FAQ ecorepel®

All about ecorepel®

What is ecorepel®?

ecorepel® is a new finishing technology that ensures a high level of water and dirt repellence (mud) on textiles. The technology is environmentally sound, free from fluorocarbons and biodegradable*.

*in accordance with OECD 302 B (80 – 100%)

How does ecorepel® work?

The ecorepel® finish consists of paraffin chains that wrap themselves around the individual fibers of a fabric. This reduces the surface tension of the textile so that water and mud with a considerably higher surface tension run off simply.

Where is ecorepel® used?

Whenever fabrics need to repel water and dirt, ecorepel® is in use. The technology is successfully applied in clothing (particularly sports and outdoor wear), as well as in many other areas.

What are the benefits of ecorepel®?

With the ecorepel® finish, fabrics acquire a very high level of water and dirt repellence (watery dirt). In addition, thanks to the high level of abrasion resistance, the finish is permanently retained, even with heavy-duty use and following frequent washing. ecorepel® is also environmentally sound, as the textile finish is biodegradable* and free from fluorocarbons.

*in accordance with OECD 302 B (80 – 100%)

Where are products with ecorepel® available?

Textiles with ecorepel® technology are identified by hang tags or woven labels. Some of these consumer brands can be found on our website under customers. Should you require specific manufacturer information on ecorepel®, please contact us by using our contact form.

What kind of care do products with ecorepel® require?

Depending on the base material, textiles with ecorepel® finish can be washed without difficulty in the washing machine. In many cases they are also suitable for professional wet laundering. Dry cleaning (P or F) is not possible. Please read the care label on the garment.

Further specifications

What is so special about ecorepel®?

ecorepel® offers an ideal alternative to finishes containing fluorocarbons (see item “What are fluorocarbons/PFC”) while at the same time providing extremely strong performance in terms of water, dirt and abrasion resistance. ecorepel® was awarded the OutDoor INDUSTRY AWARD in the area of “Products with high ecological and sustainable value” in 2013.

Is the ecorepel® finish suitable for all types of textiles?

Yes. ecorepel® can be applied without difficulty to almost all types of textiles and yarn compositions. Prior to production, testing is usually carried out in order to confirm the effectiveness of ecorepel®.

How wash-permanent is ecorepel®?

Depending on the base material, the finish can withstand up to 30 washes at 40°C. Even after considerable use and frequent washing, the finish remains permanently active. After washing, the function can be reactivated by heat treatment, either in the dryer or by ironing. Please read the care label on the garment.

Are products with the ecorepel® finish also suitable for industrial laundering?

No. ecorepel® is not suitable for industrial laundering, but textiles with ecorepel® withstand professional wet laundering without difficulty.

Are fabrics with ecorepel® technology breathable?

Yes, if the base material is breathable. The breathability is retained as the paraffin chains wrap themselves around the individual fibers. The fiber interspaces are retained, and breathability therefore remains intact.

How abrasion-proof or friction resistant is ecorepel®?

The finish can readily be exposed to severe abrasion (for example from the constant friction of a rucksack in the shoulder, back and chest area). Both when new and following mechanical testing with up to 10,000 Martindale abrasion cycles, ecorepel® displays an extremely high hydrophobic capacity.

Is ecorepel® biodegradable?

Yes, ecorepel is 80 – 100 % biodegradable in accordance with OECD 302 B. Substances that meet this standard are considered fundamentally biodegradable.

What is the difference between “water-proof” and “water-repelling”?

A textile is considered waterproof when it prevents the penetration of water. In the clothing area, waterproofing for example can only be achieved with additional incorporated membranes, laminates or coating. A garment in the sports and outdoor wear sector is considered sufficiently waterproof from a water column of 2,000 – 3,000 mm. For higher demands water columns of more than 10,000 mm can be required. In order to achieve a water-repelling effect, a fabric for instance can be impregnated. This achieves a “run-off effect” on the fabric. Finished textiles repel water droplets and dirt and protect the wearer from light showers of rain, but do not provide waterproofing. 

