April 17, 2024

Sportswear Innovation: Under Armour Introduces Breakthrough Fibre-Shed Test Method

Under Armour, after extensive research in its innovation lab, has introduced an innovative fibre-shed test method to tackle the sustainability challenges posed by microfibres and microplastics. The sportswear brand has collaborated with precision testing solutions supplier James Heal to develop and optimize fibre-shed test kits for industry use, employing Under Armour’s simplified and repeatable method. These test kits are now available for purchase from James Heal, with ongoing support and technical guidance from testing service provider Hohenstein.

Over the past eight months, the partnership has focused on creating accessible tools for industry players to understand their contribution to the microfibre issue. Synthetic and natural fabrics shed fibres during production, wear and cleaning, and the goal is to make fibre-shed testing more straightforward and cost-effective for research and development activities within the industry.

Kyle Blakely, Senior Vice President of Innovation for Under Armour, emphasized the importance of early intervention in mitigating shedding and highlighted the company’s commitment to addressing environmental impact. Under Armour has not only made the test method publicly available but also provided complimentary test kits to high-volume textile mills in its global supply chain, encouraging early intervention in its indirect scope.

Michael Levine, Vice President & Chief Sustainability Officer for Under Armour, expressed the brand’s dedication to sustainability, sharing their belief that the composition of their products matters. As part of their sustainability goals, Under Armour aims for 75% of its products to be made of low-shed materials by 2030.

In addition to making the test method accessible, Under Armour is actively involved in a pilot programme to develop a reduced shed version of its largest fleece offering, set to launch in fall/winter of 2024. The company’s ongoing efforts include supporting the redevelopment of fabrics to shed fewer fibres, with the ultimate aim of improving product durability and performance for athletes.

Sam Tissington, Commercial Director at James Heal, expressed pride in supporting Under Armour’s endeavours to reduce fibre shedding in textile manufacturing. The company is offering global access to the Under Armour test method through the purchase of the fibre-shedding kits.

Dr Timo Hammer, CEO at Hohenstein, acknowledged the significance of the new method in complementing their current testing portfolio for textile fibre shedding. As a leading research and test lab in this field, Hohenstein is committed to providing neutral third-party testing and technical guidance to support Under Armour and its suppliers.

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