What roadmap has ESMA chalked out for sustainable textile printing?
It is founded on three pillars as set by EU guidelines and strategic programmes — circular economy, bio-based renewable fibres, and digital technology. Each of them is equally important. Circular economy means reduction of waste which for textiles now amounts to 73% at the end of life; 12% of textiles gets lost in production. What is left is recycled with 2% feedstock from other industries and 12% in cascade recycling (insulation, filling, wiping cloths and mattress stuffing). At the end, only approximately 1% will be recycled and reused as clothes.
What steps does ESMA take to promote best practices within its textile print member community?
In 2021 the ESMA Academy course on ‘Digital Printing on Textiles’ was launched in cooperation with the German Institute of Textile and Fibre Research (DITF), a leading research centre on textile printing. The first face-to-face session will be conducted in late September this year. The curriculum looks in-depth into the chemistry as the basis for understanding of printing on fabric substrates in combination with the right inks, pre- and post-treatment. As a follow-up, we plan a new course on sustainability in printing for fashion and other textile applications.
How does ESMA help the small business owner in making the right technology choice?
ESMA conferences have been promoting industrial print applications for 15 years now. Events such as GlassPrint, Advanced Functional & Industrial Printing, Printed Interior Decoration and Direct Container Print have been successfully showing the way for printing on glass, plastics, aluminium, textiles, ceramics, wood and other materials. Today, ESMA is building new bridges for specialised markets, helping them understand the advantages of print and each particular process.
ESMA calls itself the knowledge hub of the industry. How do you educate members on whether a certain type of machine or ink or pigment is a 'sustainable' choice?
All ESMA manufacturer members can undergo a self-certification process which includes a number of sustainability criteria. What is even more important is the ongoing work of our Health, Safety and Environmental Protection Committee. The group handles all latest European and global regulations, exchanges best practices and ensures the highest industry standards among ESMA members.
How does ESMA help drive print excellence in the textiles industry?
Our conference on Textile Printing & Sustainability (TPS) looks at technology as an enabler of sustainability. All types of textile printing applications are topics at the conference. DTG and DTF make for important segments, and we also talk about sublimation transfer.
Any out-of-the-box showcase that you may have seen at the event? Do elaborate.
There is the EFI Reggiani ecoTERRA, an advanced integrated solution for streamlined, greener textile printing. Plus, Switzerland-based Sefar has launched a new mesh which is specially made for reduced ink usage (upto 33% less) in textile applications.