Milliken: Textile business eliminates PFAS

Textile business eliminates PFAS

(Source: Milliken)
(Source: Milliken)

Effective January 1, 2023, Milliken no longer treats textiles with PFAS chemistry. This achievement follows the company’s recent announcement that its science-based net-zero targets were approved by the UN-backed Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). The Textile Business Unit (BU) of Milliken has successfully eliminated all per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) from its textile fibers and finishes portfolio, becoming the first US-based multi-market textile manufacturer to remove PFAS.
The company announced an aggressive plan in February 2022 to eliminate PFAS as an ingredient in its textile portfolio by the end of the year. As of December 31, 2022, the Textile BU at Milliken & Company Spartanburg, SC/USA, had removed PFAS-based finishes and fibers, which spans multiple industries including flame-resistant, military, uniform and decor fabrics.
The Textile BU began evaluating its portfolio in 2020 and segmented its evaluation efforts between 3 areas of focus: durable water repellency (DWR), soil release and oil repellency. Alternative DWR solutions were readily available in the market through accredited organizations such as bluesign. The Milliken research team assessed and implemented appropriate alternatives to maintain the performance and quality standards customers expect for DWR.
Soil repellency proved to be both a challenge and an opportunity. A new soil release technology was developed and integrated into suitable textile applications without PFAS as an ingredient. The new technology, proprietary to Milliken, has shown equivalent and, in some cases, superior performance to previous PFAS-containing finishes. Currently, the new technology is not an alternative to every soil-repellent finish application.
After an extensive search and vetting process for alternative oil repellency, no alternative was found, and the company exited those lines of business as a result.
bluesign = registered trademark

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