As the world clamours to find a solution to the problem of the pandemic, we all have accepted coronavirus as a part of our daily lives for the foreseeable future. While a solution or a vaccine is still in the works, companies have started innovating ever so aggressively to provide a hint of safety to consumers while we wait to tide over COVID-19.
India’s leading textile group Vardhman is leading the charge in innovative textiles with its ‘Travel Shield’ range of fabrics. The launch of the range, which marks a big step for textiles in India, is in keeping with the company’s four pillars – speed, flexibility, innovation and sustainability.
Despite the lockdown, Vardhman continued to cater to customers, upping their production from just 2 per cent in April to working at over 50 per cent capacity now, in order to fulfil any shortages faced by their clients. This, however, has not stopped the company from innovating sustainability. In addition to being stain resistant, water repellent, odour resistant, anti-viral and anti-microbial, the Travel Shield range of fabrics is environment-friendly too, having been made without the use of heavy metals.
For the purpose of developing Travel Shield fabrics, Vardhman has partnered with Australia-based non-invasive healthcare provider HealthGuard in conjunction with Britacel.
Setting itself apart
Textiles and apparel is a sector that has been worrisome for consumers, as clothing is a perfect carrier for the virus. Although many solutions and innovations in textiles have been in use before the advent of coronavirus, none are as effective or as sustainable as the fabrics treated with HealthGuard AMIC have been.
HealthGuard is a pioneer in non-invasive preventive textile treatment with a rich background in textiles for over 50 years. It has a diverse portfolio of companies it caters to including Target, Siyaram’s, TJ Maxx, Sealy, David Jones, Dr Pillow and Indorama. The cosmetic-based technology used in Travel Shield fabrics, in conjunction with Britacel silicon, enhances the washability of the fabric so that even after 20 washes, the fabric will be 99.94 per cent effective against coronavirus.
In fact, the test results have indicated that after 10 minutes of exposure on a 2 per cent AMIC-treated fabric, coronavirus was reduced 99.94 per cent and after 60 minutes of exposure, it becomes completely undetectable. These tests conclusively prove beyond doubt the efficacy of the fabric.
Speaking on the partnership and the use of HealthGuard AMIC to treat fabrics, Dr. Christopher Harvey, Founder, HealthGuard, said, “We understand the need for hassle-free applications of the fabric, hence, it has been enhanced with Britacel’s silicon to achieve excellent wash durability at ultra-low costs.”
Naishadh Desai, Managing Director, Britacel, is thrilled to be a part of the latest technology with HealthGuard and explained why Vardhman has an upper hand with Travel Shield, “Travel Shield offers a non-toxic shield to the wearer with negligible damage to the environment. As compared to other products available in the market which are integrated with silver – a metal that proves toxic to the wearer, the environment as well as the washer – Vardhman has selected cosmetic-based chemistry to stay true to their philosophy of sustainability.”
“When we came across HealthGuard, we thought of developing a product in collaboration with the company to achieve more durability and cost-effectiveness for customers as opposed to the competitors that are selling products at very high prices to cater to the needs of textile mills,” he added.
Widespread applications and compliances
Many companies have joined the race to provide anti-microbial fabrics which seem to be the need of the hour. From Ahmedabad-based Nandan Denim Ltd. with its range of protective denim fabric, Welspun India’s range of anti-viral home linen to Laxmipati Industries’ ‘infection-free’ sarees, the list of brands and mills hopping onto the bandwagon is growing fast. However, Vardhman has made the applications beyond travel for their range of fabrics evident.
Although HealthGuard recommends the use of AMIC-treated fabric for apparel textile, advanced textile and technical textile including mattress ticking, bedding accessories and face masks, it has proven application in all forms of apparel and garments as well. Additionally, the polyester and polyester blend fabrics allow unhindered breathability for unmatched comfort of the wearer while they stay safe from the danger of COVID-19.
On being asked if the finish could be useful for healthcare workers and bank employees among others, Ravi Chauhan, Innovation Head at Vardhman Textiles Ltd. clarified the air around Travel Shield’s myriad applications, “Travel Shield is a concept we have revealed, but whatever finishes we have highlighted are all applicable for outerwear, apparel, trousers, etc. There is no limitation in applying these finishes to other segments in the apparel sector.”
Additionally, HealthGuard treatments are compliant with current Biocidal Product Regulation (BPR), endorsed by Sensitive Choice (Australia) – National Asthma Council Australia along with being Australian Pesticide Veterinary Medicine Authority (APVMA) approved.
In a day and age where consumers are looking to protect themselves against the deadly virus at all costs, Vardhman has proven itself to be an industry leader in innovation by developing a technology in partnership with HealthGuard and Britacel that is durable, exhibits good washability and is cost-effective to the consumer in the face of coronavirus. The fact that it also takes into consideration the environmental aspect by ridding itself of any toxic metals goes to prove the dedication of the company to provide its consumer with the best innovations with the speed and the flexibility they promise.