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Survey Reveals 71% of Consumers Would Choose a Built-in Microfibre Filter Over Other Options A recent survey of 2,500 participants from the UK, Germany and France set out to determine awareness of microfibre pollution - a nearly invisible yet extensive problem - understand consumer habits and address their needs when purchasing microfibre filters. The research, carried out in September 2021 by award-winning Trinity McQueen, presented participants with four different solutions to capture microfibre shed during a wash cycle. These options were a laundry ball, laundry bag, external filter and internal filter and the effectiveness, cost, features, benefits and drawbacks were detailed. An internal filter was by far the most popular solution to help filter out microplastics with nearly three-quarters of people surveyed saying they would be most likely to pick this option. Only 10% opted for a laundry bag with another 10% preferring a laundry ball. The least appealing option was an external filter which only 8% chose. The reasons people had for preferring an internal filter included simplicity of use, efficiency, cost and aesthetics. These findings are supported by previous consumer research undertaken by Unique View which surveyed a selection of consumers from across China. XFiltraTM was viewed to be the most favourable technology on offer and simplicity of use was high on the wish list. More than half of the consumers would like to empty the filter less than once a month; XFiltra needs emptying once every 3-4 weeks, far less than a lint filter on a tumble dryer. XFiltra also benefits from not needing filter replacements, this meets the needs of consumers and reduces the environmental footprint.  Christian Cullinane, Managing Director of Consumer Brands at Xeros Technology Group explained: This research has found that the public is becoming increasingly concerned about global environmental issues and the part fashion and clothing care has to play.   However, more needs to be done to raise awareness of microfibre pollution as once the problem was fully explained, it was deemed the most important to address.   At Xeros, we are committed to raising awareness of microfibre pollution, supporting calls for meaningful legislation and working with washing machine manufacturers to ensure that long-term solutions that capture the highest percentage of microfibres, but are also easy and cost effective for consumers to use, are part of new washing machines in the future. Manufacturers Expected to Act Consumers want to see broader action from washing machine manufacturers and almost half of those surveyed feel washing machine brands need to do more to reduce microplastics. A third would look for a machine that could help them do this, and a quarter would refuse to consider buying one that didn’t. Manufacturers are showing greater willingness to adopt microfiber filtration systems, partly due to consumer demand and partly due to regulatory pressure. So far, France is the only country in the world to introduce legislation to introduce mandatory microfibre filters. The UK, USA, Sweden and the Netherlands all recognise the problem and are working on various bills but haven’t implemented any specific measures yet. The Xeros Science team have supported the UK and French governments by providing scientific advice and guidance on solutions that exist for manufacturers to adopt. XFiltra Rated Best Microfibre Filter For Laundry It has been independently proven by scientists that XFiltra is the leading device for reducing the number of microfibres released from washing machines. Results from the University of Plymouth show that XFiltra performed significantly better than all other products evaluated. The tests, which were designed to capture microfibres in a mixed wash of synthetic and synthetic/cotton blend garments, show that XFiltra captured 78% of microfibres released during each wash cycle. XFiltra technology has advanced since the University of Plymouth study and similar tests conducted by Xeros show that XFiltra captures over 90% of microfibres from purely synthetic garments and over 80% of microfibres that shed from non-synthetic materials which have been treated with dyes and other chemicals. As most people don’t separate synthetic clothes from cotton clothes before a wash and as many clothes are made from a blend of natural and synthetic fibres, it is essential that washing machine filters effectively capture both types of microfibres.  The Environmental Impact of Washing our Clothes A previous blog post has detailed how washing our clothes pollutes the environment. Each year laundry causes 280,000 tons of synthetic microfibres to be released into the world’s ocean, these microfibres aren't captured by wastewater treatment plants. To truly grasp this problem, let’s break this gigantic figure down. 280,000 tons is equivalent to nearly 105,000 Female Asian Elephants1 or more than 47 billion plastic forks2 (which will be banned in England from April 2023). Scientists are also regularly discovering microplastics3 in remote parts of the world. Tiny bits of plastic have made their way into the deepest sea and onto the highest peaks; most recently researchers found microplastics 2,877 metres above sea level in the French Pyrenees. References A female Asian Elephant weighs approx. 6,000lbs according to San Diego Zoo A plastic fork weighs approx. 6 grams or 0.0132277lbs according to Dillons. Washing synthetic textiles accounts for 35% of primary microplastics in the world’s oceans finds research paper, Primary Plastics in the Oceans [Sustainability, Filtration]

Internal Microfibre Filter Wins Public Vote

Survey Reveals 71% of Consumers Would Choose a Built-in Microfibre Filter Over Other Options A...
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Xeros Technology Group joins forces with the British Antarctic Survey - one of the world's leading environmental research centres - to reduce microplastic pollution in the Southern Ocean. Global estimations suggest around half a million tonnes of plastic microfibers are released into our oceans each year. To help visualise this, think of 50 billion plastic bottles or every person in the world1 throwing at least 6 plastic bottles into the sea every year. This is just from something as ordinary as washing our clothes. Antarctica is seen as a pristine and untouched wilderness with relatively little pollution. However, a scientific study co-authored by the British Antarctic Survey ['BAS'], did detect a small number of microplastics that have characteristics similar to those commonly produced by clothes washing in waters surrounding Antarctica. BAS work with many scientists and researchers based in the Antarctic to enable a better understanding of global climate issues and aims to reduce microplastic and microfibre release from washing clothes. The first step to prevent microfibre waste from entering the sea is to install a commercial XFiltraTM unit at their largest facility in the Antarctic, Rothera research station. The unit will capture over 90% of microfibres from all washing machines at Admirals House, the largest accommodation building, where the overwintering team live during the coldest months of the year. Xeros spoke with Alexander Coniff, Facilities Engineer at BAS about their ongoing mission to protect our environment and what it's like to live and work in the Antarctic. Stopping Microfibre Pollution in the Southern Ocean Alexander explains that BAS is a world-leading centre for polar science that addresses global issues and helps society adapt to a changing world. They are committed to improving the relationship between science and society. Their skilled scientists deliver research that advances our understanding of Earth and our impact on it.  Alexander said: In 2020, microplastic fibres were discovered on Everest, demonstrating that even the most remote locations are vulnerable to microplastic pollution.   As we modernise Rothera Research Station, we are taking every practicable step to prevent the release of microplastic fibres onto the Antarctic peninsula and into the Southern Ocean. BAS wanted a filtration device that captures more microfibers than any other device and one that had been independently verified by scientists. They chose the revolutionary commercial XFiltra as it is backed up by research, is self-cleaning and can filter effluent from entire laundry facilities. The BAS team are currently planning what to do with the microfibres they collect. A microplastics team of engineers, tradesmen, and marine scientists has been formed and they will assess how best to safely dispose of these microfibres. For the immediate future, the plan is to collect and store the microfibres so they can record data trends and publish a report. Living and Working in the Antarctic Rothera Research Station is the largest British Antarctic facility and is a centre for biological research and a hub for supporting deep-field and air operations. Temperatures reach approx. 5°C in the summer and range between –5°C to – 20°C during the winter. Because the station is just south of the Antarctic circle, it is light for 24 hours a day during summer, and for a few weeks in winter the sun never rises above the horizon. The station’s coastal location makes it a marine biodiversity hotspot and means that staff see a good range of Antarctic birds and mammals. Adélies are the most numerous penguin species around Rothera, with chinstrap and gentoos occasionally present in the summer. Weddell seals, which are present year-round, are the most obvious mammal around the station. Typically, 20-30 staff are based at the facility during winter and in the summer up to 160 people call the station home. Many scientists and researchers spend 4-6 months at a time in the Antarctic, but the overwintering team will deploy to Antarctica for over a year. Alexander paints a picture of what it’s like to live and work at the Rothera Research Station. The station is undergoing an impressive amount of modernisation, so it is bustling with life as the construction continues. It is very similar to living and working on any professional building site, easy to forget where you are unless you take the time to look around. Laundry in the Most Remote Continent in the World With such a community of people living and working at Rothera, there is a fair amount of laundry to do. The number of people alone does little justice to the amount of laundry required. Each person wears multiple layers and a personal laundry load for a single person can be far greater than someone living in the UK. For example, the engineering team, mechanics and technical service team have full wash loads to do daily. Individuals are responsible for their own laundry, so there is an obligation for people using the machines to do so respectfully. This includes saving as much water as possible, washing at appropriate times as not to disturb people sleeping in the accommodation and minimal use of detergents. Washing once a week is most common.  Most people using a washing machine probably don’t ever think about the wastewater that’s generated and where it goes but this is a priority for BAS. Alexander explains: At BAS we actually go well above the minimum required standard with an innovative wastewater treatment plant that has a rigorous effluent testing regime developed by me and other members of the estates team.   It is important that we demonstrate that BAS operates at the highest of standards and this includes our wastewater treatment. If we can do so in a location as remote as Antarctica there is no excuse for poor standards of effluent release in the UK; a problem recently highlighted in news coverage preceding COP26. Drying clothes after they’ve been washed is another challenge that BAS is looking to improve in the future. Dryers are energy-intensive and a potential fire hazard if used incorrectly, so developing a drying room that is passively warmed by the building's heating, is an option Alexander and the team are looking into. Xeros is honoured to have helped BAS find a solution to reducing microfibre pollution. Mark Nichols, CEO Xeros, commented: Colossal amounts of waste are being dumped in our oceans every day damaging pristine environments and harming wildlife. A significant amount of this waste comes from the simple act of washing clothes. A washing machine filtration system, like ours, can stop this at source. We are delighted to be providing a solution to microfibre pollution to an organisation as esteemed as the British Antarctic Survey, in a part of the world where environmental change and biodiversity loss is felt more acutely than anywhere else on the planet. References 1. Based on a global population of 7.8 billion, November 2021 [Sustainability, Filtration]

