Under Armour Inc. has developed a new testing methodology to help fight fibre shedding at its source. The innovation supports progress toward the company’s sustainability goal for 75% of fabrics in its products to be made of low-shed materials by 2030.

To Identify high-shed materials for redevelopment or discontinuance before they hit the market, the US apparel brand has started testing materials and measuring their shed rate early in the product development process. It is also using the technique to prevent high-shed rates for new textile candidates from reaching their product development streams.

“Our strategy focuses on working to help address the root causes of shedding, starting with the ability to measure it. Through ongoing efforts to redevelop high-shed fabrics to shed less, or avoid them entirely, we are leveraging our skills to positively impact our industry and communities,” said Jeremy Stangeland, senior manager of the Materials Lab for Under Armour.

Under Armour has also begun looking at creative ways to revamp high-shed materials. Textiles such as mechanical finishes and yarn formations, that can promote less shedding.

The fibre-shed testing techniques and hoover filtration technologies already in use are complemented by Under Armour’s methodology. It also makes use of tools provided by the Microfibre Consortium – textile-industry facilitator of practical solutions to reduce microfibre release, of which Under Armour is a member.

Dr Kelly Sheridan, research director at The Microfibre Consortium, added: “The Microfibre Consortium welcomes Under Armour’s commitment to helping address the issue of microfiber shedding.

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“The Microfibre Consortium’s globally aligned test method, released in 2021, is a key pillar of the apparel industry’s response to the problem of fibre shedding, determining the root causes and informing actions that can make a real difference in garment production.”

Under Armour’s next step is to make its testing technique available to its sector and investigate how the approach may be applied by other industries.

The ZDHC Foundation (ZDHC) and The Microfibre Consortium (TMC) recently unveiled details of the next stage of a major initiative to address the issue of microfibres in textile manufacturing wastewater.