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Mask Protect It!

Nur Hani Aqilah Binti Salehin & Thomas P.S. Ong
Nano Textile Sdn Bhd. Email: hani@nanotextile-admin

Let us see what 2022 will start with. One obvious thing to be sure of is wearing a mask. Malaysians are still masking either in open places or fully vaccinated and obviously in crowded places too. Since the Delta and Omicron virus has spread out through the entire country, masking is necessary while double masking has been one step ahead for more protection.

Double mask as a new way of life! “In high-risk environments such as hospitals, it is recommended that you wear a double face mask and a face shield”

“There is no need for a double face mask in public areas, but it is obligatory to wear a face mask,” said Malaysian Health Director-General Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah. He recommended Malaysians take extra precautions when visiting high-risk public places such as hospitals as at the moment, the infection caused by the Omicron variant of the coronavirus is rapidly spreading throughout the world. This variant is wellknown for its high transmissibility rate, but it is not as severe as its ancestor, the Delta variant. Nevertheless, without hesitation and compulsion, we as Malaysians began to take precautionary measures by wearing a double face mask anywhere whether on the train, in the mall, or in the cinema.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) undertook much research in January 2021 to improve mask function and reduce COVID-19 transmission. It was determined that ‘double-masking,’ or knotting the ear loops of a 3-ply mask and adjusting it to fit snugly to the face, can give more protection for the mask-wearer and those around them.

Since there are many types of face masks that have been designed such as N95 mask protection, KN95, KF94, surgical mask, 3-ply disposable mask, fabric mask, etc, there are some people who perform double masking incorrectly. Some may just double the 3-ply mask, while others may double the KF94 mask, resulting in an 8-ply mask that makes breathing difficult and highly discouraged.

The method of double masking is simple, it involves putting two different and correct combination types of face masks on your face. The CDC recommends a 3-ply disposable or surgical face mask with a cloth mask.

When double masking, it is critical to ensure that the masks fit exactly against the sides of the face so have no holes for air to flow inside and out. Next level of protection Can you picture doubling your masking while also tripling your protection? It has provided you with additional protection against bacteria and some types of viruses. Choosing a cloth mask with antibacterial properties will provide further protection. Antibacterial characteristics are all the rage these days, and their incorporation into clothes and Muslimah dress has taken it to the next level, particularly in Malaysia. Unfortunately, one of the most common questions from buyers before purchasing a product is, “How can we know  if this product is antibacterial?”

Yes, people will not buy the product if they’re unsure. But there will be no loyal customer when there is no first buyer. Hence, at the end of the day, they will buy it with the conviction of the founder or other buyer. This concern has been appearing in antibacterial face mask. But, if people consider on the benefit, truly they will purchase it. One advantage of antibacterial face masks is that they operate as a silent defender. Whether it is a cloth mask or a disposable mask, it helps

reduce the danger of transferring bacteria and viruses into your hands when adjusting it. However, it is important to note that antibacterial face masks cannot destroy the COVID-19 virus, as there is no study to support this claim.

If you wonder how an antibacterial face mask works?

Click and read at this article for more insight:

Covid-19: How Antibacterial Textile Guide You Through The Darkness?

There are many brands in Malaysia that started to sell the antibacterial face mask mainly for cloth mask, such as Three Little Ahmads, CalaQisya, TudungPeople and for disposable face mask, Yukazan is one of the antibacterial face mask producers.

How to clean an antibacterial face mask? 
The face mask with antibacterial characteristics on the inside may be washed as usual. If you buy an antimicrobial disposable face mask, simply fold the outside corners together and toss it in the trash. If, on the other hand, you purchase an antibacterial fabric mask, you should gentle wash it in room temperature water with a standard grade detergent. However, the fabric mask can also be hand-washed but without chlorine bleach, and the face mask can be dried by hanging damp from
a line or bar.

Article Link: https://textilevaluechain.in/news-insights/mask-protect-it/

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NanoTextile Shares The Right Way Of Wearing Double Mask

When double masking, it is critical to ensure that the masks fit exactly against the sides of the face so have no holes for air to flow inside and out.

Let us see what 2022 will start with. One obvious thing to be sure of is wearing a mask. Malaysians are still masking either in open places or fully vaccinated and obviously in crowded places too. Since the Delta and Omicron virus has spread out through the entire country, masking is necessary while double masking has been one step ahead for more protection.

Double mask as a new way of life

“In high-risk environments such as hospitals, it is recommended that you wear a double face mask and a face shield”

“There is no need for a double face mask in public areas, but it is obligatory to wear a face mask,” said Malaysian Health Director-General Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah. He recommended Malaysians take extra precautions when visiting high-risk public places such as hospitals as, at the moment, the infection caused by the Omicron variant of the coronavirus is rapidly spreading throughout the world. This variant is well-known for its high transmissibility rate, but it is not as severe as its ancestor, the Delta variant. Nevertheless, without hesitation and compulsion, we as Malaysians began to take precautionary measures by wearing a double face mask anywhere whether on the train, in the mall, or in the cinema.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) undertook much research in January 2021 to improve mask function and reduce COVID-19 transmission. It was determined that ‘double-masking,’ or knotting the ear loops of a 3-ply mask and adjusting it to fit snugly to the face, can give more protection to the mask-wearer and those around them.

Source: https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/70/wr/mm7007e1.htm?s_cid=mm7007e1_w 

Since there are many types of face masks that have been designed such as N95 mask protection, KN95, KF94, surgical mask, 3-ply disposable mask, fabric mask, etc, there are some people who perform double masking incorrectly. Some may just double the 3-ply mask, while others may double the KF94 mask, resulting in an 8-ply mask that makes breathing difficult and highly discouraged.

The method of double masking is simple, it involves putting two different and correct combination types of face masks on your face. The CDC recommends a 3-ply disposable or surgical face mask with a cloth mask. When double masking, it is critical to ensure that the masks fit exactly against the sides of the face so have no holes for air to flow inside and out.  