Xeros Helps Break the Microplastic Wave in the Antarctic Ocean

Xeros Technology Group joins forces with the British Antarctic Survey - one of the world's leading...
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Installing filters on washing machines is a simple and effective way to catch the microscopic particles in our clothes shed, finds a study released this month. As we’ve mentioned before, every time you wash a load of laundry, anywhere from a few hundred thousand to millions of microfibres come off of the fabrics and go down the drain. These microfibres are too small to be captured at wastewater treatment plants ['WWTP'] so end up in the environment. Washing clothes releases half a million tonnes of plastic microfibres into the ocean every year, equivalent to more than 50 billion plastic bottles. A new scientific study, which was a collaboration between Georgian Bay Forever (GBF) and the Rochman Laboratory at the University of Toronto, is the first application of washing machine filters at a community scale. Results from the study prove that washing machine filters prevent harmful microfibre waste from entering waterways. Lead author, Lisa Erdle, who is a PhD candidate at the University of Toronto and worked on the study with three other colleagues explained that microfibres are shed by both synthetic and treated natural fabrics like cotton and wool, making their way into the water and air, and ultimately, into our bodies. The team's study recruited 97 households in Parry Sound, Ontario, Canada to attach an external microfibre-catching filter to their home washing machines. This was the first study to put filters into people’s homes and test whether they are effective at the scale of a community. By testing wastewater arriving at the town's treatment plant before and after the filters were installed, the research team was able to track a "significant reduction" in the number of microfibres showing up. Erdle expected to see about 10% decrease as 10% of households were used. The actual decrease was 41% though, far greater than anticipated. Above image: Infographic based on findings from the report, Washing Machine Filters Reduce Microfiber Emissions: Evidence From a Community-Scale Pilot in Parry Sound, Ontario. By Erdle, L, 2021. Key Evidence from the Community-Scale Pilot Filters were installed in 10% of homes but microparticles in the local WWTP effluent were reduced by 41%. Except for two fragments, all the particles collected in the WWTP samples were microfibers. The town involved in the study applies WWTP sludge as fertiliser, so the filters also reduced emissions to land ecosystems. Many households were turned away from the study due to lack of space for an external filter Writing the Use of the Filters into Law Brooke Harrison, a project coordinator at Georgian Bay Forever, co-authors of the study,  and Lisa Erdle both agree that the solution to microfibre pollution is straightforward. Microfibre-catching filters should be built into all new washing machines. They explained that dryers already have a filter that captures some of the fibres and now washing machines need one.  Erdle says it's an idea that's already gaining global momentum, citing a law passed in France requiring filters in all-new laundry machines starting in 2025. Other regions, including California and Ontario, are mulling a similar move — prompting them to reach out to Erdle's team for details on their research. She explained: This study has really put Parry Sound on the global map for microplastic pollution. Legislators around the world are looking for results on washing machine filters. Politicians across Europe Tackle Microfibre Pollution In 2020, France became the first country in the world to pass legislation requiring all new domestic washing machines to have a microfibre filter fitted, as standard, from the beginning of 2025. Earlier this year, Xeros was honoured to join policy experts at the launch of the UK All-Party Parliamentary Group for Microplastics report in Parliament. This report calls on Westminster to pass legislation mandating microfibre filtration in all domestic and commercial washing machines by 2025. In November 2021, Alberto Costa MP is introducing a Bill in Parliament that requires manufacturers to fit microplastic catching filters in all new washing machines. Mark Nichols, CEO of Xeros Technologies PLC shared his thoughts on the world starting to take legislative steps in the fight against plastic microfiber pollution. At Xeros we have long held that microfibre filtration must become mandatory in domestic and commercial washing machines and garment finishing equipment. Effective microfibre filtration in washing machines is the quickest and most cost-effective way to mitigate the release of microplastic from laundry to aquatic environments. We're very proud to have worked with the APPG Microplastics compiling its report and we whole heartedly support all its recommendations to UK Government. An In-Built Solution to Microfibre Pollution Xeros has a practical solution to stop nearly all microfibres from getting into our seas.  XFiltraTM, an innovative washing machine filtration technology, can now be easily integrated by all washing machine manufacturers. This filter is available for both domestic and commercial washing machines and is designed to be simple and easy to use. As it is integral to the machine, it does not take up unnecessary space making it accessible for most households.. XFiltra has been identified as the most effective device at preventing microfibre release from washing machines. Research conducted by the University of Plymouth tested six devices designed to capture microfibres: three washing machine filters plus laundry bags and balls, on mixed wash loads of synthetic and synthetic/cotton blend garments. The Xeros filter performed best. The prototype used in the study caught 78% of all microfibres but the latest generation capture more than 90% of all microfibres. To read the full report by GBF and the University of Toronto, click the following link. Washing Machine Filters Reduce Microfiber Emissions: Evidence From a Community-Scale Pilot in Parry Sound, Ontario Main image: Lisa Erdle poses with a jar of microfibre lint in her U of T lab - all of it kept out of waterways thanks to a study that saw special filters installed on washing machines in Parry Sound, Ont. (Kate McGillivray/CBC) [Sustainability, Filtration]

Filters on Washing Machines Significantly Reduce Microfibre Pollution Finds New Study

Installing filters on washing machines is a simple and effective way to catch the microscopic...
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This week marks a pivotal moment for companies, NGOs and scientists who are serious about tackling microfibre pollution from laundry. Earlier this week, the UK All-Party Parliamentary Group for Microplastics released a report calling on Westminster to pass legislation mandating microfibre filtration in all domestic and commercial washing machines by 2025.  And on Tuesday night we were honoured to join policy experts, leading academics and environmental NGOs at the report launch in Parliament. We even created a microfibre dinner that definitely looked better than it tasted... To highlight that microfibres from washing our clothes are heading for our seas, and our plates, we showcased a seafood menu made from microfibres collected from washing machines. The menu included oysters served with a side of bright red polyester and dyed cotton and the "food" was created by Kate Jenkins, a knitwear and crochet artist. How does washing clothes pollute the sea? Every year 280,000 tons of synthetic microfibres are released into the world’s ocean from the simple act of washing clothes. Plastic particles break off synthetic clothes and enter the oceans as wastewater (they are too small to be captured at wastewater plants). They make up 35% of all primary microplastics entering the oceans every year.   Alarmingly, just one load of laundry can release up to 700,000 microfibres and a synthetic fleece jacket releases an average of 1.7g of microfibres every time it's washed.  Recent studies have found microfibres reached even the most remote parts of the arctic. And are increasingly turning up in the food we eat, particularly seafood. It is estimated that we are eating 5 grams of microplastics per week, the equivalent of eating a credit card! You can read more on how to stop the microplastics in your clothes from polluting the ocean in one of our previous blogs.  Above image: Left to right, Nicky Amos, Director of Public Affairs at the National Federation of Women’s Institutes, Alberto Costa MP, Chair of the APPG for Microplastics, Rebecca Pow MP, Minister for the Environment, and Ann Jones, Chair of the National Federation of Women’s Institutes enjoying The Xeros Microfibre Dinner at the report launch in Parliament.  What's in the report? The APPG report draws on work done by the National Federation of Women’s Institutes which has campaigned on the issue of microfibre pollution. A NFWI report in 2018 found that UK households were doing around 68 million loads of laundry every week and releasing more than 9 trillion microfibres.  As well as requesting microfibre filtration in all domestic and commercial washing machines by 2025, the APPG report also calls for:  A Government-led awareness campaign to promote consumer behaviour change  A designated Minister for Plastics Pollution  An Extended Producer Responsibility Scheme for textiles by 2023  Above image: The All-Party Parliamentary Group's report on Microplastics. Ann Jones, Chair of the National Federation of Women’s Institutes said: This report is a clarion cry for action to turn the tide on the plastic pollution that is blighting our marine environments. Our own research found at least 9.4 trillion microplastic fibres could be released every week in the UK through the washing process. With every day that passes by, our rivers and seas are becoming more choked with plastic waste. The scale of the problem is huge, but the solutions are increasingly close at hand. By fitting filters to washing machines, making textile producers responsible for the waste their products create and appointing a Minister to bring Departments together we can make a huge difference. Mark Nichols, CEO of Xeros Technologies PLC shared his thoughts in the APPG's Press Release.  At Xeros we have long held that microfibre filtration must become mandatory in domestic and commercial washing machines and garment finishing equipment.   Our journey began with a very public commitment to the UN Oceans Conference to produce an effective filtration solution for washing machines. Since then, the issue of microfibre pollution in the environment and our precious oceans has grown exponentially.   The work of the NFWI in highlighting the issue of microfibre pollution caused by laundry helped bring this to the attention of the general public and, by extension, the work of the APPG on Microplastics is now bringing the matter to the attention of government and decision-makers who can make a real difference.   Effective microfibre filtration in washing machines is the quickest and most cost-effective way to mitigate the release of microplastic from laundry to aquatic environments. By calling for legislation in the UK, the APPG Microplastics is taking an important step towards making this a reality. Read more about our internal microfibre washing machine filter and how it helps consumers cut microfibre and microplastic pollution in our oceans, here. [Sustainability, Xeros Technologies, Filtration]

Politicians and Scientists Get Serious About Tackling Microfibre Pollution

This week marks a pivotal moment for companies, NGOs and scientists who are serious about tackling...
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Have you ever considered how much water is used to make your clothes? It’s time to ask if it’s too much. To be honest, it probably isn’t the first thing that springs to mind when you’re wardrobe shopping.  The elixir of life it may be, but not many of us stop to think how much water has been used to make our clothes or any other of our favourite things for that matter. We just buy them and enjoy them.  But water is being consumed in vast amounts by the fashion industry. As part of World Water Week perhaps we and the fashion industry should ask ourselves how we can reduce the water footprint of our clothes? Everything from growing cotton and producing other fibres to processes like dyeing and washing – including by you at home – add up to make the fashion industry the second-largest industrial user (and polluter) of water.  According to the UN one pair of jeans takes 7,500 litres of water to make – a number that includes the water used to grow the cotton, make the denim and get the product shop-ready.  To put that in context, the UN’s Food & Agriculture Organisation says that, for most people, 2 litres of water are sufficient for drinking every day. So that pair of jeans you just bought could contain the equivalent of about 10 years’ worth of drinking water for one person.  Water is perhaps our most precious resource. But every year we are extracting and consuming more. Rates of water extraction have more than doubled since the 1960s and, as the global population rises, demand for water is expected to increase by 30% by 2050.  Already a quarter of the world’s population is living in parts of the world facing extremely high levels of water stress. And many of these areas, places like India and China, also happen to be the places where many of our clothes are made.  Between 2010 and 2014 clothing production doubled and the number of garments bought by people rose by 60%. In this context, we need to consider whether the extraction and use of huge volumes of water, just to make clothes, is sustainable?  Sustainability is today’s buzzword. Brands everywhere are talking about how their products are being made more sustainably and protecting the planet.  For the fashion industry sustainability is the hottest collection right now. Claims are made about how ‘green’ this garment is or how much-recycled material has been used in its manufacture.  And this is great. But, there’s a problem.  The fashion industry isn’t always as transparent as it could be – especially when it comes to water.  Only 5% of 250 brands surveyed by Fashion Revolution, as part of their transparency index, disclosed the water footprint of the raw materials used to create their clothes.  Brands must do better.  This week, World Water Week is asking how we can create solutions to some of our biggest water challenges? For the fashion industry solutions already exist to reduce water use in garment manufacturing and others are being rapidly developed.  It is incumbent on them to do the right thing and implement these technologies across their supply chains. And they must be transparent on issues of sustainability.  As consumers, we can also play a part by exercising positive choices to spend our money with brands that are working towards genuinely sustainable fashion and which are transparent about the environmental impact of their products.  But, the most effective solution to the overuse of resources across the fashion industry is for fewer clothes to be made, better quality and longer-lasting garments to be produced and for us, as consumers, to shop less and to love the clothes we have for longer.  Again, solutions are being developed to help us do that with technologies that are gentler on our clothes when we wash them, extending their life and keeping them out of landfills.  Fashions change. But the amount of water available to us on earth does not. We must do everything we can, no matter how small it may be, to reduce our demand for it.  Thinking hard about what to put in your wardrobe isn’t a bad place to start.  Find out how Xeros Technologies can reduce the environmental impact of garment manufacturing by clicking below.  [Sustainability, Apparel, Xeros Technologies]

