AATCC is announcing a new online 3-part educational series on Sustainability in Textiles

AATCC is announcing a new 3-part educational series launching this November 5, 2020: Sustainability in Textiles. Reserve your spot to learn about key topics in sustainability through the lens of textiles, exploring claim substantiation, recycled products, microplastics, and more.

What is Sustainability?

https://www.aatcc.org/aatcc-events/sustainability/?utm_source=AATCC&utm_campaign=4042c1e953-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2020_09_23_08_17&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_499a3b316a-4042c1e953-402052925   Register by October 23rd and receive 10% off the entire series!

Why has sustainability suddenly become so popular? Are you concerned about microplastics pollution?

Why has sustainability suddenly become so popular? Are you concerned about microplastics pollution? What is the key terminology of material recycling and the best industry practices. Join AATCC for our Sustainable Digital Series to learn the answers to these questions and more.

November 5, 2020 11:00AM (EST), presented by Renee Lamb, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Fashion Design & Merchandising, Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts.

“What is Sustainability” presents an introduction to the catch word of the decade. During this presentation we will examine: why sustainability has suddenly become so popular; what exactly sustainability is and what is, or should be, encompassed in its definition; why we should care about sustainability at all; and what exactly can we do to incorporate more sustainable practices into our own lives, workplaces and companies.

About the Speaker

Renée Lamb

Renee Lamb is an Assistant Professor at VCU’s School of the Arts’ Department of Fashion Design and Merchandising and Founder of Soulié, a luxury artisanal accessories brand and social enterprise focusing on the preservation of culturally sensitive craft traditions and artisan empowerment. She holds a Post-Graduate Certificate in Fashion Design from Parsons, an MA in International Economics & Development from Johns Hopkins University, SAIS and is a proud graduate of NC State’s College of Textiles with a specialization in Textile and Apparel Management. She has worked within the sustainability field for over 15 years and is passionate about the power of conscious consumerism and corporate citizenship to create lasting change.


Fate of Textile Microfibers Released During Home Laundering in Aquatic Environments: The Effect of Fabric Type, Washing Conditions, and Finishes

November 19, 2020 11:00AM (EST) presented by Marielis Zambrano, Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Forest Biomaterials, North Carolina State University.

Microplastics are small plastic particles with size below 5 mm. They are generated from the fragmentation and wear of plastic objects, paints, textiles, tires, etc., They have been observed in freshwater and marine environments all over the world. They have been found in seafood, beer, tap water, sea salt, and human stools. They can adsorb pathogens and pollutants on their surface, and they might affect the growth and development of aquatic fauna.

Only in US and Canada, 878 tons or 3.5 quadrillion microfibers per year make it to environment via wastewater treatment plants, equivalent to 89 million plastic bottles; and microparticles from home laundering is thought to be the main route. For that reason, to address today’s concerns about microplastics pollution, the understanding of the fate of microfibers generated during home laundering in aquatic environments is critical.

In our research we have studied the number and mass of microfibers released from polyester, cotton, and rayon fabrics in both actual home laundering equipment, and also with a LaunderOmeter, an accelerated laundering laboratory device. Additionally, biodegradation of these materials was evaluated in simulated aquatic environments, a local wastewater treatment plant (WWTP), lake, and ocean water, and analysis on the microbial communities before and after the experiments were made.

In general, all fabric types released microparticles. It is estimated that 700000 particles are released per wash load. Cellulose based fabrics release more microfibers than did the polyester textile. Fabrics less resistance to abrasion like cotton are more susceptible to microfiber release and a strong correlation was found. However, the cellulosic fibres were found to readily biodegrade, whereas the polyester fibres remained essentially unchanged during the biodegradation experiments. Cellulosic fabrics with finishes also degraded but at a slower pace relative to the untreated cellulose fabric. The cellulosic fibres were highly assimilated by the bacteria in the environment, whereas the polyester microfibers are expected to persist for very long times. Cellulosic materials promoted a microbiome with enriched micro-organisms that can process cellulose whereas the polyester fibres behaved inertly with respect to the microbiome.

About the Speaker

Marielis Zambrano

Marielis Zambrano is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Forest Biomaterials through the College of Natural Resources at North Carolina State University (NC State). She received her B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University Los Andes in Venezuela in 2014. Marielis has experience managing multidisciplinary teams in international organizations in industry and academia. The sustainability has been the centre of her career and during her Ph.D. at NC State, she has worked with an environmental hot topic — the plastic contamination in aquatic environments, specifically, understanding the generation of microplastics or microfibers shed during the laundering of textiles and their fate in aquatic and marine environments. She did groundbreaking work on the impact of microfibers on the bacterial communities in natural settings such as lake and ocean waters, and currently, she is evaluating the effects of textile finishes on cellulose-based fibres on their environmental fate. Marielis is passionate about promoting the circular economy in our society to create a sustainable future.


Recycled Content Products – From Manufacturing to Marketing December 3, 2020 11:00AM (EST), presented by Min Zhu, Ph.D., Technical Director, Softlines, SGS North America, Inc.

About the Speaker

Dr. Min Zhu

Dr. Min Zhu, Technical Director for Softlines at SGS North America, leads the America’s Softlines technical team to develop testing programs and provide technical services to US and Canada clients. She also coordinates with SGS Softlines global teams to implement softlines policies, regulations and technical initiatives in the North America. Prior to SGS, she was an assistant professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, and served in BASF, Cotton Incorporated and TAL Apparel Ltd. respectively. Dr. Zhu holds a Ph.D. in textile chemistry from Donghua University in Shanghai and an MBA from the Georgia Institute of Technology.