06 Feb ‘The Right Textile’ or the path towards sustainable textiles
The hospitality sector has recently paused its hectic schedule for a little self-analysis. Both small and large companies have looked at themselves and become aware of how much waste they generate, as well as the need to change how they consume. So, what can the sector do?
Since textiles play a hugely important role in hospitality, the sector has come up with one of its best solutions: reusable textiles. Although both a comfortable product and an environmental solution, their entry onto the market has been limited by on-going uncertainties.
The Carmela Martí company is an expert in textile décor for hospitality and has spent years marketing these fabrics. Thanks to its experience in the sector, it can shed some light on these issues. For example, what do these textiles really represent? Where do they come from? How are they different from traditional textiles? Are they suitable for industrial use?
‘Reusable textiles comprise two types of fibre, both 100% reusable and fully woven: on the one hand, cotton produced from garments that are cut into small pieces and the fibre extracted. On the other, a second polyester fibre from plastic bottles and packaging made from PET (polyethylene terephthalate), which in many instances comes from rubbish found in seas and oceans’, explain sources from Carmela Martí.
Thanks to their manufacturing process, these textiles not only limit the amount of waste produced but also help reduce environmental impact: the reused cotton is taken from cotton garments categorised by colour, meaning it does not need to be re-dyed. This represents a huge saving in water and much lower chemical use from dyes.
The decoration company sources also explain that the extraction of single-use PET plastic to make polyester gives these products a second life instead of ending up in oceans forming real plastic garbage patches. In short, reused textiles are a clear example of the so-called circular economy.
‘Of course, in order for a change towards a real sustainable economy, textiles need to be endorsed by the corresponding certification that assesses the traceability of the garments and ensures that the right materials and processes have been used throughout’, Carmela Martí sources explain.
Another doubt weighing on this type of textiles is linked to their use and actual possibilities: although common in the fashion world, their usage in hospitality is limited as, until now, they were not suitable for intensive use and laundry conditions. This, however, has now changed with Carmela Martí having introduced decorative textiles made from reused fabrics into the sector.
The company began by developing a collection of quilts made from the material and, thanks to its success, went on to create an entire line of decorative textile products under the name ‘The Right Textile’. The collection includes cushions, plaids, quilts, throws, tablecloths, etc. and can already be found in the rooms of many of the firm’s clients, providing a natural look with soft, fresh textures.
The first step towards textile sustainability in hospitality has already been taken, both in the sector’s raised awareness of and demand for ever more reused textiles, and at companies such as Carmela Marti that are working to make them a real alternative.