N9 World Technologies Pvt Ltd, India has signed an agreement with Consolidated Pathways Inc, USA to incorporate unique Swiss antiviral and antimicrobial technologies into sustainable and cost-effective custom blends for the textile finishing industry. Consolidated Pathways, a brand and technical representative for Sanitised products, supports the advancement of the trusted Sanitised Quality Seal and related branding concepts to the global textile industry.
With this partnership, N9 is utilising USEPA and EU BPR registered Antimicrobials in its antibacterial and antiviral custom blends. Now N9’s special offering, VIROBAN will provide antiviral performance bringing proven hygiene function and much needed material protection to the textile industry.
Focusing on this momentous importance of the partnership, the discussion offered a preview of the new textile finishing products N9 will be launching, with special emphasis on their differential sustainability and performance, and also on how these products will add tremendous value to the global textile industry.
The panelists include:-
– Vikram D Rao, MD, N9 World Technologies
– Ganesh Srinivasan, CEO, Resil Chemicals
– James W. (Jim) Krueger, CEO, Consolidated Pathways
– Dr Robert A. (Bob) Monticello, President, Consolidated Pathways
– Manish Khambe, Head of Business Development, N9 World Technologies
– Prem Sadhwani, Business Development Director, Consolidated Pathways
Excerpts from the discussion:-
Tell us about N9 World Technologies Pvt Ltd. What is the core business of your company?
Ganesh Srinivasan: N9WTPL is an innovative specialty materials company committed to offering unique patented next-generation technologies in the hygiene, comfort and wellness space. N9WTPL products offer differentiated value and cost-effective sustainable solutions to our customers and consumer brands. The core business of N9WTPL is textile finishes that provide functional features to apparel that benefits end users.
What kind of products and solutions are you offering to the textile industry?
Ganesh Srinivasan: N9WTPL offers in its hygiene space, globally compliant antimicrobial and antiviral technologies. Under the comfort space temperature control technologies are popular such as, quick drying and cooling technologies. Under the wellness space consumers are protected from dangerous UV rays, skin moisture management and capsulated actives technologies.
Our products like N9 Pure Silver have won several innovation awards including Indian President award. These functional finishes have patronage of over 150 Indian & Global brands in diverse segments like innerwear, active wear, casual wear, home textiles & uniforms.
Tell us in detail about the partnership between N9 World Technologies Pvt Ltd, Consolidated Pathways of USA and Sanitized AG of Switzerland.
Vikram Rao: N9 World Technologies Pvt Ltd., India has signed agreements with Consolidated Pathways Inc., USA and Sanitized AG, Switzerland to incorporate unique Swiss antiviral and antimicrobial technologies into sustainable and cost-effective custom blends for the textile industry. With this partnership we will be able to offer proven hygiene solutions to the textile industry.
James Krueger: We are excited to partner with N9 as we work together with global brands to increase their sourcing from India. Consolidated Pathways has teamed up with N9 to provide the world’s leading polymer antimicrobials that will be an important component of consumer textiles all over the globe, providing unmatched safety and performance.
Tell us more about Consolidated Pathways & Sanitized AG.
Dr Robert Monticello: Consolidated Pathways is a Technical Representative and Brand Ambassador for Sanitized AG of Switzerland and supports the advancement of the trusted Sanitized® Quality Seal and related branding concepts to the global textile industry. Sanitized AG has been performing pioneering work and developing innovative, effective and safe technologies for antimicrobial treatment since 1935. Sanitized® is a brand name and a seal of confidence which provides consumers with confidence in the textile products they buy. Sanitized and Consolidated Pathways teamed up to focus on the further development of non-leaching polymer antimicrobial technologies in addition to fundamental, non-biocidal surface modification technologies that prevent bacterial attachment to surfaces. Our expertise in this area is unsurpassed and it is exciting to work together to provide a level of protection that consumers will be able to recognize and appreciate.
What is the significance of the Sanitized® Quality Seal?
James Krueger: Along with the antibacterial benefits of Sanitized technologies, they have been proven to provide anti-viral benefits to textile products as well. Since the Global consumer has been trained by the local government and media to sanitize their hands and surfaces in their homes, the Sanitized® brand clearly communicates what consumer data shows is of greatest interest to consumers and what test data shows Sanitized products actually provide – added protection.
How is this partnership going to benefit the Indian Textile Industry?
Vikram Rao: With this partnership, N9 World Technologies is now a ‘One Stop Shop’ for Global Brands & Retailers who are seeking innovative and sustainable specialty finishes for their textile products. A worldwide business development team is already in place for marketing and servicing customers with these proven technologies with global regulatory approvals.
