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Sustainable Apparel: Production, Processing and Recycling

Sustainable Apparel: Production, Processing and Recycling

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Sustainable Apparel: Production, Processing and Recycling

592 pages
28 hours
Aug 28, 2015


Sustainability is an issue that increasingly concerns all those involved in the apparel industry, including textile manufacturers, apparel designers, retailers and consumers. This important book covers recent advances and novel technologies in the key areas of production, processing and recycling of apparel.

Part One addresses sustainable finishing and dyeing processes for textiles. The first two chapters concentrate on the environmental impact of fabric finishing, including water consumption, emissions and waste management. Further chapters focus on plasma and enzymatic treatments for sustainable textile processing, and the potential for improving the sustainability of dyeing technologies. Part Two covers issues of design, retail and recycling, and includes discussions of public attitudes towards sustainability in fashion, methods of measuring apparel sustainability and social trends in the re-use of apparel.

  • Reviews sustainable finishing and dyeing processes for textiles
  • Addresses social attitudes towards and methods for measuring sustainability in the apparel industry and retail sectors
  • Covers recycling of apparel
Aug 28, 2015

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Sustainable Apparel - Elsevier Science

Sustainable Apparel

Production, Processing and Recycling

First Edition

Richard Blackburn

Table of Contents

Cover image

Title page


List of contributors

Woodhead Publishing Series in Textiles

Part One: Sustainable Finishing and Dyeing Processes for Textiles

1: Environmentally friendly fabric finishes


1.1 Introduction

1.2 Waste minimization in fabric finishing

1.3 Chemical substitution

1.4 Reusable binders

1.5 Water-free and high solid finishing formulations

1.6 Use of biobased and/or biodegradable finishes

1.7 Regulations

1.8 Future trends

1.9 Conclusion


Sources of further information and advice

2: Processes for reducing the environmental impact of fabric finishing


2.1 Introduction

2.2 Waste minimization in fabric finishing

2.3 Wastewater treatment and management

2.4 Regulations

2.5 Future trends

2.6 Conclusion


Sources of further information and advice

3: Plasma treatments for sustainable textile processing



3.1 Introduction

3.2 Plasma treatments used in textile processing

3.3 Sustainability of plasma treatments

3.4 Future trends

3.5 Conclusion

Sources of further information and advice

4: Enzymatic treatments for sustainable textile processing



4.1 Introduction

4.2 Enzymes used in textile processing

4.3 Industrial textile bioprocessing

4.4 Advanced research in the enzymatic treatment of textile materials

4.5 Application of enzymes in textile surface design

4.6 Future trends

5: Sustainable dyeing technologies


5.1 Introduction

5.2 Apparel fibers and dyeing

5.3 Preparation processes

5.4 Dye classes and dyeing process fundamentals

5.5 Dyeing processes for apparel fabrics

5.6 Dyeing technology, machinery, and sustainability

5.7 Effluent treatment and recycling

5.8 Future trends in dyeing

5.9 Conclusion

Sources of further information

Part Two: Sustainable Apparel Design, Retail and Recycling

6: Fashion design and sustainability


6.1 Introduction

6.2 Fashion and sustainability narratives

6.3 Fashion design for sustainability research and education

6.4 Fashion’s practices and locations

6.5 Fashion as agency

6.6 The making of making

6.7 The creation of flow

6.8 Fashion design roles and parts

6.9 Designer as determiner: The creator of boundary objects

6.10 Designer as cocreator: Facilitator

6.11 Designer as condition creator: The creator of learning devices

6.12 Design methods and design filters

6.13 Design from hierarchy to heterarchy

7: Technical design for recycling of clothing


7.1 Technical aspects of garment design

7.2 Automated disassembly of garments

7.3 Future trends

8: Sustainable apparel retail


8.1 Introduction

8.2 The retail model

8.3 Sustainable retail

8.4 Retail impacts

8.5 Retail supply chains

8.6 Traceability and transparency

8.7 Consumer behavior

8.8 Sustainable retail futures

8.9 Conclusion

9: Measuring and communicating apparel sustainability


9.1 Introduction

9.2 Criteria of assessing apparel sustainability

9.3 Tools for measuring consumer aspects of apparel sustainability

9.4 Communicating apparel sustainability

9.5 Future trends

9.6 Conclusion

Sources of further information and advice

10: Apparel disposal and reuse


10.1 Introduction

10.2 Fate of discarded apparel

10.3 Apparel reuse

10.4 Future trends

Sources of further information and advice

11: Apparel recycling


11.1 Introduction to the problem

11.2 Fashion and overconsumption: The root cause of the waste problem

11.3 The apparel recycling process

11.4 Global examples

11.5 Rethinking what is fashionable



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This book and the individual contributions contained in it are protected under copyright by the Publisher (other than as may be noted herein).


