Fibre maker Invista Apparel is making new efforts to reduce the environmental impact of the clothing industry by putting sustainability at the heart of its textile developments. 

The goals, which are outlined in its Planet Agenda framework, aim to minimise the environmental impact of synthetic fibres, improve natural fibre performance by combining synthetic and natural fibres, and reduce the impact of consumer garment use.

New York based Invista, whose brands include Coolmax, Lycra and Tactel, says it has already made progress in addressing the impact of its manufacturing operations.

The company's new Coolmax EcoTech wicking fibres and fabrics for legwear are made from recycled PET containers - with an estimated 70% energy saving, without loss of comfort or performance.

And products such as Easy Set Lycra and steam-settable Lycra are less energy intensive for mills to process, while Lycra Soft Comfort can be drafted more efficiently to yield more yarn.  

The addition of Lycra fibres and other specialty synthetic products can also improve the performance of new naturals such as bamboo, soy and hemp, the company says. 

Within the framework of Planet Agenda, Invista is conducting life-cycle analysis studies to help determine how the 'cradle-to- grave' impact of different types of garments can be reduced.

Margaret Jacob, recently appointed to the position of sustainability director at Invista Apparel, believes the launch is timely.

"Developing and using our capabilities to create real, long-term value for customers and for society is the goal of our actions every day, and it is how we measure our progress in every way.

"Planet Agenda reflects this fact and gives examples of how we apply our vision of sustainability within our Apparel business."