Next level of protection

Can you picture doubling your masking while also tripling your protection? It has provided you with additional protection against bacteria and some types of viruses. Choosing a cloth mask with antibacterial properties will provide further protection. Antibacterial characteristics are all the rage these days, and their incorporation into clothes and Muslimah dress has taken it to the next level, particularly in Malaysia. Unfortunately, one of the most common questions from buyers before purchasing a product is, “How can we know if this product is antibacterial?”

Yes, people will not buy the product if they’re unsure. But there will be no loyal customer when there is no first buyer. Hence, at the end of the day, they will buy it with the conviction of the founder or other buyer.

This concern has appeared in antibacterial face masks. But, if people consider the benefit, truly they will purchase it. One advantage of antibacterial face masks is that they operate as a silent defender. Whether it is a cloth mask or a disposable mask, it helps to reduce the danger of transferring bacteria and viruses into your hands when adjusting it. However, it is important to note that antibacterial face masks cannot destroy the COVID-19 virus, as there is no study to support this claim.

If you wonder how an antibacterial face mask works? Click and read this article for more insight. There are many brands in Malaysia that started to sell the antibacterial face mask mainly for cloth masks, such as Three Little AhmadsCalaQisyaTudungPeople and for disposable face masks, Yukazan is one of the antibacterial face mask producers.

How to clean an antibacterial face mask?

The face mask with antibacterial characteristics on the inside may be washed as usual. If you buy an antimicrobial disposable face mask, simply fold the outside corners together and toss it in the trash. If, on the other hand, you purchase an antibacterial fabric mask, you should gently wash it in room temperature water with a standard grade detergent. However, the fabric mask can also be hand-washed but without chlorine bleach, and the face mask can be dried by hanging damp from a line or bar.

https://youtube.com/watch?v=zroZr8ywe5c%3Fenablejsapi%3D1%26autoplay%3D0%26cc_load_policy%3D0%26cc_lang_pref%3D%26iv_load_policy%3D1%26loop%3D0%26modestbranding%3D1%26rel%3D1%26fs%3D1%26playsinline%3D0%26autohide%3D2%26theme%3Ddark%26color%3Dred%26controls%3D1%26

NanoTextile has launched a YouTube channel that is going to be an easy platform for viewers and partners to have more insights into their content. Feel free to visit NanoTextile YouTube channel if you want to get more information about nanotechnologies in textile industry.

Article Link: https://www.wargabiz.com.my/2022/04/21/nanotextile-shares-the-right-way-of-wearing-double-mask/?fbclid=IwAR2kiWd95o2qm2P1C_feKMNfOpJ8YEcX8kFJ30E1eEUsSekm6tXHM_7UMRE

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NanoTextile Strengthens its Growth for Asian Business, Boosting Functional Clothing Business Despite Pandemic

The company provides direct B2B customization of fabric tech offerings.

Malaysia-based fabric manufacturer, Nanotextile, grew by over 200% in the last quarter of the financial year ending 31 December 2021.

The company provides direct business-to-business customisation of new technology offerings to businesses of all sizes, for value-added clothing range and textile products. Along with five new clothing segments explored this year, clients can now integrate NanoTextile’s technologies into their products and provide new offerings for their end customers. NanoTextile’s proprietary technologies unlock the opportunities to advance with the functional fibre and fabrics industry.

“If Grab is e-hailing of taxi service that doesn’t own a taxi, then NanoTextile is textile and clothing functional technology provider that doesn’t own a textile mill,” said CEO Thomas Ong.

In April 2021, NanoTextile participated amongst 21 companies worldwide to pitch, showcasing its role in the support of this movement, at the Fashion for Good South Asia Innovation Programme. Fashion for Good is a global initiative offering support and roadmaps by fostering sector-wide collaboration to enable the invention and adoption of good fashion practices. In line with the efforts to reduce carbon footprint, NanoTextile has expanded the practice of reusable shipping containers.

The Corporate Strategy and Communication team of NanoTextile have been crafting complementary partnership models with selected international and local fashion, apparel, business media partners such as Fibre2Fashion, Textile Value Chain, WargaBiz, etc.

The company has collaborated with brands such as FILA, Polo Haus, PONEY Kids Wear, and regional Muslimah fashion brands. It has recently supported Volvo Car Malaysia’s sustainability movement.

Article Link: NanoTextile strengthens growth for Asian business, boosts functional clothing business

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Protection Stays on Checked

After Malaysia has lifted Movement Control Order (MCO) as the vaccination drive kicks in, most of us have been ready for the outdoors. Parks are blooming with people, and socially distant gatherings are becoming the norm. However, it’s clear that the world crisis isn’t quite over yet with the recent COVID-19 variants emerging, Omicron, and natural disaster events ongoing.

Climate changes are no longer theoretical

Malaysia was overwhelmed by the flood ravages in December 2021, which affected over 700,000 lives. According to MET Malaysia Director-General Muhammad Helmi Abdullah, one of the most obvious impacts of global warming that Malaysia is currently witnessing is a consistent rise in its yearly average temperature. The UV radiation intensity is greatest near the equator and decreases with increasing latitude. Considering Malaysia is close to the equator, he reported that the UV index could be extremely high.

The uncertainty of current challenging climate system clearly affects rainfall, humidity patterns and temperature. For certain, next extreme disaster may be on its way and, are we ready?

Malaysia has encouraged people to return to work and socialize, which will result in greater sun exposure. Moderate sun exposure is essential for the human body to synthesize vitamin D, which is critical for bone growth, immunological function, and blood cell creation (Young 1993). However, excessive exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation, on the other hand, has its own set of health hazards, such as skin cancer diseases.

While people go outdoors searching for regularity, staying healthy and safe will still be a top priority. ‘Being protected’ has received reactive responses throughout the pandemic as the demand for hygienic products kept rising in 2020 and 2021. In fashion industry, it is also expected to inch towards rosier conditions. Backed up from the 2022 McKinsey Fashion Report, consumers started to buy other segments to ‘reboot’ their wardrobe instead of loungewear and sportswear for nearly a year of pandemics. The so-called “revenge shopping” in a more casual, event, and functional wear, for more social lives outside their home.

What can we do to protect ourselves?

With public awareness of health and safety concerns at an all-time high, people took preventive measures to prepare for anything life threw at them. As they re-evaluate their mindsets, feeling protected and secured plays a bigger role in their decision-making. Hence, brands have a vital role in putting forward their consumer’s needs.