Knowledge and best practice in this field are constantly changing. As new research and experience broaden our understanding, changes in research methods, professional practices, or medical treatment may become necessary.

Practitioners and researchers must always rely on their own experience and knowledge in evaluating and using any information, methods, compounds, or experiments described herein. In using such information or methods they should be mindful of their own safety and the safety of others, including parties for whom they have a professional responsibility.

To the fullest extent of the law, neither the Publisher nor the authors, contributors, or editors, assume any liability for any injury and/or damage to persons or property as a matter of products liability, negligence or otherwise, or from any use or operation of any methods, products, instructions, or ideas contained in the material herein.

ISBN: 978-1-78242-339-3 (print)

ISBN: 978-1-78242-357-7 (online)

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For Information on all Woodhead Publishing publications visit our website at http://store.elsevier.com/

List of contributors

R. Bell     C-Tech Innovation Ltd, Capenhurst Technology Park, Chester, UK

D. De Smet     Centexbel, Textile Competence Centre, Ghent, Belgium

E. Durham     University of Leeds, Leeds, UK

J.M. Hawley     University of Azizona, Tucson, AZ, USA

A. Hewitt     University of Leeds, Leeds, UK

K.Y. Hiller Connell     Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS, USA

C.-W. Kan     The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Kowloon, Hong Kong

