Capelli: The fashion for antimicrobial protection

Capelli New York, a leading global fashion manufacturer and distributor, has partnered with Microban® International to produce a range of apparel and sports equipment with built-in antimicrobial properties. Jack Cheika, Director of Business Development at Capelli New York, explains how this partnership has evolved.

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The Company: Capelli New York

Capelli New York designs, manufactures, and markets on-trend private label and branded products for children, teens, and women across North America, Europe, and Asia. The company’s coordinated product lines include fashion accessories, jewelry, hosiery, footwear, rainwear, sleepwear, and gifts. Through its subsidiary, Capelli Sport, it also sells a range of sports apparel, footwear, and equipment, and uses its strengths in material sourcing, product design, and manufacturing to respond quickly to the latest fashion trends. Capelli New York's products are sold nationally and internationally at leading department stores, specialty stores and national chains.

The Challenge: A material problem

Anything we wear is exposed to dirt and microbes, transferred from the environment and our own bodies. Add to this a moist, sweaty environment, and certain items of apparel – such as sportswear and footwear – are particularly prone to stains, odors and premature degradation caused by the build-up of microbes such as mold and mildew. Even with regular washing these issues can persist, reducing the lifetime of the product.

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Capelli Yoga Mats with Built-In Microban® Technology

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The Solution: Enhanced materials

Capelli has partnered with Microban to use its zinc-based ZPTech® additive – a broad-spectrum antimicrobial with activity against bacteria, mold, mildew, and algae – in a range of products including neoprene apparel and belts, yoga mats and towels. ZPTech is particularly suited to incorporation into polyester and other synthetic materials which have a propensity for holding onto odors and stains. It is added during the manufacturing process so the antimicrobial protection is built-in and persists even with the regular washing that clothing undergoes. Jack explained: “Whenever we develop a new product line, we consider whether there is the opportunity to incorporate Microban® technology. Our manufacturing sites in China then work with Microban to develop the manufacturing process where necessary.”

Innovating for consumers

Capelli innovates to meet the latest consumer trends and, with an increasing interest in cleanliness, Microban allows the company to respond to this need. Jack explained: “There are many buyers who really want antimicrobial products, directly in response to the demand for consumers. The marketplace knows what it is, and what it does, and tells us that it’s necessary in many products now. Since the start of the pandemic, Microban has become more recognizable on retail shelves, so consumer interest is really high.”

“There are many buyers who really want antimicrobial products, directly in response to the demand for consumers. The marketplace knows what it is, and what it does, and tells us that it’s necessary in many products now. Since the start of the pandemic, Microban has become more recognizable on retail shelves, so consumer interest is really high.”

Jack Cheika | Director of Business Development, Capelli New York

Benefits of Capelli Textiles with Microban® Technology

  • Capelli New York products with Microban additives are protected from stains and odors caused by the presence of microbes such as mold and mildew, keeping them fresher for longer.
  • The technology is blended into the material, so is not washed away during cleaning, and protects against microbes for the lifetime of the product.
  • ZPTech is a broad-spectrum antimicrobial with multiple modes of action, making it harder for microbes to become resistant to its effects, and has a history of safe use on the most intimate of textiles.
  • Microban's in-house regulatory department and marketing team has a comprehensive knowledge of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Biocidal Products Regulation (BPR) policies to guide partners with their antimicrobial claims across multiple distribution regions around the world.