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Press Release
New Enzyme Technology Boosts Sustainability of Plant-based Fibers

New enzyme helps textile producers produce garments that last longer

At a time when 61% of consumers are worried about climate change, a new solution from Novozymes makes it possible for the first time to extend the life of plant-based fabrics by 20%, wash after wash. This Livelong® effect saves substantial water, chemicals and energy by reducing textile waste.

In a process called biopolishing, enzymes are used to extend the lifetime of fabrics. Until now, the enzyme technology process has only worked on cotton.

But now with the launch of a new enzyme solution, Novozymes Fiberlife®, it is possible to achieve the Livelong effect with additional fabrics including viscose/rayon, modal and lyocell/Tencell®.

“All textile manufacturing and brands – even with eco-friendly fibers – have a hefty environmental impact. Brands should seriously consider the opportunity of offering consumers the sustainable choice of longer-lasting garments. Because buying clothes that last longer is one of the best and easiest things that consumers can do to make an eco-friendly choice,” says Jens Kolind, vice president at Novozymes.

In addition, viscose, modal and lyocell are made from fibers widely recognized as more sustainable than conventional cotton, which requires high levels of water and pesticides to produce. The newer plant-based fibers are generally more sustainable, but they haven’t been particularly durable. Novozymes’ Fiberlife solution can extend the lifetime of all plant-based fibers. Novozymes calls this effect Livelong, a way for brands and consumers to easily understand the benefit of longer-lasting clothes.

Environmental impact of the textile industry

Novozymes is launching the Fiberlife solution with the Livelong effect this week at ITMA, the world’s largest textile and garment technology exhibition, which starts today in Barcelona. The textile industry is one of the most polluting in the world and is under pressure to address critical environmental issues. Novozymes’ new enzyme technology Fiberlife that gives the Livelong® effect are expected to help fill the gap.

More ways to save the planet

In addition to Fiberlife and Livelong, Novozymes will present two solutions at ITMA that also save water, time and energy:

• In jeans production, laundries can save 90% water and reduce chemicals and energy with the newest denim-abrasion process with enzymes called DeniSafe®.

• To get reliable dyeing results, cotton mills can save 67% water, 50% energy and 50% time on pretreatment with enzymes, a process called biopreparation.



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