A. Khatri     Mehran University of Engineering and Technology, Jamshoro, Sindh, Pakistan

J.M. Kozar     Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS, USA

T. Lewis     Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA

S. Russell     University of Leeds, Leeds, UK

J. Shen     De Montfort University, The Gateway, Leicester, UK

E. Smith     De Montfort University, The Gateway, Leicester, UK

M.P. Sumner     University of Leeds, Leeds, UK

M. Vanneste     Centexbel, Textile Competence Centre, Ghent, Belgium

D. Weydts     Centexbel, Textile Competence Centre, Ghent, Belgium

M. White     School of Fashion and Textiles, RMIT University, Brunswick, VIC, Australia

D. Williams     University of the Arts, London, UK

Woodhead Publishing Series in Textiles

Watson's textile design and colour Seventh edition

Edited by Z. Grosicki

Watson's advanced textile design

Edited by Z. Grosicki

Weaving Second edition

P. R. Lord and M. H. Mohamed

Handbook of textile fibres Volume 1: Natural fibres

J. Gordon Cook

Handbook of textile fibres Volume 2: Man-made fibres

J. Gordon Cook

Recycling textile and plastic waste

Edited by A. R. Horrocks

New fibers Second edition

T. Hongu and G. O. Phillips

Atlas of fibre fracture and damage to textiles Second edition

J. W. S. Hearle, B. Lomas and W. D. Cooke

Ecotextile '98

Edited by A. R. Horrocks

10 Physical testing of textiles

B. P. Saville

11 Geometric symmetry in patterns and tilings

C. E. Horne

12 Handbook of technical textiles

Edited by A. R. Horrocks and S. C. Anand

13 Textiles in automotive engineering

W. Fung and J. M. Hardcastle

14 Handbook of textile design

J. Wilson

15 High-performance fibres

Edited by J. W. S. Hearle

16 Knitting technology Third edition

D. J. Spencer

17 Medical textiles

Edited by S. C. Anand

18 Regenerated cellulose fibres

Edited by C. Woodings

19 Silk, mohair, cashmere and other luxury fibres

Edited by R. R. Franck

20 Smart fibres, fabrics and clothing

Edited by X. M. Tao

21 Yarn texturing technology

J. W. S. Hearle, L. Hollick and D. K. Wilson

22 Encyclopedia of textile finishing

H.-K. Rouette

23 Coated and laminated textiles

W. Fung

24 Fancy yarns

R. H. Gong and R. M. Wright

25 Wool: Science and technology

Edited by W. S. Simpson and G. Crawshaw

26 Dictionary of textile finishing

H.-K. Rouette

27 Environmental impact of textiles

K. Slater

28 Handbook of yarn production

P. R. Lord

29 Textile processing with enzymes

Edited by A. Cavaco-Paulo and G. Gübitz

30 The China and Hong Kong denim industry

Y. Li, L. Yao and K. W. Yeung

31 The World Trade Organization and international denim trading

Y. Li, Y. Shen, L. Yao and E. Newton

32 Chemical finishing of textiles

W. D. Schindler and P. J. Hauser

33 Clothing appearance and fit

J. Fan, W. Yu and L. Hunter

34 Handbook of fibre rope technology

H. A. McKenna, J. W. S. Hearle and N. O'Hear

35 Structure and mechanics of woven fabrics

J. Hu

36 Synthetic fibres: Nylon, polyester, acrylic, polyolefin

Edited by J. E. McIntyre

37 Woollen and worsted woven fabric design

E. G. Gilligan

38 Analytical electrochemistry in textiles

P. Westbroek, G. Priniotakis and P. Kiekens

39 Bast and other plant fibres

R. R. Franck

40 Chemical testing of textiles

Edited by Q. Fan

41 Design and manufacture of textile composites

Edited by A. C. Long

42 Effect of mechanical and physical properties on fabric hand

Edited by H. M. Behery

43 New millennium fibers

T. Hongu, M. Takigami and G. O. Phillips

44 Textiles for protection

Edited by R. A. Scott

45 Textiles in sport

Edited by R. Shishoo

46 Wearable electronics and photonics

Edited by X. M. Tao

47 Biodegradable and sustainable fibres

Edited by R. S. Blackburn

48 Medical textiles and biomaterials for healthcare

Edited by S. C. Anand, M. Miraftab, S. Rajendran and J. F. Kennedy

49 Total colour management in textiles

Edited by J. Xin

50 Recycling in textiles

Edited by Y. Wang

51 Clothing biosensory engineering

Y. Li and A. S. W. Wong

52 Biomechanical engineering of textiles and clothing

Edited by Y. Li and D. X-Q. Dai

53 Digital printing of textiles

Edited by H. Ujiie

54 Intelligent textiles and clothing

Edited by H. R. Mattila

55 Innovation and technology of women's intimate apparel

W. Yu, J. Fan, S. C. Harlock and S. P. Ng

56 Thermal and moisture transport in fibrous materials

Edited by N. Pan and P. Gibson

57 Geosynthetics in civil engineering

Edited by R. W. Sarsby

58 Handbook of nonwovens

Edited by S. Russell

59 Cotton: Science and technology

Edited by S. Gordon and Y-L. Hsieh

60 Ecotextiles

Edited by M. Miraftab and A. R. Horrocks

61 Composite forming technologies

Edited by A. C. Long

62 Plasma technology for textiles

Edited by R. Shishoo

63 Smart textiles for medicine and healthcare

Edited by L. Van Langenhove

64 Sizing in clothing

Edited by S. Ashdown

65 Shape memory polymers and textiles

J. Hu

66 Environmental aspects of textile dyeing

Edited by R. Christie

67 Nanofibers and nanotechnology in textiles

Edited by P. Brown and K. Stevens

68 Physical properties of textile fibres Fourth edition

W. E. Morton and J. W. S. Hearle

69 Advances in apparel production

Edited by C. Fairhurst

70 Advances in fire retardant materials

Edited by A. R. Horrocks and D. Price

71 Polyesters and polyamides

Edited by B. L. Deopura, R. Alagirusamy, M. Joshi and B. S. Gupta

72 Advances in wool technology

Edited by N. A. G. Johnson and I. Russell

73 Military textiles

Edited by E. Wilusz

74 3D fibrous assemblies: Properties, applications and modelling of three-dimensional textile structures