Why Fashion Must Turn Off The Taps

Have you ever considered how much water is used to make your clothes? It’s time to ask if it’s too...
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The first IFB washing machines incorporating Xeros technology are performing well at a North Yorkshire Laundry A new, eco-friendly laundry is the first in the world to have three IFB commercial washing machines featuring XTendTM  technology installed. Pressed Laundry, located in a beautiful market town in England, service holiday lets, bed and breakfasts, country inns and pubs and other businesses in the Yorkshire Dales. As well as using eco-friendly laundry equipment, they deliver and collect linen and garments using electric vans.  Ralph Wellock, Owner of Pressed Laundry which opened in early 2021, chose machines featuring Xeros technology over the competition as he'd heard of the great environmental benefits.  We are continuing to find ways to be energy efficient and eco-friendly as a company so finding washing machines that would dramatically reduce our water, energy and detergent consumption was vital. As well as meeting the company's green credentials, high standards of cleaning and hygiene were high on Ralph's washing machine wish list. We want to be the best laundry in the North of England and Xeros will help us to achieve this. I am impressed with the wash quality, the machines tackle the toughest stains and pamper the linens so they will last for years to come.   I'm confident that these washing machines will help me deliver a better service to our customers. After being blown away by superior cleaning performance and operational savings these ultra-low water washing machines offer, Pressed Laundry decided to install three. The machines, each with a capacity of 38kg (84lb), are mostly used to wash towels, bedding, table cloths and napkins. Earlier this year, one of Pressed Laundry's customers had a tough red wine stain on some white table cloths for the team to remove. Ralph explained: A customer had a red wine disaster over the weekend but thanks to our Xeros-enabled washing machine, we managed to get the stain out with ease and have the linen looking as good as new. No soaking or bleaching was needed, in just one wash cycle the stubborn red wine stains had been completely removed.  Mike Ferrand, Managing Director of Commercial Products at Xeros Technology Group commented: We are thrilled that the first Xeros-enabled IFB washing machines are in a laundry that is as passionate about reducing the environmental demands of washing garments and fabrics as we are. We look forward to Pressed Laundry saving water, energy and money on utility bills whilst making linens and fabrics last longer and look better.   The findings from Pressed Laundry back up claims by the BTRA report earlier this year that Xeros-enabled washing machines produce better results and offer significant environmental benefits. The tests by BTRA show that washing machines equipped with Xeros technologies:  wash better: producing whiter whites and removing stains like blood, oils and makeup,  reduce both physical and chemical damage caused to fabrics during washing, resulting in less shrinkage and stronger textiles,  use less water, energy and detergent saving money and reducing harmful emissions. In testing, the Xeros-enabled machine used: 41% less water 36% less power 21% less detergent  IFB washing machines featuring Xeros technologies are available in several capacities and are ideal for dry cleaners, hotels, and spas and commercial laundries. Utilising award-winning patented polymer cleaning technology these washing machines reduce water consumption by up to 80%, and reduce energy and detergent usage by up to 50%, all while delivering a superior clean that is gentler on fabrics. Although this is the first install in the UK, there are many more lined up across the world over the coming months, we'll keep you posted! [Sustainability, Cleaning, Xeros Technologies]

New Xeros-enabled Washing Machines Excel At Removing Stubborn Stains

The first IFB washing machines incorporating Xeros technology are performing well at a North...
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How we are working to protect precious water resources  On 22nd March, we celebrate World Water Day - a global movement that raises awareness of the universal water crisis. We all have a water footprint; we all use large amounts every day. Many of us try to reduce our water use by having shorter showers or turning the tap off when brushing our teeth. But, many people don't realise that the majority of our water footprint doesn’t come from our taps - it comes from the things we buy and use every day. Books, furniture, cars, electronics all use huge amounts of water during their production. You may not know this but our clothes are one of the largest consumers of water on the planet. For years, what we wear has been using more than its fair share of water. THE AMOUNT OF WATER CONSUMED BY OUR CLOTHES IS JUST STAGGERING  Textiles production (including cotton farming) uses around 93 billion cubic metres of water annually. This is enough water to keep the combined populations of India and China hydrated for nearly 42 years1. These are countries that produce much of the world's cotton and today, have significant water stress in many areas. Beyond fibre production, the use of washing machines in apparel manufacturing is estimated to require an additional 20 billion cubic meters of water per year globally. Unless we find more ways to reduce our consumption, individually and collectively, the increasing pressure that we are putting on finite water resources will become unbearable. In many parts of the world, it already is.  Put simply, we have to use less water and stop polluting it. Keeping our clothes longer and buying less of them will help greatly. Putting water consumption information on garment price tags would really help consumers make good decisions.  MARK NICHOLS, CEO, XEROS TECHNOLOGY GROUP Encouragingly sustainability is an increasingly used mantra across almost all sectors, especially fashion. Understanding these impacts, many consumers are moving away from “fast fashion” - the mass-production of cheap clothing which is worn very few times and then thrown away. A recent article in CNN titled “The world is paying a high price for cheap clothes,” highlights how fast fashion is harming our planet. Shoppers are starting to embrace the growing movement of “slow fashion”, which focuses on sustainable materials and transparent, ethical labour and manufacturing. As consumers and industry look to reduce these impacts, they are seeking innovative solutions that protect the environment. Integrating Xeros' technologies in apparel production equipment means the environmental impact of the clothes produced is dramatically improved. Ramsons Garment Finishing Equipments PVT Ltd, the commercial partner of Xeros for garment finishing equipment in South Asia, explain why embedding these innovative technologies into their machines will have a significant impact on the fashion world. Across India and South Asia, garment manufacturers are actively looking for new and innovative technologies to help us protect our environment, which is under extreme pressure from the effects of a changing climate. By embedding Xeros technologies in our equipment our clients will save water, energy and reduce harmful emissions. It represents the best option for sustainability. SUNDER BELANI, MANAGING DIRECTOR RAMSONS Ramsons have installed Xeros-enabled machines into ABA Group's operations in Bangladesh. ABA are a supplier of clothing to international brands including American Eagle, H&M and Zara.  Water consumption in the Laundry World Laundry, an everyday chore, has a huge impact on the environment. Doing just 5 loads of washing per week in a modern domestic washing machine uses 13,000 litres of water2 in one year. This amount amplifies when you start thinking about laundry on a commercial scale. Water intensive sectors - hotels, commercial laundries, caterers - have been keen to cut their consumption for many years. Xeros have a water-friendly solution, which can reduce water use by up to 80 per cent. At the heart of these machines is XOrbTM Technology. Reusable, recyclable, and safe, XOrbs gently clean and protect clothes using less water and chemicals. They mix into the XDrumTM at the start of the wash and gently remove dirt and stains like tiny little hands. XOrbs also dramatically increase the life of garments and fabrics making them look much better for longer. When the wash cycle is completed, the XOrbs automatically go back inside the XDrum and are ready to be used again for your next wash. Georges, the commercial laundry partner of Xeros in France, specialise in the cleaning and maintenance of workwear. They have plenty of high-profile customers including SNCF, Renault Design and Air France and process the outfits of 25,000 employees using eleven Xeros-powered commercial washing machines. Karine Da Silva, Chairwoman of Georges, describes what water means to her. Almost a quarter of humanity lives in countries with physical water scarcity. And by 2030, that number could double. The world could face a lack of available water of about 2.700 billion cubic meters by 2030 with demand 40% higher than available. Our industrial laundry activity uses water as its primary resource. As we created Georges, it was essential to design a system that would allow us to save this natural and precious resource as much as we could. We chose Xeros-enabled washing machines to save up to 80% water for each cleaning cycle . By making this choice, we allow our customers to join Georges in the fight for water conservation and more generally in a CSR approach. Pollution from our Washing Machines As well as using less water, World Water Day is also an opportunity to acknowledge that washing machines contribute to polluting our rivers and oceans. Every time we wash our clothes, they shed hundreds of thousands of tiny fibres known as microfibres. Washing machines currently don't have filters to catch them, so they end up in wastewater. Globally, an estimated 500,000 tonnes of microfibres enter wastewater systems every year and around 280,000 tonnes escape to the marine environment. You can read more about microplastics and how to stop your clothes from polluting the ocean here. Again, Xeros has a practical solution to stop nearly all microfibres from getting into our seas. XFiltraTM, an innovative washing machine filtration technology, can now be easily integrated by all washing machine manufacturers. This filter is available for both domestic and commercial washing machines and is designed to be simple and easy to use. XFiltra has been identified as the most effective device at preventing microfibre release from washing machines Research conducted by the University of Plymouth tested six devices designed to capture microfibres: three washing machine filters plus laundry bags and balls, on mixed wash loads of synthetic and synthetic/cotton blend garments. The Xeros filter, which is designed to be installed in washing machines by manufacturers, performed best. The prototype XFiltra used in the study caught 78% of all microfibres but the latest generation XFiltra designs capture more than 90% of all microfibres. Read more about how Xeros captures more microfibres than any other device. What next? World Water Day is the perfect opportunity to consider where all the world’s water is going and where it should be going. It’s a moment to realise that safe drinking water belongs to thirsty people instead of the new garment that we may not need. It’s a moment to realise that doing laundry is contributing to plastic pollution in our oceans. Solving the water crisis is daunting and often the statistics are frightening. But the solution truly starts with us as individuals, and we can all play a part by simply buying fewer clothes and making the ones that we have last longer. Xeros and our partners are working together to help the world wear better.  Here’s what water means to more of our partners Jiangsu Sea-lion Machinery Co., Ltd is a market-leading manufacturer of commercial washing machines and laundry equipment in the Chinese market, and a commercial partner of Xeros. Aaron Zhang, Deputy General Manager, at Sea-Lion describes what water means to him.  We need water to live. Water is one of our basic living needs. Besides that, we need water almost in every aspect of daily life, like working, transportation and entertainment. As leaders in the laundry business, we advocate that customers and partners choose water-saving technologies. Our company develops products with energy-saving features. We work with our customers to meet their needs and those of our planet. Agemon Hightech Ecology is a licenced distributor of Xeros Technologies in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Manager, Tomáš Rolínek, explains what he does to conserve water, one of the rarest substances on Earth. Water is the basic essence of life. Without water, we would not be able to survive for more than 7 days. Water is simply a miracle.   Our company PROZAC stavebni is very close to modern technologies. Therefore, we decided to create its own division of water and energy-saving high-tech technologies - Agemon High Tech Ecology, which focusses on technologies that significantly save water and energy.   We are extremely proud that we have managed to establish cooperation with Xeros, which produces highly efficient industrial and at the same time ecological washing machines, which can save up to 80% water, 50% energy and 50% washing detergents.   In this case, it is 100% true that ecological high-tech technologies can also be highly beneficial and economical for individual companies. References: 1. An average person in India drinks 2.17 litres. The combined population of India and China is 2.81 billion. 2. A modern washing machine uses 50 litres of water per cycle [Sustainability, Cleaning, Apparel, Xeros Technologies, Filtration]

