Oratex: Redefining Athleisure With A Sustainable Twist
Founded in the year 1989 in the picturesque city of Montreal, Quebec, Canada, Oratex stands as a pioneer of textile manufacturing. By marrying innovation with sustainability, it produces top-quality circular knit stretch fabrics ideal for athletic wear, loungewear and intimate apparel. Quebec is notably one of North America’s leading high-tech players. At a time when the American garment industry was booming, Oratex seized the opportunity and emerged as a leading knit fabric manufacturer with the use of the latest technology and machinery. Over the course of two decades, the company has risen into a quality volume supplier of dyed and finished knit fabrics.
Oratex sets a benchmark of revolution as it has grown from a knit supplier to a maker of performance materials with an eco-friendly approach. The textile manufacturer uses its extensive knit-based knowledge and works with some of the top athleisure brands today. Oratex leaves no stone unturned in maintaining excellence in its products.
Today, at a time when sustainability is pushing its way to the forefront of fashion, Oratex boasts the use of economically viable yarns and manufacturing processes. The company produces and supplies a variety of stretch fabrics that are comprised of fibers like bamboo, organic cotton and micromodal. These come in single knit and double knit jersey and are available in custom colors. All of their fabrics evoke a sense of softness and comfort, best suited for producing items in activewear as well as apparel like blouses, tops and intimate apparel.
Campbell insists that from a sustainability standpoint, the company's favorite fiber is Micromodal Edelweiss from Lenzing which is the first carbon neutral fiber in the world. The fabric is alluringly delicate and is also one of Oratex's bestsellers.
The premium manufacturer does not conclude its environment-friendly attitude with yarns, but further advances its journey through other process like knitting, dyeing and finishing. For instance, all of Oratex's knitting power is generated by hydro-electric power and it has also changed all lighting to LED in order to considerably reduce power consumption. Additionally, the company strives to minimize water consumption and chemical usage in its dyeing process.
“Our effluent is fully treated and monitored by the federal environmental government bodies to ensure strict standards of preserving the environment,” says Campbell about the ecologically viable manufacturing process. He further adds, “We have incorporated infrared drying into our finishing process to improve our efficiency and energy consumption while at the same time rectifying shrinkage and reducing costs.”
Keeping in pace with its innovation and product development, Oratex offers some exciting ideas for the future. The leading manufacturer is in the process of evolving a special knitting structure that enables production of stretch fabrics from the fiber polypropylene.
Moreover, Oratex has taken a bold step by venturing into ‘smart’ clothing along with its pervasive use of modern technology. This is best explained through its range of Nilit “breeze” products which yield a unique cooling effect to maintain a comfortable body temperature for physical activities in hot weather. This technology primarily uses nylon yarn that reduces body temperature by 1° as compared to regular nylon.
Oratex further leaps into technological advancement with its ‘superclean’ cotton range, proving the quality of excellence the supplier maintains in its finishing process. The ‘superclean’ cotton resolves the issue of pilling that often forms on the surface of fabrics after washing. It helps facilitate a smooth feeling against the wearer’s skin.
Campbell identifies the company’s main challenge as the competition it face from the imported fabrics by fellow cut and sew brands of Northern America. However, Oratex s ability to help new clients develop innovative products is what sets it apart from its competitors.
“Our biggest clients today started with 100 to 800 yards to currently over 500,000 yards annually. We feel this is where our future growth will come from and we believe that Le Souk can play an important role in helping us reach out globally to a wider audience,” says Campbell.
Oratex manifests itself as a leading brand in textile production that also retains its environmentally sensitive facet with a brilliant future in mind. Creating innovative, high quality materials, it has grown tremendously over the past decades to establish a significant reputation as a widely known global textile supplier. And the end is nowhere in sight.