J. Hu

75 Medical and healthcare textiles

Edited by S. C. Anand, J. F. Kennedy, M. Miraftab and S. Rajendran

76 Fabric testing

Edited by J. Hu

77 Biologically inspired textiles

Edited by A. Abbott and M. Ellison

78 Friction in textile materials

Edited by B. S. Gupta

79 Textile advances in the automotive industry

Edited by R. Shishoo

80 Structure and mechanics of textile fibre assemblies

Edited by P. Schwartz

81 Engineering textiles: Integrating the design and manufacture of textile products

Edited by Y. E. El-Mogahzy

82 Polyolefin fibres: Industrial and medical applications

Edited by S. C. O. Ugbolue

83 Smart clothes and wearable technology

Edited by J. McCann and D. Bryson

84 Identification of textile fibres

Edited by M. Houck

85 Advanced textiles for wound care

Edited by S. Rajendran

86 Fatigue failure of textile fibres

Edited by M. Miraftab

87 Advances in carpet technology

Edited by K. Goswami

88 Handbook of textile fibre structure Volume 1 and Volume 2

Edited by S. J. Eichhorn, J. W. S. Hearle, M. Jaffe and T. Kikutani

89 Advances in knitting technology

Edited by K-F. Au

90 Smart textile coatings and laminates

Edited by W. C. Smith

91 Handbook of tensile properties of textile and technical fibres

Edited by A. R. Bunsell

92 Interior textiles: Design and developments

Edited by T. Rowe

93 Textiles for cold weather apparel

Edited by J. T. Williams

94 Modelling and predicting textile behaviour

Edited by X. Chen

95 Textiles, polymers and composites for buildings

Edited by G. Pohl

96 Engineering apparel fabrics and garments

J. Fan and L. Hunter

97 Surface modification of textiles

Edited by Q. Wei

98 Sustainable textiles

Edited by R. S. Blackburn

99 Advances in yarn spinning technology

Edited by C. A. Lawrence

100 Handbook of medical textiles

Edited by V. T. Bartels

101 Technical textile yarns

Edited by R. Alagirusamy and A. Das

102 Applications of nonwovens in technical textiles

Edited by R. A. Chapman

103 Colour measurement: Principles, advances and industrial applications

Edited by M. L. Gulrajani

104 Fibrous and composite materials for civil engineering applications

Edited by R. Fangueiro

105 New product development in textiles: Innovation and production

Edited by L.Horne

106 Improving comfort in clothing

Edited by G. Song

107 Advances in textile biotechnology

Edited by V. A. Nierstrasz and A. Cavaco-Paulo

108 Textiles for hygiene and infection control

Edited by B. McCarthy

109 Nanofunctional textiles

Edited by Y. Li

110 Joining textiles: Principles and applications

Edited by I. Jones and G. Stylios

111 Soft computing in textile engineering

Edited by A. Majumdar

112 Textile design

Edited by A. Briggs-Goode and K. Townsend

113 Biotextiles as medical implants

Edited by M. W. King, B. S. Gupta and R. Guidoin

114 Textile thermal bioengineering

Edited by Y. Li

115 Woven textile structure

B. K. Behera and P. K. Hari

116 Handbook of textile and industrial dyeing. Volume 1: Principles, processes and types of dyes

Edited by M. Clark

117 Handbook of textile and industrial dyeing. Volume 2: Applications of dyes

Edited by M. Clark

118 Handbook of natural fibres. Volume 1: Types, properties and factors affecting breeding and cultivation

Edited by R. Kozłowski

119 Handbook of natural fibres. Volume 2: Processing and applications

Edited by R. Kozłowski

120 Functional textiles for improved performance, protection and health

Edited by N. Pan and G. Sun

121 Computer technology for textiles and apparel

Edited by J. Hu

122 Advances in military textiles and personal equipment

Edited by E. Sparks

123 Specialist yarn and fabric structures

Edited by R. H. Gong

124 Handbook of sustainable textile production

M. I. Tobler-Rohr

125 Woven textiles: Principles, developments and applications

Edited by K. Gandhi

126 Textiles and fashion: Materials design and technology

Edited by R. Sinclair

127 Industrial cutting of textile materials

I. Viļumsone-Nemes

128 Colour design: Theories and applications

Edited by J. Best

129 False twist textured yarns

C. Atkinson

130 Modelling, simulation and control of the dyeing process

R. Shamey and X. Zhao

131 Process control in textile manufacturing

Edited by A. Majumdar, A. Das, R. Alagirusamy and V. K. Kothari

132 Understanding and improving the durability of textiles

Edited by P. A. Annis

133 Smart textiles for protection

Edited by R. A. Chapman

134 Functional nanofibers and applications

Edited by Q. Wei

135 The global textile and clothing industry: Technological advances and future challenges

Edited by R. Shishoo

136 Simulation in textile technology: Theory and applications

Edited by D. Veit

137 Pattern cutting for clothing using CAD: How to use Lectra Modaris pattern cutting software

M. Stott

138 Advances in the dyeing and finishing of technical textiles

M. L. Gulrajani

139 Multidisciplinary know-how for smart textiles developers

Edited by T. Kirstein

140 Handbook of fire resistant textiles

Edited by F. Selcen Kilinc

141 Handbook of footwear design and manufacture

Edited by A. Luximon