Allied with NanoTextile’s endeavour to enhance the efficacy of textiles to improve human lifestyle. Their leading Hygienic series technology can prevent the development of microorganisms and unpleasant odors on clothing. It provides extra protection to maintain people’s pandemic lifestyles while staying fresh and confident throughout the day. The company has launched Protection Stays on Checked, as people need to be protected from any threats; viral and microorganism, insects, electrostatic, and much more. Harmful UV rays, are also in the bargain. 

Of course, there are several ways to protect yourself from the sun and harmful UV radiation. Sunscreen is undoubtedly the most well-known product on the market, a must-have item for everyone. A study, however, found that sunscreen is not as safe and efficient as the physical barrier, such as shades or sun protective cloth with high UPF.

What is Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF)?

Sun protective clothing has a rating known as the ultraviolet protection factor (UPF). UPF indicates how much the cloth absorbs UV light. We must understand that not every piece of clothing provides equivalent UV protection. UV rays can still permeate clothes, particularly thin or light-colored materials. Look for clothes with a UPF of 15 to 50 or higher in a cloth label. Higher UPF means higher protection.

Why you should not be completely reliant on sunscreen to stay protected?

1. It is difficult to completely protect all parts of the skin.

It is hard to quantify how much sunscreen is enough for the maximum protection of our skin. People may find it time-consuming therefore neglect to do so.

2. Most research proposed that barrier methods, including clothing and shade, are more effective than sunscreen in reducing exposure to solar UV and preventing skin cancer.

According to research, frequent shade and long sleeve use are related to less self-reported burns rather than sunscreen. Physical barriers include photoprotection using special clothing composed of various materials and treatment protects against UVB and UVA rays (Diaz 2013, Gasparro 1998; Latha 2013).

3. With sunscreen, you need to keep applying to maintain its maximum effect.

Sunscreen must be applied 20-30 minutes before going outside and reapplied every two hours. Some people find it hard to be in the habit of using and reapplying sunscreen after sweating, swimming, or towelling off because no sunscreen is completely waterproof.

4. Chemicals associated with sunscreen

To protect against UV rays, it is critical to apply enough sunscreen consistently across the skin. However, some people are allergic to sunscreen ingredients, causing adverse reactions, such as those battling rosacea – extreme sensitiveness, causing pimples or red bumps.

5. It is not enough to only protect the face with sunscreen

Exposure to UVA is responsible for ageing the skin, where UVB causes burning. Skin cancer can occur anywhere over the body; thus, clothing is vital, covering the unprotected body areas.

Hence, combining both sunscreen and UV protection wear is the most effective way to protect oneself from the sun’s damaging effects.

Regular clothes or UV protection wear?

1. Ordinary clothing doesn’t protect you from UV Damage.

Many people will burn while wearing thin, light, airy clothes that provide only UPF 3 – 5. It offers very little protection from sun exposure. To get enough protection mostly clothes are heavy, dark, or layered (hot and unpleasant), with only specific and conventional designs available.

2. UV Protection cloth reliable and practical – took only 2 secs to protect.

UV Protection cloth protects your skin with less effort and is handy in any situation –work, play, or relaxing with loved ones. It protects like sunscreen; a shirt with a UPF of 40 takes 40 times longer for your skin to burn than bare skin, and you never need to reapply!

3. NanoTextile UV technology makes your existing fabrics and clothing lines block UVA and UVB.

Without changing the fabric, design, or even supplier, their technology may incorporate in your existing light clothing, which can unfold up to UPF of 50+, blocking 98% of all UV rays. It will even prolong their lifespan.

One layer can make all the differences

With NanoTextile, brands can enhance their existing products or ready-to-wear (RTW) garments with additional functions. This initiative is an excellent opportunity for B2C brands and retailers to support consumers’ search for purpose in clothing, especially for protection. NanoTextile’s data shows a growing demand for garments that exhibit additional functionality; primarily, the feature of hygiene management sought after COVID-19. “Consumers don’t expect to spend less money getting their functionality ready on their cloth – yet they’re willing to pay extra,” said the company.

NanoTextile’s technologies provide comfort and additional coverage through various types of clothing – shirts, jackets, hoodies, swimwear, hats, caps, hijab, fabric masks with any materials. It will give continuous protection, washes after washes. For UV protection technology, the consumer will have sun-smart smiles all around with up to UPF 50+ technology curated to outlast every clothing design, embedded for up to 100 washes, close to a lifespan of wearing up to 2 years.

2022 and way forward

The apparel industry may be reviving quickly, but the notion that all consumers’ mindsets are reverting to pre-pandemic is far from the truth. New habits, preferences, and innovation – pandemic has evoked their interest in sustainability. Now, they are more conscious of their purchasing behaviours to impact the environment positively. As well, people no longer view fashion as they once did pre-COVID; they look for purpose. Thus, NanoTextile believes that functionality appearance-based should be the top of the agenda for many brands locally and internationally. It is time for brands to adapt to a consumer mindset shift – which protection comes first. With NanoTextile, protection stays on checked.

Article Link: NanoTextile On Why UV Technology Matters In Fabric Manufacturing

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Beneath Hijab; When Fashion Meets Technology

Since NanoTextile Sdn Bhd has launched the theme of ‘When Fashion Meets Technology’ in 2019, it can be seen that the fashion brand especially in Malaysia has jumped into the bandwagon of the latest trends which is the hygienic garment or clothing.

The embedded outcomes coming from ‘When Fashion Meets Technology’ has been undeniably infused into the heart of the consumers and brands. In a matter of fact, from our perspective, we can observe the idea behind this theme which is “to convey the message that technology can be used to improve the current state of the fabric” has been successful amongst the big brands in Malaysia supported by the launch of several nanotechnology products in clothing & Muslimah segment. On top of that, NanoTextile has also accomplished to launch a new theme under this giant theme which we call ‘Beneath Hijab’.

Beneath Hijab is a pinpoint to the evergreen products yet still a new products line to be ventured for some fashion brands. Starting with a low volume enrolment, I believe the customer experience is the most important attribute to the fashion brands themselves. According to a CapGemini study in Marketing Insider Group, buyers that have strong brand attachments generate 23% more profit and revenue than the average customer.

