Marketing and Design Manager Miko Srl
We'll be Climate Positive by 2030
Miko Srl, a subsidiary of US-based Sage Automotive Interiors and a member of Japan's Asahi Kasei Group, is an Italian company that produces Dinamica, claimed to be the first ecological microfibre with unique characteristics suitable for a variety of applications. In a discussion with Fibre2Fashion, Benedetta Terraneo, marketing and design manager at Miko, speaks about the new enhanced Dinamica Auto Pure range of fibres, which promises even less carbon dioxide emissions, and the various certifications Miko is aiming to achieve by 2030.
Give us a general background of Miko. How and when was it formed? Who are the key people involved? How big is the team of Miko?
Miko Srl was established in 1997 and immediately set its headquarters in Gorizia. Since the beginning of its activity, the company has been focusing on producing an innovative non-woven microfibre called Dinamica, adaptable to multiple sectors of application, especially for automotive interiors.
The lifecycle of Dinamica starts in Japan in Asahi Kasei that manufactures and delivers the raw non-woven fabric to Italian company Miko, where the material is dyed, finished and sold worldwide.
Miko employs 93 workers divided among the administration and commercial departments (in the area dedicated to offices), production department (dyeing, finishing, quality control, recipe preparation, laboratory, service) and logistics (shipping and warehouse).?
In line with the dynamic spirit of the group, in 2018, Sage Automotive group was acquired by Asahi Kasei, to follow the entire supply chain closely and better the Dinamica brand. Therefore, Miko Srl is currently fully controlled by Asahi Kasei Corporation.
What is the USP of Dinamica fibre?
Dinamica's production process avoids the extraction of virgin raw materials as it is based on the recycling of waste that would otherwise be discharged in landfills or incinerations. The recycled polyester contained in Dinamica derives from polyester fibre (T-shirts, fabrics, fibres) and PET (bottles, plastic, etc). Recycling polyester means reducing energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere by 80 per cent compared to the traditional petrol-based polyester production process.
Where is Dinamica fibre sourced from?
The recycled fibres of Dinamica come from Japan. Through an innovative process called Eco-Cycle, the polyester waste is collected and transformed into polyester fibres by Japanese company Teijin.
What is the raw base that Asahi Kasei provides for production of Dinamica?
Asahi Kasei uses the recycled fibres in their water-based process to produce the three-layer structure of Dinamica base.?
In fact, under the microscope, the material is composed of three layers: face, inner scrim and backing. Submerged in a water solution, the inner scrim attracts small polyester fibre, which is suspended in the liquid, to both surfaces; these are compacted using a water-based needle punching process. The microfibre is then immersed in a water polyurethane bath, which, in contrast to normal production cycles, does not contain the solvents that are harmful to health and the environment. This process makes the fibres compact, making them elastic and resistant.
What is the average time taken right from sourcing the raw material to the finished Dinamica fibre?
The production lead time for the greige production in Asahi Kasei/Japan is 12 weeks. The production lead time for the Dinamica production in Miko/Italy is six weeks.
Where are your factories based at? What is the annual production capacity at them?
Asahi Kasei manufactures and delivers the raw non-woven fabric to Miko, where the material is dyed, finished and sold under the brand name Dinamica.
In 2019, Miko sold 3.2 million linear metres of Dinamica for a total turnover of €109 million.
What are the various application areas/sectors for Dinamica?
Mainly used as automotive interior surface material, it is used in covering seats and headrests, headliners, door panels or steering wheels of renowned car models like the Porsche Taycan, the Mercedes-Benz AVTR concept car, the Volkswagen ID.3 or the Q5 by Audi. The premium look and feel is one distinctive feature of the material. The other one is its sustainability.?
Other brands that feature Dinamica are JLR, BMW, GM, Ford, FCA, Volvo, Seat, Skoda, Hyundai and KIA.
What percentage of sustainability and circularity does Dinamica promise?
The current product line has up to 45 per cent of recycled content and it is solvent-free. During dyeing, the use of neutral, non-toxic colouring agents is a further guarantee of the product's naturalness. However, the promise of Miko is to improve the circular economy of all products in the next five years and increase the amount of secondary raw material in the life cycle of its products.
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