World Water Day: The Water Footprint of Your Clothes

How we are working to protect precious water resources  On 22nd March, we celebrate World Water Day...
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Energy efficiency labels could mean A+++ rated machines are now rated C. We explore what this means for you. Energy rating labels on washing machines and other large household appliances are changing. The new labels, which help consumers measure performance and compare the efficiency of different machines, will start to appear in shops from March this year. Currently, the best washing machines are rated A+++ (some even higher). But the new labels do away with anything ‘better’ than A and reintroduce lower ratings of E, F and G. The new system could mean a washing machine that rates A+++ today may rate no higher than D or C. That’s not to say the machine has become less efficient. But the new labels raise the bar, making a top rating harder to achieve. The new labels will also provide information on machine water consumption, how noisy it is, the duration of a benchmark cycle, and how wet clothes are when removed. There is crucial information that these new labels don't feature, however - read on for all you need to know about this change, why it's happening and what it will achieve, and what needs to happen next... There are a couple of important reasons for these changes to energy ratings labels. THE ENVIRONMENT Firstly, the EU has rightly committed to tackling urgent environmental challenges like climate change and water consumption. The European Green Deal is a roadmap for the EU to become climate neutral by 2050. Resource efficiency lies at the heart of the strategy, encouraging innovation in new technologies that can perform the same function – but consume fewer resources and minimise environmental impact. Household appliances may not seem like an obvious place for reductions but in the UK a typical washing machine accounts for 9% of household water use and consumes, on average, 166KWh of electricity a year (based on an 8kg A++ rated machine running 220 cycles at 40°C). Across Europe, the EU estimates that the new energy labels on washing machines and washer dryers will deliver annual savings of: 2.5 TWh electricity (equivalent to Italy’s energy consumption in 2010) 800,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions Reduce water consumption by 711 million m3 The second reason for the new labels is that so many appliances now achieve a top rating that consumers struggle to tell the difference between the good and the very best machines, causing confusion and undermining trust in the labels. ROLLING BACK THE YEARS Energy labels were first introduced in 1994. The colour-coded stickers rapidly became a trusted mark of performance with 85% of people saying they’ve been influenced by them when shopping for a new washing machine. As shoppers increasingly opted for the most energy efficient products, achieving a top rating became more important for manufacturers. By 2010, so many washing machines rated as A, or better, that the EU was forced to introduce new ratings of A+, A++, and A+++ to keep up. Today, some manufacturers even make ‘super declarations’ like A+++ -65%, meaning the model is 65% better than the top rating! The EU has realised the current energy labelling system is no longer working as intended. Instead of driving efficiency gains, the labels have become a sales tool. They also ignore wider environmental issues which need to be addressed. It’s also become clear that some of the top performance ratings have been achieved using wash cycles which are rarely used in practice, and some which are not even available to consumers as standard wash programmes. The new rules aim to ensure that both testing and performance properly reflect how washing machines are used in the home. Getting a top rating Your washing machine uses more energy heating water than it does doing anything else during a wash cycle. In fact, 90% of all the energy used by a washing machine goes to heating the water. So, washing machines can appear to be more energy efficient simply by using cooler water. But, to get clothes acceptably clean when using lower temperatures, they must be washed for longer. In testing, five or six hour wash cycles (in some cases longer) have become common for manufacturers aiming for the highest energy efficiency performance. What’s more, when we do the laundry at home, washing machines rarely achieve the stated water temperature. The new labelling rules address these issues in two important ways: There will be maximum time limits imposed on wash cycles, depending on machine size and how full you fill the drum Machines must reach and maintain the stated water temperature for at least 5 minutes To ensure this happens, every washing machine must have a new, mandatory, wash programme called Eco 40-60. This will be the cycle used for testing AND it will be the default programme when you first switch on the washing machine at home. It will also be the ONLY programme on the machine that can be called “Eco.” The tests recognise two other important changes in our washing machines and how we use them: We are buying bigger washing machines with greater drum capacities We tend to fill our machines with fewer clothes, washing more frequently with half and quarter-full loads (partly because this ensures the best wash outcome) The EU is putting much more emphasis on these smaller wash loads, and the maximum wash times are directly connected to how much we wash. For example: A full load in a 10kg [capacity] machine will have a maximum wash time of just under 4 hours, while a 6kg [capacity] machine washing a quarter-full load, must take no longer than 2 hours 36 minutes The amount of water a machine uses is also capped relative to its capacity. For example: A 5kg capacity machine will be able to use a maximum of 8.3 litres of water per kilogram of laundry while a 13kg capacity machine will be allowed a maximum of 4.6 litres of water per kilo of washing Other changes include: The new labels will feature a QR code which shoppers can scan to access more detailed information They will include details about how well the machine spin dries your clothes - how wet they are when they come out of the machine - and noise levels during spinning Wash programmes that may have previously been called “normal”, “daily”, “standard” or “regular” will no longer be allowed to be called this as the EU felt it would draw people away from Eco cycles All machines must have a 20°C cold wash cycle clearly identified on the programme selection While there is no information about detergent on the label, the user manual must have details about the best type of detergent and softener for each programme, the correct use of detergent, and the consequences of using too much... There is also an intention for us to keep our washing machines for longer. Therefore all manufacturers will have to make spare parts available, for each model, for a minimum of 10 years. WHAT THE NEW LABELS DON’T INCLUDE The new labels don't, however, tell you everything about a washing machine and its environmental credentials. Nor can they tell you how well a machine will wash your clothes, or how much it may damage them. For any machine to receive an efficiency label it must meet a minimum level of wash performance and rinsing. But the detergent used in machine testing is very powerful and would clean most things, regardless of the machinery or cycle used. A powerful detergent will hide differences in wash performance and potentially exacerbate any damage caused during washing, especially at 40°C. Clothes shrinking, fading and getting otherwise damaged in the wash have a huge environmental cost, shortening the life of garments and speeding up their journey to the trash. A cotton T-Shirt takes 2,700 litres of water to make... Imagine the environmental benefits of each one looking better and lasting longer because of a gentler, low temperature wash using less detergent? This needs to be an important consideration for the EU when it next revises the rules in 2024. One technology that does not feature in the new rules, but is very likely to be included in the future, is microfibre filtration. Microfibres which are released from our clothes when we wash them are polluting the environment, and are already found across the food chain. They are also inside us. Currently only France has legislated to mandate this technology in household washing machines. From 1st January 2025, all new washing machines sold in France must contain microfibre filtration. It’s highly likely this could be introduced at EU level, with implications for the UK too. AND THE COST? Perhaps the most immediate implication of introducing the new testing rules and efficiency labels could be the retail price of machines. Toughening the rules and testing process will mean that some entry-level washing machines will no longer meet even the lowest efficiency rating. Hardware will need to be upgraded, and made smarter, to keep pace with the rules. Much, if not all, of that cost might be passed on to consumers. That said, we will all make significant long-term savings in the cost of energy, water and detergent as a result. It is widely agreed that action must be taken to lessen our impact on the environment; to reduce carbon emissions and slow global warming, to minimise harmful emissions, and to protect our water resources for future generations. Huge environmental gains can be made by simple changes to the technologies we all use every day – like washing machines. There may be a small cost to pay for those advances today. But, they will help us all enjoy a long, healthy future in a secure and clean environment. [Sustainability, Technology, News]

Washing Machine Energy Labels Are Changing. Why?

Energy efficiency labels could mean A+++ rated machines are now rated C. We explore what this means...
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Xeros technology is being installed by a major denim manufacturer - a first step to greener jeans  Denim is arguably the world’s favourite fabric. Popularised by 19th century labourers requiring hard wearing garments, denim has been transformed from the original workman’s PPE to become a staple of the global fashion industry. Today, more than 1.2 billion pairs of jeans are sold every year. It’s thought the average woman has 7 pairs in her wardrobe, the average man, 6. But denim exacts a high toll on our environment. Every pair of jeans consumes a vast amounts of fresh water during production and manufacture. Harsh chemicals are used to produce fashionable looks like acid washes, generating harmful emissions, while the fabric itself releases microfibres into our oceans every time it’s washed. And because of this, the industry is under pressure to reduce the impact its products have on the environment. Thankfully, forward-thinking companies are working hard to change this, striving to produce denim in a more sustainable way. Two such companies, Ramsons Garment Finishing Equipments Ltd and ABA Group are valued partners of Xeros, adopting our sustainable technologies. Following a landmark deal between Ramsons and ABA, jeans made in Bangladesh and supplied to brands like H&M, Zara and America Eagle, will be made using our sustainable technologies, dramatically reducing their environmental footprint. Why Xeros? Having proven that our XOrb™ and XDrum™ technology can dramatically reduce water, chemistry and energy use, and lower emissions in laundry, we turned our attention to developing solutions for apparel manufacturing. Making clothes is a complicated business that involves many distinct and specialist techniques. But one common process that is used repeatedly in factories, is washing. Before finished garments can be shipped to stores around the world, the fabrics made to use them, and the finished garments themselves, are washed many times. Washing processes are also used in applying certain textile finishes. This is particularly important when it comes to denim. Raw denim is hard and stiff. But by applying special finishes, it is softened and made comfortable to wear and, crucially, achieves the all-important looks that consumers love. The most common of these is Stone Washing. Many of you will remember Levi’s TV commercial from the 1980s when a young man walks into an American laundrette, strips to put his jeans in the drum before tipping in a bag of stones. The classic stonewash look is achieved by washing jeans with lots and lots of stones. Pumice stone to be exact. All of which degrades to a sludge after just three or four washes and must be manually disposed of. XOrbs can be used to achieve the same stonewash effect, but without using stones, using around 75% less water, less chemistry and less energy. So, just as our technologies reduce the environmental impact of laundry, they can significantly improve sustainability in denim finishing. These were just some of the factors that convinced Ramsons and ABA of the benefits of Xeros technologies. WHY ABA? ABA Group is one of the largest manufacturers of finished garments in Bangladesh supplying many of our most familiar fashion brands. It makes 45 million garments every year and 70% of those are denim. It has long advocated sustainable processes and has already taken giant steps to improve environmental performance. Four of its manufacturing facilities are certified by the US Green Building Council as compliant with ‘LEED’ (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). And to date the company has made water savings of 53%, energy savings of 46% and reduced its carbon footprint by 45%. The addition of Xeros technologies offers ABA even greater scope to improve these figures – and produce outstanding denim! Sunder Belani, Managing Director of Ramson said: “Xeros technologies were one of the principle reasons for ABA Group selecting Ramsons to equip their new denim finishing operation. “As one of the largest apparel manufacturers in Bangladesh, supplying global leaders in the fashion industry, ABA operates to the highest environmental standards.” SECURING THE DEAL For several months we have been producing sample products for ABA to demonstrate that we can deliver garments to the high quality required by ABA’s clients. This wasn’t easy during lockdown! Normally, our teams work side by side with our partners to ensure everything runs smoothly. This time however, working with Ramsons, which has the exclusive rights to use and distribute Xeros technologies in South Asia, and ABA, we managed to achieve the same thing, virtually. Thank goodness for Zoom! One of the samples we were asked to produce was a high fade / bleaching effect, like that sought by the leading High Street brands they supply. Historically, ABA has used a multi-stage, multi-machine process that involves pumice, abrasion, washing, bleaching, ozone, and acid washing. Not only were we able match the quality of the samples using our technologies, but we could complete the whole process in a single Ramsons machine, using significantly less water, energy and chemistry – reducing effluent emissions, saving time, improving productivity and reducing costs. The result is that ABA will install 9 Xeros-enabled Ramsons denim finishing machines in a brand-new ABA facility. Eight of the machines are 5,000 litre capacity each able to process up to 300 pairs of jeans at a time. GIANT STEPS The deal with ABA is an important step for us at Xeros. It marks the first time that our sustainable technologies will be used in the supply chains of the world’s leading fashion brands. It demonstrates too, to companies across the apparel manufacturing industry, that technologies exist that can help them meet, and go beyond, tough environmental and quality standards required by legislators and consumers alike. The order with ABA Group is a first step for Xeros into garment manufacturing. But it will be the first of many that help us take a giant step towards achieving more sustainable clothing for all. If you would like to find out more about how we are applying our technologies in the apparel sector, or if you are a garment manufacturer looking for sustainable solutions, please get in touch using our contact form. Mike Ferrand Managing Director, Commercial Products     [Sustainability, Case Studies, Apparel, Xeros Technologies, Blog, Commercial Progress]

