energy efficiency

Inditex’s Sustainability Investment Reaches €7 Million in 5 Years

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Inditex, world’s leading fashion group which operates over 7,000 stores in 88 markets and owns brands like Zara, Pull&Bear, Massimo Dutti, Bershka, Stradivarius, Oysho, Zara Home and Uterqüe, has invested more than Euro 7 million on sustainability front over the last five years.

The Group has invested in expansion, scaling and modernization of logistics platforms and design centres to boost efficiency and energy saving measures. The start-up of highly-advanced “multi-shuttle” areas at the Bershka platform in Tordera, Barcelona, and at the Arteixo distribution centre (A Coruña) make dispatch time management more efficient and precise and double the speed.

Another area was research and development work focused on store applications for sustainable technology, such as paper saving mobile payments and efficiency technology RFID. Last year, it completed the deployment of RFID technology across its entire Zara store base and has embarked on the process of rolling this technology out in its Massimo Dutti and Uterqüe stores. Other brands like Pull&Bear, with Stradivarius, Bershka and Oysho will follow in 2018. Besides, the number of eco-efficient stores worldwide reached 4,519 in 2016 delivering water savings of 40% and energy savings of 20%.

Furthermore, it also introduced mobile payments in 15 markets in total since it started to roll-out in Spain, the UK, US, Italy and France. Using the online apps of each of Inditex’s eight retail concepts or using a Group app called InWallet facilitate the environmentally responsible replacement of hard-copy receipts with e-receipts. Online orders placed in Spain with any of the Group’s brands have no longer generated hard copy receipts since March 2017 thanks to the e-receipt system named “Paperless”. Zara is also already using this system in the US and the UK.

The Green to Pack project at Zara alone save 22,000 trees and the emission of 1,680 tonnes of carbon every year. In addition to this, it also introduced clothing containers for used-garments in all Zara stores in Spain, Portugal, the UK, the Netherlands, Denmark and Ireland for recycling into new fabrics.

The research and development of more sustainable fabrics is also increasing. Last September Zara launched the second edit ion of its Join Life collection made of Refibra™ fibres. Developed by Austria’s Lenzing Group, Refibra™ fibre are made of pulp from cotton scraps and from sustainably-managed forests.

*This story first appeared on Apparel Resources

Arvind Bags Energy Conservation Award for Third Time

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For the third time in a row, Arvind Limited, leading fashion and lifestyle company, bagged the top rank award in energy conservation and efficiency during the National Energy Conservation Awards 2016 organised by the bureau of energy efficiency (BEE), Union ministry of power. The ceremony was held on December 14, India’s National Energy Conservation Day.

The Top Rank Award recognises an industrial unit that wins the first prize for three consecutive years, and Arvind is the only textile conglomerate to reach the milestone. Competing against 43 players, Arvind clinched the first position by displaying consistent efforts towards energy conservation at its Santej plant in Ahmedabad, Gujarat.

As compared to financial year 2015-16, Arvind was able to further reduce specific consumption in thermal energy by nearly 12 per cent, besides achieving 12 per cent reduction in specific electrical energy consumption. Arvind has also installed 1.30 MW roof-top solar power generation at the Santej plant – the largest of its kind in the Indian textiles industry.

“At Arvind, improving our plant’s energy efficiency has always been a focus, and we continue to invest in new technologies for sustained energy conservation. This award means a lot to the team at Arvind and we appreciate Government of India’s recognition of our plant as the most energy efficient textile unit in India for the third consecutive year,” said Susheel Kaul, CEO – lifestyle fabrics (shirting, khaki & knitwear) at Arvind.

“We were able to achieve power and thermal savings through various innovations, new technologies, continuous monitoring and all our efforts have paid off. We introduced various initiatives in our plant to conserve energy, such as mechanical vapour recompression for evaporation, polymeric multi-effect evaporation, efficient pumps, artic master on chillers, LEDs, use of renewable energy, such as day-light sheets and natural exhaust and gravity ventilations in production halls,” said Harvinder Rathee, head engineering – lifestyle fabrics (shirting, khaki & knitwear).