142 Textile-led design for the active ageing population

Edited by J. McCann and D. Bryson

143 Optimizing decision making in the apparel supply chain using artificial intelligence (AI): From production to retail

Edited by W. K. Wong, Z. X. Guo and S. Y. S. Leung

144 Mechanisms of flat weaving technology

V. V. Choogin, P. Bandara and E. V. Chepelyuk

145 Innovative jacquard textile design using digital technologies

F. Ng and J. Zhou

146 Advances in shape memory polymers

J. Hu

147 Design of clothing manufacturing processes: A systematic approach to planning, scheduling and control

J. Gersak

148 Anthropometry, apparel sizing and design

D. Gupta and N. Zakaria

149 Silk: Processing, properties and applications

Edited by K. Murugesh Babu

150 Advances in filament yarn spinning of textiles and polymers

Edited by D. Zhang

151 Designing apparel for consumers: The impact of body shape and size

Edited by M.-E. Faust and S. Carrier

152 Fashion supply chain management using radio frequency identification (RFID) technologies

Edited by W. K. Wong and Z. X. Guo

153 High performance textiles and their applications

Edited by C. A. Lawrence

154 Protective clothing: Managing thermal stress

Edited by F. Wang and C. Gao

155 Composite nonwoven materials

Edited by D. Das and B. Pourdeyhimi

156 Functional finishes for textiles: Improving comfort, performance and protection

Edited by R. Paul

157 Assessing the environmental impact of textiles and the clothing supply chain

S. S. Muthu

158 Braiding technology for textiles

Y. Kyosev

159 Principles of colour appearance and measurement. Volume 1: Object appearance, colour perception and instrumental measurement

A. K. R. Choudhury

160 Principles of colour appearance and measurement. Volume 2: Visual measurement of colour, colour comparison and management

A. K. R. Choudhury

161 Ink jet textile Printing

C. Cie

162 Textiles for Sportswear

Edited by R. Shishoo

163 Advances in Silk Science and Technology

Edited by A. Basu

164 Denim: Manufacture, Finishing and Applications

Edited by R. Paul

165 Fabric Structures in Architecture

Edited by J. Ignasi de Llorens

166 Electronic Textiles: Smart Fabrics and Wearable Technology

Edited by T. Dias

167 Advances in 3D Textiles

Edited by X. Chen

168 Garment Manufacturing Technology

Edited by R. Nayak and R. Padhye

169 Handbook of technical textiles Second edition Volume 1

Edited by A. R. Horrocks and S. C. Anand

170 Handbook of technical textiles Second edition Volume 2

Edited by A. R. Horrocks and S. C. Anand

171 Sustainable Apparel

Edited by R. S. Blackburn

Part One

Sustainable Finishing and Dyeing Processes for Textiles


Environmentally friendly fabric finishes

D. De Smet; D. Weydts; M. Vanneste    Centexbel, Textile Competence Centre, Ghent, Belgium


Fabric finishing has a large impact on the environment. Important issues with which finishing companies need to deal are energy and water consumption, air emissions, water emissions, the chemical load of the water, and waste (i.e., textile waste and chemical waste). Reduction of water emissions is driven by the Water Framework Directive targeting 2015 as the year for getting all EU waters into good condition. To avoid waste and energy consumption, new finishing chemicals are being developed that are reusable, water free, biobased, or biodegradable. Changes in regulation led to the ban and restriction of hazardous substances currently used for finishing, which in turn has put pressure on the finishing companies to fulfill all requirements.


Chemical substitution

Biobased materials

Biodegradable chemicals





1.1 Introduction

Fabric finishing has a large impact on the environment by using large volumes of water, substantial amounts of various types of chemicals, and a lot of energy. Important issues finishing companies need to deal with are water discharge and its chemical load, energy consumption, air and water emissions, waste (i.e., textiles waste and chemical waste), odors, and noise.

To avoid water emission and its chemical load and to reduce energy and water consumption and waste production, new chemicals were developed that are reusable, water-free, biobased, or biodegradable. Many of these chemicals were developed for other sectors and the implementation in textiles is not always obvious (i.e., flexibility, haptic, and wash resistance).

Current changes in European Union (EU) regulation has led to the restriction or even ban of hazardous substances used during finishing. These changes generate pressure to the apparel value chain to comply with the fast-changing legislation.

1.2 Waste minimization in fabric finishing

In general minimization of waste from finishing formulations or coating pastes can be achieved by taking into account the following rules:

• limitation of use of water

• reduction of chemicals

• minimizing emission of toxic substances

For this reason a good choice of chemicals is required: substituting hazardous substances, using biobased, biodegradable, or reusable materials, and finally looking into new technologies that use no water.

