Smooth, neat surfaces are a clear quality indicator
Novozymes engaged an independent research company to take to the streets in both France and Germany and randomly recruit 310 survey participants. With the survey results demonstrating that 86% of the participants purchased cotton garments at least every six months, and one third at least once a month, it was a topic they could all relate to.

“Our enzymes help create the smoother, pill-free textiles that consumers want.” says Christian Wieth, Novozymes’ global marketing manager for textiles, “The survey proved that texture is extremely important to consumers, with the respondents stating that a neat, pill-free surface is more important at point of sale than either price or brand. This offers manufacturers unique new opportunities to differentiate and brand based on the benefits offered by biopolishing.”

Real examples, real difference
T-shirts consisting of one treated and one untreated side were also presented to the survey participants. Each t-shirt was washed a certain number of times, and offered a true opportunity to assess whether the benefits of biopolishing are obvious to consumers. The difference was certainly discernable, with 85% of the survey participants saying that they would use biopolished clothes for longer, and 90% saying they would be willing to pay up to 10% more for such improved quality.

“The survey proves that repurchase intent increases with a factor 5, and 2/3 will recommend a brand that biopolish,” says Christian Wieth, “ That’s a huge driver for more sales within the knits category which, also demonstrated by the survey, is characterized by low consumer loyalty.”

30 washes – a worn out t-shirt?
79% of the survey participants believe that the average t-shirt is no longer fit for wear after approximately 30 washes. Stains, holes, loss of shape or color, and fuzz and pills were some of the reasons that t-shirts are discarded. As part of research to further develop the Sustainable Clothing Action Plan (SCAP) product ‘footprint’ calculator, the Environmental Resources Management (ERM) agrees that biopolishing can extend the lifetime of cotton garments by 20%.

“Saving time, water and energy through biopolishing with Novozymes’ Combi process results in reduced production costs, which adds a strong competitive edge to business while showing consideration for use of natural resources,” says Christian Wieth, “The survey also demonstrates the true difference in quality our enzymes make – a difference consumers like and are willing to pay for. And with 87% saying they dream of longer lasting clothes, we’re catering for a real market need.”