James Krueger: Our products are thoroughly tested following the strictest protocols with reports that are transparent and clear. The antibacterial and antiviral performance of our polymer-based antimicrobials provides peace of mind to the consumer that use the textiles treated with our technologies.
Tell us in detail about the new technology that you are launching in India.
Dr Robert Monticello: We offer a unique organofunctional polymer based Antiviral and Antimicrobial Technology that is durable. This technology is marketed under the umbrella brand VIROBAN. VIROBAN N9 XTS-18 is proven very effective against viruses. This technology is proven to reduce infective viruses by 99.99 percent when tested under ISO 18184 and the polymers are designed to have high compatibility with textiles. Our VIROBAN N9XTS-18 creates a highly-cationic charge density on the textile’s surface, deactivating the spread of the virus & bacteria on contact. The technology is designed to act quickly to prevent the transmission of viruses.
What is your marketing and promotional strategy in India?
Vikram Rao: N9 World Technologies sets the standard for service and reliability within the antimicrobial industry in India. One part of our strategy in India will be to partner with the Indian brands and get this technology adopted in their products selling in the Indian markets through the physical outlets as well as e-commerce platforms. The other part will be to partner with the Indian textile exporters to offer these technologies to the global brands.
How will this anti-microbial/ anti-viral innovation that you are launching benefit the Indian Textile & Apparel Industry, especially in the wake of the pandemic?
Ganesh Srinivasan: Companies across the world are creating a textile product that can offer a certain degree of protection to the wearer from viruses and bacteria especially viruses similar to SARS CoV-2. This technology helps mask manufacturers to build antiviral functionality in addition to improving comfort of textiles without affecting the breathability. India is known for its home textile exports and VIROBAN can help to build hygiene quotients in the bed & bath segment and make them more competitive in the export segment. Domestic apparel brands can use this technology to provide extended safety to their consumers without compromising finish quality and sustainability goals. This product ticks all the boxes with respect to global registrations and regulations such as ZDHC, ECHA, EPA, etc. We will be sharing the details with our Indian partner-mills to help them meet global regulatory standards.
What is the relevance of this technology to the end consumer? Please elaborate.
Vikram Rao: Now more than ever, health & safety is a top priority for consumers resulting in an increased interest for antiviral face masks and apparels. Antiviral finish treated textile articles help in protecting the wearer from infectious microbes. Thus, our technology will be a key element for preventing the spread of viruses and bacteria through textiles.
Which geographies will you target with your new product?
Vikram Rao: We will be targeting the markets of India, South Asia, South East Asia, Middle East & Turkey through our own team and through our distributors in this region.
How important a role does sustainability and technology play in the solutions that you develop?
Ganesh Srinivasan: Sustainability is of key importance and incorporated in product design during the research and development phase of our products.
N9 products are easy to use and integrate into the standard textile processing. Our technology empowers consumers to take an active role in sustainability by helping them reduce the need to launder frequently – saving consumer’s time, water & energy. It offers durability for 30 or 40 HL. Prolonged useful life of apparel because of less frequent washing and Supports low-temperature laundry as well.
What are your future plans?
Vikram Rao: The focus in the near future would be on global business development & business building. So far, our marketing was by and large confined to India and the Middle East. The partnership with C Path now gives us an opportunity to reach out to a multitude of brands and retailers in the US & EU, promote our technologies and service their requirements through global supply chains.
The R&D of both Consolidated Pathways, USA and N9, India would constantly be seeking to develop new custom blends and technologies which can add “Benefit Value” to the ever evolving and changing consumer needs in the Apparel industry.
USEPA and EUBPR Registration isn’t required for antimicrobials in India. Why should a company treat its products with a USEPA and EU BPR registered antimicrobial in India?
James Krueger: The USEPA and BPR require extensive testing for antimicrobials to determine their toxicological profiles. If a USEPA registered antimicrobial is approved for use on skin contact products then it has passed extensive skin tox testing – you simply don’t know what the skin tox is of an antimicrobial that isn’t USEPA registered.
Why do different laboratories that perform the same test method often generate test results that aren’t even close to being the same.
James Krueger: Many of the test methods are written quite broadly and so test labs have some leeway in the procedures they use within those methods. We recommend that laboratories become certified by the International Antimicrobial Council and that they use the IAC procedures to run the test methods and that the tests they perform be IAC Verified. When two different laboratories run the same test method and obtain IAC verification the test results are very similar.