Businesses can earn their customer’s trust and loyalty by providing outstanding customer experiences. From a point of no customer experience, it appears that the theme has captured the hearts of the users, as seen by positive reviews on nanotechnology products.

Fast forward to the theme itself, when we talk about Beneath Hijab, what do you think of in the first place? I would be thinking about the underscarf or inner scarf, a small piece of fabric used essentially as part of headwear for Muslimah community. It is usually worn under a scarf or with a variety of hijab styles.

Yes, ‘Beneath Hijab’ was originated and inspired by the underscarf or inners that comes in a vast range of designs, silhouette, and colours. The inner scarf serves the users a variety of purposes, including protecting hair away from the face so you don’t have to tuck it back in.

Each variety of underscarf, such as the full underscarf, ninja inner, bonnet hat, and tie-back bonnet cap (see picture), has its own function that is ideal for both short and long hair. Another reason to wear it is to keep the hijab from becoming slippery and to provide coverage under transparent hijabs in order to conceal hair from sight; an obligation to cover the aurat.

Functionality behind comfort

The cornerstone of Beneath Hijab is to remain the smile of the wearers when they wear the inner scarf, as the major purpose inside is by having functionality behind comfort. The term “functionality” refers to the nanotechnology that is embedded into the product.

The nanotechnology inner scarves is part of NanoTextile’s technologies under the Hygienic Series consists of also the antibacterial, odourless, and self-cleaning technologies. As a Muslimah, our lives are made easier with the hygienic inner scarf since we don’t have to smell bad after work, workouts, cooking, and so on; we just smell like we do in the morning.

Antibacterial underscarf act in the same way as antibacterial detergents and disinfect operate, targeting microorganisms at the microscopic level to stop them from growing and reproducing. Different chemicals and fabrics have varying degrees of efficacy.

Plus, before they (fashion brands) enrol in hygienic technologies, they must first examine the compatibility to see if the fabric type is compatible with nanotechnology. In addition to the efficiency of nanotechnology, according to apexmills.com, some products are meant to kill spore cells on contact, whereas others are intended to minimize the spread of infections over time. The killed microorganisms therefore help in controlling unwanted body odor.

Design or function?

Sometimes I wonder what makes the underscarf the best from the user’s perspective. Why would they buy antibacterial and odourless inners? Is it due to the design or because of the technology? As a result, after reading the majority of the user comments, I’ve come to my own conclusion. A beautiful design will be the right choice when it comes to the combination of nanotechnology.

Therefore, this is the most compelling reason why revenue for NanoTextile’s technology serving the hygienic inner scarf has consistently topped RM1.08 million for these numerous years. Fashion firms have been successful in capturing the hearts of their customers.

In fact, some Muslimah famous brands in Malaysia, such as TudungPeople, CalaQisya, Olloum, and others, have begun to think creatively for the past few years in blending fashion with technology. It is, as a matter of fact, a great first step in bringing the Muslimah fashion market up to par with other segments and worldwide companies.

And indeed, as the first Malaysian company to tap into this innovative potential of nanotechnologies, we are pleased to provide services and supply to other big brands out there, not limited to Muslimah fashion only.

All in all, I agree with Dr Thomas, CEO of NanoTextile, who mentioned that fashion has always been at the frontline of innovation, as proven by the invention of the sewing machine and the growth of e-commerce. He added, “Functional clothing for inner scarves as part of modest fashion essentials, like nanotechnology, is always forward-looking and cyclical”.

Thus, as the first mover in Malaysia that works to expose such technology to fashion brands and clients, we hope that fashion brands dare to leap into more nanotechnology adoption in their products, such as UV protection, quick drying, liquid resistance, and many other features, as nanotechnology-embedded fabrics can be modified to do almost everything.

Article Link: Beneath Hijab; When Fashion Meets Technology

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Malaysian firm NanoTextile launches Beneath Hijab theme

Pic: Timur Gulitashvili | Dreamstime.com

Pic: Timur Gulitashvili | Dreamstime.comMalaysian nanotechnology firm NanoTextile has launched a new theme called ‘Beneath Hijab’ under the theme of ‘When Fashion Meets Technology’ that was introduced in 2019. Beneath Hijab takes into consideration the underscarf or inner scarf, a small piece of fabric that is used essentially as part of the headwear for the Muslimah community.

‘Beneath Hijab’ was inspired by the underscarf or inners that come in a vast range of designs, silhouette, and colours. The inner scarf serves the users a variety of purposes, including keeping the hair away from the face. Each variety of underscarf, such as the full underscarf, ninja inner, bonnet hat and tie-back bonnet cap, has its own function that is ideal for both short and long hair. Another reason to wear the underscarf is to keep the hijab from becoming slippery and to provide coverage under transparent hijabs to conceal the hair, the company said in a press release.

The cornerstone of Beneath Hijab is to provide functionality behind comfort. The term ‘functionality’ refers to the nanotechnology that is embedded into the product. This nanotechnology for the inner scarves is part of NanoTextile’s technologies under the Hygienic Series consisting of antibacterial, odourless and self-cleaning technologies.

Antibacterial underscarf acts in the same way as antibacterial detergents and disinfectants, targeting microorganisms at the microscopic level to stop them from growing and reproducing. Different chemicals and fabrics have varying degrees of efficacy. Plus, before fashion brands opt for the hygienic technologies, they must first examine the compatibility to see if the fabric type is compatible with nanotechnology. In addition to the efficiency of nanotechnology, according to apexmills.com, some products are meant to kill spore cells on contact, whereas others are intended to minimise the spread of infections over time. Killing the microorganisms help in controlling unwanted body odour.

“A beautiful design will be the right choice when it comes to the combination of nanotechnology. Therefore, this is the most compelling reason why revenue for NanoTextile’s technology serving the hygienic inner scarf has consistently topped RM 1.08 million for these numerous years. Fashion firms have been successful in capturing the hearts of their customers,” said the company.

