Go Natural!

avoid – reduce – compensate CO2

Sustainable product innovations by ZKS

Our goal is to constantly reduce and avoid the environmental impact of products, raw materials, production processes and logistics. That is why we are increasingly offering bio-based, biodegradable and recycled raw materials. This is how we want to achieve CO2-neutral supply chains.

Therefore, we take a holistic view of the entire value chain, from the procurement of our raw materials with the associated transport routes across our own production steps to the transport of our yarns to the customer.

 

On this basis, we can take targeted measures where we can avoid and reduce environmental impacts using current technology. Where this is no longer possible, compensation is made for our climate-neutral products.

How is the carbon footprint created?

The carbon footprint for each yarn is made up of very different components. The raw materials already play a decisive role. Even natural raw materials can cause high emissions at the beginning of the chain, but biodegradable at the end - and without emitting additional CO2.

What is important is the precise analysis of the individual carbon footprint for each product, on the basis of which targeted measures are then taken to achieve climate neutrality. The “cradle-to-customer plus waste” approach is followed here. This includes the extraction of raw materials, packaging, relevant logistics processes, the manufacture of the product, the delivery of the goods to the customer's factory gate, and the disposal emissions of the product and packaging.

 

Calculating the exact carbon footprint of your product takes about three to four weeks and takes place in parallel with the production process.

100% wool white
75% wool/25% PA dyed

Measures for CO2 reduction

Emissions occur along the entire value chain from raw material to finished textile. We are already reducing the CO2 impact from our production processes through various activities at our production sites.

Photovoltaic systems on our roofs

The roofs of the Zwickauer Kammgarn are already used to generate electricity.

Conversion from oil to gas

Compared with oil, gas emits less CO2 per kilowatt hour of thermal energy produced. This makes natural gas the more environmentally friendly alternative. Another plus for the environment and the climate is that gas can be combined well with renewable energies or environmentally friendly biogas can be used. Fuel costs with gas are lower and more constant in the long term.

Pretreatment waste water

Zwickauer Kammgarn GmbH has an ultra-modern dyeing plant for X-bobbins, tops and partly fibres at its Wilkau-Haßlau site. Re-treatment of the wastewater takes place here with internal and external monitoring.

Charging columns for
E-cars

Zwickauer Kammgarn GmbH has its own e-charging stations on the company premises for use by its own fleet, visitors and employees.

Use of energy-efficient IT clouds

The clouds used by Zwickauer Kammgarn GmbH are already powered by 100 % renewable energies with the aim of operating with completely CO2 neutral electricity in 2025. The cloud servers require only 16 % of the energy of local servers. The switch to cloud servers has resulted in a saving of 88% CO2.

Increase of E-cars in the fleet

As part of the company car regulations of the Peppermint Group, CO2 limits are set for the individual authorization groups, which are continuously reviewed and adjusted. Within the possible framework, the purchase of e-cars will be continuously increased.

We demand transparency from our partners in the supply chain on the subject of sustainability and increasingly also CO2 neutrality. We offer our customers an exchange on the topic of CO2 neutrality throughout the processing of our yarns to the finished final product.

Sustainable products from ZKS

The responsible treatment of people, animals and the environment is at the center of our actions. With this objective in mind, we select our suppliers and raw materials and build targeted partnerships. We offer our customers sustainable product innovations with transparency in the supply chain and in the production processes.

The know-how of the ZKS Group already starts with the raw material research and the purchase of raw materials on the world market. The selection of the optimum spinning technology, dyes and dyeing processes are decisive factors for a high-performance yarn.

 

For many conventional raw materials, we can already offer sustainable alternatives that are ecologically and economically convincing.

Our existing and further aspired certifications are the basis for the expansion of individual sustainable business models with our customers.

 
Through the highly innovative production processes, partly over several stages in the Peppermint Group, we are a solution provider beyond the yarn into the final textile products.

Product advantages

Use of regional wool

Classic sheep farming countries are Australia, New Zealand, South America and South Africa. Shearing of the sheep takes place on the farms in the country of origin.

