Upcycling Minds Think Alike

ERCA SPA, Patagonia and YKK announce the implementation of ERCA’s REVECOL, a sustainable, innovative chemical agent, in YKK’s dyeing processes at its Vietnam production sites.

ERCA transforms common waste material, such as exhausted vegetable cooking oil, into an upcycled, certified high performance, safe textile chemical. ERCA has invested in circular practices to take waste material and use them as feedstocks to create new responsible chemical products.

Always searching for new sustainable innovations, REVECOL caught the attention of Patagonia. Driven by the goal to use non-extractive chemistry in its supply chain wherever possible. The brand teamed up with ERCA and trim supplier YKK to deploy REVECOL.

Matt Swartz (right), Patagonia’s Color and Material Quality Manager introduced the ERCA technology to YKK, asking that it explore using it in the dyeing operations.

“We saw an opportunity to build a partnership with an innovator, ERCA, who was pushing the boundaries of sustainability and match them with an existing partner, YKK, that consistently delivers high caliber, quality goods and services. This has proven to be a dream team,” Swartz said. “Through thoughtful consideration, we designed our approach and conversion to REVECOL LV-TS to have an outsized impact from the start. The real success is seeing this go beyond Patagonia products and spread across supply chain partners, brands and consumers. This is one domino to fall in how we do business to save our home.”

REVECOL LV-TS has a carbon footprint that is 72 percent lower than the more conventional chemical auxiliaries ERCA produces.

ERCA produces a range of high-performance chemical auxiliaries made from used vegetable oil that are ZDHC, bluesign approved and GRS certified.

“One of the most rewarding achievements is not only to see that REVECOL can really make a difference, but that leading companies are teaming up with us to utilize it in products that bring the message of sustainability to the end consumer”, said Fabio Locatelli (left), head of ERCA Textile Specialties Business Unit.

As part of its Sustainability Vision 2050, YKK works to deploy more sustainable chemical processes in its production. The ability to replace a commonly used dye chemical with a lower-impact version was a no-brainer for YKK’s Vietnam management. REVECOL is more sustainable and more efficient, reducing the use of the dyeing auxiliary by 20 percent to 30 percent, helping lower YKK’s overall chemical usage.

“We are thrilled to be part of this unique three-way collaboration, exemplifying how true upcycling on a mass-production scale is made possible at the center of garment manufacturing. We look forward to the expansion of REVECOL across the entire textile industry”, said Mike Maekawa (right), Sales and Business Development Manager of YKK Vietnam.