March 28, 2019

BENU® Recycled

Christian Fischbacher presents a new generation of recycled fabrics with the BENU TALENT FR outdoor velvet

A double anniversary at Christian Fischbacher: the textile company is celebrating its 200th anniversary and ten years of the BENU® Recycled Collection, which consists of fabrics created using recycled PET bottles and waste textiles. Christian Fischbacher is taking this opportunity to launch a textile innovation and world first on the market – the BENU TALENT FR outdoor velvet.

Through four years of extensive development work, the company has managed to perfect the fabric’s functionality so that it meets all market-relevant functional requirements – it is sustainable, as it is made from post consumer PET, high light fastness makes it suitable for outdoor use and flame retardant. The velvet fabric is also elegant and versatile. A new generation of fabric is taking the stage! Sustainability is one of the core values in the Christian Fischbacher mission statement. Ten years ago, the textile company was one of the first in the industry to develop decorative and upholstery fabrics made from recycled PET and fabric remnants from the fashion industry. For Art Director Camilla Fischbacher, the initiator of the BENU® Collection, it was always all about a reinterpretation – that post-consumer plastic bottles are not waste but in fact a source of raw materials. ‘We have always believed in quality recycled products and still do. The success of BENU® has confirmed we are on the right path,’ says Camilla Fischbacher.

The versatile BENU TALENT FR

The BENU TALENT FR velvet, to be launched by Christian Fischbacher in the anniversary year of 2019, scores highly across the board. Seventy per cent of the yarn used is made from post-consumer PET bottles. This high-quality recycled product is weatherproof and lightfast, making it suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. The flame-retardant fabric can be used in public areas and hotels as decorative and upholstery fabric. Last but not least is the wonderfully supple feel of the velvet. This trendy fabric reveals its beauty on mid-century and retro furniture as well as on clear, contemporary shapes. Thanks to its fine pile, velvet makes colours look luminous and vivid. The durable BENU TALENT FR is available in 30 colours – ranging from neutral, natural shades to luminescent outdoor hues and elegant, classic velvet tones. Thanks to its special properties, this luxurious velvet can now be used outside for the first time. The market shows us how: indoor and outdoor areas are merging seamlessly into one another.

Production and properties

The BENU TALENT velvet is made primarily from PerPETual yarn, which uses post-consumer PET bottles that are depolymerised and respun as ‘virgin’ PES. This forms the velvet’s characteristic soft surface, known as the pile. The yarn system weaves two layers at the same time in a W pattern, which are then cut with a sharp blade exactly in the middle while still on the loom. NewLife brand recycled yarns are also used in the weft. Both manufacturers are certified by the GRS label (Global Recycled Standard). Before the soft velvet is created, the pile material has to be dyed in special machines and brought ‘into shape’ using brushes and heat. BENU TALENT FR not only boasts sustainability and elegance but is also flame retardant and suitable for outdoor use thanks to its special features.

Ten years of BENU®: innovation highlights

The collections in the BENU® Recycled series are the best examples of Christian Fischbacher’s innovative prowess. The studio worked on the first collection for one and a half years in order to develop a lighter and softer material from the recycled PET yarn. The design studio also had to find solutions for bringing the sophisticated design concept into line with the new material. Printing techniques were developed and the brilliant colours refined. Wool and cotton – recycled yarns from the fashion industry – also came to be used over time, in addition to PET. Using an environmentally friendly process, new yarn is made from discarded textiles and production surpluses from the fashion industry. The material is sorted by colour and shredded. Only the best textile fibres are spun into a new, high-quality yarn. Its flame-retardant function was the next level of innovation to be achieved. Christian Fischbacher has received many awards for its BENU® Recycled Collection in its successful ten year history. BENU PET was given the Design+Technology Award, the Red Dot and the Design Plus Award – MaterialVision by the German Design Council; it also repeatedly won the Interior Innovation Award and was a finalist in the FX International Interior Design Award.

'The collection is named after an ancient Egyptian mythical bird called the benu. Like the Greek phoenix, it burns to be reborn from its ashes. In English, the name is pronounced “be new”, making it a fitting choice for our concept’ Camilla Fischbacher.