Huntsman Textile Effects has launched the High IQ Repel brand assurance plan to help mills, brands and retailers meet global demand for eco-friendly apparel with rain and stain protection.

To satisfy a variety of customer needs, the branding strategy is built on a comprehensive range of nonfluorinated durable water repellents that now includes the new Phobotex RCO finishing for cotton and cotton-rich blends.

Rain, stain and soil-resistant effects are critical in sportswear, activewear and extreme-sports apparel, Huntsman noted, adding that these effects are also increasingly important in the fast-growing casual and ath-leisure segments. With the global retail sports apparel industry expected to exceed $175 billion by 2019, many brands and retailers are now extending their lines with activewear collections.

At the same time, there is a global call for more environmentally friendly formulations, the Singapore-based textile dye and finishing company said. This signals a move away from perfluorinated chemicals, or PFCs, due to concern about hazardous residues associated with long-chain C8 PFCs.

With High IQ Repel finishes, Huntsman Textile Effects aims to address the industry transition to nonfluorinated alternatives that meet stringent environment, health and safety standards. Developed with the consumer in mind, these finishes are customized to deliver protection for different end-use categories, such as everyday apparel, outdoor clothing and extreme sportswear.

“The High IQ Repel program offers brands, retailers and mills a way to produce high-performance rain- and stain-resistant textiles that satisfy increasingly demanding consumers without compromising environmental sustainability,” said Lee Howarth, global marketing manager for finishing at Huntsman Textile Effects. “Our High IQ Repel program leverages decades of technical innovation and production expertise, and is based on the most comprehensive range of durable water repellents available to the industry.”

Under the High IQ Repel branding and license program, mills that meet Huntsman’s stringent product and process requirements earn the right to use the High IQ Repel hang tag to identify their textiles. This allows their partner brands and retailers to assure customers that the textiles they use are sustainable and will deliver the expected performance and benefits.

The Phobotex RCO water-repellent finish for cellulosic fabrics provides durable eco-friendly protection against everyday stains.

All products in the High IQ Repel range are based on nonfluorinated technologies and comply with the requirements of Bluesign, the Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals Roadmap and the Restricted Substances Lists of the world’s most exacting global brands, in addition to being suitable for Oeko-Tex Standard 100.