Mike Ferrand: How Xeros Is Making Your Blue Jeans, Green

Xeros technology is being installed by a major denim manufacturer - a first step to greener jeans ...
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Jamie Harrison, Licensing Director for Commercial Products, tells us how Xeros is making sustainable commercial laundry possible: Low-water, high efficiency washing machines have been changing the landscape of the commercial laundry world for the last 5 years. Increasing awareness of scarce, finite resources like water and a desire to reduce our collective impact on the environment has driven a move towards more efficient equipment. Xeros-enabled washing machines featuring cutting-edge XOrbTM and XDrumTM technology are currently hard at work in commercial laundries, dry cleaners and hotels around the world - including leading chains such as Marriott, Hilton and IHG. Many of these establishments are so impressed by the results and savings delivered by this sustainable solution that they quickly come back for more. One innovative cleaning service, Georges SAS, in France has 11! Last year – 24th June 2019 to be exact - these washing machines collectively reached an amazing milestone, having helped Xeros-enabled equipment users save 1 billion litres of water! New Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) Partner Licensing Model Launched to Meet Demand We’ve proven that our technologies save water, energy and chemistry whilst providing a superior wash quality. But we don’t want to make washing machines – manufacturers do that brilliantly and in huge volumes already! So, we have set up an OEM Partner Licensing Model. This means that, for the first time, manufacturers can easily integrate Xeros technology into their washing machines - allowing them to be more sustainable whilst providing an even better wash performance. Partnering with manufacturers around the world brings sustainable laundry to a wider audience in a shorter timeframe, and it means that laundry operators can continue to invest in the recognised machinery brand names with which they have built lasting, trusted relationships. At Xeros, we believe eco-friendly washing machines should be easily accessible for all. The Technology of Choice for World-Leading OEMs   A number of manufacturers across the globe have already signed licencing agreements to incorporate our unique water-saving XOrb and XDrum technologies. The biggest commercial washing machine manufacturers in both India and China have signed up, allowing their machines to use up to 60% less water and up to 50% less energy than conventional washing machines. IFB Industries in India In March 2020, IFB Industries Ltd launched their innovative, Xeros-enabled commercial laundry machines at the AAHAR - International Food & Hospitality Fair 2020 in Delhi. India is facing a major water crisis. Estimates suggest that 40% of the population will have no access to drinking water by 2030. The IFB team are taking the reality of this crisis seriously, and we are proud to be supporting them with the integration of our highly effective water-saving technology. Image: The first machine manufactured by our partner IFB Industries Ltd with Xeros and IFB team members Read more about our partnership with IFB Industries Ltd. Sea-Lion in China Sea-Lion officially launched their commercial washing machines featuring XOrb and XDrum technology at Texcare Asia 2019 - the main event in Asia for the laundry, dry cleaning and textile services industry. Sea-Lion is a market leading manufacturer of commercial washing machines and laundry equipment in the Chinese market. We are honoured to have worked closely with them since 2013 as the exclusive manufacturer of Xeros’ commercial washing machines in China. Image: A Xeros-enabled washing machine manufactured by Sea-Lion at TexCare Asia 2019.  Read more about our partnership with Sea-Lion. Benefits for becoming an OEM Partner Differentiate yourself from the competition By simply fitting our XDrum technology into your own machines, your customers could use up to 60% less water - which also means less energy and chemicals are used. Embrace change and upgrade to the latest technology to stand out from competitors. Minimise the upfront cost of design Developed by industry-leading scientists and engineers, our technologies have been proven in many countries around the globe over the past 10 years. Our experience and industry knowledge makes the process of design and integration seamless. The whole process is supported by our experienced team making it quick and easy to adopt our innovative solutions. Demonstrate an increasing commitment to sustainability We’re focussed on commercialising our technologies with manufacturers who share our dedication to protecting our planet’s precious natural resources. We’ve already proven our technology reduces risk for prospective partners and allows them to clearly demonstrate their sustainability credentials to potential customers who increasingly care about their own environmental footprint. How to become an OEM Partner Partnering with Xeros is a simple process. If you're interested in finding out more about becoming a partner for either commercial laundry or garment manufacturing, please email me or use our contact form and we’ll get in touch to discuss next steps. (If you're interested in partnering with Xeros for any other application, including domestic laundry and microplastic filtration, please use our contact form) Jamie Harrison, Licensing Director, Commercial Products [Sustainability, Cleaning, Xeros Technologies]

Technology Licensing Makes Sustainable Commercial Laundry Accessible for All

Jamie Harrison, Licensing Director for Commercial Products, tells us how Xeros is making...
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Garments shrunk in the laundry quickly end up in the trash - is it time to change how we wash?  We've all had clothes that shrink in the wash. A little tight around the middle perhaps, or with legs and arms coming up rather shorter than they were prior to entering the washing machine. When it happens to a favourite pair of jeans or expensive new outfit, it's more than just an annoyance - and once shrunk, the chances of clothes being worn again reduce significantly. The number one reason cited by people for disposing of clothes is that they don’t fit anymore, or have been damaged in the wash. So we know that if we can prevent shrinkage and other damage caused by washing, we can extend the useful life of our clothes - saving money and, crucially, reducing the environmental impact of the clothes we wear. Why Do We Wash Clothes in a Machine? For centuries, we washed fabrics and clothes by hand - gently cleaning them by soaking, and then massaging the cloth to remove dirt. Automatic washing machines have been around for a hundred years or so, and a modern machine - with its multitude of wash programmes - has mechanised and automated this laborious process. They've made our lives easier, and are typically viewed as a necessity in most households in developed countries. Unfortunately, however, machine washing just isn’t as gentle to your clothes as washing by hand. The sheer power of the machine can stress and break clothing fibres in ways that your hands simply cannot, damaging your clothes and leading to shrinkage - and ultimately, early retirement.  To understand why clothes shrink in the wash, we first need to understand a little more about what happens to them when they're made. What, Actually, is Shrinkage – and Why Does it Happen? Throughout the process of making our clothes, particularly the spinning of fibres and the knitting and weaving of textiles, materials are constantly under tension. But when we wash them in a machine they are subjected to heat, moisture and harsh mechanical action - this damaging combination causes the tension in the fibres to be lost, allowing garments to shrink and change shape. There’s actually a technical term for it - consolidation shrinkage - and it's defined as a change in the dimensions of fabrics and garments, including length, width and thickness. It can be affected by lots of things, including the type of fibres, how they've been woven or knitted into the final garment, and the harshness of the washing process. From one wash to the next, the signs of shrinkage can be subtle. But over ten washes, the difference can be enormous - changing your clothes dramatically, with waistbands no longer fitting, or trouser hems hanging some distance above your ankles. Other potential issues caused by machine washing include: Clothes sagging or changing shape ('shrinkage' can, somewhat surprisingly, also mean that clothes get bigger! Any change of shape that happens during washing is loosely defined as shrinkage) Damage to transfers, embellishments and other details Colours fading or running Pilling (sometimes known as bobbling) Shedding of fibres and microfibres Our Clothes are Harming The Environment. Collectively, we spend trillions of dollars on clothes every year - making the fashion industry one of the largest in the world. But it is also one of the most environmentally damaging - consuming vast amounts of resources and generating huge volumes of waste. Estimates suggest that more than 100 billion garments are made each year, and it’s thought that 85% of textiles are dumped into landfill yearly, instead of being recycled or reused. Fast Fashion - the culture of changing the style of clothing ever more frequently - has contributed to the growth of these numbers. Consumers are buying fashionable, inexpensive clothes and wearing them just a few times before disposal. Some surveys have even suggested that a significant number of people now see fashion as ‘throwaway’ – with millions of garments dumped after being worn just once. Wash Better. So, if we better care for our clothes, preventing shrinking and other damage that can hasten their journey to the trash, it’s likely we will wear them longer - reducing unnecessary waste. New technologies can help by significantly reducing damage caused by washing. We also need to rethink our relationship with fashion, and learn to love our clothes for longer. There are some practical steps you can take right now to reduce laundry damage and prolong the life of your clothes: Wash less often if you can. Most of us wash our clothes more than is necessary. Jeans, for example, rarely need to be washed more than once or twice a month Wash shorter. Long cycles can exacerbate damage. Short, daily wash programmes are usually sufficient to freshen up your clothes – they're better for the environment and will save you money  Wash colder. Most wash cycles are run at 40°C, but 30°C is actually hot enough to get all but the most heavily soiled items clean - and 20°C is even better! Use less water. Quick daily wash cycles typically use less water than other programmes. As a bonus, fewer microfibres - a major source of pollution in the environment - will be washed down the drain. Extending the life of a garment by just 9 months can reduce its environmental footprint by 20%-30%. This has significant benefits for the environment, saving vast amounts of water, carbon emissions and waste. In the long run, it will save you money too. [Sustainability, Blog, Garment Care, consumer]

Clothes That Shrink in the Wash are Bad for the Environment

Garments shrunk in the laundry quickly end up in the trash - is it time to change how we wash? ...
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The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals lie at the heart of everything we do. This is why. Over the course of recent history, the lives of billions of people have become immeasurably better. The living standards that many of us enjoy today are those our grandparents could only dream of. But in raising these standards we have put unsustainable pressure on our natural and human resources. Many of us now understand that we urgently need to find solutions to reduce this pressure so that everyone, both now and in the future, can live sustainably in a fair, safe and healthy world. Change Together, we must be unrelenting in our efforts to halt and reverse climate change, to stabilise erratic weather patterns and return the temperature of our planet to what it needs to be. We need to use less water and stop polluting it so there is enough to go round an increasing global population. We need Earth Overshoot Day, the point each year when we exceed the sustainable use of Earth’s resources, to happen later and later every year. Achieving these things will be a giant step towards mending the damage that has, to a large degree, been unwittingly created. Fairness The impact of behaving unsustainably is felt most often by people in the poorest parts of the world, where those already without increasingly have less. People living in countries growing cotton used to clothe the world are badly affected by persistent water shortages which are made worse by climate change. Many people do not realise that the clothes we wear have significant impacts on those who make them and our global environment. Our fashion purchases support a trillion-dollar industry but one which is the second largest consumer of water on the plant and one of its largest polluters. Thankfully, both individually and collectively, we can work to protect and nurture natural and human resources and create a better world. To some degree this can be achieved through the choices we make as individuals. But success, at scale, will mean making positive choices through system change. System change achieved by the adoption and achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. 17 Goals The UN Sustainable Development Goals are the roadmap towards a better, fairer future for everyone. They are a guide for governments, enterprises and all of us to live sustainably in the world we share. At Xeros, we believe that each and every one of the SDGs is unquestionable and have decided that the development goals should guide what we do and how we act. The technologies we and others develop directly benefit the achievement of a number of the goals, such as protecting life under water (Goal 14) and the provision of clean, safe water (Goal 6). If you would like to find out more about the Sustainable Development Goals and how we are working to support them click here. Mark Nichols, CEO, Xeros Technology Group [Sustainability, Blog, consumer]