 

The raw wools/sweat wools are sold in bales to the wool laundries/wool combers. In most cases, wool laundering and wool combing are done in one process at the combing plant. The largest laundries and combers are in China, India, Argentina, Uruguay, Czech Republic and Italy. Wool tops are produced there, which are packed in bales and delivered to the spinning mills/Zwickauer Kammgarn GmbH located in Germany and the Czech Republic. This involves relatively long transport routes, which are harmful to the environment.

 

ZKS also uses regional wool from Germany, France, England and Benelux to a limited extent. The sheep from these regions are not classic wool sheep. The wools obtained in this way are relatively coarse and go into special applications. The supply chain is transparent and sustainable.

Use of mulling free wool

Mulesing is the removal of the skin around the tail of sheep without the use of anaesthesia. It is a common procedure in Australia to prevent infestation with fly maggots.

 

Merino sheep are bred to have extremely wrinkled skin to produce as much wool as possible. Moisture collects under the skin folds and feces and urine in the anal area. This promotes fly infestation. Alternatives are targeted breeding, research into resistance to fly infestation, insecticides and vaccinations or to control the fly biologically.

 

This fly infestation does not occur in South America. In this sense, wools from there are always mulesing-free.

Use of KBT wool

Zwickauer Kammgarn GmbH uses organic wool. Our requirement goes even further. We buy only GOTS-certified (Global Organic Textile Standard) wool tops for a comprehensive sustainable transformation from the farm to the yarn.

 

Our dyeing plant (X-bobbins and tops) is also GOTS certified and thus meets the highest standards for the well-being of people and the environment beyond the legal requirements.

Use of KBA cotton

For further processing in the twisting and dyeing mill Zwickauer Kammgarn GmbH uses organic cotton.

 

As with our wool tops, only GOTS-certified (Global Organic Textile Standard) cotton yarns are processed, with transformation certificates  from the field to the yarn.

 

The subsequent dyeing process (X-bobbins and tops) strictly follows the GOTS certification in the use of approved chemicals and processes.

GOTS certification

Global Organic Textile Standard


Certification according to the GOTS standard pursues the goal of guaranteeing the organic status of textiles and credible product safety for the consumer.

 

The globally recognized leading standard for the entire processing of clothing and home textiles defines environmental requirements at a high level and requires compliance with social criteria along the textile supply chain.

 

In 2020, the number of GOTS-certified factories worldwide increased by 34% to 10,388, employing over 3 million people in 72 countries.

Use of recycled PES

In the case of recycled polyester, a distinction is made between pre-consumer waste and postconsumer waste. With pre-consumer waste, process-related residues from fibre and filament production are returned to the production process.

 

In the case of post-consumer waste, PET bottles are sorted qualitatively and according to colour, cleaned and shredded (bottle flakes). The chips are melted down and spun out again.

 

The advantage of both processes is that waste is reduced and less crude oil is used for new production.

Use of recycled PA

The options available to us are a mixture of more than 50% pre-consumer waste that is recycled back into the production process. The remainder is Virgin PA in this respect.

Use of biodegradable PA

Modified PA66 polymer that decomposes into biomass and biogas in industrial composting facilities.

(ASTM D 5511)

Use of bio-based and biodegradable raw material

The majority of plastics currently in use are based on petroleum. Biobased raw materials are renewable natural raw materials. Their origin is mostly plants. Industrial plants (corn, rapeseed, sunflower, sugar beet, castor) go into the production of technical oils and industrial starch as the basis of biobased fibers.

 

Wood has long been used in the production of cellulose fibers. In addition to cotton, linen, flax and hemp are used in textiles. In the aquatic sector, algae are added.

 

Biobased plastics are not necessarily biodegradable. Biodegradable plastics consist of polymers that can be decomposed by microorganisms using enzymes under certain conditions (usually in industrial composting plants). More details are defined in various standards (EU standard EN 13432).

Use of bio-based and biodegradable raw materials from 100% renewable resources

Biodegradable plastics can be converted into the decomposition products water, carbon monoxide or methane and biomass mainly by oxidation and hydrolysis processes. Biodegradability is rooted in the chemical structure. More specifics are defined in various standards.

