Champion Tackles Microplastics in Textiles with New Technology

Models pose in Champion Athleticwear that uses New Reverse Weave Iconic Styles with CiCLO® Technology to Reduce Microplastic Pollution

(Credit: Champion)

by | Nov 30, 2023

Champion Athleticwear has introduced new textile technology collection that aims to reduce microplastic pollution from synthetic materials. 

Called the Eco Future Reverse Weave with CiCLO technology, the science-based solution allows synthetic textiles to perform more like natural fibers when they enter the environment. Synthetic textiles, such as polyester and nylon, are typically plastic-based and therefore don’t break down in the environment because they are not biodegradable. 

CiCLO technology is a textile ingredient designed to mitigate microfiber pollution from synthetic textiles. When it’s added to polyester or nylon, the fibers act more like natural fibers, such as cotton or wool, when they end up in the environment. According to Champion, the CiCLO technology reduces plastic textile fibers by putting an expiration date on polyester. 

Champion has released a collection with CiCLO’s technology, including crewnecks and joggers, that will be available online and in Champion stores beginning Dec. 6. The new collection from Champion also features dyes with ingredients derived from nature, such as pomegranate, annatto fruit, and terminalia chebula fruit. 

“As we continue to innovate and evolve, Champion is dedicated to creating solutions through products that will ensure a better tomorrow for our planet and the people living on it,” Vanessa LeFebvre, president of global activewear at Champion, said in a press release. “Through our partnership with CICLO, we aim to be a catalyst for positive change in the fashion industry, driving conscious choices, responsible actions and continuous improvements, while providing every Champion a canvas to live their true purpose.”

Fashion’s Climate Impact

The textile industry is a major polluter and contributor to climate change, with textile production estimated to be responsible for about 20% of global clean water pollution from dyeing and finishing products, according to the European Parliament. The fashion industry is estimated to be responsible for 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions.

Champion is the latest brand to introduce new technology and materials that aim to reduce the textile and fashion industry’s impact on the environment.

Nike has debuted several innovations, including most recently launching a recyclable shoe that doesn’t use glue. Because of the lack of glue and through interlocking components, every part of the shoe can be recycled at the end of its use.

Adidas, Inditex, Target and Zalando also banded together earlier this year to test and validate a recycling process in a pilot program with Fashion For Good, a global initiative that aims to innovate the fashion industry toward greater sustainability. Plus, Crocs recently introduced a takeback program targeting recycling and reusing its products. 

Within the textile sector, another solution by Better Cotton is targeting the supply chain. The company released a traceability tool allowing companies to identify and disclose the origin of cotton used in their products, also tracking its impact along the supply chain. 

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