In line with their latest sustainable fabric, we caught up with Rollie Attard to discuss the role and importance that sustainability has within the company, taking a closer look at their newly launched fabric, EcoTwist.
Please can you introduce yourself and your role at Panaz
I am Rollie Attard, CEO of Panaz. I joined Panaz in 2015 as the East Coast Regional Sales Manager for the USA, before returning to Panaz’s UK headquarters in 2018 as Chief Operations Officer.
Over the last six years, I have been working in partnership with my father, Tony Attard, and the wider Panaz team, to ensure our accelerated and sustainable growth throughout the hospitality, healthcare and corporate sectors across Europe and America.
As CEO, I am responsible for driving our global expansion even further, by fostering the company’s continued commitment to technical innovation, design development and collaboration.
How does Panaz embed sustainability throughout its production process?
At Panaz, we pride ourselves on making a tangible environmental impact by doing things differently.
We are extremely conscious of our responsibility to continuously improve the environmental efficiency of our products and operations, and as a result, regularly undertake significant investments in disruptive technology to help us achieve this.
That’s why we were the first company to pioneer low-water waste fabric printing, which is now the industry standard. All Panaz basecloths are printed using sublimatic printing techniques that involve no chemical processes, water or effluents. The digital printing process also ensures no solvents are used and all printing inks are water soluble.
Because we manufacture our own basecloths and control our digital paper and transfer printing in-house, we are able to proactively implement measures to reduce our carbon output. We recently undertook a full factory audit at our UK headquarters in Lancashire to identify our level of factory emissions and how they can be successfully reduced.
Can you tell us a bit more about the EcoTwist collection and the manufacturing process behind it?
Whilst many manufacturers are currently bringing to market fabrics that feature a percentage of recycled content, we understand the importance of push these capabilities even further to ensure we aid designers in effectively future proofing their projects.
In 2019, we launched EcoTwill, the contract fabric industry’s very first 100% recycled and recyclable contract quality polyester basecloth for print. Fast forward three years and this has led to the creation of EcoTwist, the industry’s first totally recycled crepe basecloth for print.
By adopting our own unique agenda, we have been able to continue to invest in the manufacture of high performance basecloths that are woven from fully recycled yarns.
EcoTwist is manufactured in England from 100% recycled plastic bottles. PET drinks bottles are shredded, with the resulting plastic then converted into the yarns woven into EcoTwist. Dozens of bottles are repurposed for every metre of fabric produced.
This not only removes non-biodegradable waste from the environment, but also has a reduced energy and water consumption in comparison with the manufacture of virgin polyester.
Do you find that you must compromise aesthetic and performance when leading with sustainability in design?
Providing designers with beautiful contract fabrics that deliver superior technical performance has been at the core of Panaz since my father founded the business in 1985.
That’s why the very concept of EcoTwist has been established on a commitment to providing designers with fully recycled basecloths that also deliver exceptional textural and visual properties.
Sustainability shouldn’t have to be achieved at the compromise of great design, and by utilising weave processes that create organic three-dimensional textures, combined with an extensive offering of colourways, we can help designers lead the way in terms of both aesthetics and environmental efficiency.
As innovators in digital printing, we wanted to push the boundaries of the types of prints available to designers when choosing this basecloth. That’s why EcoTwist is also available as a standard basecloth option across our extensive print library of over 2,500 designs and can be utilised with our unique fabric design software, ReMake, to support designers in creating truly bespoke designs.
Is Panaz partnered with any initiatives in combatting climate change?
As part of our wider commitment to supporting the local community in Lancashire where our UK headquarters is based, whilst also offsetting our carbon output, we have partnered with local charity, the Ribble River Trust.
For every 100 metres of Panaz fabric sold, the equivalent of one tree sapling is planted by the charity in Lancashire to help increase the county’s current woodland cover, support biodiversity, improve soil quality, and create viable habitats for the region’s wildlife.
Throughout 2022, we expect to support the planting of 15,000 trees within Lancashire.
We have also recently installed solar panels across our 90,000 ft2 headquarters to enable us to procure a proportion of our required energy from renewable sources, whilst putting power back into the grid on weekends.
What are the next steps in sustainability for Panaz?
We are currently identifying how we can continue to build on our portfolio of 100% recycled and recyclable basecloths to assist designers in achieving their sustainability and design objectives across a diverse range of commercial projects and applications.
We are also continuing to identify how we can improve the efficiency and sustainability of our manufacturing operations and processes, whilst providing designers the same exceptional levels of quality and service that they expect from us.
This includes aiding designers in overcoming supply chain issues, where we have recently invested in an additional 500,000 metres of textiles to be held in stock at our UK headquarters. This means over 10,000 items are available overnight to ensure we can react instantly to designers’ specific requirements and be confident we are a reliable partner that can deliver.
For further information on Panaz’s extensive range of fabrics and ReMake capabilities, visit http://www.panaz.com/en or call +44 (0)1282 696969.
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