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Smart fabrics across the board are changing the world today! Fabric, while essential to our daily lives, has proved a problem for the environment in recent years. Yet, Nordifakt wants to be part of the solution. Read on to learn how smart textiles can enhance your home.
The future is full of wonders, in every industry—even textiles! Will textiles blend with technology? Will they become something new altogether? To reinvent the apparel and home textiles industry, smart fabrics must be at the forefront of the market.
Thanks to advancements in the textile industry, our perception of even fabric—a material as old as people—is changing quickly. These advancements have been a catalyst for change in both industrial and everyday applications, changing how we interact with so-called smart textiles entirely. The development of these technologies is taking us closer to a future where fabrics are indeed smart: in their responsiveness, functionality, and style.
These smart textiles are intuitive fabrics that change in response to stimuli found in the environment. Heat, light, humidity, and other catalysts can trigger reactions in the fabric—these could include temperature or wick moisture, for example. Some may even include antibacterial properties, handy for applications at home or in medical settings. As technology continues to advance, its uses seem endless!
Traditionally, textiles were created to serve specific uses. For example, cotton’s breathability and lightweight keep make it ideal for hot climates, where airflow is important to stay cool. In colder climates, however, this airflow is less helpful—showing us that conditions call for a different type of fabric.
Instead of juggling multiple fabrics for different conditions, imagine a textile that senses environmental changes and adjusts accordingly to regulate your body temperature. This technology in bedrooms around the world could help improve people’s sleep quality, as well as their quality of life!
This isn’t the only improvement smart textiles can offer. From antibacterial fibers to more eco-friendly, longer-lasting fabrics, the possibilities for new smart textile applications are endless.
So what is it that allows these textiles to coin the name “Smart”? As previously mentioned, a smart fabric is intuitive in its design. Not only are these fabrics able to sense stimuli in the environment around them, but they are able to then react accordingly, changing from the more traditional structure of merely sensing these stimuli.
One of the philosophies of smart fabrics is that Eco-friendly and antibacterial technologies can go hand in hand. Antibacterial smart fabrics use technology in a positive way, to improve and make the products we surround ourselves with healthier, more efficient, and smarter. A prime example would be where these products can help the environment through the concept of using more, and washing less—saving both water and CO2.
Antibacterial smart fabrics have been known to help save water by an average of 1800 liters (475 gallons) of water/year. In addition, they can be washed cold without compromising hygiene, allowing you to make a positive impact on the environment because you can eliminate the high energy use of a warm/hot wash.
Washing less naturally means you can tumble dry less; another factor in creating a greener eco-system for your family and home. It has been estimated that, with towels alone, you can save close to 2000 kg (4,410 lbs) of CO2 a year (the same as a flight from London to Berlin)!
Hand, bath, and dish towels all need constant washing. Consider how, after just a week these towels quickly pick up a stink. While removing this bacteria from surfaces is part of the point, frequent washing is the number one cause of wear and tear on towels. It seems like a catch-22: the more you use the towels, the quicker you need to replace them!
Smart textiles with antibacterial properties bring a solution! Silver has been known for centuries to have antibacterial properties. Textile manufacturers have harnessed these properties by introducing silver ions into fabrics. Treating fabric with silver salt (silver chloride) in production stops odor-causing bacteria at the source.
Self-cleaning towels and other antibacterial fabrics require far less maintenance. You no longer need to keep reusing filthy towels in your kitchen, spreading bacteria right back onto your freshly washed hands or dishes. In the bathroom, these antibacterial face and body towels keep you clean and can help reduce acne.
At Nordifakt, we’ve taken the step of adapting these smart textiles for regular home use. Our sustainable towels and linens stay fresher than traditional products and do so for longer. Inspired by NASA’s water purifiers used in space, we use Polygiene® Stays Fresh silver salt treatment in our fabrics to target bacteria—destroying 99.9% of the bacteria at the source!
Reports show us that standard bath towels often collect E. coli and other potentially harmful bacterial matter after multiple uses. This antibacterial technology helps kill these germs before they can cause any problems. Plenty of apparel manufacturers from Patagonia to North Face use these treatments to keep their gear fresh while out in the wild. Nordifakt aims to bring this same futuristic freshness into your home, keeping your linens virtually bacteria-free!
With fabrics that effectively clean themselves, you save time on laundry day. Your average set of towels or bedding sheets can take up an entire load of laundry to wash—and the drying takes even longer.
Antibacterial fabrics don’t demand the same intensity of care as normal fabrics and according to a recent Arm & Hammer/One Poll survey, the average person spends an hour on a single load of laundry, and laundry as a whole makes up about 1/5th of household responsibilities. By cutting an entire load of laundry out of your regular schedule, you don’t need to stress nearly as much about time.
It’s not during just the laundry cycle where you’ll save time, though. Considering how absorbent and quick-drying our towels are, every wipe will shave seconds off your deep cleaning around the house.
Smart fabrics and smart textiles are handy around the home but are also great for the environment. The fact that these antibacterial towels require less frequent washing means you use less detergent, water, and electricity. In addition to reducing your carbon footprint, this reduces pollutants released into the environment.
Studies also show that the standard load of laundry creates large amounts of microfiber pollutants, which enter ecosystems through waterways. These microfibers come directly from the non-natural fabrics being washed. They also act as transport vectors, carrying chemicals to the environment. Detergent pods also prove to be a major pollutant, with up to 75% of the plastic from these pods entering the wider environment.
According to the New York Times, “scientists estimate that textiles produce 35% of the microplastic pollution in the world’s oceans (in the form of synthetic microfibers), which would make textiles the largest known source of marine microplastic pollution.”
Nordifakt towels are produced with organic cotton, do not contain these microfibers, and so they spare the environment any additional Microplastic pollution. And thanks to solutions like Polygiene® Stays Fresh treatments, you can save on the chemical pollution laundry day emits.
From fashion and apparel to home textiles, smart fabrics are changing the world. Fabric, while essential to our daily lives, has proved a problem for the environment in recent years. Nordifakt wants to be part of the solution.
Founded by Sofie King and Trine Johansen, our Copenhagen-based startup aims to green your home spaces with sustainable linens that stay fresher, for longer. Nordifakt’s towels are produced according to certified sustainable methods with organic fibers, reducing environmental waste in production. And in your home, they help you reduce your own carbon footprint! Less laundry means less water waste and plastic pollution, ultimately leading to a cleaner environment.
“We have an obligation to create things that are sustainable. Both in the product itself but also in the way it is used,” co-founder Trine Johansen says.
At Nordifakt, we’re on a mission to green your home, one towel at a time—and make your life easier while we’re at it! With our products, caring for yourself and your home has never been easier. Check out our towels today.
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