About fluorocarbons

Is ecorepel® „fluorocarbonfree“?

Yes. ecorepel® is completely free of fluorocarbons and PFC, as it is manufactured on the basis of paraffins. As a result, neither PFC nor other harmful substances such as PFOA or PFOS are used.

What are fluorocarbons or perfluorocarbons (PFC)?

PFC is frequently used in the clothing industry to make textiles water, oil or dirt repelling. PFCs do not occur naturally and are classified as harmful to the environment and to health as they are persistent and either biodegrade very slowly in the environment, or not at all. Perfluorocarbons (PFC) are chemical compounds belonging to the group of fluorocarbons. They are synthetic compounds of carbon and fluorine, in which hydrogen atoms in the carbon skeleton are replaced completely (perfluorinated) or partially (polyfluorinated) by fluorine atoms. 

What is PFOS?

PFOS (Perfluorooctane sulphonate) is a biopersistent, bioaccumulative and toxic fluoro-organic compound (PBT substance). New legislation came into force in the European Union on June 27, 2008 regulating the marketing and use of PFOS in all member states. It restricts the permissible level of PFOS in textiles or other coated materials to below one microgram per square meter.

What is PFOA?

PFOA (Perfluorooctanoic acid), like PFOS, is biopersistent and has been detected at ppb levels (parts-per-billion) in the environment and in human blood. For this reason, the responsible authorities, in particular the EPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency), are searching for the sources from which PFOA originates and want to clarify how PFOA has made its way into the environment and into the general population. A withdrawal date for PFOA has been established.

How does PFOS/PFOA develop?

PFOS is produced by electrochemical fluorination (ECF process). Among other areas of use, PFOS-based materials are also involved in the manufacturing of water and oil repellent products. However, the largest manufacturer discontinued production of this raw material in 2002. PFOA has been used for decades as an emulsifying agent in manufacturing polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) and has been explicitly manufactured for this purpose. Although neither PFOA nor PFOS is used in manufacturing C8 fluortelomeres, PFOA traces can occur as contamination.

FAQs for licensees

How can I as a manufacturer use the ecorepel® finish on my own textiles?

If you as a manufacturer wish to use ecorepel® on your textiles, please contact us by using our contact form. Once your data is confirmed, we will send you the necessary information or material for testing in your production facility.

How is the quality of textiles with ecorepel® finish guaranteed for licensees?

Every fabric finished with ecorepel® is recorded in a global test system (AATCC 22). Directly after production, these textiles must be submitted to our laboratory and the functionality of the textiles is tested. Only textiles that conform to the specified ecorepel® quality criteria are released for sale to the clothing manufacturer. Finished fabrics treated with ecorepel® supplied directly by Schoeller Switzerland are strictly tested before they leave our factory. 

How can I as a manufacturer of consumer brands label products with ecorepel® technology?

In order to be able to label your products with the ecorepel® brand, you must sign the free of charge “Trademark License Agreement” with Schoeller Technologies AG. If you are interested in signing an agreement of this kind, please send your inquiry by using our contact form.

What is a „Trademark License Agreement“?

In this agreement, Schoeller Technologies AG grants the licensee the right to use the brand name ecorepel® for the marketing and sale of its products. Only those products which correspond to the defined quality standards may be labelled with the ecorepel® brand name.

How can I order ecorepel® labels?

As a consumer brand with a valid Trademark License Agreement, you will be able to order hangtags and woven labels as soon as the agreement has been signed and once we have received the quality approval numbers. Please send your order directly to lab@schoeller-tech.com. If you purchase fabrics directly from Schoeller Switzerland, please contact the responsible sales contact.

Is ecorepel® bluesign®-certified?

Yes. The technology complies with the bluesign®, the world’s most stringent production standard with regard to EHS requirements (Environment, Health and Safety). The bluesign® system guarantees the greatest possible exclusion of substances that could be harmful to humans or the environment and promotes the economical use of resources in manufacturing. Further information can be found under www.bluesign.com.

How can I obtain further information?

Please contact us by using our contact form.

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