1.3 Chemical substitution

Lately substitution of hazardous substances has become a hard task for fabric finishing companies. Substances such as easy-care products, fluorocarbons for water- and oil-repellent properties, various flame retardants (halogen or phosphor-based), plasticizers in PVC coatings and solvents such as dimethylformamide (DMF) in polyurethane (PU) coating formulations have been proposed for or are already restricted or banned by REACH and ecolabels.

Besides the need for alternatives, it is also necessary to be able to detect the restricted or banned substances in textiles and to be able to distinguish them from those that are allowed to be used. Efforts are being done in our institute to develop highly differentiating methods for those phthalates (Van de Vyver, 2012), halogenated- and phosphorous-based flame retardants that are restricted. The methods developed are discussed in the related standardization workgroup CEN/TC248 WG26 Textiles—Test methods for analysis of EC restricted substances.

1.3.1 Easy-care finishes

Easy-care is the property associated with an improved maintenance of cellulosic-based textiles, especially with respect to wrinkling and thus ironing. Cellulosic fibers have the disadvantage of lack of dimensional stability. The discovery of the effect of formaldehyde reacting with cellulose was the basis for the development of easy-care finishes.

However, concerns arose regarding the health and safety of formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is a volatile organic compound (VOC). Exposure to formaldehyde happens mainly through inhalation, but can also occur by absorption through the skin. Workers may be exposed during direct production, treatment of materials, and production of resins. Consumers may be exposed to formaldehyde through easy-care textiles.

Worldwide regulations are defined for formaldehyde in textiles; there is, however, no harmonization of these regulations in the different countries. Some general rules do apply. Depending on whether direct skin contact occurs, different limits on formaldehyde levels are set (i.e., higher in the case of skin contact). In most countries a differentiation is made between clothing for children or babies, clothing for sensitive people, and clothing for other people. In some cases labeling is necessary to inform the consumer that the clothing contains formaldehyde and that is has negative effects on health. Also OEKO-TEX® set limits to formaldehyde (see Table 1.1).

Table 1.1

Thresholds set for formaldehyde levels by OEKO-TEX®

Formaldehyde has indeed been found to have adverse effects on the health of humans, for example, irritation to the eyes, nose, throat or skin; it can be a source of coughing or interfere with breathing, and has been classified as a carcinogenic substance (at long-term exposure of high levels). Medical studies have shown a relationship between formaldehyde exposure and nasal cancer, nasopharyngeal cancer, and leukemia. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified formaldehyde as a human carcinogen. Studies by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) have found formaldehyde to be a probable human carcinogen and workers with high or prolonged exposure to formaldehyde to be at an increased risk for leukemia (particularly myeloid leukemia) and brain cancer. In June 2004, IARC reclassified formaldehyde from probably carcinogenic to humans to carcinogenic to humans (IARC, 2004).

The EU classification defines the risk phrase "Toxic by inhalation, in contact with skin and if swallowed. Causes burns. Limited evidence of a carcinogenic effect. May cause sensitisation by skin contact. [R:23/24/25-34-40-43]"—Defined in Annex II of EU Directive 67/548/EEC as amended by EU Directive 2001/59/EC. Formaldehyde was included in the substance evaluation list in 2013. On February 29, 2012, ECHA (the European Chemicals Agency) published the Community Rolling Action Plan (CoRAP) in which formaldehyde was included. CoRAP is a list of chemical substances that need to be evaluated with the aim to define whether policy measures are required to ensure an adequate management of exposure (for instance for formaldehyde) by workers and consumers.

In the United States, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) defined limits to protect workers when being exposed to formaldehyde in Title 29 (concerning labor) of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) PART 1910–Occupational Safety and Health Standards paragraph, 1910.1048 Formaldehyde. The standard is valid for the occupational exposure to all kind of formaldehyde products (gas, solutions, and materials releasing formaldehyde). The permissible exposure limits (PELs) for formaldehyde in the workplace are set to 0.75 ppm during a time period of 8 h (time-weighted average or TWA). For short-term exposures (15 min) the PEL is set to 2 ppm. The action level, being the threshold for increased industrial hygiene monitoring and initiation of employee medical surveillance is 0.5 ppm (8-h TWA).

