Combination of water-based textile coating with regenerative fibers: Environmentally-compatible polyurethane (PU) synthetics for the shoe industry

Covestro and the Austria-based Lenzing Group have developed environmentally-compatible polyurethane (PU) synthetics for the shoe industry. The expertise of both partners complements each other perfectly: Covestro brings its expertise as a raw material specialist for PU textile coatings, which are based on the water-based INSQIN® technology. Lenzing offers its unique expertise in the production of fibers, a wood-based material that is both renewable and natural. 

The environmental compatibility of coated textiles depends on a whole series of factors. For example, the source of the raw materials, the use of organic solvents and the consumption of energy and water are important. The global warming potential of water-based PU coatings that use the INSQIN® technology is considerably lower than that of solvent-based systems. The TENCEL™ Lyocell fiber from Lenzing reduces the ecological footprint of synthetic leather just as much, primarily because it is manufactured using an innovative recycling process that conserves resources. 

“As a result, the shoe industry now has access to PU synthetics that set new standards in terms of sustainability – made possible by the combination of unique and innovative solutions from both partners,” says Thomas Michaelis, head of textile coatings at Covestro for the Europe, Middle East, Africa and Latin America (EMEA/LA) region. Thus, their cooperation provides an outstanding example of “Sustainability through Innovation” or, for short: “Sustainnovation.” It also fits perfectly with the motto “Material Solutions inspired by Sustainnovation” for Covestro’s appearance at stand D 22 in hall 3.0 at the Techtextil 2019 trade fair. This leading international trade fair for technical textiles and nonwovens takes place from May 14 to 17 in Frankfurt 

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