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Microfibre shedding standard due shortly

Reproducibility results show statistically significant consistency.

7th September 2021

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Brussels, Belgium


Cross Industry Agreement (CIA), a textile and apparel industry alliance between five organisations, has completed an important phase in its project to develop a harmonised industry standard on microfibre shedding.

CIA has published the results of a fibre fragmentation trial that has been carried out in advance of establishing a CEN Standard, which once confirmed, will also become an ISO standard, providing apparel manufacturers and policy makers with a vital tool as part of wider work to reduce microfibre shedding into the environment.

CIA involves the International Association for Soaps, Detergents and Maintenance Products (AISE), the European Man-Made Fibres Association (CIRFS), European Outdoor Group (EOG), Euratex, the European apparel and textile industry confederation, and the Federation of the European Sporting goods Industry (FESI).

The microfibre shedding test method was developed in 2020 and representatives from CIA have subsequently worked with CEN to fine tune details in order to meet the requirements for a CEN Standard. To verify the reproducibility of the method, the partners have carried out a round robin trial (RRT) to determine if the method could be replicated in different laboratories and produce similar results. Ten organisations participated in the RRT.

The results show statistically significant consistency, both within and between participating laboratories, which demonstrates that the method is both repeatable in the same setting and reproducible in other laboratories.

CIA has submitted the results of the RRT to CEN, with the intention that the CEN Standard is confirmed in the near future. Once this, it will be promoted throughout the apparel industry and will become a key tool for researchers, businesses and governments as they accelerate efforts to reduce microfibre shedding associated with garment production.

“A standardised test method has for a long time been the missing piece of the puzzle that has prevented significant progress in this area,” said Dr Katy Stevens, head of CSR and sustainability at the EOG. “We are delighted that the standard will soon be available to enable the industry to progress in both understanding, and mitigating the shedding of microfibres from textiles.”

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