More than 90% of materials used in our coats are made from sustainable sources. We use a variation of recycled materials such as recycled polyester (RPET) and recycled nylon for fabrics as well as lining and taping. Our garments are fully waterproof, designed for movement and created for everyday wear. To waterproof our products it is vital to add a coating. Therefore we have chosen to use a biodegradable polyurethane coating and bionic finishing which are one of the most sustainable options at the moment. None of our garments hold any animal products.
Rainwear has the essentials characteristics of being waterproof, breathable and durable. These requirements aren’t achievable with natural fibers at the moment. Therefore we have chosen to use certified recycled synthetic yarns in our products. We are aware that the use of RPET also has it’s consequences. In our line of products this is the best option available at the moment.
Rainwear by definition is designed to protect us from the elements, we have incorporated conscious design practices in an attempt to restore the link to nature, proving that fashion and innovation doesn’t have to cost the earth. Therefore we are committed to continuously search for durable and sustainable alternatives in fabrics, trims, packaging, labeling and raw materials in general. It is crucial that forward thinking designers combine fashion and design to create sustainable, functional and timeless alternatives.
In 2022, we have recycled more than a million plastic bottles into our raincoats, and over the next 2 years we expect to grow to a level where we recycle 5 million plastic bottles a year. The use of RPET is more sustainable than virgin plastic. We always strive for using recycled materials. At the moment we are researching the possibilities to make our products circular.
100% Recycled Polyester
Recycled polyester (RPET) is derived from the chemical name for polyester: PET. In the recycling process, plastic bottles are cut into little pieces, melted, spun and then woven into ‘new’ polyester fabrics. The plastic bottles processed in MAIUM coats are collected by waste collectors in Asia. These are then compressed and taken to the recycling company. At the recycling mill, the plastic bottles undergo the following sequential steps:
- Firstly, during the separation process caps and labels are removed from the bottles as they are made of plastic with different properties (e.g. a different melting points). This makes it impossible to recycle without separation.
- The plastic bottles are then processed into small flakes and thereafter cleaned.
- Subsequently the flakes are melted into pellets.
- Finally, yarn is spun from the melted plastic that can now be used to weave fabrics for Maium raincoats.
Some of the advantages of RPET are:
- The CO2 emissions during production of RPET is significantly lower than producing virgin (non-recycled) polyester.
- Ensures less plastic ends up in landfills.
- Not dependent on 'new' petroleum as raw material.
100% Recycled Nylon
Recycled nylon has similar benefits to recycled polyester, it ensures that it does not end up in landfills or the ocean and uses much less energy and CO2 emissions for production when compared to virgin nylon. MAIUM uses recycled nylon made from waste, in particular post-industrial waste such as from weaving mills
Recycled nylon is processed in the following way:
- Firstly, a separation process sorts the nylon from other types of waste, after which it is thoroughly cleaned.
- It is then shredded and compressed.
- Subsequently the compressed substance is depolymerized. This is a chemical decomposition reaction in which a polymer (organic compound whose molecules consist of a sequence of identical parts) is broken down into monomers (a relatively simple organic molecule that can serve to build larger molecules).
- With these monomers, the substance is 'molecularly' rebuilt, so that it can be reused to make nylon yarns. The fabric we use for our products are made from this recycled nylon yarn.
The advantages of recycled nylon are:
- Less CO2 emissions during production when compared to virgin (non-recycled) nylon.
- Ensures less nylon ends up in landfills or the ocean.
- Not dependent on 'new' petroleum as raw material.
PU is short for Polyurethane, a class of polymers composed of organic units, joined by carbamate (urethane) links. During the coating process, a liquid layer of Polyurethane is applied to the surface of a fabric to make the fabric waterproof, as neither recycled polyester nor recycled nylon is waterproof by itself. In addition to the fact that a PU coating makes the fabric waterproof, it is strong, has a long lifespan and no harmful toxics are released during its production. Currently our biodegradable PU coating is one of two most sustainable alternatives to waterproof any fabric. The other one being TPU lamination. We are looking for more environmentally friendly finishes with the same properties as PU, however at this moment this is not available.
A PU coating is applied in the following way:
- The recycled woven fabric, both polyester and nylon, is delivered to the coating factory.
- A liquid layer of polyurethane coating is applied to the fabric, including the desired color for the final fabric.
- After a drying process, the products are ready for finishing
TPU stands for thermoplastic polyurethane, which is an elastic, flexible and smooth form of PU lamination. Because of its durability and strength it has a long usage life, but moreover it allows for air to pass through, making it a breathable fabric - in contrast to regular polyurethane coatings. Although in production of TPU fossil fuels are used, our goal remains to change to even more sustainable alternatives as soon as they are available on the market.
TPU lamination is applied to the fabrics in the following way:
Recycled woven fabrics are delivered to the coating and lamination factory
TPU lamination, which also contains a layer of glue, is applied to the fabric.
It is pressed together with the recycled woven fabric through a heat press. This is typically done on the inside of the fabric in order to preserve the outside color or print of the fabric.
After a cooling period, TPU laminated fabrics are waterproof and can be used to produce MAIUM rainwear.
Silver lamination, used in our Poncho’s is made from a liquid mixture of glue, polyurethane and aluminum powder. This last ingredient ensures that it has the silver color. The coating forms a membrane, a layer that makes the fabric waterproof. This is applied to the back of the fabric in two stages. The layers are heated so that the water evaporates from the glue, upon which the glue will adhere to the fabric. Once the layers have cooled and dried, the fabric is ready for assembly. The silver lamination is applied in the factory where the pu coating, TPU lamination and bionic finishing are also applied.
Bionic-Finish Eco is an ecological technology for making fabrics water-repellent for a long time. Most water repellent coatings currently available contain fluorocarbons. These fluorocarbons have a negative impact on nature and can only decompose after a long time. Bionic-Finish Eco is a safer and more environmentally friendly alternative, free of fluorocarbons and other hazardous chemicals, including formaldehyde and paraffin. Almost our waterproof products are impregnated with this bionic finishing. Additional advantages are that you can wash them more often without the water repellency diminishing, the color of the clothing is better preserved and dirt can also be washed off the garment easily.