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REPORTAGE — The Bio factor feeds laundries that have future

Textile care manufacturers of machines and products report on the growing niche of the industrial and artisan businesses that have been orientated towards innovations in environmental sustainability. The businesses aim at conquering the market in the sign of quality instead of lower prices. Their main characteristics sees the concept of Well-being prevail over the concept of Clean which reflects clients’ growing requests for environmental protection. What is more, specific certificates make a difference for some clients and can orientate their choices towards those manufacturers that guarantee wellbeing before the luminous white

The story of an adjective “ecological” is well-known. From the core element of the human race salvation, over few years it has become an appendix through which to justify and advertise, more or less provisionally, the existence of anything. The main suspects responsible for the pollution we deal with every day included. Therefore here come the engines, plaster, gas, fertilizers, paper
and even plastic – all of them rigorously “ecological”.
As a matter of fact, the term “bio”, an abbreviation of biological, has recently been used everywhere and a lot. It was initially and typically used by food industry mainly, but today, it is applied to any type of a product if recognizable for its integral adaptation to nature and the protection of the environment it is used in.
In this context, laundries could surely not avoid facing the concept of “bio”.
It was actually made necessary by textile care sector objectives in the first place. What is more, also the washing processes played their part. They have been forever subjected to conform to both chemical and technological innovations, and to the requests and needs of the market that changed in the meantime as well.
“Over the last years, the bio factor has deeply revolutionized the entire laundry sector” says Marco Niccolini, the Sales Director at Renzacci, a producer of laundry machines based in Città di Castello. “As a matter of fact, – continues Niccolini – nowadays, clients put the concept of Well-being first. It comes before the concept of Clean, as we can learn from the portal “iotilavobio”. They won’t settle just with an idea of luminous white linen.
They can even look at it with suspicion thinking of the ways it has been obtained. Clients ask for garments treated according to the concept of environmental protection with regard to human health by using, e.g. hypo-allergenic and biodegradable products. Consequently, laundry shops are going through an immense change right now. They are not inaccessible caves anymore like they used to be twenty years ago. They are becoming open and accessible places where it is possible to discuss what cleaning really means, how it is done and at what cost. Also, the associates of Federmoda acknowledged it by updating the parameters of reference in terms of softness and colors of cleaned garments”.
Along this path, the contribution of the chemical sector is crucial. It has always been subjected to particular attention in the subject of environmental protection. “Certifications turn out to be crucial” explains Riccardo Bassan, who works in the marketing division in the “professional” sector at Christeyns Italia, a producer of chemical products based near Milan. “In our country, the CAM, Minimum Environmental Criteria, still count – continues Riccardo Bassan – and are requested to be able to operate in determined places. They can be obtained by a company through an application to a trusted lab, without necessarily receiving any approval of a third party. Whereas instead, the Ecolabel certification obtained by Christeyns has been released by the European Union directly. The EU pays the lab where the analysis had been made. Therefore, the obtained label confers absolute reliability and trustworthiness. Ecolabel guarantees three fundamental requirements: 100% bBiodegradability, a higher concentration of the chemical factor and tested efficiency of the product by comparing it to a non-ecological leading product. This comparison shall result in having equal or higher requisites in terms of competitiveness as far as the Ecolabel product goes”.
“The “bio” factor does not only count but it makes a difference as far as industrial laundries are concerned”. Such is the thesis of Venere Mattioli, the Sales Director at Montega, a manufacturer of chemical products for textile care based in Misano Adriatico. Mattioli explains it in detail: “I am referring to the results of our experiment. It aimed at guaranteeing higher results in terms of biodegradability or carbon oxide emissions. The results obtained enrich the niche of 150 industrial laundries today. These businesses’ turnover is ten million a year on average. Needless to say, they constitute the Italian first League. They are much more than just advanced businesses. What proves it, are the strongly pronounced differences in terms of quality offered if compared to other businesses, that are still attached to the barren law of the price imposed by the final client”.
Also Marco Vaccari who, together with Roberto Castelli owns Surfchimica based in Peschiera Borromeo, near Milan, is referring to the niche: “The market is so receptive towards the new – says Vaccari – that some of our clients accept to test the products we invest in as far as research goes. Operating in this way, we reach important results that can be extended to the entire range of products used in washing garments: detergent, stain remover, softener, strengthener. In case of all these 4 products, it is possible to adopt green solutions: plants extract derivatives with 1% surfactants and neutral ph. It was not even imaginable until a few years ago, which proves that the bio factor indicates the future path of laundries”.
The Bio revolution is so immense that it has involved the ironing sector, too. “Today, excellent level ironing – reads a communication by Pony based in Inzago, near Milan – pays a particular attention to the search for innovative solutions in order to reduce energy consumption progressively and protect the environment.
Over the last years, the construction of machines and the choice of components have been more and more
orientated towards this direction. Innovative solutions have been tested and adopted, e.g. insulation, heaters made of steel, last generation engines and low consumption electro-pneumatic systems”.
“Ironing sector intended as a post-washing treatment, has been extending its range of action significantly” underlines . He explains: “I am referring to products such as spotting tables that work with biodegradable products or ozone cabinets able to sanitize garments that otherwise could not be washed, e.g. firemen fireproof suits. The tendency to use materials, fibers and accessories in clothing is increasing today and will tomorrow.
Consequently, the bio component in washing processes will only develop further”. •

by Stefano Ferrio
Detergo Magazine July 2018

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