NEW YORK, June 28, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- ORTA, a
premiere denim manufacturer, awarded the ORTA Prize for
Bio-Inspired Textile Processes to a team
of Australian students from RMIT University who developed Enzer, a
water filtration and treatment system for microplastics that can be
retrofitted to washing machines. The ORTA
Prize was awarded on June 21 at
MoMA in New York City.
The Biodesign Challenge program partners
university and high school students with artists, designers, and
biologists to reimagine biotechnology.
The students of RMIT University tackled the issue of
microplastics that are released in the washing cycle
by polyester, nylon, acrylic and other synthetic
fibers. Microplastics are a growing global problem:
according to a 2017 International Union for Conservation of Nature
report, it's estimated about 35% of the microplastics
that enter the ocean, come via synthetic textiles.
About 60% of clothing today contains polyester, due to
its cost-effectiveness, high performance for today's athleisure
"We found the Enzer filter system very promising for
mitigating the runoff of microplastics from washing
machines that pollute waterways, simply by
fitting a filter onto the machine's water hose.
The filter has an enzyme that breaks down the microfibers
that contain these plastics. Microplastics in synthetics are a
systemic problem, and we see great potential in what these
students proposed, especially for industrial application in
water treatment systems," states Dr. Sedef Uncu Aki, head of ORTA's Denim Sales &
Marketing, PD, R&D and Sustainability.
ORTA Prize finalists also tackled the environmental damage
that Spandex® causes. A team from Fashion
Institute of Technology's solution was harvesting discarded
oyster shells for its connective elastin tissue that could replace
Awareness of issues around sustainability and ethics is
becoming a key concern for many in their apparel purchases –
especially for millennials, often called the ecomodern generation,
whose purchasing decisions are becoming more discerning. According
to the Millennial Impact Report, 87% of
millennials would be more loyal to a company that helps them
contribute to social and environmental issues.
"Rising consumption around the world is causing a landfill
and waste crisis, which is challenging ORTA to reimagine denim, and
turn waste and scarcity of resources into abundance," added Dr.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
BLU SUSTAINABILITY PLATFORM
Dr. Sedef Uncu
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