“Some Muslimah famous brands in Malaysia, such as TudungPeople, CalaQisya, Olloum and others, have begun to think creatively for the past few years in blending fashion with technology. It is a great first step in bringing the Muslimah fashion market up to par with other segments and worldwide companies. And indeed, as the first Malaysian company to tap into this innovative potential of nanotechnologies, we are pleased to provide services and supply to other big brands out there, not limited to Muslimah fashion only,” the company further said.

Fashion has always been at the frontline of innovation, as proven by the invention of the sewing machine and the growth of e-commerce. Dr Thomas, CEO of NanoTextile, said “Functional clothing for inner scarves as part of modest fashion essentials, like nanotechnology, is always forward-looking and cyclical”.

Fashion brands can drive more nanotechnology adoption in their products, as nanotechnology-embedded fabrics can be modified to offer features like UV protection, quick drying, liquid resistance, and much more.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (KD)

Article Link: Malaysian firm NanoTextile launches Beneath Hijab theme

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Keep Calm and Succeed: Thomas Ong Poh Shing

In the five years he’s headed up NanoTextile, CEO Thomas Ong Poh Shing has driven its transformation from “a textile technology and innovation start-up” to a business that is renowned within the industry.

Thomas Ong Poh Shing, CEO of NanoTextile

That’s an industry that has revolutionised clothing manufacture by embedding nano-sized particles or fibres into textiles, thereby enhancing fabric in terms of stain repellency, tensile strength, durability, fire retardancy and antimicrobial properties.

Since its establishment in 2015, NanoTextile has explored the potential of this nanotechnology for textiles and spearheaded its development. Over the last couple of years, Thomas says that this has meant a pioneering push of nanotechnology into “textile downstream industries” – namely garment and apparel product manufacturing.

“We have built our business around technology, innovation, and specialism. This is what makes us different from the rest of the textile industry players.”

Today, the company produces nanotextiles for use in five fabric sectors – clothing, home interiors, industry, medical, and sports and leisure. Now, as the first Malaysian company to tap into this innovative approach, NanoTextile is a business that stands out from the competition with a success strategy that is set on meeting demand for tech-textiles and smart fabrics.

“We have built our business around technology, innovation, and specialism. This is what makes us different from the rest of the textile industry players,” Thomas says. “With our technologies, we deliver functional, customer-focused products that are value-added to keep our clients competitive through better quality and the latest technology.”

But the end vision is much larger.

Future focus

“NanoTextile is committed to providing industry leaders with the nanotechnology necessary to grow the textile and fashion landscape in Malaysia in a more advanced, tech-savvy, and sustainable way,” Thomas explains.

He believes the market will grow at a double-digit rate by 2024. “We use a wide range of technologies for capturing customers’ spending power,” Thomas says. “We also offer the greatest range of products, focusing on functional textiles.”

NanoTextile’s continued success will, Thomas believes, come down to the commercialisation of the technologies involved. “It’s crucial to ensure their adaptation in textile segments and create a new value chain of demand and supply,” he says, explaining that NanoTextile is working hand-in-hand with local fashion brands to grow the awareness of technical textiles among consumers.

That’s not to say there won’t be challenges along the way but fortunately, Thomas has the ability to remain calm, no matter the curveball.

“I am able to understand a certain issue very objectively. Decision-making in a company is like surviving a maze. There are times when the right direction is obvious. Others when you’ve got to decide what the best turn is, keeping our goal in mind.”

These strategic moves need to be free of emotion, Thomas adds. “There’s a switch in our brains I can always control – the emotional switch. I know when to switch it off because I choose to.”

Strong leadership

On top of his naturally calm personality, Thomas believes working in diverse industries with multicultural business partners has nurtured his leadership style and strengths.

“Being part of a Japanese company, for example, has instilled a systematic approach in me while my experience in other fields also allows me to adapt to the arrival of functional textiles. I am able to put myself in the shoes of a B2C while running a B2B company in the durable clothing industry.”

It’s this multi-level experience that enabled Thomas to build string relationships with the company’s suppliers.

“I choose the conventional trust-building route when engaging with our business partners. Perhaps it’s more important than sales and revenue,” he says. “It’s easier to grow and nurture our business by putting human values above our services. It is not easy to restore human values once they are lost.”

Investing in building trust has been even more important during the pandemic which hit the company “very violently”, Thomas adds.

“We want to make our customers smile and ensure they stay relevant in the market.”

“I reminded my employees to stay positive despite this hard time,” he says. “Instead of pivoting, we retracted and shifted our focus to strengthen our foundation and fundamentals. We joined with international media partners in content development that cuts across all fashion segments, supply chains and the advancement of new technologies.”

COVID-19 also offered a new opportunity and challenge to the business; that of fulfilling the demand for protective fabrics. This included pairing with Volvo Malaysia to manufacture antimicrobial face masks, with a Malay batik pattern.

As for the future, Thomas will be striving for further stand-out innovations in nano-embedment technology and textile finishing. NanoTextile’s mission is simple, he says. “We want to make our customers smile and ensure they stay relevant in the market.”

Culture of integrity

“Culture is vitally important at NanoTextile and is based on teamwork, openness and innovation. “It’s a young and contemporary casual company,” says Thomas. “Our values guide the decisions we make with an emphasis on both what is important and what is right. At NanoTextile, we prioritise professionalism, punctuality and politeness but our overarching aim is to act always with integrity.”\

Article Link: Keep Calm and Succeed: Thomas Ong Poh Shing

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Forefront in fashion – Three Little Ahmads adopting and adapting Nanotechnology

While being a mother, working as a cake artist, an entrepreneur, and a Certified Master & Trainer, Datin Azrene has worked with numerous body types and figure challenges over the last 15 years of her career. The founder of a fashion brand, Three Little Ahmads, she has given her attention and voice in adopting and adapting technology in the local fashion industry. What are her views on the fashion industry’s future at this time of massive changes worldwide?

The pandemic has pressured us to change the way we work, banning travel, halting education, and reprogramming events of all kinds, change the way we think and decision-making on uncertain things, from health to finance. All sectors, including fashion brands, must have the ability to see the world in new ways to fulfill consumers’ needs and expectations during this difficult time.Advertisement

In the fashion industry, what role can it play as we adapt to a new way of life?

