Meet the people who make it a reality: Uwe Pieles
"HeiQ AeoniQ™ cellulosic yarn will transform the world of fashion"
What is your daily role, what motivates you to contribute to this project and what makes you most excited about HeiQ AeoniQ™?
My main role is to chair the HeiQ Innovation Advisory Board and to support the research and development team to develop simplified and efficient methods for the HeiQ AeoniQ™ project, which can be applied anywhere in the world without requiring expensive or complicated technologies.
My main motivation for the project is to make the world a little better, by saving resources and the environment. The idea of a circular economy is what drives me.
The project is exciting, because it is technologically challenging and requires new and “out of the box” thinking to find solutions for so far unsolved problems such as waste recycling, avoiding toxic substances in textile production processes, or reduce water and energy usage.
What is your view on sustainability in the textile industry, and what can be done to reduce its impact on a global scale?
Currently, most of the textile industry is far from being sustainable, regarding the use of water, energy, and usage of toxic compounds for dyeing textiles.
Farming for textiles, particularly cotton, uses monocultures and massive quantities of insecticides and herbicides which are environmentally harmful. Using synthetic fibers is not a better alternative, as it requires a lot of mineral oil-based resources and is non-biodegradable in the environment, which causes big problems with piles of textiles in landfills and in the environment leading to a bad carbon footprint.
Most of the fashion today is fast fashion, which is bad for the environment because textiles have a short usage and low lifetime. They end up mostly in landfills, in the environment, or are burnt.
So, what can we do? The answer is to create a truly circular economy, recycling textiles to produce new yarns, replacing polyester, polyamide, and other synthetic fibers by fibers based on natural products and recycled materials like the HeiQ AeoniQ™ project does, stopping fast fashion and sell quality textiles with longer life span. Textile suppliers and vendors should also be obligated to take used textiles back and put them to recycle, as was already determined by the European Commission. Other possibilities would be renting textiles, selling used textiles in second-hand stores, motivating brands to move away from synthetic fibers, avoiding toxic compounds in textile production, using natural dyes instead of synthetic ones, producing locally in the countries where the textiles are used avoiding long transportation distances to reduce the carbon footprint, and force textile producers to use renewable energies, as well as a safer water consumption.
What is your vision for your professional and private life?
As I am retired already and my professional life is getting close to its end, I have the pleasure to work part-time for HeiQ . My vision is that I can contribute at least a little bit to the success of the HeiQ AeoniQ™ project and therefore help HeiQ to move on its successful path to help to make the world a better place.
My vision for my private life after my professional life is that I can enjoy my retirement having time following my passions but also can contribute in social projects to help my direct environment.
How does your leisure time looks like?
I am deeply passionate about photography and printing pictures. I like to build things with mechanics and electronics. I also like art, architecture, and modern Jazz and I am a very frequent concert and museum visitor. I read and collect books, love travelling to the North, and I practice various sports, such as fitness and running.
What are you dreaming of?
Although that dream sounds a bit too general and too often heard, I am
dreaming of a better world, more peaceful, less violent, in full respect for
nature with all its creatures and each other. A life in harmony.
After my professional life I am dreaming of opening an “Art Café ” in a
wonderful place if possible close to the ocean.