 

One of the most important is the EU standard EN 13432. If biodegradable plastics are suitable for industrial composting according to this standard and also certified accordingly, they will degrade within a maximum of 12 weeks under the appropriate conditions in an industrial composting plant.

 

Biodegradable can be bio-based fibers, but also fibers of petrochemical origin. Biobased fibers are not necessarily biodegradable. Decomposition into particles that are no longer visible does not fulfill the criterion of biodegradable.

Use of natural raw materials

Natural raw materials can be of both animal and plant origin. In addition to the classic wool from sheep, other animal hairs such as cashmere or angora are also spun into yarns. In the plant sector, linen, hemp, jute and flax are already being used in the long term alongside cotton.

 

Whereas the production of viscose (cellulose fiber) from wood still releases environmentally harmful toxins, a direct dissolving process with non-toxic solvent in a closed cycle has been developed for the production of Tencel/Lyocell. The silk production from the cocoons of silkworms can be seen separately.

Chlorine free wool finish

Conventional felt-free finishes of the wool are based on treatments containing chlorine.

 

With a view to the environment and within the framework of our GOTS-certified dyeing and finishing processes, we only exclusively use chlorine-free treated wool tops in this area.

 

In this way, sustainably produced yarns and the knitted fabrics made from them have optimal care properties.

CO2 neutrality

avoid CO2 - reduce - compensate

We take a differentiated look at the entire value chain, from the procurement of raw materials and our own production steps to delivery to the customer, including the transport routes within the chain. The CO2 footprint of each product is analysed in detail.

 

Our goal is to increasingly avoid CO2 through targeted measures in procurement and in our production steps.

 

In addition, we have decided for sensible compensation related to our products and processes in cooperation with ClimatePartner.

TRIWITEX® made from 100% pure natural fibers

We combine our innovative TRIWITEX® process with the use of exclusively natural raw materials.

 

The structure of the core yarn with fiber content on the inside and wrapping by the protective filament is retained.

 

However, the filament portion here is, for example, viscose or silk. It is also possible to use a very finely spun fiber yarn instead of the filament. Natural, durable, long-lasting.

We support you in the sustainable transformation of your product range.

Climate neutral yarn

The various emission sources of our yarns are precisely analyzed, calculated and compensated in cooperation with ClimatePartner. With regard to the emissions arising from our raw materials and production processes, we have opted for a targeted project mix.

All projects are of the highest standard classes in the voluntary compensation market. For our customers, this means that they receive a ClimatePartner compensation certificate, which is provided with a traceable ID and may also be used for promotional communication of the final products.

 

  • Responsibility for the environment
  • Increasing the value of your product
  • Promotional added value for your product
  • Traceable transparency for the end consumer

The calculation of the exact carbon footprint of your product takes about three to four weeks and takes place in parallel with the production process.

Meaningful compensation

The compensation projects we have selected together with ClimatePartner reflect the direct link to our yarns. These projects are also shown on the digital compensation certificate on ClimatePartner.com.

Marine Conservation / Plastic Bank worldwide

Unfortunately, too many plastics and synthetic fibers still end up in the world's oceans. The Plastic Bank pays a certain compensation to the local population for the quantities of plastic collected from the sea.

 

Besides a main part of natural raw materials and an increasing demand for bio-based and biodegradable as well as recycled raw materials, we still use synthetic fibers based on fossil raw materials. We cannot influence the path of our products after they leave ZKS, but with the selection of this project we also want to take responsibility for these items.

Reforestation China & Forest Protection Peru

Sheep farming and shearing of the wool we use takes place mainly in Australia, South America, New Zealand and South Africa. The raw wools are packed in bales and go to China, India, Argentina, Uruguay for washing and combing for the most part today.

 

We want to promote a natural balance between pasture and forest in the countries with sheep farming and take responsibility for the downstream processes. Therefore, we have decided to compensate these CO2 emissions with reforestation projects in China and forest protection in Peru.

Example compensation certificate on climatepartner.com

How can we support you?

With our sustainable product innovations, individual product development and years of know-how, we have been supporting our customers in the sustainable transformation of their product ranges for years - How can we support you?

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After submitting the form, we will contact you in a timely manner to discuss technical options and jointly calculate an individual offer.