As for Three Little Ahmads, Datin Azreen had collaborated with NanoTextile Sdn Bhd (NTSB) in producing the anti-bacterial reusable cloth facemask for Volvo Malaysia as an initiative in helping single and stay-at-home mothers and GIAT Mara graduates as cutter and sewers to help them earn an income during this phase.

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Forefront in fashion

Three Little Ahmads studied that people had a few concerns when wearing a medical face mask such as allergic reaction and sizing, which they had think up with a reusable facemask to address this problem. They are made up of 100% cotton, waterproof, washable, breathable, and yet comfortable and soft at the same time. The five layers of protection use PM 2.5 filter, which tested to be 90% effective in viral particle filtration, with four different sizing (S to XL). The revolutionary fabrics used are embedded with nanotechnology, known for anti-bacterial, hydrophobic, and self-cleaning features on the layer inside and outside of the mask. It allows for bacterial and viral protection up to 100 washes, makes their reusable facemask a lot more unique and functional, is less taxing on the environment, and is highly protected.

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Three Little Ahmads was founded in 2017 and is always a front runner in terms of design, fabrics, and technology used, which is well known for its functional and sustainable clothing for children and the differently-abled. “It will always be our intention. Everything that we produce is the best of the best, that will reflect the premium pricing,” said her. NanoTextile Sdn Bhd is Malaysia’s first and only nanotechnology service and consultancy provider in this project, boosting the value of Three Little Ahmad’s face mask products. NanoTextile’s technology is used in various textile industries, including healthcare, industrial, and consumer applications, and clothing such as Muslimah wear, kidswear, undergarments, and more.

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NanoTextile is now focusing on expanding towards sustainability, remains the catalyst to enable the clothing or textile industries and other segments to move the industry in an upward direction of the value chain. They recently made one step ahead by collaborating with the local fashion brand in growing awareness among consumers, which will become essential for textile companies to maintain and set high standards in their products. Surprisingly, nanotechnology has made its way into the fashion industry in Malaysia, as many have begun to take a pioneering turn in experimenting with the technology.

Datin Azrene had always been visioning about comfort, protection, anti-bacterial as special children used their products. “It is crucial to ensure that there are no bacteria on the fabrics while using the softest fabrics, which nanotechnology allows us to do that.” After some research, her friend introduced her to Dr. Thomas, the CEO of NanoTextile. “I am excited for local promotion, talent, skills, and technology which I think that if we collaborate, there will be so much better things, rather than opting for the technology from the U.S, which involves higher cost.” With their innovative design and the fact that they impregnated the nanotechnology in their products, they were recognized as a technologically forward company and won the MYR500,000 grant offered by The Malaysian Government Entrepreneurs Agency, Teraju, in 2019 under the Social Enterprise and Technology Category.

With the groundbreaking move of Three Little Ahmads, NanoTextile has synergistically moved to transform Malaysia’s fashion industry into a tech-savvy one, that will open so many possibilities in the future.

How nanotechnology in textiles helps to ensure a better world?

“The fact that we have combined our products with nanotechnology means that our product contributes to the environmental sustainability. In a sense, all the textiles and threads that we used increases the mileage of that products. Our products can be a longer time, and we are promoting sustainable fashion as a post-fast fashion.”

When approaching “sustainable,” we must address economic needs, human safety, and environmental conservation. In a sector that is still dynamic, sustainability requires extra creativity and ingenuity. How can we make materials safer for people? How can we make the material last longer? How can we minimize waste? These are a few good driving questions towards sustainability.

“Now, with sustainability programs, we should be looking at the values, using technologically advanced and longer-lasting fabrics. We need to ensure that the fabrics are always re-energized. In this phase, it is crucial to focused on terms of hygiene.” Nanotechnology does not alter the structure or construction of the original fabrics, but it increases the value and quality of the consumers. Without quality, there can be no sustainability.

Will nanotechnology become a source of hope for the fashion industry, making the path to sustainability for the next generation?

As voiced out by Datin Azreen urging local fashion brands to adopt and adapting nanotechnology in the industry, “We should always be the forefront of this, as fashion should always be longer-lasting. We should always be looking at putting fashion with technology in a way that promotes sustainability. I think adopting nanotechnology in fashion is a good thing, which is every fashion brand need to do.”

Aligned with the idea of the circular economy, endorsed by the EU, this new economic

model advocates for the cyclical use of resources, minimizing waste, and reducing carbon emissions for the sake of the environment. However, the sustainable future envisioned by the CEO of NanoTextile, Dr. Thomas, highlighted that nanotechnology does not lead to sustainability as a whole. It supports the movement in the processing part by providing the technology in working toward a single vision, a path contributing to sustainability.

The textile and apparel industries’ ability to tackle the obstacles posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As retail, textile, and fashion industry what challenged us now that it is tough for us to have a physical presence. You can see some fashion businesses in Malaysia and all over the world are shutting down. They are not able to pay fashion designers. So, now fashion designers need to ensure that whatever they are producing is no longer fancy because people will not be going out. Your design and fabrics must be multi-functional and able to stand for a long time. The quality of the end-product should be outnumbered quantity. At this time, more people will be shopping online, and they will not be able to inspect the cloth they buy. As a fashion brand, you need to put forward is quality, and you should value the technology from now.”

In the Fashion segment in Malaysia, 20% of total market revenue through online sales by 2023 will be generated. The pandemic has sped up the growth; however, we never had to be as ready to evolve and react to a new norm in the past centuries. The world is shifting; we should stay ahead of it, whether we wear only clothes. In order to chart a future direction in these trying times, the fashion industry must work with technology.

Our tomorrow

“I hope people can see the extra additional values of this for the next 10 to 20 years to come. And I hope the nanotechnology approach can be so accepted where it becomes the norm, to the point that it is affordable. It is available to every single consumer and item that we produce or buy. Hopefully, with nanotechnology, it allows us to be able to be more environmental-friendly, sustainable via its features such as durability, anti-viral, breathable, water-repellent, waterproof, and many more.”