The award was presented by Piyush Goyal, Union minister of state, with Independent charge for power, coal, new and renewable energy, to Kaul. (KD)

*This story first appeared on Fibre2Fashion


Heat Insulation: A Green Solution for Saving Energy

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The sun’s heat drastically increases the load on the HVAC system of a building or a factory, in turn increasing the electricity consumption. In its previous article focused at reducing the load on the HVAC system, StitchWorld in its December 2014 issue, highlighted In’flectors which prevent 72% of the sunlight from entering the structure from the windows, which account for 25-35% loss of heat or air-conditioning from an average-sized building. Along the same lines, a significant amount of load can be reduced on the HVAC system by applying a heat insulating coat in form of paint or tiles on the exterior walls and the roof.

Heat resistant tiles appear like normal white tiles

Companies that are providing these heat insulating solutions claim that these solutions can reflect back up to 95% of the heat, in turn reducing the temperature of the surface of the roof by almost 20° C and bringing about a difference of 5-8° C inside the room.  “Under the direct exposure, when the outside temperature is 45° C, the temperature of the ceiling is nothing more than 35° C and of the concrete roof is 70° C, and after applying our solutions the same comes down by 20° C, comfortable enough to walk on the surface with bare feet,” states Sameer Roy of Himani Insulation, dealers of Thermatek’s heat insulating products.

Only some amount of heat is absorbed by the roof after being heat proofed

The rooms built directly under the roof of the building inflict the highest load on the HVAC system as the ACs run at 18° C. Hence, if such solutions are applied, the air-conditioners would run at a moderate load, consuming significantly less power. “These solutions can also affect the health of a person because if a person comes out in an air-conditioned cabin or room in an open area with a higher temperature, on a regular basis, he/she is bound to fall sick,” highlights Sameer. With summers lasting for almost 9 months in all the apparel manufacturing hubs, direct savings range from 30% to 50% in the electricity bills while the indirect savings are numerous as companies can do away with the air-condition in some areas and scenarios. During winters, it works in the opposite manner, by not letting the heat inside the room move out through the walls or the roof as the building is completely enveloped, thus maintaining the comfortable temperature inside the room. The reduction of temperature inside the building helps in cutting down the power consumption by up to 50%, again because of the reduction in the use of room heaters.

Table 1: Comparison of different heat proofing solutions

The effect of these systems increases with the increase in amount of heat. Most of these heat proofing solutions conform to Green building requirements and help in reducing the carbon footprint by saving almost 25-40%. There are a few factors upon which the effectiveness of their product depends.

  • Windows & their opening inside the room – The amount of heat coming inside the room would vary with the openings and glass windows in the room.
  • People inside the room – The net amount of heat produced by the individuals due to exhalation inside the room would increase with the number of individuals inside the room.
  • Surface of the roof – The amount of heat conducted through the walls is dependent on their thickness and nature of the materials used in construction. Hence for concrete walls the natural heat insulation would be the maximum, for asbestos it would be a bit lesser and for corrugated GI sheet it would be the least.
  • Air-conditioning – The airconditioning system inside the room would obviously affect the temperature inside.
  • Wind conditions on the surface of the roof – The wind on the surface of the roof drives away the heat on the surface.

The heat insulating membrane has air voids which don’t let the heat pass

Heat proofing solutions are available in mainly three types – paint, tiles and mortar. Paints are also of 2 types: first, based on elastomeric coating which does not crack even under rapidly changing climatic conditions, unlike the traditional waterproofing layers which develop cracks easily, allowing water to seep in. These elastomeric coatings have hollow microspheres which have encapsulated air which helps in heat insulation as it does not allow heat to pass through it and a little amount which does pass is at a slow speed and hence the effect is reduced till the time it reaches the wall, resulting in cooler surfaces. The second type of paint is based on a patented technology which reflects back up to 95% of the heat, once the infrared rays strike its surface. These paints wear off like normal wall paints and need to be recoated after a period of 3-4 years and can be applied on exterior walls as well as all sorts of roofs, except for on smooth plaster, as it does not stay on it. The same can also be applied on prefabricated structures and on water tanks to avoid the water from heating up. The tiles consist of three layers, the top layer reflects the infrared rays, the middle layer emits the heat absorbed and the bottom layer is of mortar, which does not let the heat pass through it. Mortar can be used separately as well, according to the requirement, but works best when applied in combination with the tiles.