Mark Nichols: Supporting Sustainable Development

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals lie at the heart of everything we do. This is why....
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Sam Athey has studied both synthetic and natural microfibres. We asked about her recent studies. Samantha Athey is a PhD student at the University of Toronto's School of Earth Sciences, and an expert on how washing clothes is generating pollution in the environment. Sam specialises in research examining how microfibres and chemicals from clothing are contaminating the Great Lakes and oceans around Canada. She has just published important research showing how microfibres from denim jeans are polluting the farthest reaches of the planet.... You specialise in studying microfibre and chemical loss from clothing. What led you to this area? During my undergraduate and Masters programs at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, I conducted research on the impacts of microplastics on marine and estuarine organisms (read more about this work here). What interested me most about this work, was how chemical contaminants interact with microplastics / microfibers and the implications of this phenomenon in the environment. For my PhD dissertation research at the University of Toronto, I am investigating the release pathways of microfibers and associated chemical contaminants. More specifically, I am interested in the role that microfibers play in the release of chemical contaminants to the environment. Microfibre pollution is a significant environmental issue. Can you give us a sense of just how big it is? Microfibers, a majority of which come from textiles, are a widespread form of anthropogenic pollution. These small fibers have been documented in nearly every environment on Earth, from indoor air in Australian homes to remote Canadian Arctic sediments. They have also been found in products destined for human consumption - e.g. tap water, beer and seafood. As I am typing this, I can see microfibers in the dust between my keyboard keys! Do you think people know about microfibres... and that they are unwittingly causing pollution just by wearing and washing clothes? Awareness of the microfiber pollution issue is growing. However, I do believe there is a general misunderstanding of the source and general nature of microfiber pollution. Most research and communication on the issue has focused on plastic microfibers. The problem with this view is that it neglects a large portion of anthropogenic microfibers that we find in the environment. Microfibers can also consist of natural or semi-synthetic materials (e.g. cotton, rayon) that are modified using synthetic chemical additives. While these fibers do degrade faster than their plastic counterparts, ‘natural’ fibers are sufficiently persistent to potentially cause impacts to ecosystems. These ‘natural’ fibers have been found to be widespread in the environment and, in many cases, are more abundant than their plastic counterparts. This means that research, communication and solutions devised to address this issue need to have consideration for the complete suite of anthropogenic microfibers (i.e. not simplifying the solution to just switching to natural textiles). You recently published research into the extent of 'natural' microfibre pollution from denim jeans. Why did you choose to study denim? This study came about in a rather unique way. My co-authors and I focus on different environments and in a lab meeting we were discussing the type of anthropogenic fibers we were finding in our samples. Cotton dyed with indigo was a common type of fiber throughout all of our samples. As the group was wondering where or what these fibers were coming from, Miriam Diamond - Professor and corresponding author on the study - said something along the lines of: Oh my - I bet it's blue jeans! Thus, the goal of tracing these fibers to their source was born. Ultimately, denim provides a prime and personal example of how the remnants of our clothing is far-reaching (from your washing machine to the Arctic Ocean). What did you find? We found microfibers to be abundant across all environments and sites that we sampled in our study - from the Canadian Arctic to the Great Lakes. One of the most common types of microfibers we found were cotton fibers dyed with synthetic indigo dye. Because these fibers were also prevalent in effluent samples taken from wastewater treatment plants, we concluded that clothes washing may be a source of these fibers to the aquatic environment via wastewater. To determine if washing blue jeans was in fact a source of these fibers to the environment, we conducted a series of controlled washing experiments. We captured and analyzed the types of fibers released from washing denim and compared them to the fibers found in the environment - and they matched! So, we were able to conclude that blue jeans are a source of microfibers to the environment via wastewater from suburban to remote areas. Were you surprised by the extent of the denim fibres you found? Sadly, we were not surprised to find denim fibers throughout our environmental samples. Blue jeans are a widely popular garment across the globe (with approximately 450 million pairs sold annually in the US alone). We know that fibers can be released from our clothing (including denim) during normal wear and tear, as well as washing and drying. These dislodged fibers can then enter the environment through several different pathways (e.g., wastewater). Do we know how long these fibres can last in the environment and the ocean? While we know that ‘natural’ fibers, like denim, do not last as long in the environment as plastic microfibers, our study provides evidence for the long-range transport of denim fibers (potentially via atmospheric or oceanic currents), as well as ingestion by biota. This means that these types of microfibers are sufficiently persistent to contaminate remote areas across the globe, where they could be of concern to wildlife. Could these microfibres be harmful to wildlife - and potentially us? This is a good question – and one of the questions that we have coming from our study! Now that we know these fibers are widespread in the environment and being ingested by biota, our next steps are to investigate the effects and implications for wildlife. Denim is made from cotton - classed as a natural fibre. From an environmental perspective, should we be choosing natural fibre clothing over synthetic fabrics? Good question! In terms of microfiber pollution, research is relatively limited, but past studies that have compared fabric types have found cotton sheds more microfibers than synthetic fabrics (e.g., polyester). This makes sense since one of the reasons synthetic fabrics are so popular is their durability. However, because all fabrics shed microfibers that contaminate the environment, the solution to microfiber pollution is more complicated than simply switching fabric types. When considering the environmental impact of the material that your clothing is created from, you should also consider other factors, such as greenhouse gas emissions, water and pesticide usage, etc. Science has done an amazing job highlighting microfibre pollution. But it hasn't really told us whether it matters - whether it could be harmful. Should we be concerned? Research on the impacts of microfibers is just now coming out and the impacts of plastic fibers (let alone non-plastic fibers) to humans and wildlife are still not fully understood. However, as we have shown in our study, this form of anthropogenic pollution is widespread. Until we understand the impacts, we should be taking preventative steps to mitigate the potential impact of microfibers on the environment. How can we stop, or at least reduce microfibre pollution? We have identified a couple of steps that a person could take to reduce the quantity of microfibers released from their laundering: Wash your jeans less often (manufacturers recommend washing once a month at most, if possible) Use a washing machine filter or other device to trap microfibers released during washing When in the market for a new pair of jeans, purchase used or second hand (our study shows used jeans shed less fibers than new jeans). For the most part, these best practices hold true for other types of garment as well. Should washing machines change to include filters to catch microfibres? In the past, some washing machines made in North America had lint filters similar to those found in tumble dryers. So washing machines certainly can be manufactured with filters to remove lint (including microfibers) and other debris from the wash. Research from our group has shown that washing machine filters are effective at diverting microfibers from entering the aquatic environment through wastewater discharge via washing. Politicians have done a lot of work on reducing plastic waste such as bags and straws. In your opinion, should they also be focusing on microfibre pollution? Because microfibers are one of the most common forms of anthropogenic particles (e.g., microplastics) that we find in environmental samples, I do think that legislative action on this issue is possible (as seen in California, Connecticut and New York). This may involve the establishment of diverse working groups to address the problem, establishing requirements for clothing manufacturers and evaluating microfiber filtration systems. Sam Athey. You can learn more about Sam Athey’s work on microfibres and the environment on her website and microfibre blog, and you can follow her on Twitter @sustainablesam_ All images have been reproduced with the kind permission of Sam Athey, who retains all copyright. [Sustainability, Guest Post, Filtration]

Q&A With Samantha Athey: Microfibre Scientist

Sam Athey has studied both synthetic and natural microfibres. We asked about her recent studies....
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Microfibres from natural sources, like the cotton used to make jeans, could be just as damaging Over the last few years many of us have become familiar with the word ‘microfibres’ – tiny pieces of the fabric used to make our clothes, which break off when we wash and wear them. In most cases, when we talk about microfibres we think of clothes made from synthetic fabrics like polyester or nylon, which are made from the same oil-based compounds used to make many other plastic items, like straws or carrier bags. When microfibres break off from these clothes they form a type of microplastic and are a major source of pollution, affecting the deepest parts of the ocean and the farthest reaches of the Arctic. But now scientists are beginning to ask a troubling question – could ‘natural’ microfibres, like cotton, also be a problem? Denim It’s estimated that on any given day half the world’s population could be wearing jeans. But our love affair with this wardrobe staple is having an impact on the environment. An important study by the University of Toronto has found evidence of indigo-dyed microfibres, from jeans in deep Arctic waters, sediment samples and the Great Lakes Huron and Ontario. In fact, the study found that fibres from denim jeans were so widespread that they made up between 10%-23% of ALL the microfibres found during the research. Other findings show: 1 pair of used jeans can shed 56,000 microfibres per wash More than 13 million denim microfibres could be released from laundry in just 1 Canadian household every year Breaking Down Until now, scientists studying microfibre pollution have tended to focus on synthetic fibres which present a potentially serious threat to marine environments and wildlife. Around 500,000 tonnes are released into the ocean every year from washing clothes and, once in the ocean, they last for a very long time. To date, researchers have been less concerned by the scale and impact of ‘natural’ microfibres on the assumption that, as an organic substance, they will rapidly degrade in ocean environments. But Toronto’s study suggests that may not the case. It shows that ‘natural’ microfibres can last a long time in the environment, certainly long enough to be transported great distances on Arctic ocean currents. And other research has suggested that there may actually be more ‘natural’ microfibres in the ocean than synthetic. If that is true then many of the natural microfibres shed from clothes made decades ago, before the rapid growth in the use of synthetics, could still be floating around in the oceans today. Not that ‘natural’ One of the reasons suggested by the Toronto researchers that ‘natural’ fibres do not break down in the environment, is the addition of chemicals during the manufacturing process. These include things like flame retardants or, in the case of Toronto’s study of jeans, the addition of indigo dyes. It could be these types of chemical processes that are responsible for slowing down the degradation of natural fibres in the environment. In fact, Toronto argues that these processes modify natural fibres to such an extent that they do not refer to denim microfibres as ‘natural’ at all. Instead, Toronto prefers to call them ‘AC’ microfibres or ‘Anthropologically Modified Cellulose’. All naturally sourced fibres go through a series of chemical processes whilst being turned into fabrics and garments and, just like denim, they will shed microfibres when they are washed. Should We Stop Buying Synthetic? If natural fibres like cotton shed as many (or more) microfibres than synthetics fibres like polyester, and they last a long time in the environment, should we stop buying synthetic clothes and only buy natural instead? This is an argument often put forward by some campaigners who believe that naturally sourced fibres are a more sustainable choice. But based on the latest microfibre research the short answer must be, no. There are other important environmental considerations too. Cotton, for example, takes huge amounts of water to produce, mainly due to it being such a thirsty crop to grow. Analysis by Levi, more than a decade ago, showed that a single pair of jeans consumed 3,781 litres of water across its entire lifecycle, with almost 70% of that used in just growing cotton. That’s more water than an average person will drink in more than three years – for just one pair of jeans. Further Study is Required Further research will be needed to understand just how long these ‘natural’ microfibres last in the environment, the impact they have and, crucially, what damage they can cause to delicate ecosystems, wildlife and us. But Toronto’s study of denim microfibres shows that we can no longer talk only about microplastics when we talk about microfibre pollution. Naturally sourced fibres in our clothes could present as big a problem to our rivers, oceans, wildlife and us. You can read more about the research into denim and microfibres in our Q&A with Samantha Athey, Microfibre Scientist. Or read more about the practical steps you can take to minimise microfibre pollution from your laundry. [Sustainability, Apparel, Blog, consumer]

