jeans are often made of e.g. cotton and 3-5% of fuel-based, stretch fiber. Because BFlex® yarn can change the textile for these daily garments into a Mono-material, the impact of this technology is massive. The shortage of raw-materials and the resource heavy production of most natural fibers is a known challenge. The right balance between a products function and its end-of-life is essential, to preserve the value of the materials without comprising aesthetics and function of the product, in this case garments. Using the BFlex® yarn, you obtain a comfort for everyday function, also when aiming for longevity of a garment. At the garment’s end-of-life a mechanical recycling process can return the garment to pure raw-material, because no fuel-based elements are added. By the products end-of-second-life the fibers can be mixed with virgin fibers, be chemically recycled or used for products with less demand for long fibers. This can truly be a world without waste!