Protecting People, Protecting The Planet

In the Farm Bills of 2002/2008 the US Congress enacted the BioPreferred program. The program certifies and rewards companies who manufacture, sell or use bio-based products. A supply chain partner of TenCate, Lenzing AG , has had their Tencel® lyocell fiber certified as a bio-based product. TenCate uses Tencel® as a primary fiber in the production of TenCate Tecasafe® Plus which has sold more than 13 million yards internationally. Tencel is a cellulosic, biofiber that is made from wood pulp which is grown in carefully managed forests and is a renewable, sustainable natural resource which is also 100 percent biodegradable.

Tecasafe Plus is an inherently flame resistant (FR) fabric with no chemical finish. This is significant when compared to FR treated cotton whose process requires between 7,000 and 29,000 liters of water to produce 1 kilogram of cotton. In addition to this fact, nearly one third of all global pesticide applications are used to protect raw cotton. By engineering inherently FR fabrics like Tecasafe® Plus and designing innovative finishing technology, TenCate is working hard to make sure the negative impact to the environment is significantly reduced and that the result is good for both the textile industry and the world at large.

TenCate has been at the forefront of wastewater management since opening its Dyeing and Finishing Plant in Molena, GA (USA) in 1992. The facility won the Environmental Award for Land Application System from the Georgia Waste Water Pollution Control Association (GWWPCA) eight years in a row. Through the use of a Land Application System, TenCate treats all after-process effluents through a series of biological ponds with the final filtration being performed by Mother Earth herself as the water is reintroduced into the natural water table through a system of “spray fields” that distribute it over a wide area.  The manufacturing facility regularly monitors the ground water inside and outside the spray fields to make sure that the water always meets the state’s drinking water levels.

TenCate continues to minimize any waste to landfills and we do this by ensuring recyclable products are actually recycled. All manufacturing locations send the cloth, yarn and fiber waste to our NonWoven Plant where fibers are separated, garneted for re-use or sold to recyclers to be used in other textile products. All plants also collect and send all their plastic waste back to the Finishing Plant where it is bailed and shipped out for complete recycling and re-use. Light bulbs are handled the same way and waste cardboard is reused in a variety of ways rather than sending it to the landfill.

Around the world, TenCate leads the way in protecting soldiers,  firefighters, first responders, oil workers and linemen from the hazards they face every day. In an industry where protection is the watchword, it only makes sense that protecting our planet should be on the same list. Stewardship of the environment is everyone’s responsibility and TenCate will continue to find new ideas, new technologies and new avenues to meet that responsibility.