Microfibres: The Problem is Bigger than Plastic

Microfibres from natural sources, like the cotton used to make jeans, could be just as damaging...
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Washing clothes, particularly those containing synthetic fibres, is a major source of environmental pollution. We take a look at the issue and suggest some simple steps you can take to reduce it... There is a certain irony in the fact that washing our clothes causes pollution. But every time we do the laundry, hundreds of thousands of tiny fibres - known as microfibres - are washed off our clothes, down the drain and into the environment. As many as 700,000 microfibres can be released from a single load of laundry. In the UK alone it’s estimated that at least 9 trillion microfibres are released into the waste water system every week. A significant number of these pass through water treatment facilities and flow freely into rivers and oceans - where they become marine pollution that can be ingested by all kinds of creatures, and enter our food chain and water supplies. Microfibres and Microplastics All our clothes shed fibres when they are washed, regardless of the material they are made from. This will come as no surprise to anyone who owns a tumble dryer. The ‘fluff’ that gets caught in the dryer filter is the same material – clothing fibres – that break off in the wash. A significant proportion of these are microplastics - shed from garments which are made from synthetic materials like nylon and polyester. Good examples of clothing manufactured from man-made fibres include high performance sports and outdoor garments, as well as any item with 'stretch'.  These synthetic microfibres are sometimes referred to as microplastic fibres (or microplastic fibers in the US!) and collectively they are the single biggest source of primary microplastics entering our oceans every year. Globally, it amounts to about 500,000 tonnes per annum - this is equivalent to every single person on the planet throwing 15 plastic shopping bags directly into the sea, every year. A Growing Problem In many households around the world, washing machines have become essential items. There are hundreds of millions in use around the world with millions more sold each year. According to Euromonitor more than 95 million automatic washing machines were sold in 2020 with almost 2.8 million sold in the UK. That’s a lot of laundry releasing a lot of microfibres and, as the global population increases, more washing machines in more households will mean more microfibres are released into the environment every day - until something is done to stop it. Stopping the Flow A permanent solution will require action at many levels and include: Producing clothes and textiles that don’t shed as many microfibres Buying fewer clothes and washing them less often Developing better wastewater management systems Another obvious place for attention is our washing machines. A very significant proportion of the microfibres released during laundry cycles could be prevented from entering the environment by simply re-engineering washing machines to include filtration technology to prevent microfibre release. But today, there are no washing machines on sale that have this technology. We believe there should be. So do others. France recently passed laws that require microplastic filters in all new washing machines by 2025. But until filtration technology is standard in all new washing machines, we will continue to pollute the environment every time we do the laundry. Fortunately, there are some simple, practical steps you can take to mitigate the issue until you are able to purchase a new machine incorporating effective filtration technology... Keep Clothes for Longer New clothes are great. The first time we wear them they look and feel amazing. Sadly, that look and feel can quickly fade as a result of washing. But while they may look great, new clothes also release significantly more microfibres than older garments when they are washed. At Xeros, our own data shows that a new garment may shed as many as 8 times more microfibres than the same garment after 5 washes. After that, microfibre release stabilises at a much lower level. So, buying fewer new clothes and keeping the ones we have for longer can significantly reduce microfibre release during washing. Wash Less Often There is lot of debate around how often you need to wash different garments for hygiene purposes, and how often you should wash them to get them clean. The CEO of the denim company Levi made headlines recently by saying he rarely washes his jeans and denim aficionados actually argue you should never wash them. The chances are we all wash garments far more frequently that we need to. And if each wash produces 700,000 microfibres, it stands to reason that fewer wash cycles will reduce the number of microfibres released to the environment. Turn off the Tap! One major factor affecting microfibre release is water. The more water that is used during a wash cycle, the more microfibres are released. Studies have shown that by reducing the volume of water used during washing cycles, the number of microfibres released from garments can be reduced significantly. This simple step can reduce microfibre release by as much as 30%. But be aware that some wash cycles which may sound like they could help – like delicate cycles – can actually make matters worse. That’s because they use more water and, as a result, more microfibres are shed. Line dry or Tumble dry If you can, you should probably line dry clothes rather than tumble dry them. Our data shows that while the lint filter in a tumble dryer can capture shed fibres, the process of tumbling could lead to a higher rate of shedding as the strength of the fibres may be reduced. Although, from an environmental perspective, by far the biggest advantage of line drying is saving energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Stop buying Synthetics? One suggestion that many support is to stop buying synthetic garments and only buy clothes made using natural fibres. But ALL fibres shed microfibres, regardless of whether they are cotton or nylon. For a long time researchers felt that natural microfibres didn’t matter because they would degrade in the environment - something synthetics don’t do. But researchers are now questioning whether this is true... Scientists are finding that natural fibres can persist in the environment for a very long time, due to chemical treatments applied during manufacture. Many of the chemicals they are treated with can also be toxic to wildlife. Additionally, ALL microfibres can attract harmful pollutants which are already present in the environment. On that basis, it makes no sense to favour natural over synthetic garments – plus, the land, water and fertiliser used to grow cotton means it is far from a sustainable choice. Lobby for Washing Machine Filters Effective in-machine filtration can make a significant difference to the sustainability of our laundry. To date, only one manufacturer has committed to installing filtration in new washing machines, but these machines are not yet available to buy. Environmental charities are lobbying for laws to be changed so ALL new domestic washing machines have filtration technology. In the UK, the Marine Conservation Society is campaigning for legislation to mandate filtration in washing machines. Supporting their campaign and spreading the word would be a great thing to do. If you’re in the process of choosing or buying a new washing machine, ask the retailer why none of the models they sell have filters fitted as standard (despite all of the models they stock having seemingly glowing environmental ratings) or even better, ask the manufacturer directly. While you're at it, why not contact your MP to ask what they are doing about this issue? We should all be pushing for manufacturers to install a washing machine microplastic filter in every product. Solutions built into the machine are best Recent studies by the University of Plymouth tested the effectiveness of various devices at preventing microfibre release from laundry. The results showed that the best washing machine filter, XFiltra (an in-machine filter designed to be installed by manufacturers in new washing machines), can catch almost 80% of all microfibres, Today, several companies sell filters that you can buy to plumb into your current washing machine waste pipes - assuming you have the space outside the machine to mount the equipment and the technical know-how to install it (or a good plumber on call), as well as the ability to afford them.  However, Plymouth’s peer-reviewed scientific study showed that these devices, which are not integral to the machine, caught as little as a quarter of the microfibres. The same study also looked at how effective laundry bags and balls could be in preventing microfibre release. The best example prevented just over half of microfibre release and the worst little more than 20%. But even when these products have done their job, how do you collect and dispose of the microfibres they catch? The chances are, many people will simply run them under a tap – entirely defeating the object and flushing the microfibers straight down the drain. They can also reduce machine capacity and wash performance leaving your clothes washed to a lower standard than you normally expect, and are only designed for use with synthetic garments. Keep it Simple Buying products like external filters and laundry bags help consumers take small, positive steps towards limiting the microfibre pollution released from their laundry. Yet in actual fact, simple steps like washing less often and using low-water cycles will probably have a far greater impact. Other ideas, like getting clothes manufacturers to perform pre-sale, filtered washing of new garments to remove the initial high level of microfibre loss, could dramatically reduce the overall release of microfibres from household laundry. Garment manufacturers already perform washing cycles before finished clothes are sold to consumers, so simply need to introduce filtration technology into their equipment. But the quickest, and cheapest step to minimise microfibre pollution from household laundry will be for all washing machines to be fitted with filtration technology as standard. France has taken a first step to making this happen with sweeping environmental legislation. If washing machine manufacturers don’t now take a lead on this, it’s likely other Governments will soon follow France’s example and force the issue. A recent statement from the UK’s environment secretary sums it up: ...manufacturers should harness the latest technology to protect our marine environment and we are keeping the compulsory fitting of microplastic filters under close review. As consumer awareness of microfibre pollution grows, support for filtration increases. A recent UK study by the Marine Conservation Society found most people (81%) support legislation to make microfibre filters mandatory in washing machines. But until the fitting of filters become widespread in the industry it is important that we all try to do what we can to minimise microfibre pollution in the ocean. Our laundry tips can help make a difference. (and of course, if you are a washing machine manufacturer or major retailer that we're not yet in talks with, please do get in touch to learn more about the benefits of our filtration technology!) [Sustainability, Filtration, Blog, consumer]

How to stop the microplastics in your clothes polluting the ocean

Washing clothes, particularly those containing synthetic fibres, is a major source of environmental...
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Xeros named one of 50 'Global Stars of Sustainable Textiles' by leading industry publication, Apparel Insider Xeros Technology Group has been identified as a leading company in the field of sustainable textiles according to the industry publication, Apparel Insider. Xeros features as one of 50 companies in the special publication “Global Stars of Sustainable Textiles” which was produced to capture a picture of an apparel industry in the throes of positive change, driven by an imperative to become more sustainable. The fashion industry is often identified as one of the most environmentally damaging, with many types of garments consuming vast amounts of water and chemicals whilst producing harmful emissions of greenhouse gasses and microplastics. More is happening now in textile innovation than at any time in history, largely due to so much money being ploughed into sustainability. The world of fashion and apparel needs these innovative new ideas like never before and needs them to be scaled. Brett Matthews, Editor of Apparel Insider Xeros’ innovative technologies help improve the sustainability of the clothes we wear by reducing the amount of water, chemistry and energy used during their manufacture and afterwards when they are laundered at home or in commercial laundries. They also extend their life and reduce harmful emissions including microfibres. Speaking about the launch of the special publication, Mark Nichols, Xeros Chief Executive, said: The resources consumed during the lifetime of the garments we wear is unacceptably high given our fast-growing population and rapidly shrinking natural resources. New technologies being developed by enterprises such as the Global Stars, identified by Apparel Insider, are essential to reduce the impact of the clothes we wear on our shared environment. The scale and speed at which we must adopt these new solutions must accelerate if we are to clothe the world without destroying it. Mark Nichols, Xeros CEO   Xeros Technologies in the Textiles Industry This year, Xeros signed an agreement to licence its denim finishing technology with one of India’s leading apparel equipment manufacturers, Ramsons. In denim finishing, Xeros reduces water, energy and chemical use whilst also removing the need to use pumice stone in producing authentic stonewash finishes. The Company is already licencing its technologies in domestic and commercial laundry and Xeros recently signed its first development agreement for the microfibre filtration technology, XFiltra. [Sustainability, News, Apparel, Publications, Commercial Progress]

Xeros Named Textiles Sustainability Star by Apparel Insider

Xeros named one of 50 'Global Stars of Sustainable Textiles' by leading industry publication,...
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The in-machine filtration device from Xeros captures more microfibres than any other device XFiltra, the innovative washing machine filtration technology from Xeros - designed to prevent the release of microplastics from laundry - has been independently verified by scientists at the University of Plymouth as the leading device for reducing the number of microfibres released from washing machines. XFiltra, was tested by Dr Imogen Napper at the University’s International Marine Litter Research Unit, alongside products from other companies to measure their relative effectiveness at capturing microfibres, released from clothes during wash cycles, and preventing their subsequent release in wastewater.   The results show that XFiltra performed significantly better than all other products evaluated. The tests, which were designed to capture microfibres in a mixed wash of synthetic and synthetic/cotton blend garments, show that XFiltra captured 78% of microfibres released during each wash cycle. Similar independent tests conducted by Xeros on purely synthetic garments, show that XFiltra captures over 90% of the microplastic fibres released from them. The University of Plymouth report and test data have been peer reviewed and are published today in the journal Science of The Total Environment. Around 500,000 tonnes of microplastics flow into the world’s oceans every year from washing clothes and textiles containing synthetic fibres, accounting for 35% of all primary microplastics entering the ocean. Mark Nichols, CEO Xeros commented: The pollution of our rivers and oceans with discarded plastic waste is happening at an alarming rate. It’s harming wildlife and our precious and finely balanced ecosystems, with microplastics from washing our clothes being a significant source of contamination. XFiltra was developed with the objective of eliminating this form of pollution and with the belief that every household and commercial washing machine needs to be fitted with low cost, easy to use filtration. We’re delighted that the efficiency of our filtration technology has now been confirmed by independent researchers as a world leading solution which provides every washing machine manufacturer with the ability to make a major contribution to the sustainability of garment lifecycles and our planet. MARK NICHOLS, XEROS CEO   [Sustainability, News, Xeros Technologies, Video, consumer]

XFiltra™ Rated Best Microfibre Filter For Laundry

The in-machine filtration device from Xeros captures more microfibres than any other device...
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Former C&A Chief Innovation Officer to Advise Xeros on Sustainable Apparel Technologies. Donald Brenninkmeijer, former Chief Innovation Officer and Chief Brand, Customer and Sustainability Officer at the international fashion brand C&A, is to work with Xeros to bring his expertise in support of the commercialisation of the Company’s sustainable apparel products. Donald will work as a consultant to Xeros, applying his passion and extensive knowledge in fashion and sustainability to help the group embed its products in the supply chains of major apparel brands and manufacturers. At C&A in Europe, Donald was instrumental in the development and launch of the international retail industry’s first ever Cradle to Cradle Certified Gold garment in collaboration with Fashion for Good, paving the way for a more sustainable future in fashion. Commenting on his role advising Xeros, Donald Brenninkmeijer said: "Everyone working in the clothing and fashion industry is critically aware of the need to produce more sustainable products. They are looking for solutions that can deliver significant reductions in resource consumption and emissions of harmful substances. "I’m looking forward to working with the team at Xeros to help embed their ground-breaking technology across the apparel sector, so they can make a meaningful difference." Improving the sustainability of the clothes we wear is no longer an option, it is an imperative. We must adopt new technologies and do things differently as consumers if we are to preserve our environment for future generations. The clothing industry is critically aware of the need for change with a number of brands and retailers implementing major programmes to reduce consumption and waste across the whole value chain. Donald’s expertise and track record in improving the sustainability of apparel supply chains, market understanding and insight across the sector, will be immensely valuable in helping us increase the deployment of our solutions. Mark Nichols, Xeros CEO [Sustainability, Xeros News]

