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INDA rebrands nonwovens to attract young talent

To better reflect the dynamic, technology-based nature of the industry, INDA has launched a new tagline.

5th October 2017

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Cary, NC

Medical/Hygiene, Packaging, Industrial, Transport/​Aerospace, Interiors, Sports/​Outdoor

To better reflect the dynamic, technology-based nature of the industry, INDA has launched a new tagline of Advancing Engineered Material Solutions, which appears under its logo.

In addition to the tagline, the initiative includes a video that positions “nonwovens” as “engineered materials” and highlights the breadth of nonwoven applications; a new Academic Outreach Initiative to attract young talent to the industry; and is working with EDANA, the European nonwovens association, to secure approval for a new definition of nonwovens through the International Standards Organization (ISO).

“These three initiatives are critical to ensure our industry is properly recognised, attractive to newcomers and defined as being independent from textiles to enable fair tariff treatment,” said INDA President Dave Rousse.

Refined definition

This growing global industry produces high-performing versatile products that cost-effectively deliver features such as acoustic insulation, thermal protection, absorbency, filtering, liquid repellency, or flame retardancy. Examples include diapers, absorbent hygiene products, surgical drapes, cleaning wipes, automotive parts, and liquid and air filters, among many others that are essential to daily living.

“Our industry has traditionally defined itself by what it is not – which is a woven, knitted or converted product,” said Mr Rousse. “Some of our members are adopting more modern phrases to describe themselves, including engineered materials, performance materials and fibre-based specialty materials. We support this language refinement as we try to distinguish ourselves from textiles and instantly connect with those not familiar with our business.”

Connecting with up-and-comers

Recognising that young new talent is critical to sustain its growth, the association is positioning the industry in a new, dynamic way so people instantly understand what it does. “The term engineered materials is a far more comprehensible concept to provide the clarity needed to connect with today’s up-and-coming professionals,” added Mr Rousse.

The tagline was developed as part of the Academic Outreach Initiative led by INDA’s new Assistant Director of Career Services. The initiative supports members recruiting on college campuses by providing information on what the industry does, the products it produces or contributes to, the prospects for continued growth, jobs in it, and potential hiring companies.

Video and standard rework

Along with the new tagline, INDA produced a one-minute video that conveys the contemporary, forward-looking nature of the industry in a manner that appeals to young professionals. A third component of the rebranding of nonwovens is the soon-to-be-changed official ISO definition of nonwovens in the IS that forms the basis of the Harmonized System of tariffs and underpins trade agreements.

The current ISO definition states that nonwovens are “structures of textile materials.” The proposed new definition calls nonwovens “primarily fibrous assemblies,” a more general approach that enables tariff treatment separate from that of textiles.

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