Intensive research performed in the last 10–20 years has resulted in valuable alternatives for the formaldehyde-based cross-linkers for cotton. Initially these newly developed cross-linkers having similar easy-care performance showed very poor mechanical and color properties, and were not wash resistant. To obtain a similar easy-care performance, these alternative products often need harsh processing conditions such as higher temperature and more catalyst. The latest developments (e.g., the polycarboxylic acids) have overcome some of these disadvantages. A main drawback is the higher cost for these alternatives so that the replacement of formaldehyde-containing products is not obvious. Further investigation regarding alternatives and optimizing the already developed products is ongoing and will eventually lead to formaldehyde-free alternatives combining excellent easy-care properties with good retention of the other required properties.

A detailed overview is available on the development of easy-care finishes, their performance, the test methods to assess easy-care properties, the pros and cons of the different alternatives, and the current legislation (Vanneste, 2015).

1.3.2 Flame retardants

Upon contact with fire sources (candles, open fire) clothing can catch fire easily. Because clothing comes in close contact with the body, fire safety is to be taken seriously to avoid severe burn injuries. Flame-retardant apparel can be achieved either by using intrinsic flame-retardant fibers or by using flame-retardant finishes and coatings. The latter will be discussed in this chapter.

Criteria for fire retardancy (FR) become more and more stringent due to the high annual number of casualties caused by fire. As such, the addition of flame retardants (FRs) to textiles and apparel is required. The use of some FRs, however, is restricted because of various reasons including more stringent legislation (in Europe REACH, CLP) and strict requirements regarding eco-labeling (such as OEKO-TEX®). In addition, consumer organizations demand more environmentally friendly FR materials, and put a lot of pressure on the use of, often very well performing and cheap, FR products. The changing European legislations and the increasing environmental consciousness force producers, distributors, and users of chemicals to make a transition.

Under OEKO-TEX® apparel is classified as class I (children’s wear), class II (direct skin contact, e.g., underwear, sleepwear, sportswear), or class III (jackets, coats). For these classes only FRs approved by OEKO-TEX® (white list) can be used. This list is available on the OEKO-TEX® website (https://www.oeko-tex.com/en/manufacturers/certified_products/active_chemical_products/flame_retardant_products/flame_retardant_products.html). Garments without direct skin contact (e.g., jackets or coats) belong to product class III.

For more than half a century, brominated flame retardants (BFRs), often combined with synergists such as Sb2O3, have been used to reduce the risk of fire in clothing. Some of them have been listed on Annex XVII (REACH) for restriction (see Table 1.2) or Annex XIV (REACH) for authorization (see Table 1.3). HBCD (hexabromocyclododecane) and deca-BDE (decabromodiphenylether) are submitted to notification requirements because they are listed as substances of very high concern (SVHCs). HBCD is on Annex XIV (a list of substances proposed for authorization) in REACH, the so-called sunset date for HBCD is August 21, 2015. After this date only authorized uses of HBCD will be allowed in Europe.

Table 1.2

Flame retardants listed on the Annex XVII restriction list (REACH)

a Not allowed in articles for skin contact (i.e., apparel).

Table 1.3

Flame retardants listed on the annex XIV authorization list (REACH)

Since August 1, 2013, ECHA has prepared a restriction proposal for deca-BDE. The proposal for restriction of deca-BDE was published by ECHA on September 17. 2014 (the latest date for comments was March 17, 2015). An overview on the regulation of brominated FRs is given on the Bromine Science and Environmental Forum (BSEF) website. New developments in halogenated FRs focus on polymeric products. ICL-IP developed the TexFRon 4000 series with low water solubility, no leaching or migration behavior, no penetration in living tissue, and no potential bioaccumulation (Tanghe, 2014). For polymeric FRs no registration to REACH is required inasmuch as an exemption is made for polymers. The U.S. EPA states that polymers are not readily absorbed by biological species and are thus relatively nontoxic.

Recently, the U.S. Congress introduced the Children and Fire Fighters Protection Act of 2014 in which they proposed restricting certain flame retardants (see Table 1.4) in children’s products. At the same time the Commission was asked to set up a Chronic Hazard Advisory Panel (CHAP) to investigate the effect of FRs in children’s products on their health. After this investigation CHAP will propose some recommendations that will be evaluated by the Commission (https://www.congress.gov/bill/113th-congress/senate-bill/2811/text).

