Q&A with Textile Sustainability Steward Nassimi

Feb 16, 2022 4:08:27 PM

Materials Health, Circularity

While Toxnot has companies working on their sustainability intiatives across various industries, we can draw many commonalities across manufacturers while working through their goals and challenges. We caught up with Ashlynn Nieland, Product Development Coordinator for Nassimi LLC, to share more on what it takes to be a sustainability steward in the textile industry.

About Nassimi

Nassimi LLC is a performance upholstery materials manufacturer specializing in PVC, Polyurethane and Silicone Faux Leathers, as well as, performance textiles including woven textures, velvets and wools for commercial interiors. They're known for our quality and innovative performance goods, making it their mission to provide thoughtfully designed, responsibly produced, durable products that elevate any interior design setting.


To get us started off, tell us a little about Nassimi & your products.

AN: Nassimi LLC started in 1978. We, as a company, are always looking forward to what is new in the market and how we can take it a step further with our products to make it better for our customers. We get excited about design and quality and look towards new technology and processes to push the envelope. In addition to our own extensive performance product lines, we create custom products for our customers and work very closely with our manufacturing partners.


So what are Nassimi's strategic initiatives/goals for improving product transparency, sustainability reporting, & circularity today?

AN: As part of our mission, we strive to provide better products in design, performance, and that are better for the environment and human health. As part of that, we focus on several different key areas:

Product make-up: We continue to search for ways to reduce the environmental impact of our products, without sacrificing the performance features. We were the first company in our industry to reduce harmful phthalates from our faux leathers, long before any regulatory requirements were set in place. Our entire product line is free of flame-retardant chemicals and free of anti-bacterial and anti-microbial chemicals. Our newest product platform, Supreen™ Liquid Barrier Fabrics, offers incredible stain resistance without the use of any harmful PFC’s or PFOA’s.

Production improvements: We work closely with our production partners to improve the way in which our products are made. We have been able to reduce the amount of water used in production, and have installed water reclamation and recycling facilities. In one of our manufacturing sites we have introduced a unique air flow system to eliminate the need for heating or cooling, as well as light and solar panels in our roof system, which reduced electricity usage for lighting by over 80%. We have pioneered new ways to produce faux leathers, in which we no longer use solvents in production.

Transparency: Just like we hold ourselves and our production partners to a high standard, we invite our customers to hold us to an even higher standard. We accomplish this transparency to our customers with the help of Toxnot which allows us to publish the chemical make-up of each of our products and demonstrates our compliance levels to the leading environmental standards such as California Prop 65, Conflict Minerals, RoHS, and REACH.

Durability: We believe that environmental stewardship begins with less and more mindful consumption, and in order to make this possible we strive to provide well-designed and well-made products that stand the test of time from both an aesthetic and durability point of view.

We aim to make sustainability a core principle in our business, and we want to be able to share our findings and our efforts as we continuously improve as a company.


What motivates Nassimi to achieve your sustainability goals? Can you share why sustainability matter in the textile industry today?

AN: Our primary motivation for being environmentally responsible is that it’s simply the right thing to do. We hope that by leading the industry in this conversation it may inspire others to be thoughtful about their business and to do the same. We recognize that there is a need for honest environmental stewardship, and that people respect and gravitate to companies that act responsibly. Making products in a more sustainable way is not necessarily more expensive, but requires great effort and attention to detail. People are using our products on a daily basis, and we value providing a cleaner product for both human safety and the environment.


How is Nassimi currently actively working on these goals right now?

AN: The key aspect to our current efforts that we are actively working on is centered around the measurement of our Scope 1 and 2 emissions. We live by the adage “what doesn’t get measured doesn’t get managed”. We have recently received the usage data regarding our water, electricity as well as our emissions output from our production facilities. This is now the benchmark that we can effectively measure our reduction activity.


What would you say has been one of your greatest challenges so far working towards these objectives?

AN: One of the challenges that we’ve experienced is the ability to gather meaningful and measurable data in regards to our Scope 3 emissions. While difficult, we are committed to having a full understanding of our CO2e emissions so we can work towards carbon neutrality.


Have you ran into difficulty sourcing ingredients or crafting performance products for sustainability? Any challenging ingredients?

AN: Instead of focusing on trying to find new ingredients, back in 2017 we made the decision to eliminate the use of harmful phthalates and potentially dangerous chemical additives such as Flame Retardants and Anti-Microbial/Anti-Bacterial additives from our products. We removed these while still improving upon the durability of our product. These efforts have led us to new technologies as well. We truly care about making a cleaner product for our customers that still maintains the great quality we work hard to achieve with our thorough product development processes.

In 2018 we introduced SiO™ 100% Silicone upholstery which is derived from silica sand and offers inherent performance attributes without the addition of chemicals.

In 2019 we introduced Supreen™, a composite material of silicone, polyester and polyurethane that offers liquid barrier performance with the soft and supple hand of a woven textile. Supreen is free of PFC’s and PFOA’s.


In what ways has Toxnot improved your relationship with suppliers or other textile companies?

AN: Toxnot has provided a great platform that allows us to streamline our product transparency. We value our close relationships with our customers and want to be transparent about what is in the products they are purchasing from us. This means a great deal considering we can easily share our product data with our distributors and suppliers with only two clicks using the new Toxnot Exchange. We love this feature as a company as this saves time for us and our distributors and is extremely easy to use.


Is there a particular Toxnot feature that stands out in helping Nassimi alleviate challenges?

AN: We love that Toxnot is actively adding and improving pages to share more data. As we expand our product data, we have one place to store and share. The topics of sustainability, human health and the environment are very important to us and a key focus of our product development process. Toxnot has created a simpler way to share this information that is consistent and easy to use.


Does Nassimi see themselves branching out & storing information on our platform such as recyclability, carbon emissions, water usage, or customer reports for materials?

AN: Absolutely- we were thrilled to see the new sustainability and circularity pages added to Toxnot and plan to add to these pages soon. We have recently gathered this data and are actively working to provide this information to share on Toxnot.


That's awesome! So what's the next strategic vision for Nassimi as a textile leader?

AN: It’s simple, we live, work and play on one planet so we will be doing whatever we can as a company and as humans to take care of it for the benefit of all.

We at Nassimi continue to expand in the products we offer while working towards our eventual goal of carbon neutrality. We continue to explore new processes and product platforms while expanding our product lines with new innovations and are excited by the growth of our business. We will continue to actively use Toxnot to pursue our data sharing goals and are happy with the updates!


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