Chemical specialist Rudolf Group is launching Bio-Logic, a new line of water repellent products entirely based on natural components.
Over the past decades, the chemical specialist has already been keen about offering environmentally friendly developments and claims to have invented and introduced its Ruco-Dry product line, a fluorine-free water repellence treatment for textile and apparel in 2003. “Biomimicry and the study of lotus leaves and bird’s feathers were instrumental in developing the very first fluorine-free Durable Water Repellent (DWR) treatments,” said Dr. Günther Duschek, managing director of Rudolf Group.
Fifteen years later, the group has taken a new water repellent performance system entirely based on natural components. “We are launching two brand new, distinctive product propositions entirely manufactured from natural sources that do not compete with human and animal nutrition,” added Duschek.
Image pic for Rudolf Group’s new Bio-Logic product line
Alberto De Conti, marketing and fashion division of Rudolf Group, explained how it aims to set the way for a new and strategically important chemistry meant to protect consumers while further preserving the environment.
Why did you call this line of products “Bio-Logic”?
We think that using natural origin and bio-based chemicals is the most logic choice for the future.
Can you describe their characteristics and properties?
Bio-Logic offers two products: Ruco-Dry Bio CGR and Ruco-Dry Bio NPE. Both are derived from natural sources that don’t compete with human and animal feeding, and fuels.
Ruco-Dry Bio CGR is the first Durable Water Repellent (DWR) agent based on organic natural plant-derived leftovers from the production of human food. They are obtained from byproducts during the processing of cereal grains in the food industry that would rather be used as fertiliser or disposed of and are refined to create a powerful water and stain repellent textile finish. This way we obtain a chemical product that is 90% biomass. The remaining 10% are surfactant that we have to use to keep the emulsion together in order that the product can last with the passing of time.
Our second product is Ruco-Dry Bio NPE. Its repellence is entirely based on a selected mix of natural plant extracts that combine excellent water and stain repellent effects with breathability and a natural handle. This product is even more extreme than the previous one as it is 99% made with natural origin substances that are not chemically and genetically modified, nor are used as food, feed or fuel.
These developments show a different and new direction for chemistry as they match well with the need to encourage, for instance, circular economy and cradle-to-cradle practices.
Alberto De Conti, Rudolf Group
Can these treatments be used for denim, sportswear or outdoor apparel? And what additional properties do they convey?
Yes, they can be used for all of these segments. Even if the two products have a different origin as one is obtained from recyling and the other one is extracted, when you use them, at the beginning both give the so-called “Spray-rate” 100% performance, therefore a very high protection level At the same time, color, hand feel, comfort and breathability practically don’t change when compared with the same untreated fabric version. What then counts is to maintain their performance through washes. These treatments are active for practically about 20-30 home washings, that is the avarage lifetime of a regular apparel piece.
Will you only launch these two products?
They are our first two very radical new products, but others will follow as we already defined a pipeline of products that will be part of our Aspirational Chemistry division. This is how we call our new chemistry model, a sort of starting point for a more sustainable chemistry we hope that will characterize the future of this industry.
Will these products be more expensive?
We do our best to be as much competitive as possible, even if there will be a small premium to pay as it took us two years to achieve these results and raw materials are more expensive. Ruco-Dry Bio CGR will cost similarly to fluorine-free products, Ruco-Dry Bio DPE will be slightly more expensive, around 10-20% more.
Will these treatments be certified?
As we use weeds for the DPE selection and they are available in limited quantities, their use is regulated by CITES program, a multilateral treaty to protect endangered plants and animals.
In general, our products are not certified yet, but might soon reach some of them and might very probably join most appreciated ones as Bluesign and ZDHC.