Table 1.4

Flame retardants to be investigated by CHAP

Flame retardants for apparel need to be durable because they need to be washed frequently. This can be obtained by several routes. For cotton, the best known commercial processes are the Proban® and Pyrovatex® processes:

− A typical product used in FR finishes for cotton and cotton rich blends is Tetrakis(hydroxymethyl)phosphonium chloride (THPC) (e.g., the Proban® process) performed on special equipment. A commercial product is Aflamit® SAP that is approved by OEKO-TEX® (https://www.oeko-tex.com/en/manufacturers/certified_products/active_chemical_products/flame_retardant_products/flame_retardant_products.html). In the process THPC combined with urea is used to treat cotton by means of a pad-dry process (see Figure 1.1, courtesy of Veramtex), resulting in a high molecular weight polymer. Consequently, the fabric is treated with ammonia gas leading to a cross-linked structure. By means of oxidation with peroxide the phosphonium group is converted into phosphine oxide that imparts flame retardancy in the textile. This type of treatment is durable to (dry) cleaning.

Figure 1.1 Process flow of the THPC process. (Courtesy of Veramtex).

− Another environmental friendly technology for making cotton flame retardant uses N-methylol dimethylphosphonopropionamide (DMPPA). Commercial available products include Pyrovatex® CP new or Aflammit® KWB, both listed as auxiliaries for flame-retardant finishes by OEKO-TEX® (https://www.oeko-tex.com/en/manufacturers/certified_products/active_chemical_products/flame_retardant_products/flame_retardant_products.html). Formaldehyde used to be used as a cross-linking agent although it has been replaced by citric acid in combination with sodium hypophosphite (SHP, NaPO2H2) as a catalyst. The latter leads to a better performance (Mohsin et al., 2013): the BS EN 2213:1992 flammability test on a DMPPA-treated textile resulted in a damaged fabric length of 71 mm whereas the combination of DMPPA with citric acid and SHP resulted only in a damaged length of 55 mm. The latter combination also improved washing durability. This treatment is durable to dry cleaning.

The chemistry of the Proban® and Pyrovatex® processes has been presented elsewhere (Hall, 2000). Research on the durability of FR treated cotton has been performed by Chen et al. (2012), who made comparisons among Proban® and Pyrovatex® FRs. An increase in damaged length as in an afterglow was noticed on all treated fabrics after 15 cycles of domestic washing. No considerable effect was detected on the comfort properties (e.g., air and vapor permeability).

For polyester and blends with cotton, phosphorous-based FRs are often used. The use of finishes based on reactive phosphorous FRs can result in wash-resistant polyester/cotton fabrics.

Wash-resistant synthetic textiles (e.g., polyester and polyamide) can be obtained by using organophosphorous-based FRs.

Intensive research is being performed to replace the restricted or banned FRs by existing or new FRs. However, this is not a straightforward task. Phosphorous FRs (PFRs) have been investigated with respect to their physico-chemical properties as well as their environmental impact (van de Veen and de Boer, 2012). It is obvious that there are no general rules regarding the effect on human health or presence in air, water, and soil. Each of these properties must be examined for each FR.

New emerging techniques and materials are also being examined: use of nanomaterials, sol–gel techniques, layer-by-layer application, plasma deposition, and the like. An overview has been given by Horrocks (2011) and Alongi et al. (2014).

1.3.3 Fluorocarbons for DWOR behavior

Fluorocarbons are known to introduce durable water and oil repellency (DWOR) and, as such, they are applied in water- and stain-repellent fabrics for apparel. The combination of water and oil repellency is a typical behavior of fluorocarbon products. In the past, finishes based on C8 fluorocarbons (eight carbon atoms in the structure) were mainly used. However, concerns arose associated with these C8 fluorocarbons, more specifically with respect to PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid or pentadecafluorooctanoic acid) and PFOS (perfluorooctane sulphonate or heptadecafluoro-1-octanesulfonic acid).

PFOA has been classified as a substance of very high concern because it has CMR (carcinogenic, mutagenic, or toxic for reproduction) and PBT (persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic) properties. Based on their PBT and CMR properties, PFOA and its salt (APFO) have been identified as substances of very high concern (SVHC) under REACH (ECHA, 2013). Germany and Norway have submitted a report proposing a restriction on the manufacturing, use and placing on the market of PFOA and its salts, also including substances that may degrade to PFOA (PFOA-related substances), in concentrations equal to or greater than 2 ppb. The proposed restriction also covers articles containing these substances. The U.S. EPA has also been investigating PFOA because of its persistence in the environment, both because it is found in the environment and in the blood of the general U.S. population where it remains for a very long time and because it causes developmental and other adverse effects in laboratory animals (EPA, 2014). Restrictions for the use of PFOS and its derivatives are published in EU Regulation 757/2010 on POPs (persistent

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