Schoeller Textil establishes medical division
19th February 2012, Sevelen
Switzerland’s Schoeller Textil AG has a new medical textiles business called Schoeller Medical AG. The new subsidiary will focus on innovative healthcare projects and has launched its first product line of incontinence products.
Schoeller says that holistic health is now a mega trend and it is expanding its reach in response to the new demands and expansion opportunities created. Spearheading the strategic expansion of the Swiss company into the fast-growing health market are such developments as the Swiss Technology Award-winning iLoad fabric and a range of incontinence underwear.
In March 2002, Schoeller CEO Hans-Jürgen Hübner first presented his textile vision for a ‘mega health market’ to an industry audience in Taiwan. Ten years and numerous R&D projects later, the vision has become reality.
“With our developments, we are moving ever-closer to the cosmetic and medical areas. For that reason, we have developed a new company that now concentrates solely on activities of this kind,” is how Hübner, CEO of Schoeller Medical AG, explained the establishment of the new company last year. The first ‘ready for market’ product is a range of underwear addressing the incontinence area.
Good looking, functional underwear
Schoeller Medical is kicking off with a customized e-shop and is aiming its range primarily towards active, discerning consumers experiencing light to medium incontinence. For the first time in its long history, the Sevelen based company is now also offering a consumer product.
“Our incontinence line is called functionMED. With this brand, we are combining the sustainable functional expertise of the textile specialists Schoeller, with the specific demands made of a medical product,” explains Beatrice Gille, COO of Schoeller Medical AG.
According to Schoeller the underwear not only looks fashionable and offers excellent wearer comfort, it also provides protection from unpleasant odours and, in combination with a specially-tailored functionMED pad, a high level of leakage protection. With both options, the high-tech material is said to be highly breathable and ensures ideal body climate.
This first consumer incontinence product will be followed by an innovation called iLoad. This is a textile carrier material that can be individually loaded with beneficial and therapeutic substances, and recharged.
“The foundation of this project has been laid, now we have to examine and expand on possible application techniques,” explains Hübner.
To this end, Schoeller has, among other measures, acquired a laboratory with first class research and analyses apparatus for chemical synthesis and analysis and for microbiological testing.
“The future market for cosmetotextiles – for the integration of cosmetics into textiles, generally on the basis of micro capsules – is estimated to be around 500 million euro. We want to be part of that,” adds Hübner.
The technological approach for the iLoad textiles geared to this area is considered highly innovative, which is why Schoeller received the Swiss Technology Award for it in November 2011.
The Schoeller e-shop is online now at www.function-med.com
Author: Billy Hunter