Former Head of Innovation at C&A joins Xeros

Former C&A Chief Innovation Officer to Advise Xeros on Sustainable Apparel Technologies. Donald...
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Xeros process makes blue jeans greener Denim is one of the world’s most popular fabrics and with more than one billion pairs of jeans produced ever year, they’re one of our favourite garments. But our love of denim is putting enormous pressure on the environment consuming vast quantities of water, chemicals, energy and, for those who prefer a stonewashed look, pumice stone. The world’s biggest denim manufacturers use hundreds of tonnes of pumice every month, most of which will only last for two or three process cycles before it requires disposal, often to landfill. READ HOW XEROS IMPROVES THE SUSTAINABILITY & ECONOMICS OF DENIM FINISHING New technologies, including those developed by Xeros are emerging to address resource consumption and lessen the environmental impact of our jeans. Mark Nichols, CEO of Xeros says: "Improving the sustainability of the clothes we wear is no longer an option; it is an imperative. Without major changes in the way denim garments are made, the pressure on our environment will simply become intolerable." The application of Xeros’ products to denim finishing significantly reduces consumption of water, chemistry and energy and replaces pumice stone completely. Mark Nichols continues: “We understand that the industry is highly competitive and consumers are reluctant to pay more for sustainability. We have designed our products with industry leaders to help them achieve their objectives to improve sustainability without compromising on either cost or quality.” This week Xeros, together with Ramsons Garment Finishing Equipments Ltd will be showcasing our denim finishing solutions to major garment manufacturers in India at Garment Technology Expo and again in February at the Dhaka International Textile and Garment Machinery Exhibition. For more information please contact us at: enquiries@xerostech.com [Sustainability, Apparel, Xeros Technologies, Blog, Publications]

Brochure | Improving Sustainability in Denim Finishing

Xeros process makes blue jeans greener Denim is one of the world’s most popular fabrics and with...
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New paper presents detailed analysis of how XFiltra™ can help prevent microfibres ending up in the world’s oceans Every year more than half a million tons of microfibres are released into the world's oceans from the simple act of washing our clothes. For the last three years Xeros has dedicated itself to preventing this by developing a cost-effective and highly efficient filtration system designed to be an integral part of any washing machine. Today, Xeros is publishing a paper on its work offering a summary of the issue and extent of microfibre pollution, plus a detailed assessment of XFiltra including the results of our in-house testing data. It’s now well known that washing our clothes generates tiny plastic fibres that end up in our rivers and oceans. It’s also well known that these fragments are present in our food and water supplies. With XFiltra, we have developed an effective and highly efficient way of preventing this from happening. We have chosen to take the wraps off XFiltra to be open and transparent about our solution. Today, not a single washing machine is manufactured with effective microfibre filtration. I hope that this paper will help convince manufacturers, retailers, brands, politicians and consumers of the need for change. Mark Nichols, CEO of Xeros Click this link to access a copy of Addressing Microplastic Pollution From Laundry [Sustainability, News, Xeros Technologies, Filtration, Blog, Publications]

Whitepaper | Tackling Microplastic Pollution From Laundry

New paper presents detailed analysis of how XFiltra™ can help prevent microfibres ending up in the...
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Xeros is recognised by the London Stock Exchange as contributing to the global ‘Green Economy’ Xeros Technology Group is among the first cohort of companies and funds to be awarded London Stock Exchange’s new Green Economy Mark. This new classification, introduced on 11 October 2019, has been created to highlight companies and investment funds listed on all segments of London Stock Exchange’s Main Market and AIM that are driving the global green economy. To qualify for the Green Economy Mark, companies and funds must generate 50% or more of their total annual revenues from products and services that contribute to the global green economy. The underlying methodology incorporates the Green Revenues data model developed by FTSE Russell. It provides a detailed taxonomy of environmental goods, products and services, and is designed to recognise both ‘pure-play’ green technology companies, as well as those across all industries that make significant contributions to the transition to a sustainable, low carbon economy. Mark Nichols, CEO Xeros said: “As our planet and its natural resources become increasingly stressed, businesses and consumers are turning to companies like ours to offer sustainable alternatives. Just 3.5% of companies listed in London have received this award from the Stock Exchange, which acknowledges the work we are doing to create products that help to protect the environment for future generations.” We’re delighted to announce the first group of companies and funds that are receiving the Green Economy Mark. There is growing investor demand for actionable climate and environment-related financial information, with global asset allocations to green and sustainable finance increasing each year. The launch of the Green Economy Mark underlines our commitment supporting issuers and investors in the transition to a greener economy. Nikhil Rathi, CEO, London Stock Exchange plc and Director, International Development, LSEG   [Sustainability, News, Xeros Technologies]

Xeros awarded London Stock Exchange Green Economy Mark

Xeros is recognised by the London Stock Exchange as contributing to the global ‘Green Economy’...
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10-year development and licencing agreement with IFB Industries for domestic and commercial washing machines Xeros Technology Group has signed a major development and licencing agreement with the Indian company IFB Industries to incorporate Xeros’ unique water-saving XOrb™ and XDrum™ technologies into a range of IFB’s domestic and commercial washing machines. IFB is the leading Indian company in the supply of both domestic appliances and commercial washing machines. The agreement is a major step for Xeros in commercialising its technologies and an exciting opportunity bringing Xeros technology to the domestic washing machine market. Full details of the announcement can be found here India is facing extreme water stress. A recent report suggested more than 600 million Indians face acute water shortages and 40% of the population will have “no access to drinking water” by 2030. This agreement with IFB is another major milestone in the commercialisation of our cleaning technologies.   IFB ’s capabilities and market reach make them a very strong commercialisation partner in a country where water demand is expected to increase by more than 60% over the next 30 years with some 80% of the current population already impacted by water scarcity.   With this agreement, IFB’s customers will be able to reduce water, detergent and energy consumption whilst simultaneously benefitting from improved cleaning performance and garment life extension. Mark Nichols, Chief Executive of Xeros   [Sustainability, Cleaning, News, Xeros Technologies]

Domestic and Commercial Laundry Deal Secured in India

10-year development and licencing agreement with IFB Industries for domestic and commercial washing...
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Over 5 years Xeros has saved 887,275,729 litres of water To mark World Water Day 2019, we have calculated how much water our XOrb™ technology has saved our commercial laundry customers. During the last five years, our near-waterless washing machines, which reduce water use by up to 80 per cent and are certified an Environmentally Preferable Product, have saved just over 887.2 MILLION litres of water – enough to keep the taps running for a year in 5,377 UK households or to power 148 million toilet flushes. A rapidly growing, increasingly urbanised population is causing extreme water-stress in many parts of the world. Globally, more than 844 million people do not have access to clean water and by 2050 one in four people will be affected by recurring water shortages. Even the UK could face water shortages within 25 years. So, it is more important than ever that we work to divert water away from industry and processes to where it is needed most, people. We are committed to creating a more sustainable planet and to protect and conserve one of our most precious resources – water. Read more about our core purpose and how we’re helping our commercial laundry customers save water.   [Sustainability, Cleaning, Xeros Technologies, Blog, consumer]

Xeros saves over 850 million litres of water

Over 5 years Xeros has saved 887,275,729 litres of water To mark World Water Day 2019, we have...
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Commercial laundry system is the world's only washing machine awarded Environmentally Preferable Product status Xeros Technology Group has secured a prestigious environmental certification by SCS Global Services, a global leader in environmental and sustainability verification. The certification recognises Xeros’ commercial washing machine as an Environmentally Preferable Product, based on a life cycle assessment of the company’s 25kg machine, operated by Xeros’ commercial laundry business, Hydrofinity. Full details can be found here. To complete the assessment SCS Global evaluated the Xeros' Hydrofinity machine over more than 20,000 wash cycles, testing factors including: water use, energy demand and carbon emissions among other environmental impacts. The results showed that the Hydrofinity machine demonstrated better performance across the board including energy savings of up to 86 per cent (during the use stage) and water savings up to 63 per cent. The results of SCS Global’s certification is validation of the work we are doing to apply our innovative, sustainable technologies across our Hydrofinity business.   In a world where precious natural resources are becoming increasingly stressed, we can no longer accept conventional thinking about every-day, water and energy intensive processes such as laundry.   At Xeros we are committed to developing our innovative technologies to reimagine these processes and divert resources away from industrial processes to where they are needed most – people. Mark Nichols, Chief Executive Officer of Xeros Technology Group     [Sustainability, Cleaning, News, Xeros Technologies]

Xeros secures Environmentally Preferable Product certification

Commercial laundry system is the world's only washing machine awarded Environmentally Preferable...
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Xeros Technology Group welcomes publication of the Environmental Audit Committee’s final report into the sustainability of the fashion industry. Xeros Technology Group welcomes publication of the Environmental Audit Committee’s final report into the sustainability of the fashion industry. Xeros is pleased to see that the Committee has recognised the need to find a solution to the issue of microfibre pollution resulting from domestic laundry but is disappointed the committee has not gone further to embrace an immediate solution. In written evidence to the inquiry, Xeros recommended the committee should consider whether microfibre filters should be fitted as standard in all new washing machines as the quickest and most cost-effective solution to this form of pollution. But in today’s report the committee recommends the UK Government should facilitate collaboration between the fashion industry, water companies and washing machine manufacturers and take a lead on solving the problem of microfibre pollution. It’s good to see that the committee recognises the importance of tackling this unseen and potentially harmful form of plastic pollution.   However, it’s disappointing the committee has not taken this opportunity to embrace technologies, such as ours, which can offer an immediate solution and help consumers to stop unwittingly polluting the environment every time they turn on the washing machine.   Every week, UK households are potentially releasing more than 9 trillion plastic fibres into the environment just by washing their clothes. We cannot permit this level of pollution to continue while we wait for further research or for new fibres and textiles to come to market.   Technology exists to stop it. We are ready to work with Government and industry to demonstrate why filters in washing machines offer the quickest and most cost-effective solution to plastic pollution from our clothes. Mark Nichols, CEO Xeros Technology Group   [Sustainability, News, Apparel]

Xeros Responds To Environmental Audit Committee Report On Sustainable Fashion

Xeros Technology Group welcomes publication of the Environmental Audit Committee’s final report...
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Xeros Technology Group plc is calling on UK politicians to consider measures to lessen the environmental impact of the fashion industry. Xeros Technology Group plc is calling on UK politicians to consider implementing measures to lessen the environmental impact of the fashion industry. In a written submission to the UK Parliament’s Environmental Audit Committee inquiry into the sustainability of the fashion industry, which is examining the resource use and water footprint of clothing and how levels of pollution can be reduced, Xeros is calling on MPs to consider how the company’s innovative technology could be used to support measures across the industry to lessen pollution and water consumption. Xeros is asking politicians to consider whether filters should be fitted to all new domestic washing machines, sold in the UK, to stem the flow of plastic microfibre pollution into the world’s rivers and oceans. The company also asks whether the environmental labelling used by manufacturers and retailers could be amended to include information about filtration and microfibre pollution to help consumers make better choices. Xeros has also presented MPs with evidence about how its technology can be used to significantly reduce the amount of water (energy and chemicals) used by textile manufacturers during garment production, and asked MPs to consider whether garment labelling could be amended to include information about water consumption, empowering consumers to make more informed choices. Xeros Technology Group’s written submission can be found here Full details and background to the UK Parliament Inquiry into the sustainability of the fashion industry can be found here [Sustainability, Xeros Technologies, Blog, consumer]

Xeros calls for action to lessen the environmental impact of clothing and laundry

Xeros Technology Group plc is calling on UK politicians to consider measures to lessen the...
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XFiltra is an innovative new technology which can be integrated into any size washing machine to reduce the amount of microplastic fibres released with effluent by up to 99%. This prevents these potentially dangerous tiny particles from being consumed by plankton and entering our food chain, as well as being found in our drinking water.  [Sustainability, Xeros Technologies, Filtration, Infographics]

Infographic | XFiltra Microplastic Filtration

XFiltra is an innovative new technology which can be integrated into any size washing machine to...
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