Can we sell our product as an antiviral product in the USA under the treated articles exemption?
James Krueger: No, an antiviral claim is a health claim and USEPA does not allow health claims allowed under the treated articles exemption.
Can VIROBAN be used with other functional finishes? Is there a certain way or order to apply it? What is the best way to apply it to fabric?
Manish Khambe: N9 XTS-18 will give the same efficient performance either applied by Padding or Exhaust. If the application is to be done on a fabric where garment washing is not involved, it can be applied by Padding. If the application is to be done for Jeans, it can be applied in garment washing process.
Depending upon the type of functional finish, we recommend it to be applied either in a single bath operation for example can be applied in single bath with the wicking or cooling finish & in case of a OWR finish, we recommend N9 XTS-18 to be applied first followed by OWR finish for best results of both the finishes.
What is the minimum amount of VIROBAN that can be put on textiles to make them antiviral?
Manish Khambe: In case of textiles, the durability of the finish is also important. The minimum durability which we are offering is 20 HL & for achieving this durability, the minimum dosage of 6 percent of Viroban is recommended.
What are the clear claims that can be done on treated articles to be marketed in India and abroad related to antimicrobial?
Manish Khambe: It is very clearly defined regarding the claims that are permitted or not permitted.
For market like India- claims like antibacterial or antimicrobial finish can be made on the treated articles based on the various antibacterial test protocols like IAC AATCC 100, ASTM E 2149 and other antibacterial test methods.
For markets like USA – there is a whole list of what is permitted & not permitted. For example – claim like Inhibits the growth of bacterial odours is permitted and claim like Antibacterial is not permitted.
If it is based on quaternary silane, how it is different from other quat silane available in the market?
Robert Monticello: All of the other quaternary silanes on the market are the same but the T20-19 and its XTS-18 custom blend are truly unique from the carbon length of its active to the consistent high-quality European manufacturing source of the T20-19. In addition, the XTS-18 is the only custom blend of a quaternary Silane that allows for rapid, durable binding of this active polymer technology on any textile surface.
What kind of technical, marketing & supply chain support will be provided to the customers?
Manish Khambe: N9WTPL’s USP in all these years is having a strong Business Development team to support its customers across various regions within India as well as overseas markets. We are in very close contact with the Brands and Mills and very easy reachable. All the SOPs wrt the application are clearly shared with the Mills to achieve consistent results. Test methods are clearly communicated. Marketing support in terms of hangtags, other collaterals, claims etc are discussed at the very beginning of the program so that there is complete clarity with all the stake holders. Our products are manufactured at or Bangalore plant & distributed through our strong network of Channel Partners in different regions so that the required products are made available immediately to the customers.
Are there any ecological risks of releasing heavy metals?
Robert Monticello: We must always be concerned about the potential and real risks for releasing heavy metals in the environment. N9 XTS-18 is based on organofunctional silane technology and is free of any heavy metals or metal particles that may be related into the environment.
How can one prove that one’s own fabric is treated with VIROBAN? Is it a microbial test? Do you support antiviral testing and how many days does it take?
Robert Monticello: The presence and activity VIROBAN technology can be tested using both analytical and microbiological tests. Working with the International Antimicrobial Council, antimicrobial activity is routinely tested. Qualitative and quantitative tests can also be run in a matter of minutes at any stage in the process, including at the Mill directly after application.
Can VIROBAN be applied to finished garments? Can you spray it on a t-shirt and will it then be protected?
Robert Monticello: The VIROBAN technology can be spray applied, exhaust applied or pad applied.
What is the impact of effluent carrying XTS-18 to the environment (both aquatic life and soil)?
Robert Monticello: N9XTS-18 can deliver the T20-19 with up to 100% efficiency in exhaust applications. The T20-19 active ingredient can easily be neutralized prior to discharging the pad to eliminate any impact to the effluent or the environment.
What are the limitations of this technology, if any?
Robert Monticello: N9XTS-18 custom blend of T20-19 is a unique “non-leaching” antimicrobial technology. One limitation is that older test methods that require the release of active ingredients into the surrounding area to show efficacy are not appropriate for this technology. Fortunately, standard test methods exist that can easily detect the bound nature of the active ingredient.
Is it applicable to infant wear and kids wear too? Is there any toxicity/skin safety data available related to it?
Robert Monticello: The N9 XTS-18 custom blend dilution of T20-19 provides excellent extended durability. T20-19 has been extensively tested and has excellent data allowing next to skin use including use for infant and kids wear.