By Just-style.com, the latest data showed that to maintain strong growth and keep pace with substantially lower-cost competition across Asia, Malaysia’s textile and apparel industry should concentrate on three main areas – higher-value fashion, dyeing and finishing, and technical textiles. We can foresee that the industry will potentially develop functional and high-value fabrics and clothing, which require nanotechnology. All in all, nanotechnology should start to be adopted and adapted in all industries as more immense opportunities are found in apparel, medical, automotive, sportswear, and construction. At the same time, businesses should make advantage of the technology and talents that the community has to offer.

Article Link: Forefront In Fashion-Three Little Ahmads adopting and adapting Nanotechnology

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From Fiber to Consumers: How Nanotechnology Helps In The Sustainability Of Textile Value Chains?

By Nur Hani Aqilah,

In recent years, client awareness to update their conventional clothing and apparels collection has grown enormously. Nanotechnology enables the creation of multi-functional textiles with long-term durability that can be integrated into smart textiles.

However, what will the future hold if we do not practice sustainability and conserve our natural resources in the next 20 years? Could sustainability involve in the product value chain besides the 3R – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle? In this article, we explore sustainability in textiles and how nanotechnology can contribute to their implementation.

Product value chain especially in the textile industry involves many aspects from many sides and sources. The textile value chain is vast and complicated; thus, it may be hard and challenging to implement the sustainable practices throughout the chain. Many brands around the world have started practicing methods to achieve zero discharge for the upcoming years. However, can they really discharge the real ‘zero’ that will help in leading to sustainability?

From land to the ocean, the textile sector is behind one of the highest environmental and socio-economic impacts on the planet. Besides the carbon and water footprint, it also involves the usage of hazardous chemical compounds in processing clothing, disturb wastewater quality, used clothing disposal and recycling, damage to human health and social risks.

Cited from Amutha, K. (2017) in Sustainable chemical management and zero discharges. Sustainable Fibres and Textiles, 347–366, according to an American clothing company, Patagonia, the carbon footprint of a standard T-shirt is eight times the weight of a shirt. The estimation for an average T-shirt has a net carbon footprint of 6 kg, which is roughly 20 times the product’s weight.

Re-examine the hotspot activities in textile supply chain

There are four parts that can be categorised under the textile supply chain according to Deidre Hoguet in The Guardian; extraction of raw materials, textile manufacturing, added chemistry, and end-of-life. However, there must be a hotspot activity in this supply chain that is significant for environmental, social, and economic impacts.

The exploitation of raw materials, for instance, concerns the land and water needed in producing such natural fibres; cotton and wool and also the extraction of natural resources in processing synthetic fibres. In terms of textile manufacturing, it included water and the most important is energy, whether from natural energy which coming from labour or electricity. Not to mention about the impact of production waste, the social obligation of a firm towards its employees and the community surrounding the production plants. Adding chemical may affect the health of the workers as well as customers via end product, and also the discharge of leftover chemical might pollute the environment.

Sustainability In Textile Value Chains

From designing, manufacturing, disseminating, retailing, and consuming a textile product, all activities in textile value chain encompassed value (whether it is provide or receive value) including raw material extraction and supply, as well as beyond their useful lifetime. At the end of process, after its first usage, the textile product may be utilised again, or recycled for another purpose, as in this case were donated second-hand clothing. This circumstances usually happened in Asian country like Malaysia whereby people will collect and gather all unused, non-fit and second-hand clothing in one stop centre and donate to orphanage or indigent families. However, after donating those clothing, they might not use all of it, hence, there will come the other problem which is unmanaged clothes where end up lead to landfill or incinerator plant as end-of-life treatment.

The activities connected with the value chain frequently depicted as a linear depiction from the generation of raw materials to the end of their lives, but they are likely to reuse, repair/recycle and recycle items that add loops to the image. Meanwhile for circular value chain, the textile will be utilised again, for instance by broken down or upcycled the fibre level and spun into yarn and resulting in new garment.

Hence, this circular value chain were much more sustainable rather than the linear as per denoted in figures 1 and 2 thus further reinforce the statement issued by UNEP 2020 in the report Sustainability and Circularity in the Textile Value Chain, “The aim of circularity is to shift the “take make-dispose” linear value chain into a circular system, where materials are not lost after use but remain in the economy, circulating as long as possible at the highest possible value”. Hence, amongst the activities involve, they might have the unsustainability hotspots between them, thus can be followed to become more sustainable by the aid of nanotechnology in textile which has been blooming nowadays.

Rethink Sustainability Via Nanotechnology In Textile

Since sustainability has arrived in the textile industry, it has frequently illustrated as the idea of reduce, reuse, and recycle. However, can textile industry just depend on those 3R idea itself? Is there any solutions that might help in achieving sustainability? How about technology such as nanotechnology that has been use widely in other segment of business too?

Apart from 3R, sustainability can start with product design. For example, by booking and sewing our cloth itself rather than buying those apparel. This solution can help small-sized customers especially so that they did not throw the leftover fabrics in a waste bin and the other part are, we can help the small-medium tailors in gaining some profit and expanding their business.

Next, in terms of technology, nanotechnology is here in making textile more sustainability yet enhanced the function in the apparel. Nanotechnology is announced by many as the next industrial revolution, and has an exceptional potential to revolutionise several industries through the improvement of existing technologies and radical introduction of new instruments. But how nanotech can be used to reduce environmental impacts? Two answers leading here are surface coating and treatment of textile fibres and coloration and structural colour.

Textile aftercare has previously been identified as a major negative environment impact in the textile life cycle on both home and commercial scale such as hotel laundry due to the usage of energy and water consumption to clean up the dirt, thus, the impact of durable surface coatings might be substantial if they become more widely accessible and cost effective.

Stain resistant, abrasion resistant, water and oil repellent, self-cleaning, anti-static and antibacterial, all these Nano embedded treatments can help textiles last longer and reduce the need for washing or dry cleaning to eliminate dirt and smells. Certain treatments may also minimise the need for ironing, resulting in energy and water savings as well as fewer replacement costs.

In addition, coloration of textiles through dyeing and printing were much affect our environment. Reduced dyeing wastage, which occurs due to poor colour accuracy and uneven dying outcomes, would have a good influence on a process that presently consumes a lot of water and energy and whose effluents have polluted waterways all over the world, especially since the introduction of synthetic dyes.

