Material Matter: Smart Cotton

Eileen Fisher - Ecotec regenerated cotton

By Brittany DiBenedetto | Material Matter
Posted Oct 4, 2016

Cotton has truly become the “fabric of our lives”, used in everything from t-shirts to bedding. We love it for its comfort, strength, and low maintenance qualities. Through innovation and technology, there is a new,  regenerated smart cotton that eliminates the farming, harvesting, and ginning of cotton, which reduces both energy and transportation needs.

The Italian spinning company, Marchi & Fildi, has created a trademark to represent their traceable production cycle. The company’s main focus is to supply high quality innovation with a great concentration in sustainability. The trademark officially debut last February at Paris’ Première Vision Yarns sector as ECOTEC®.

ECOTEC® is the first smart cotton (a term adopted by C.L.A.S.S. to indicate textiles that are environmentally forward) made in Italy from an exclusive, traceable, and certified manufacturing process. The process turns 100% pre-dyed, pre-consumer cotton textile clippings into colorful yarns. The textile clippings are left over from the production of clothing, collected from manufacturers in Bangladesh, and shipped to Italy. Camilla Carrara from C.L.A.S.S. assured me that,

“The process naturally reduces the amount of waste from these manufacturers and minimizes the use of precious resources while maintaining the highest quality and efficiency standards.”

Garments and products made out of ECOTEC® yarns also have the ability to be recycled after life in order to create new materials.

A life-cycle assessment study found, throughout the whole process, there was up to 56.3% reduction on the greenhouse effect, up to 56.6% in energy savings, and up to 77.9% decrease in water consumption. The process eliminates the farming, harvesting, and ginning of cotton, which reduces both energy and transportation needs. The environmental savings doesn’t just stop there as the main objective with this smart process is to achieve zero waste. There is also a large amount of savings on raw material sources due to transformation of quality waste clippings into excellent fabrics.

ECOTEC® provides another choice for conscious consumers. Marchi & Fildi is working to improve and evolve their process and in the past few years, has been able to raise the quality of these regenerated yarns and introduce new solutions within the textile and apparel industry progressing their technical and environmental performance.

Regenerated materials and their sustainable methods are prevailing within the textile and apparel industry. These materials provide manufacturers and companies to create a closed-looped system in their processes while maintaining quality that consumers desire. Two premium brands that have already begun using ECOTEC® material are Marimekko and Eileen Fisher.


Live in NYC and want to learn more – come to EcoSessions: Innovations in Textiles on Thursday, October 6 from 6:30-8:30 pm at WIX Lounge. Tickets here.

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