**This story first appeared on here.

Taiwan to make energy saving mandatory for textile sector

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Beginning next year, the textile industry in Taiwan will have to mandatorily take energy conservation measures, as per a directive of the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA), according to local media reports.
In its effort to improve Taiwan’s energy use efficiency, the MOEA has come out with a draft regulation, which if properly implemented can save up to 40,000 kilolitres of oil equivalent per year in the textile industry alone, the reports said.
Textiles is categorised as one of the heavy energy users by the MOEA under the Energy Administration Act. The ministry is planning to give a tax cut to textile companies that invest in renewable energy, or take steps to reduce the overall energy consumption.
The draft regulation includes rules governing steam’s temperatures and oxygen content. Moreover, textile manufacturers will need to keep a close watch on water outflow, water temperature, etc. (RKS)
**This post first appeared on here.

How to create a sustainable future for the textile industry?

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Charles Beauduin, President, Symatex

Measured by its sq km, Belgium is a small country, but measured by its impact on the world textile industry, it is not so small. Belgium is responding to the challenge of helping the textile value chain create a sustainable future.
Transforming into the textile factory of the future
Belgian machinery-technology providers are contributing to the transformation of textile mills into textile ‘factories of the future’. Such factories will deliver, for equivalent output levels, energy and resource consumption that is 50% less than current levels. The flexibility of their production systems, in terms of product mix and lead times, will be at least twice current levels.
But factories are more than equipment. In factories of the future, employees will be more autonomous, more creative and perform more knowledge-intensive jobs. This combined progress in the productivity of capital and human resources will result in a doubling of the added value of the products and services coming out of those factories.
How to bring the textile factory of the future closer?
The Belgian textile-machinery industry and its customers work hard to reduce raw-material waste and energy  consumption, and to increase the flexibility of textile-production systems. All three are key drivers for a more sustainable performance.
Energy efficiency
It will come as no surprise that almost two-thirds of the energy in industry is consumed by electromechanical drive trains. Therefore, it is clear that making these more efficient must be a major objective. By optimal design and dimensioning of drive rains, adopting intelligent energy management, integrating novel hybrid energy storage, and making all drive train subsystems active, we are achieving major reductions in energy consumption. With the help of an energy-management system in new-generation machines, the energy flows in the drivetrain can be optimally controlled. Such energy-management systems will reduce the average energy consumption of a drivetrain by at least 25%, while at the same time improving other aspects, such as the lifetime of its components.
Flexibility and waste reduction
Increasing the flexibility of the production system contributes greatly to the reduction of waste throughout the textile value chain. Increased flexibility allows for smaller lot sizes and shorter lead times. That results in lower work-in-progress throughout the value chain. The value chain is better equipped to produce exactly what the customer wants at the time the customer needs it, with less need for buffer stocks of (semi-)finished product that might never sell.
Belgian weaving machines are continuously being improved to allow for more versatility and shorter set-up times. Also, the number and length of test runs required before new production lots can be produced are being reduced significantly. Raw material is precious and should only be used in the final product that is needed by the end-user.
It takes a factory of the future, to create a factory of the future
For the development of all this advanced production technology, Belgian machinery producers clearly need the  appropriate tools. One example is a model-based design environment. That offers us the opportunity to analyse different
concepts, the dimensioning of its components and the evaluation of, for example, energy-storage and energy-recovery systems. It also enables us to assess the impact of various control schemes. Once the design of the future-proof machine is ready, a highly technological and extremely resource-efficient production system is set in motion to produce the textile machine.
Clearly, it takes a factory of the future to create a factory of the future.
**This post first appeared in the ITMA Sustainability Bulletin.