The use of very old process including the use of gold and silver nanoparticles to colour substances can produce a good range of colour. Not only that, nanocoating’s also help in maintaining colorfastness by providing resistance to fading caused by UV light and abrasion caused by washing and wearing hence increasing fabric longevity and reducing waste.

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Upcycling Fashion with Nanotechnology

By NanoTextile Associate, Strategy and Development , Nur Adilah Binti Masri & CEO, Thomas P.S. Ong,

What is “Take-make-waste,” or what we called linear economy? It is a practice where we take resources from the land to create things that we use, and we throw them away when we no longer want them, which will end up in the landfill.

Also, clothing manufacturers reduce prices while making goods more cost-effective for customers. Dropping the costs makes production faster, and every season produces several collections. This practice is an unsustainable process that causes resource scarcity and excessive pollution load.

According to Sasibai Kimis, a Malaysia coordinator for the Fashion Revolution, a general impression of Malaysia’s ethical fashion is still in the early stage. Especially in developing countries, where the practice of sustainable fashion development is still limited (Wai Yee, Hassan, & Ramayah, 2016).

Based on Kloth Cares statistics, Malaysians generate over 2000 tons of textile waste a day, covering five percent of the solid waste in the landfill, which the numbers will further increase.

Nur Adilah Binti Masri

“Most producers, designers, and consumers have not even been exposed to the idea of questioning who made their clothes and under what conditions,” she added.

However, Kloth Cares, Biji-biji Initiatives, Selangor Youth Community (SAY) are some of the movement’s growth in Malaysia in catalysing sustainability, especially in fashion and textiles.

We also see some of Malaysia’s fashion brands launching new lines incorporating “evergreen,” a key trend shaping the growth and maintaining their competitive position in the global market. For instance, TudungPeople launched their eco-conscious “green hijab”, featuring printed shawls made of 100 percent recycled plastic bottles.

As studied by Dr. Nor Irvoni in her webinar, “Consumer and Fashion Marketing: Challenges and Opportunity Beyond 2020”, these types of market segmentation seem to be one of the consumer preferences nowadays. She also revealed that eco-anxiety, financial uncertainty, and emotional contagion positively predicted 2022 Consumer sentiment, which changed their spending on clothing. Hence, this situation will surely reconstruct the fashion and textile industry.

Circular Fashion

Citing Forbes, fabric specialists over Europe recently created an innovatively inspired new business and consumption model, circular economy (CE), that is projected to have a significant effect on the industry soon.

Excess can be minimised through this system, with multiple interactions between revolutionary technologies in the Industrial Revolution (IR) 4.0. Based on the Ellen McArthur Foundation, CE is based on various concepts designed on waste and pollution, keep products and materials in use, and regenerate natural systems.

Following that, it examines the vision for a new textiles’ economy through three focus areas that are critical to realising this vision: new business models that increase clothing use, safe and renewable inputs, and solutions that used clothes turned into new.

Clothes, shoes, or accessories should be designed, sourced, produced, and provided to be used and circulate responsibly and effectively in society for as long as possible in their most valuable form, and hereafter return safely to the biosphere when no longer of human use (Anna Brismar, Green Strategy, 2017).

In other words, fashion products should be designed with high longevity, resource efficiency, non-toxicity, and good ethics in mind. Moreover, the goods should be utilised for as much as possible, through upcycling (turning unwanted products to a better quality and values), and via excellent maintenance, repair, restoration, and sharing over time (through rent/lease, secondhand, exchange, etc.) by multiple users.

How Nanotechnology Can Play A Role In The Circular Economy?

Ellen MacArthur Foundation stated that clothes designed and produced at a high quality, durability, and provide different functionalities and flexibility are examples in the form of personal styles, customised or modifiable clothes.

NanoTextile Sdn Bhd, is among the pioneers to offer new solutions for fashion retailers in having access to high-quality, functional, and individualized clothing through nanotechnology. They advocate in business model that improve textile functionality and increase clothing use.

The sustainable and upcycle future envisioned by Dr. Thomas, Chief Executive Officer of NanoTextile believes in the marriage of both technology with sustainability in addressing the concerns and impact of textile wastes.

For instant, fading or color fastness can be reduced with nano-protection through exposure to UV light. Nanofibers enhances the dye absorption, hence the usage of organic dye in less amount could be more friendly to the environment at long run. Imagine all these advantages when they are coupled with Sustainability’s The three R’s rule.”

People tend to dump clothes once it starts to display material flaws, hard-to-remove stains, less durable, or has lost coloration. Therefore, by designing clothes with nanotechnology, it captures the value through various series and functions; hygienic, protection, comfort, care, premium and advanced with anti-microbial, UV protection, and self-cleaning, high-durability and lightweight, etc.

If clothes are increasingly made to last, it could significantly increase cloth utilisation, thus reduce cloth waste. Even as clothes become unwanted or unused, they still remain usable, which also enhances the resale model to a wide range of consumers.

NanoTextile’s latest partnership with Volvo Car Malaysia, 3 Little Ahmad (3LA), PONEY, and a few well-known Muslimah brands revolutionises fashion, providing hygienic series technology that can combat bacteria.

Revealed by Dr. Thomas, it also includes anti-odor features, which is proven to reduce laundry needed by 30 percent. Now, you can wear more, wash less, and stay fresh for a longer time.

NanoTextile is also incorporating the technology into fabrics with non-toxic nanoparticles (hybrid nano inorganic element suspension), a water-based nanomaterials.

They further enable non-toxic materials for the sake of the environment as it reflects actual cost (environmental and societal), which is why CE is endorsed.

“I often think Nanotechnology or nano-enabled product goes well with the “green economy” concept, managing the interaction of the environmental and economic domains. It is the physio-chemical properties of the resultant products and zero toxicity of the nanotechnology (materials or processes) that we can assure the consumers that we continue to strive for green sustainable economy in textile industry” said Thomas.

To sum it up, we should redesign fashion and textiles. More sustainability approaches can be encouraged by the emergence of the circular economy (CE), including adding value to the fabrics.

Opportunities that exist for innovative business models can be employed by nanotechnology; to increase functionality and boost clothing care to give this industry a new life.